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The 2014 Emmy nominations ballots are out, which means it's time to decide whose names we'd like to hear called on Thursday, July 10 when the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences announces the shows and actors who're officially in the running for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

I asked some of my fellow TV.com staffers to join me in choosing our dream nominees, and after hours of internal debates and monologues that would make even Scrubs' JD tell us to shut up already, we've boldly narrowed down our picks—and as you'll see at the bottom of this page, we're prepared to defend them, too!

Each day for the next couple weeks, we'll be bringing you our highly sought-after, well-respected, and very prolific thoughts and opinions on which shows and actors should make the cut. We've already revealed our selections for Supporting Actress in a Comedy and Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and today we're discussing leading ladies.


Editors' Note: You may notice that some of our nominees don't match up with the official Emmy ballots. That's not a mistake; we've taken a few liberties because we're only "dreaming" about the 10 "major" categories, and we didn't want to leave out deserving performers based simply on their submission strategies and our coverage plans. In come cases you may see folks from the miniseries and guest-star races in our lead and supporting wish lists.




PLEAD YOUR CASE

WHY TAYLOR SCHILLING: I was initially against Schilling's performance in Orange Is the New Black, if only because it, along with her character Piper, were the least interesting and least sympathetic aspect of the show. I can't tell you exactly when that changed for me, but the reason it did is that I realized that despite being the lead in this massively talented ensemble, Schilling was doing what we normally find great supporting actors doing: reacting to everyone else around her, and grounding her reactions in some dramatic honesty. The show's bigger, meatier performances work in no small part because Schilling treats them exactly like how we'd imagine a white, privileged lady from Brooklyn would treat them. Throughout Season 1, Piper refused to make eye contact and plodded along, quietly flummoxed and deferential... until she snapped, and Schilling let all of Piper's confusion, isolation, and denied privilege come pouring out. — Noel Kirkpatrick

WHY EMMY ROSSUM: Showtime is hoping that submitting Shameless as a comedy will give the show and its cast a better chance at getting nominated, but Rossum's work feels especially odd on this side of the race. Still, there's a reason she's one of those performers who constantly appears on dream Emmy ballots, and I couldn't not include her. Shameless's fourth season took Fiona on a journey that began with a good job and health perks, led to an alcohol-infused tailspin, and concluded with a short stint in prison, and Rossum killed it every step of the way. The show's wild swings in tone can be frustrating, but with Rossum holding things together (even while Fiona is falling apart), Shameless, much like the Gallaghers, makes it work. — Cory Barker


Who would YOU nominate for Lead Actress in a Comedy?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/20/2015

Season 67 : Episode 1

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Amy Poehler
Abbi Jacobson
Ilana Glazer
Taylor Schilling
Lena Dunham

with Julia Louis-Dreyfus winning.
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Mindy Kaling is hilarious. As is Amy Poehler.
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I just find that I always make this strange noise at the back of my throat whenever Lena Dunham is nominated for anything. Then I realize that I'm staring at the ceiling because apparently I'm rolling my eyes. What's up with that?
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Emmy Rossum
Amy Poehler - Winner
Taylor Schilling
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Abbi Jacobson
Ilana Glazer
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I can't believe nobody mentioned Melissa McCarthy...shame on you!
It's a toss between her and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for me.
Taylor Schilling is great, but I wouldn't classify it as comedy.
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Remember you guys on the staff don't have to write about what it'd be for drama since it'd be the Game Of Throne awards, haha. Or I guess the upcoming one still has Breaking Bad so yeah. :P
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Taylor Schilling is my choice. I give this show a chance and now I'm hooked on it.
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Zooey Deschanels (New Girl), I like her weirdness. Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine Nine), a model employee that wants so much to please her boss.
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Malin Ackerman and Ashley Rickards both did great work for shows not enough people saw.
Nobody on Community is arguably a "lead actress".
Similarly, Martha Plimpton was great on "Raising Hope", but that should be a supporting nod, not a lead nod.
Kristen Bell probably is a lead on House of Lies, but that's too dark a comedy to win a comedy award.
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Well Emily should win all Emmy for eternity but.. her strenght isn´t in comedy parts, jesus. But seriously - can anyone explain to me why she hasn´t already win? Is there anyone, ANYONE who would see her and would critisize her acting? Would you even for a minute have a feeling that she isn´t heart broken, hard working, unhappy and strong Fiona? Honestly - I think she is as equally (if not better) good actor as Aaaron Paul, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Lange... (yeah, yeah - you will hate me that I put someone so young as Hugh here but he belongs there)

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Amy Poehler - Parks and Rec
Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
Malin Akerman - Trophy Wife
Emmy Rossum - Shameless
Abbi Jacobson - Broad City
Ilana Glazer - Broad City
But obviously Julie/Julia will break in and win.
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Let's see: Poehler and Schilling for sure, then I realise I'm pretty short on female-led comedies, so we'll say Kaling and Louis-Dreyfus, and Deschanel (why hasn't she been mentioned?) and that's it. Sounds like Rossum does great work but Shameless is not a comedy and from what I've seen there's nothing comedic about her acting.
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I honestly don't know why more comedy actors/actresses don't submit themselves for lead, just supporting. Supporting is so much more competitive than lead. Julie Bowen and Sofia Vargara could do even better in the lead actress category. Anyway, here's the only four I really care about.
Minnie Driver, About a Boy
Patricia Heaton, The Middle
Jane Levy, Suburgatory
Nancy Travis, Last Man Standing
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Mindy Kaling! The Mindy Project is the most underrated comedy on television and Mindy's work as it's producer and lead actress deserve more credit!
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Malin Ackerman really did step up into the comedy. Too bad they canceled it.
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Wendi McLendon-Covey all day every day
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Unless you keep flashing back to her character on Rules of Engagement.
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Emmy Rossum, definitely!!!
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Emmy Rossum should win every Emmy ever made!!!
Though I fail to see why Shameless is a comedy, that show will eat your heart and then spit it right back out!!!
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She has the Goddamn award in her name ! Emmy fucking Rossum all the way !
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Emmy Rossum for the win! I don't care what category she is in she deserves a win because her Fiona was absolutely riveting this year!
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Emmy Rossum - Fiona Gallagher, 'Shameless'
Julie Louise Dreyfus - Selina Myer, 'Veep'
Edie Falco - Jackie Peyton, 'Nurse Jackie' (She is still so damn good in the part.)

Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum
did anyone notice Emmy Rossum's performance this year? I know a lot of people did ;) I think myself and Ian281099 really want her to make it this year. (Now if the folks at 'Showtime', Warner Brothers, and 'Shameless' can just get the bribes in the right pockets on time this year.)
If were talking about who should win the award for BEST ACTRESS- COMEDY these are the only three I can come up with this year.
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Edie Falco
Taylor Schilling
Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum
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Agreed with Cory's list.
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Amy Poehler
Ilana Glazer
Abbi Jacobson
Mindy Kaling
Amy Schumer
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
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Amy Poehler, Taylor Schilling, Illana Glazer, Abbi, Jacobson, Anna Farris, and Mindy Kaling.
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Noel, do you not watch Veep? That's the only excuse for not having Julia Louis-Dreyfus on your list...
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Staff
I don't have any premium cable channels.
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Staff
This comment has been removed.
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Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black), Allison Janney (Mom)... and now I realize I don't know a lot of female-led comedies...
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Lead Actress in a Comedy Series -
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Rec)
Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
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JLD, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, Mindy, Zooey Deschanel & Emmy Rossum
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All I ask is that a real comedy actress wins, not the actress of a fake comedy like Orphan is the New Black or Shameless, no matter how much I love Fiona.
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