July 16, 2009
TOP Aussie actors Toni Collette, Simon Baker and Rose Byrne are in line for American television's highest honour.
The three were last night named among this year's Emmy Awards nominees.
Collette is seen as a strong contender for best comedy actress with her performance in Showtime's freshman series United States of Tara.
"Toni Collette gave an acclaimed performance as a woman with multiple personalities, so Emmy voters should eat that up," wrote the LA Times.
"Tara's protagonist was handmade for an actress to showcase her talents, and Collette delivers," said tv.com of the Steven Spielberg HBO production.
Oscar nominee Collette's only prior Emmy nomination came in 2007 for the TV miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath.
This year she will do battle with five other US stars including comedian Tina Fey, who has scooped the Emmy pool for the past two years with her series 30 Rock.
Meanwhile Sydney actress Byrne has won rave reviews for her role opposite Glenn Close in FX drama series Damages, itself a strong chance for best drama at the 61st Emmys.
In her first Emmy nomination, Byrne is up for best supporting actress in a drama for her portrayal of a young litigation lawyer in the show, now in its third season.
Byrne last year won a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, but was denied an Emmy nomination in a snub that shocked industry observers in Hollywood.
Baker could win best actor in a drama for his leading role in The Mentalist.
Critics say his nomination was richly deserved.
"The Mentalist's Simon Baker delivers an endearing, sexy, lovable character and needs to be here," wrote the New York Daily News.
Despite attracting critical acclaim, Victoria's Rachel Griffiths missed out on a nomination for her role in popular US drama Brothers and Sisters this year.
"(The) Aussie actress shined in more subtle ways, wringing relatable moments of doubt as a single mother dealing with her daughter's arriving adolescence," wrote influential industry journal Variety.
There are six nominees in the ten major Emmy categories, which cover series aired in the year to June 2009.
Doogie Howser actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the awards ceremony in Los Angeles on September 20.