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Daniel Fienberg: The 10 Nominees I’ll Be Rooting Hardest For at the Emmys

From the leading lady of ‘The Americans’ to the DP on ‘The Man in the High Castle’ to a cross-dressing supporting player on ‘Baskets,’ THR’s TV critic picks the people he most ardently wants to see grab the gold.

The 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out on September 10 and 11 (the “creative arts” ceremony, perplexingly spread out over two parts) and September 18 (the actual ABC telecast hosted by Jimmy Kimmel), and I’ll be taking a rooting interest in every category because, like most TV viewers, I have preferences and I take them personally.

But here are 10 nominees I’ll be rooting for especially enthusiastically on the various Emmy nights. I intentionally left out winners that I expect are no-brainers. I don’t need to stress out rooting for Sarah Paulson and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, because they’ll be just fine. Some of these are longshots, some are probably favorites, but if the 2016 Emmys want me looking back with fond memories, at least a few of them had better win.

Keri Russell, ‘The Americans’
I could have filled half of the slots on this list with categories in which I’ll be rooting for The Americans, but if The Americans won in all the categories it deserves to, it critics would no longer be able to feel superior in our love of The Americans and what would be the point in that? It’s a tribute to how great Keri Russell is on The Americans — Elizabeth’s kitchen staredown with Paige from this season is worth all available awards — that I’ll be rooting for the Felicity veteran in a category that’s pretty remarkable. Cookie Lyon remains one of TV’s most entertaining characters. Tatiana Maslany is a multi-faceted marvel. Viola Davis nails everything her erratic show lets her do. But this year, which saw Elizabeth do worse and more conflicted and conflicting things than ever before, should be Russell’s year.