The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie is an accolade presented every year by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to honour an actress for her outstanding performance in a supporting role on a television limited series or television movie. The first award in this category was presented to Juliet Mills for her character Samantha Cody in QB VII in 1975. Since then, the award has been given to 38 actresses, with Regina King, Jane Alexander, Judy Davis, Colleen Dewhurst and Mare Winningham winning the award twice, while Kathy Bates has been nominated for this award seven times. In 2006, Ellen Burstyn received a nomination for her work in Mrs Harris but this was heavily criticised as she only had 14 seconds of screen time and 38 words of dialogue. Since then, nominees submitting for this category are required to have more than 5 percent screen time on their respective projects.
2019's nominees for this category include Patricia Arquette, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Patricia Clarkson, Vera Farmiga, Margaret Qualley and Emily Watson. Unlike lead actresses, the supporting performers need to select one episode from the miniseries for review by voters. These are the six episodes which have been submitted by the these actresses:
Patricia Arquette appears in American crime drama, The Act, which premiered in March 2019, on Hulu. The first season of the series was based on the real life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, Patricia submitted Teeth (Part 2). The actress also has a lead nomination this year for Escape at Dannemora. She has previously been nominated for the Emmys twice and has won the award once during her career.
Marsha Stephanie Blake is part of Netflix drama series When They See Us, which was aired in May 2019. The show is based on the events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and showcases the lives and families of the five male suspects who were prosecuted for the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City. This is Martha’s first Emmy nomination and she has submitted Part Three for consideration.
Patricia Clarkson has been nominated for her performance in HBO’s psychological thriller series, Sharp Objects, aired in July-August 2018. This is the third Emmy nomination for the actress, who won in the previous two nominations, and she has submitted the episode Closer (Part 5).
Vera Farmiga also appears on When They See Us and for her second Emmy nomination, she has submitted Part Two for voting.
Margaret Qualley has been nominated for her role in Fosse/Verdon, FX’s American biographical miniseries on director–choreographer Bob Fosse, which premiered in April 2019. This is the first Emmy nomination for Margaret, who has submitted episode Where Am I Going? (Part 5).
Emily Watson appeared in HBO’s Chernobyl, which is based on the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, considered to be one of the world's worst man-made catastrophes. This is the first Emmy nomination for Emily and she has submitted Open Wide, O Earth (Part 3).
Voting Process of the Emmys: The TV Academy has 22,000 members, who are divided into 29 peer groups representing specific professions in the industry. All members select and vote for the nominees in the major categories like drama, comedy, limited series, variety talk series, and reality competition, through a secure online platform. The winners are announced in a ceremony at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. This year, the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on 22nd September and may be conducted without a host.