Sizing Up Emmy Chances For Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson

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The lovely ladies of Grey's Anatomy dominate the supporting actress in a drama category for this year's Emmys, and it'd be far from a stretch to say at least two of them - Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh - rose to new heights last season, Variety opines.

Heigl's Izzie Stevens began the year dealing with the death of fiance Denny by baking muffins, and ended it by having an affair with a married man - her best friend, George O'Malley.

Sandra Oh endured a tumultuous relationship and was left standing at the altar as Isaiah Washington's Preston Burke said goodbye to her, seeing her trepidation at spending a life together.

Chandra Wilson: Emmy Favorite?
Also on Grey's Anatomy, but in a more subdued - though by no means less well-executed - role, was nominee Chandra Wilson, whose classy Dr. Bailey, try as she might, aims to lessen the hysteria that always seems to permeate the halls of Seattle Grace.

As for their competition? Aida Turturro was only in a handful of Sopranos episodes these past few months, but even in limited scenes, she had the ability to not only raise the ire of brother Tony, but of watchers who can see through her scheming ways. She did all that with fewer scenes than most of her castmates, too.

Australia's Rachel Griffiths seamlessly flowed from Six Feet Under to Brothers & Sisters, moving from scattered Brenda Chenowith to solid citizen Sarah Whedon, who does her best to keep the family business - and her own troubled marriage - afloat.

Follow the jump for Variety's breakdown of the Emmy contenders for best supporting actress in a drama series ...

Rachel Griffiths
Show: Brothers & Sisters
Emmy pedigree: Two noms
Best scene: In "Bad News," Sarah and Joe have a heart to heart about why their marriage is falling apart and can't be saved.
Why she may win: Some could argue Griffiths never got her just due on HBO's brilliant funeral drama Six Feet Under and with her role here, in which the New York Times calls her "mesmerizing," voters may want to make amends.
Maybe not: The show started slowly - the pilot had to be re-shot very close to the air date - but built up steam as the season went along. Yet even with strong ratings, it's still not on an awareness level with Grey's Anatomy.

Katherine Heigl
Show: Grey's Anatomy
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Best scene: Trying to help a dying patient who was badly hurt in a ferry accident in the "Drowning on Dry Land" episode, Izzie must perform a difficult, life-saving procedure on him under the worst of circumstances. She does the usual Izzie "I can't handle this" freak-out but, with the help of the victim's friends, gathers her composure to get the job done.
Why she may win: Heigl has little difficulty reaching Izzie's highest highs and lowest lows. Creator Shonda Rhimes puts a lot of pressure on Heigl to carry many intense story lines, and she's up to the challenge.
Maybe not: There are times when Izzie becomes completely irrational during crisis situations, which may bother some. Just another thought - with Knocked Up receiving raves and doing so well at the box office, will voters consider her a movie star now and hold that against her?

Sandra Oh
Show: Grey's Anatomy
Emmy pedigree: Two noms
Best scene: As Meredith lay near death at Seattle Grace Hospital ("Some Kind of Miracle" - see our episode guides for a recap) after falling into the water, a teary Cristina stands over her best friend and, brimming with emotion, tells Meredith she can't die because, then, who would she share all her stories with?
Why she may win: This being her third straight nomination for Grey's Anatomy, it's obvious voters are enamored of Sandra's work. At some point, all those noms have to translate to a win, right? Or will she go Oh-for-three? Eh? Eh.
Maybe not: Tough to say if having three Grey's Anatomy nominees in this category hurts or helps their individual chances, but a split vote among Sandra, Chandra and Katherine Heigl is a distinct possibility.

Aida Turturro
Show: The Sopranos
Emmy pedigree: One nom
Best scene: In "Soprano Home Movies," Janice and Bobby sit on the lake chatting up with Tony and Carm. Without any action to speak of, it's a beautiful portrait of who these people are, and how they'e chosen to live their lives, especially when Janice gives Tony a verbal jab.
Why she may win: If Sopranos adulation begins and the series starts dominating the categories, Turturro might very well be part of the landslide.
Maybe not: Unlike the other nominees, who are virtually in every episode of their respective series, Turturro was just in a couple of episodes during the last season.

Chandra Wilson
Show: Grey's Anatomy
Emmy pedigree: One nom
Best scene: Somebody's underwear is hanging on the wall of the surgical unit in "I Am a Tree" and Dr. Bailey is yelling at her residents, trying to figure out whose they are.
Why she may win: Her SAG Award last year raised her profile in the kudos community and her character, who is such a rock and most level-headed on the show, always has the right thing to say.
Maybe not: When it comes to Emmy, sometimes being flashy and over the top - especially in the submitted episode - is better than being consistently good.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Arizona: Oh my God! I mean, I understand why you're into her. She's hot. Wait, she likes you?
Nathan: What? I mean, I'm going to try not to be offended at that.
Arizona: No, no, no. It's just that Derek was, Derek was epic for her. They were the great love story. I mean, that girl's heart beat for Derek Shepherd. It just, it never occurred to me that she would ever be with anyone else. He was perfect. He was everything. That man turned her world. It, I spooked you. Don't be spooked.

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."