Amy Brenneman, Judging Amy (CBS)
Edie Falco, The Sopranos (HBO) *
Julianna Margulies, ER (NBC) *
Sela Ward, Once and Again (ABC)
Falco, the 1999 winner, got even better as a Mob wife, suburban mom and fierce defender of her turf. So we say honor her again. It's not Bracco's fault that her psychiatrist character seemed less vital to The Sopranos' success in its second season. An Emmy would be a nice memento of Margulies's final ER year, but she has one from 1995. For best actress in a freshman series, it's Ward over Brenneman.