Hi everybody. I’m here to post the missing piece of my Emmy predictions this year. As what I already mentioned, the nominations for the 65th edition of TV’s highest honor will be revealed on Thursday by Kate Mara of House of Cards and Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad. If you have been following this blog, I have been slowly revealing my predictions during the past few days as I already covered reality and variety, the TV movie and miniseries, and comedy genres. To finally complete it, here are my predictions in the drama categories:
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Boardwalk Empire, Two Imposters (Allen Koutler)
• Breaking Bad, Fifty One (Rian Johnson)
• Game of Thrones, The Rains of Castamere (David Nutter)
• Homeland, Q&A (Lesli Link Glater)
• House of Cards, Chapter 1 (David Fincher)
Sixth nominee: Downton Abbey, Episode 4 (Jeremy Webb)
After last year’s surprising Directing upset, it is not safe to dismiss Boardwalk Empire at all in this category. While both the finale Magrate Sands and Two Imposters are very competitive, I’d go with Allen Koutler’s directed episode as their nomination. Breaking Bad really finds it difficult to penetrate the Writing series, but the same can’t be said in the Directing ones. The Rian Johnson (yes, of Looper) helmed episode is also their most buzzed eligible contender, so Fifty One is a good bet for the nod. After the Blackwater snub last year, one can say for sure that Game of Thrones is no shoo-in here, but the critical and overwhelming buzz for the Rains of Castamere episode will definitely do the trick for the show. Current series champ Homeland can expect a nom here too, and Q&A is their safest submission. And to close this one out, Oscar nominee David Fincher can welcome an Emmy nomination for his direction of the pilot episode of House of Cards.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• The Americans, Pilot (Joe Weisberg)
• Homeland, New Car Smell (Meredith Stiehm)
• Homeland, Q&A (Henry Bromell)
• Mad Men, In Care Of (Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray)
• Thew Newsroom, We Just Decided To (Aaron Sorkin)
Sixth nominee: Downton Abbey, Episode 4 (Julian Fellowes)
There are two types of episodes that click well in the writing categories: pilot shows and episodes of Emmy drama series champs. With that said, favorite Aaron Sorkin is back in contention for penning the pilot episode of The Newsroom. While the series is a hit or miss, the pilot episode is enough to seal the nomination in this category. The same can be applied to Joe Weisberg and his pilot of The Americans which is one of the lauded pilots the past television season. Perennial favorite nominee Matthew Weiner can still sneak in another nomination despite Mad Men slowly fading away from Emmy radar. I’m going with the season finale, though any Weiner episode can actually fill its place. As for the remaining two spots, after their surprise win in this category last year, I’m predicting a one two punch of nods for the back to back episodes of New Car Smell and Q&A from Homeland to complete this category.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”
• Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
• Rupert Friend, “Homeland”
• Harry Hamlin, “Mad Men”
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife”
• Ray Romano, “Parenthood”
Seventh nominee: Jim Beaver, “Justified”
Drama guest actor is one of the most difficult categories. You don’t know if the Emmys want to reward character actors or movie stars in it. Sometimes they prefer the former, and the other times, they’re in the mood to reward the latter. With that said, I’m sensing that The Good Wife will once again dominate this category. Michael J. Fox and Dylan Baker are nominees from last year that can easily repeat (Specifically Fox). I also see Nathan Lane’s upstaging role to give him another Guest Actor nod this year, only this time in the drama genre. Rupert Friend is one of the most memorable additions to Homeland the past season, and with the show definitely expanding its acting nomination, I can see him getting in along the ride. A Mad Men actor has always been present too since the show’s inception in 2007, and I feel the tradition will continue this year as Harry Hamlin gets nominated. The last slot is between three actors: Matthew Perry in The Good Wife, though four guys from the same show is overload here, Jim Beaver in Justified though let’s see how the reception for that show is. I guess I’ll stick with multiple Emmy winner Ray Romano for his turn in Parenthood to get the last nom.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Stockard Channing, “The Good Wife”
• Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
• Shirley Maclaine, “Downton Abbey”
• Martha Plimpton, “The Good Wife”
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
Seventh nominee: Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”
This category is full of big names this year, and they can easily fill up the list for the final nominations here. As for starters, Oscar winners Jane Fonda and Shirley Maclaine will easily get in for their turns in The Newsroom and Downton Abbey respectively. Last year’s winner Martha Plimpton is in for another round of nomination in this category, and the same is predicted for Shameless’ Joan Cusack. Stockard Channing is too much of an Emmy favorite for her to get snubbed in an actors show such as The Good Wife so I can see her easily getting in. The last spot is for past Emmy winner Dame Diana Rigg who is one of the most lauded parts of the third season of Game of Thrones.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad”
• Rob James-Collier, “Downton Abbey”
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
• Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
• Corey Stoll, “House of Cards”
Seventh nominee: Sam Waterston, “The Newsroom”
This is a category that I see can go to many directions, so it’s really difficult to come up with a final list here. Aside from the past two winners in this category Aaron Paul and Peter Dinklage, I think everyone is possibly vulnerable to be snubbed. Mandy Patinkin, who was surprisingly snubbed last year, benefits from Homeland winning the top drama category, so he can easily get in this year. Like last year with Giancarlo Esposito, I think another character actor from Breaking Bad will get in alongside Aaron Paul, and this year seems poised for a Jonathan Banks nomination. Corey Stoll is a scene stealer in House of Cards and if the Emmys throw a lot of support to the show, then you can expect him to be nominated too. As for the last spot, I can easily see it to TV veteran Sam Waterston since his name alone can easily attract buzz, but with the WTF results this category gave last year, I guess they’ll still nominate one of Downton actor, and Rob James-Collier’s is the type of role that they love to reward. and thus, I’m going with my guts and predicting him.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
• Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
• Elizabeth McGovern, “Downton Abbey”
• Monica Potter, “Parenthood”
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Seventh nominee: Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”
Dame Maggie Smith, Christine Baranski, and Anna Gunn are all safe bets for nominations this year. I actually think Christina Hendricks is safe for another nomination, though the real issue is if her season long performance merits it. But then again, it did not prevent others from getting extended Emmy nos for their shows. I also think that Elizabeth McGovern’s shift in the supporting categories will do her favors and receive her second Emmy nod for the show for this season. I’m skipping 2010 winner Archie Panjabi for the mere fact that her storyline this season received unanimous negative criticisms, and I think it will instead open up a slot for another actress. I predict that the final slot will g to Monica Potter as her arc this season received major waves of buzz, and with critical support to push her in, she can be the face of network shows in this category. I do think though that getting the nomination is her biggest hurdle, but once she gets in, she can be very competitive for the win. With this as NBC’s only shot in the drama categories, I see them doing all the means for her to get in.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
• Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
• Damien Lewis, “Homeland”
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Seventh nominee: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Lead Actor doesn’t seem to have much of a shake up as compared to the other drama acting categories this year. After all, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, and Damian Lewis are all sure bets to be nominated again this year. As for the last two spots, I’m expecting the movie star factor plus the juicy role makes Kevin Spacey a shoo-in to be nominated for his House of Cards performance. As for the last spot, while Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville or Dexter’s Michael C. Hall are both eligible, they might go with veteran Jeff Daniels who already reaped Golden Globe and SAG nods for his performance in The Newsroom. If not him, then watch Matthew Rhys of The Americans to be the other newbie here.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Glenn Close, “Damages”
• Claire Danes, “Homeland”
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife”
• Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
Seventh nominee: Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Now this one has a plethora of contenders that all have legit chances of making it in the final line up. But since only six will be nominated, I’ll probably start filling them up with current champ Claire Danes who will likely end up with the win here as well. Aside from her, I expect another past winner Julianna Margulies to come back again for her fourth bid in this category. Then we have perennial nominee Elisabeth Moss as another sure bet to hear her name being called here. Michelle Dockery has benefited a lot since her nomination last year, and she’s likely to be in here as well. Kerry Washington’s big narrative on how a black woman leads a primetime network show is too big to ignore, and I can’t imagine the outcry and backlash that will happen if she fails to get nominated this year. That’s why I think she will get in. Then there’s Tatiana Maslany. Maslany is really in a weird position; the nature of the show hurts her as others can see it as too gimmicky and the network isn’t big enough to push her. However, she certainly has the buzz and is making rounds of mentions among different pundits. As for the last spot, the trio of newcomers Keri Russell in The Americans, Robin Wright in House of Cards, and Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel is really too tempting to predict, but expect the voters to throw a bone to 2x winner here and consistent nominee Glenn Close for her final season in Damages.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:
• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• Homeland (Showtime)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Mad Men (AMC)
Seventh nominee: The Americans (FX)
There isn’t much of a stiff competiton in this race as compared to its comedy counterpart. Five nominees from last year are sure to be back with only Boardwalk Empire in mixed position. To be fair, Boardwalk Empire did solidly well in the different television guilds earlier this year that if it gets in for a third time, it’s not something that will shock us. However, there are two strong competitors for that last slot. First, we have the FX show The Americans. The difficult thing with The Americans is that no one can gauge how the reception of Emmys will be to the show. I can see a scenario where it gets in for Series, Lead Actor, and Lead Actress, but at the same time, I can also see a picture where in it miss all three. If only they made a more aggressive campaign, then they can easily reserve a slot here. Maybe next year? Or in a seven show race? In the end, I’m giving my last slot to Netflix’s House of Cards. I think at least one Netflix show will be in contention for the top genre award and while both Arrested Development and this one can get in, I think House of Cards has more things going for it such as the star power of the people involved and the overall reception to the season. That factor pushes it over both Boardwalk Empire and The Americans for that elusive sixth slot.
Finally done! Whew! Who are you rooting for in the drama categories? Can The Americans actually penetrate the main categories? How many The Good Wife actors will be nominated in Guest Actor? And can Vera Farmiga, Keri Russell, or *gasp* Tatiana Maslany actually happen?
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl