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68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Limited Series   Leave a comment

Before Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominees on July 14, here’s a preview on who can get nominated come Thursday. Yesterday, we tackled the Reality and Variety Series, this time the focus is on the TV Movies and the Limited Series. The past few years saw the rise in the limited series genre, now even eclipsing the acclaim of the current dramas on the boob tube. This year, we can have a rehash of the 2013 race when it’s Ryan Murphy vs. Fargo. Here are my predictions in all eight longform series categories.

tv movie

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE:
• All the Way (HBO)
• Confirmation (HBO)
• The Dresser (Starz)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC)
• A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)

Sixth nominee: Luther (BBC America)

While the Jay Roach political drama has this Emmy wrapped up already, let’s discuss which ones will join it as co-nominees. As for starters, there’s the other HBO political film Confirmation, which is basically the runner-up HBO TV movie of the year. We always have those (Hemingway & Gellhorn to Game Change, Taking Chance to Grey GardensYou Don’t Know Jack to Temple Grandin.. you get the point). After its surprise win haul back in 2013 taking home three major Emmys, they’ll surely nominate the new Sherlock special too. Expect the Emmys to fall in love with The Dresser, albeit it being on Starz; after all, it stars two acting veterans, an Oscar-winning material, and it’s British. As for that last spot, considering how much Netflix is great at campaigning, I’m going with that A Very Murray Christmas from Emmy winner Bill Murray.

miniseries

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES:
• American Crime (ABC)
• Fargo (FX)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
• The Night Manager (AMC)
• Roots (History Channel)

Sixth nominee: Show Me A Hero (HBO)

As mentioned, the big story here is The People v. O.J. Simpson, which I expect to dominate the nominations. It was critically acclaimed, it had Ryan Murphy in a very prominent case in Murica, and it’s star-studded. Considering how much Ryan Murphy’s pilot seasons always go well with Emmy nods, expect this to be a shoo-in here. Not to be left behind of course is another FX gem, Fargo, whose first season won the Emmy of this category too. It premiering last year and being more subtle than the showy OJ showcase could cost it wins, but not nominations. ABC’s American Crime (not to be confused with American Crime Story — we saw what you did there, Ryan Murphy) is also poised to come back. After all, it’s ABC’s only push here and had a decent showing with the nods last year. Roots is one of the most iconic and memorable shows in TV history and is still an Emmy record holder, so expect the new version to at least be acknowledged with a nom. That last spot is tricky — there’s HBO’s Show Me A Hero which feels like an afterthought at this stage, but it’s HBO’s only shot here plus it stars one of Hollywood’s current it boys Oscar Isaac. But there’s also AMC’s The Night Manager which they are campaigning aggressively, stars Tom Hiddleston and multiple Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie. I can see it both go ways, but for now let’s stick with the latter.

longform lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Bryan Cranston, “All the Way”
• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ian McKellen, “The Dresser”
• Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Patrick Wilson, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Oscar Isaac, “Show Me A Hero”

Talk about an insanely competitive category. You literally can fill this group with at least a dozen names. To be frank, I think only Bryan Cranston is a lock here. His LBJ performance which previously netted him a Tony will likely join an Emmy as well (will Oscar follow?). To a certain extent, I think Courtney B. Vance is also safe considering he’s the breakout performer among the lads in the show. Benedict Cumberbatch pulled off an upset in an equally strong category back in 2013 (against Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, and Fargo guys) so it’s not impossible for him to pull one off again this time. Then this is where it gets tricky. Patrick Wilson is probably my fourth, though the passive, subtle role can somehow hurt him especially in an insane category like this one. That said, I’m sticking with him. I also think they won’t let the opportunity of nominating any of The Dresser actors pass by. It’s tough between Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen, so you can just go eitherway (maybe even both get in?), and for now I went with McKellen. Cuba Gooding Jr. just feels like he’ll be a part of the OJ lovefest, and considering he’s playing the titular character, I’d go predict him as well. Watch out for Oscar Isaac though considering how much he’s an in-demand actor now. Other notable names to consider are The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston, Bill Murray in A Very Murray Christmas, Idris Elba in Luther, and even Sir Ben Kingsley in Tut.

longform lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
• Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
• Rachel McAdams, “True Detective”
• Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill”
• Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”

Seventh nominee: Blythe Danner, “Madoff”

Unlike its male counterpart, the Lead Actress category is wider than usual. Of course, one expects that Confirmation‘s Kerry Washington, Fargo‘s Kristen Dunst, and People v. OJ Simpson‘s Sarah Paulson are all but sure now. After that, there’s Emmy winner Audra McDonald for her HBO special too. We can also see two American Crime actresses in this category, but it’s safer to go with Emmy  winner Felicity Huffman. As for that last spot, there’s her co-star Lili Taylor, and Emmy favorite Blythe Danner in Madoff, but let’s go daring a bit and predict that her Oscar luck would extend here so I say Rachel McAdams for True Detective. longform supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ted Danson, “Fargo”
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
• David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

What it it with male acting categories that they are really jampacked this year? The Supporting one is full of potential categories, and there’s a chance that it can go The Normal Heart way with four bids in it. That said, I’ll go predictable and include only two: Sterling K. Brown, and David Schwimmer’s TV comeback. That said, if they go star heavy, there’s John Travolta and Nathan Lane, both of whom can benefit from name-checking from voters. Martin Freeman won this category too back in 2013 against The Normal Heart group, so unless the lukewarm reviews for The Abominable Bride catches on, then he’s safe here. Ted Danson is a TV veteran, but he’s no easy bid as well, though being the veteran among Fargo supporting actors might help him. I might also be personally bias here with my prediction of Bokeem Woodbine, also from Fargo, but they nominated Alison Tolman two years ago, so there’s a precedent. Lastly, if The Night Manager is indeed a successful campaign, still Emmyless Hugh Laurie can sneak in a nomination for this as well. That said there’s also Forest Whitaker for Roots, Frank Langella for All the Way, and Denis O’Hare of AHS: Hotel to consider.

longform supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Connie Britton, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Regina King, “American Crime”
• Melissa Leo, “All the Way”
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Jean Smart, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”

I might be underestimating American Horror Story: Hotel this year, but not in this category. I’ve dismissed it in previous years only for it to come back stronger, though Jessica Lange’s absence really hurt it. That said, double nods for Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson are still safe bets. Speaking of safe bets, Emmy veteran Jean Smart’s cold, conniving matriarch in Fargo might even be competitive for the win. Meanwhile, a lesser known actress would definitely not be in contention considering the small of the role, but it’s Oscar and Emmy winner Melissa Leo in a supportive wife role in All the Way so it’s safe to say she’s getting in. Lastly, to continue my narrative of strong OJ Simpson love, I’m predicting that the scene-chewing performance of Connie Britton will give her another nod (I mean she got in for Nashville).

longform directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Jay Roach)
• Fargo, “Loplop” (Keith Gordon)
• The Night Manager (Susanne Bier)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Ryan Murphy)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card” (John Singleton)
• Roots, “Night Four” (Bruce Beresford)

Seventh nominee: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Douglas MacKinnon)

I went safe with my predictions here — only two OJ episodes, one by Ryan Murphy and one by John Singleton, then Jay Roach will surely get in as well. There’s a Fargo episode in between, from the same one who pulled off the upset win back in the first season, and then there’s Oscar winner Susanne Bier in a well-campaigned British program. Last one is between a Sherlock episode and a Roots finale from a popular 80s movie director, and since I think Sherlock won’t go as perfectly lucky as the last time, I give the edge to Roots.

longform writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Robert Schenkkan)
• American Crime, “Episode Seven” (John Ridley)
• Fargo, “Palindrome” (Noah Hawley)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (D.V. DeVincentis)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss)

Seventh nominee: The Night Manager (David Farr)

Like in Directing, went safe here by including only two OJ Simpson episodes, All the Way, and a Fargo one too. But instead of The Night Manager, I replaced it with another British series — Sherlock considering it won this category the last time it contended. And instead of Roots,  we have Oscar winner John Ridley’s penned American Crime episode to round up the group.

Next up, the LOL shows of the comedy categories as we continue our 68th Emmy nomination prediction series tomorrow.

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actress

Hi there! We’re already nearing the end of Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy Awards predictions coverage, and it’s now time to do the last acting category of the year. Yesterday, I mentioned how Drama Lead Actor seems like the closest category as it’s between Bryan Cranston and Mathew McConaughey. The dramatic ladies, however, provide the opposite as this category can really go anywhere. Really. ANYWHERE.

