Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth Not Eligible for ‘The Crown’ in Emmy Guest Actress Race, Claire Foy Remains Early Favorite (EXCLUSIVE)

“The Crown” can only play a pair of Queens at the Emmys.

Emmy winner Olivia Colman, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth in the series finale episode of Netflix’s monarchy drama, is not eligible to submit in the guest drama actress race by only a few seconds. However, her co-star Claire Foy, who also portrays Her Majesty in her younger years and appears in the same episode, is eligible and will be the sole guest submission for the series, angling for her second win in the category.

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The “Sleep, Dearie Sleep,” written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry, clocks in at a robust 72 minutes, the longest of any episode across its six seasons. In the series’ final moments, Imelda Staunton’s Elizabeth looks back on the highs and lows of her reign as she grapples with the idea of handing the crown to Charles. Her younger self appears to her as a manifestation of her agitation, each having one-on-one moments with her in earlier scenes. From Seasons 3 and 4, Colman’s queen encourages her to abdicate, recognizing her tiredness and the sacrifices of a service life. Then, from the first two seasons, Foy’s queen tells her that her monarchy is a duty that cannot be abandoned.

The Crown
The Crown

Earlier this year, the Television Academy changed the rules for submitting in the guest acting categories, stating, “A brief cameo appearance is not eligible for entry.” The rules further clarify the definition of a guest performer: “The minimum stand-alone and contiguous screen time (performer has an ongoing engagement in the scene, on or off camera) for eligibility is 5% of the total running time of the submitted episode.”

The TV Academy said the rule tweak was made “to ensure that a guest performer’s role is significant to the episode being submitted.”

For Colman to be eligible, she would need three minutes and 36 seconds of screen time, which she falls short of. However, upon further analysis, this highlights a flaw in the new rule, as it puts actors from drama series at a disadvantage regarding eligibility, as they have longer runtimes. Recently, Bradley Cooper was submitted into the guest comedy actor category for playing himself on ABC’s mockumentary series “Abbott Elementary.” He appeared in one minute and 56 seconds of the 20-minute and 31-second episode, less than Colman’s overall screen time. Perhaps a tweak of this next year would be in order (perhaps 10% for comedies?)

In its current state of ruling, Foy’s previous Emmy-winning guest turn during Season 4 would have been ineligible, as it had only one minute and 49 seconds of screentime in a 53-minute episode.

Nonetheless, “The Crown” pushes forward as one of the top contenders in the drama series race, where it’ll face off against FX’s “Shōgun,” Prime Video’s “Fallout” and Netflix’s “3 Body Problem.” Many of this season’s stars, such as Dominic West, Jonathan Pryce and Elizabeth Debicki, are among the favorites in their respective categories.

The full list of Emmy submissions for “The Crown” is below. All names are not finalized and are subject to change. The eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs is May 31. The nominations-voting round is open from June 13-24.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

  • Outstanding Drama Series

  • Lead Actress in a Drama Series — Imelda Staunton

  • Lead Actor in a Drama Series — Dominic West

  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — Elizabeth Debicki, Lesley Manville, Meg Bellamy

  • Supporting Actor in a Drama Series — Khalid Abdalla, Jonathan Pryce, Salim Daw, Ed McVey, Luther Ford, Bertie Carvel

  • Guest Actress in a Drama Series — Claire Foy

  • Directing for a Drama Series — Christian Schwochow (“Dis-Moi Oui”); Stephen Daldry (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Writing for a Drama Series — Peter Morgan (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”); Peter Morgan, Meriel Sheibani-Clare (“Ritz”)

  • Casting for a Drama Series — Robert Sterne

  • Cinematography for a Drama Series — Adriano Goldman (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”); Sophia Olsson (“Ritz”)

  • Contemporary Costumes — Amy Roberts, Giles Gale, Sidonie Roberts (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) — Martin Phipps (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Music Supervision — Sarah Bridge, Iain Cooke (“Ritz”)

  • Period or Fantasy/Sci-Fi Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) — Cate Hall, Emilie Yong-Mills (“Ritz”)

  • Picture Editing for a Drama Series — Simon Brasse (“Dis-Moi Oui”); Daniel Greenway (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) — Martin Childs, Mark Raggett, Alison Harvey (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Sound Editing for a Comedy Drama Series (One Hour) — Lee Walpole, Iain Eyre, Andy Kennedy, Saoirse Christopherson, Steve Little, Matthew Mewett, Anna Wright (“Ritz”)

  • Sound Mixing for a Comedy Drama Series (One Hour) — Lee Walpole, Martin Jensen, Stuart Hilliker, Chris Ashworth (“Sleep, Dearie Sleep”)

  • Special Visual Effects in a Single Episode — Ben Turner, Reece Ewing, Oliver Bersey, Julia Stannard, Joe Cork, Tim Zaccheo, Aurélien Ronceray, Joseph Dymond, Elena Pagliei (“Dis-Moi Oui”)

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