Brian Cox Submits for Lead Actor Drama for ‘Succession’ Despite Limited Screen Time (EXCLUSIVE)

Happy Emmy season, “you clock-watching fucks” — Logan Roy is still leading the way.

Brian Cox has submitted his performance as Logan Roy, the recently departed Waystar Royco CEO on HBO’s “Succession,” into the lead actor (drama) category. Cox’s team exclusively confirmed to Variety that the actor’s iconic turn as the bold father and media mogul will be considered alongside his two co-stars, Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin, who opted to switch into the category for the show’s fourth and final season.

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Cox’s character died in the third episode of this season, “Connor’s Wedding,” which left many pundits speculating the Scottish actor, who received two previous noms in the lead drama actor field, would downgrade to either the supporting actor or guest categories. That won’t be the case, which puts the drama series uniquely positioned to make history in several ways.

With Cox, Culkin and Strong opting for the same category, the show could make history as the first to land three lead drama actor noms in a year. In addition, it would be the first for any leading male category.

In any lead actress categories, that has already happened three times: NBC’s “The Golden Girls” did it in 1986-87 with Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur (who coincidentally walked away with one award each during their respective years); and in 2005, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” landed noms for Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and eventual winner Felicity Huffman (and still egregiously unbelievable, not Eva Longoria).

Cox’s acclaimed performance has received multiple accolades for the HBO drama, including two previous Emmy noms for the second and third seasons, alongside co-star Strong as his eldest son Kendall. Strong won in 2020.

This news doesn’t confirm that Logan will appear in any of the three remaining episodes, although he did pop up for a short flashback stint on last week’s “Living+.” However, if he does appear in any, he wouldn’t be eligible to submit into the guest category, as the eligibility states an actor cannot occur in more than 50% of a season’s episodes. Cox has already appeared in four.

Limited screen time may not make a difference, with the aura of Cox’s presence being felt in each dramatic weekly outing. In Emmy history, actors have won lead acting statuettes for fewer television episodes, albeit during years when the guest categories were inactive. For example, Christopher Lloyd won lead drama actor for his single guest appearance in 1992 for Disney Channel’s “Road to Avonlea.” He was coincidentally nominated alongside Kirk Douglas for “Tales from the Crypt” and Harrison Page for “Quantum Leap,” who also had single-episode appearances.

This year’s Emmys is shaping to be one of modern memory’s most jam-packed in competitive races. HBO’s “Succession” is expected to dominate this year’s Emmy nominations, with many actors considered front-runners in their respective categories.

In addition to Culkin’s zing-master Roman Roy moving to the lead actor field, Variety also exclusively reported Sarah Snook’s political fixer Shiv (cementing her front-runner status by the day) is switching to the lead drama actress race. (Her co-star J. Smith Cameron remains in supporting.)

Sunday night’s “Tailgate Party” episode marked Alexander Skarsgård’s fifth appearance this season as GoJo head Lukas Mattson. That means the Emmy winner (“Big Little Lies”), who also picked up a nom for guest drama actor in 2022 for “Succession,” will vie for supporting drama actor with Nicholas Braun, Alan Ruck and last year’s winner, Matthew Macfadyen.

“Succession” has been nominated for 48 Emmys in three previous seasons, winning 13 — including twice for outstanding drama series. Created by Jesse Armstrong, the show made history in 2022 by breaking the record for most acting nominations in a year, with 14.

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