We really would not have this problem at all had Robin Wright decided to submit Episode 17 of House of Cards. But then she didn’t. Instead she went with the season finale where she has a breakdown scene at the stairs for more or less 45 seconds. Sure it puts the usually icy Claire Underwood some heart, but this doesn’t win you an Emmy. To be fair to Miss Wright though, many have won with lesser tapes before, so it’s not as if her chances are already floating dead on the water. But it made her frontrunner status really, really vulnerable.

After surprisingly missing last year, Julianna Margulies is back for her fourth Emmy nod for the role of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. This year, she submitted “The Last Call” which had Alicia dealing the horrible news of Will Gardner’s death. Like her winning episode “In Sickness“, Margulies does a lot of crying here which could work well in her favor. She comes off as really sympathetic in the episode, and the voters will have no problem feeling for the loss she had. She also does have a conversation with her daughter about God and existence and I can see that appealing well to the voters. Had the Good Wife manage to do their Emmy comeback with a bang and not a whimper, Margulies would have been a frontrunner here for sure.

Speaking of dealing with loss and grief, three time nominee Michelle Dockery has the same story as she copes up with the loss of her husband in the fourth season opener of Downton Abbey. In here, Dockery’s dealing of his death is more subdued as she becomes cold and distant to her family and to the servants at the house. It takes a breakdown and confrontation scene with Jim Carter for her to soften out. With this being an almost two hour tape, Dockery wasn’t stolen of screentime as she was in it ample enough to complete in this category.

And since they always come in threes, current champ and 2x winner here already Claire Danes is nominated for Homeland once again. And in her submission, the season finale “The Star“, she intends to save her lover Brody in Tehran, but as the plan faltered along the way, she instead witnessed his fate ending. Unlike the two other grief stricken submissions, Danes did not deal with the aftermath alone in her episode, as we witness the whole thing in the episode. This is also probably Carrie’s most sympathetic story yet among Danes’ past Emmy reels and is one where voters get to sympathize with her. However, is she really gonna go three-peat for a show that the Academy has already bowed out of?

While Masters of Sex wasn’t able to penetrate (pun intended) the major Emmy drama categories, Lizzy Caplan is the exemption to the rule, as her Virginia Johnson role brought her first Emmy nomination. It is wise of her to go with the pilot episode where we witness her character go through certain lengths (pun intended…again) in order to work for Michael Sheen’s Dr. Masters. The whole episode also showed how Dr. Haas becomes quite obsessed with her which ended to a confrontation in a party and a heavy slap scene between Virginia and him. I think it’s a wise submission on her part to go with the pilot since it showed Virginia’s journey and it has that slap scene confrontation which brings the OMG drama in it.

Now while Caplan brings the OMG drama aspect in her show, Kerry Washington brings the OMGDRAMA in hers. Of course it has to be in bold letters because (and I suggest you read this using Kerry’s slow enunciation and delivery for more dramatic flair and effect) “THIS.IS.WHAT.SCANDAL.IS.ABOUT.” Last year, Washington did submit the show’s buzziest episode regardless of her acting in it. This year, however, she went with an episode that highlighted her so she submitted “The Fluffer.” In it, Olivia did her duties as a daughter to her father helping him take out B613, her duties as a lover to President Fitz by confronting Mellie’s lover, her duties to her group by sleeping with Jake in order to get the password. It’s a competitive tape especially if voters can get over the drama theatrics nature of the show.

I really don’t know what to do with this category anymore. If only Robin Wright did not screw up her submission. then I guess it’ll be one of the easier calls of the night. But I guess that these three grieving ladies will battle it out for the most desolate actress on TV thus leading the way for Lizzy Caplan out of nowhere victory here. She and her arc stands out from all the drama (including Kerry’s lip quivering) so might as well go take the risk and predict Janis Ian for the Emmy.

Prediction: Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
02. Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife
03. Claire Danes “Homeland
04. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
05. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
06. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

Don’t forget you ca follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

actress drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Glenn Close, “The Shield[WRONG]
2006:
Geena Davis, “Commander in Chief[WRONG]
2007:
Minnie Driver “The Riches[WRONG]
2008:
Glenn Close, “Damages[CORRECT]
2009:
Glenn Close, “Damages[CORRECT]
2010:
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife[WRONG]
2011:
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” [CORRECT]
2012:
Claire Danes, “Homeland[CORRECT]

After the very funny ladies of comedy, we move on to the dramatic actresses of the past TV season. Aside from comedy supporting actress, this is the other category that has a tie in the final nominations resulting to seven nominated performances. Despite that, it is still shocking that supposed perennial nominee and 2011 winner Julianna Margulies missed for the Good Wife when she could have trumped three to four performances here. Oh well, off to the actual nominees.

This bunch of women can be divided into two parts: the supporting borderline competing in Lead women and the actual lead females of their respective shows. Let’s start with the former. After receiving her first nod last year, Michelle Dockery easily sneaks in a consecutive nod for the show. Truth be told, it’s one of the expected noms since she managed to get in at the Globes and SAG earlier this year as well.  For her submission, she went with the season opener (which co-stars Maggie Smith and Jim Carter also went with). I don’t think much of her chances since it’s an easy filler nod this year.

Two time nominee this year Elisabeth Moss receives her fifth consecutive nomination for the show. It is really interesting to note that for the past three years, both she and co-star Jon Hamm have been submitting the same episode for consideration. This year, they both opted for the season finale In Care Of. While this is an okay submission for her, Moss wasn’t given much to do this season that merits her possible Emmy. If anything, she better puts all her odds for Top of the Lake since she’s one of the frontrunners there.

We also have Robin Wright as one of the newbie nominees this year for her work in House of Cards.  I was always skeptical of Wright’s chances as a nominee, since it’s pretty clear that she has better chances if she competes in Supporting. But it seems as if this move worked for her better since she also got nominated here. She went with Episode 10 of the season which is one of her stronger episodes, but once again, I’ll be going back to the notion that this would have been a more competitive tape in supporting.

Now let’s go to the leads of their shows. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga gives A&E a reward for a fruitful campaign as she gets in for Bates Motel. While this genre isn’t something that is usually noticed by the ATAS, I think the movie star pedigree of the actress paved the way for this nomination. I also like that she went with the pilot episode of the show because it’s the best way to introduce her character, and while others might turned off with what happens to her character in the middle of the episode, it shows Farmiga’s range in it.

Speaking of submitting the pilot, Connie Britton surprisingly receives her fourth nomination in a row for a record of three different shows. This time, her role as country diva Reina James in Nashville gives her the nomination. I’m really awed with how Britton managed to snatch this nod, but I’ve figured that she probably has been a semi-favorite now by ATAS in terms of getting nominations. Still, I think the soapy nature of her show will limit votes to come her way.

Lastly in this group, we have current TV it girl Kerry Washington for her fierce performance in ABC’s Scandal. Washington has always been one of my sure to predict nominees since it’s the first time in a long span of time that a black actress was nominated in this category. That narrative alone will apply for her already. That said, she wisely submitted their season’s most buzzed episode Happy Birthday Mr. President. Like Britton, I think the soapy nature of her show plus the fact that it’s really not a tour de force acting showcase will get her close to the prize but not ultimately going home with it.

And as for the single rose who carries her show but with a shared co-star, current title winner Claire Danes aims to be the next back to back winner here since Glenn Close in 2008 and 2009 for her layered role as Carrie Mathison in Homeland. There’s nothing much left to be said about Danes since this is probably the best role in television right now, and she has the receipts to back it up. This is also the type of role that gets multiple awards, and with her sweeps at televised awards since last year, it will be an easy feat for her. She submitted Q&A, which some might argue as more of Damian Lewis’ episode, but their tag team works best when they act against each other, and this set up benefits them greatly.

Now as for who’ll win, I’d say it’s an easy number two for Miss Danes. The Emmys won’t easily dispatch Homeland and in case they might give away some of their wins last year to other shows this year, this is probably their safest category. Coming off to a distant second is Vera Farmiga who I can see pulling off a Bryan Cranston type of win back in 2008: a small trial season show for a known veteran in a very baity role. But in the end, yes, it’s still Claire’s to lose.

Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland
Runner-Up: Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel

Full Rankings:
1. Claire Danes, “Homeland
2. Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
3. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
4. Connie Britton, “Nashville”
5. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
6. Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men
7. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

My predictions in the other Emmy acting categories are available here.

Meanwhile, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl