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67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama lead actor

Prediction: Kevin Spacey “House of Cards”
Alternate: Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Full Rankings:
01. Kevin Spacey “House of Cards”
02. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
03. Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline
04. Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Liev Schreiber., “Ray Donovan”

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

Emmy Drama Lead Actor

And we’re now down to the last male acting category for this year’s Emmy analysis special here at Tit for Tat. After Jeff Daniels’ out of nowhere win last year, this is surely a contended race and definitely one of the nail-biters come Emmy ceremony. Let’s discuss Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Despite winning two Oscars and a few SAGs under his belt, Kevin Spacey still hasn’t won an Emmy (and a Golden Globe for that matter) despite having multiple nominations already. This year, Spacey is nominated once again for House of Cards, and he submitted the season finale “Chapter 26” to the panel. In it, we see Vice President Frank Underwood doing some saving after his allies find out his backstabbing plans. He then turns tables around to fix it which led to a chilling ending for his character. This is really a great arc for Spacey and he was given a lot to do with it making him feel empowered, defeated, vindicated all in one episode. He talks to the camera, he does a narration, he connives, and he is vile in it. I really am surprised that he hasn’t won any award for this role so far, but with lesser competition next year, maybe that’s when he’ll start to actually dominate the race.

Now going to his seventh nomination with no wins still, Jon Hamm has become one of the perennial losers in this category even surpassing Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall already. While it seems like the Academy doesn’t like the acting on Mad Men, it also didn’t help that he submitted “The Stretegy” which wasn’t his strongest episode this season. As opposed to the previous episodes, voters get to sympathize with Don Draper this time upon realizing that his marriage is falling apart and has to convince Peggy that he’s helping and not sabotaging her. But really, it’s all moot. Maybe he can take advantage of the empty crowd next year with the show’s final season in play.

People surely underestimated him last year and at the nominations last month, but it seems like Jeff Daniels is here to stay…for this year at least. Refuting to be a one hit wonder, Daniels picks up a consecutive nod to regain his title and had “Election Night Part 2″ to help him achieve that. In this episode, we see a more personal story from Will as he tackles his relationship with MacKenzie ending with a proposal. While this is not at the same level of the speech he gave in his winning episode last year, I think he has stronger competition this year to do a repeat of his win.

In one of the best episodes submitted ever in this category. Bryan Cranston in “Ozymandias” is certainly the best tape he has submitted in this category including all his three winning tapes here before. He is on fire for the whole episode here with a nod to his earlier Walt at the start of the episode up until that confrontation with Anna Gunn in the end. There’s no denying that this is a powerful tape and one that can easily win again since his last victory four years ago. If only he had weaker competition, I’d be very easy to say this will be an easy one for the books but then comes…

True Detective. Both the leads of the show got nominated here and let’s start with Emmy winner Woody Harrelson. Woody was wise to submit “The Locked Room” which had him dealing with his family’s reaction to his work. Due to his covering of the case, he has forgotten about his family which ended with him breaking down when confronted by his wife. There’s also a scene with his mistress near the end where he demands that she sees no other man aside from him. As for his co-star’s tape, he benefits from it since it’s the finale episode of the series.

Lastly, coming off from an Oscar win last March, Matthew McConaughey is now on the hunt for the Emmy as well as the other actor of True Detective. While his submissions is arguable to most people (majority felt he should have went with “The Secret  Fate of All Life” or Who Goes There“), his submission of the series finale “Form and Void” isn’t really something to be ashamed off. In it, they’ve finally put the pieces of the puzzle together which ended with a creepy chasing scene at the maze. In the final scene, McConaughey delivers a really strong monologue which can seal the high rankings from the panel. He also benefits from Harrelson’s tape, as it showcased a different side of Rust so that’s two tapes from him.

I guess it all boils down to Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey. Cranston submitted his consensus tour de force tape while others are meh on McConaughey. But then again, he has two tapes which shows his range, and it’s the last two they’ll be seeing when they watch the Lead Actor reel (since episodes are arranged on the tape alphabetically of the show’s name). When you have two great tapes competing, that’s when the outside factors in, and I think McConaughey is ahead of that. He’s basically Hollywood’s “go to” guy now after his career turnaround the past few years. While Cranston aims to tie the record of Dennis Franz in this category with four wins, this is their only chance to reward McConaughey for this performance. If ever there’s someone who’ll be tying Dennis Franz though, it’ll be Bryan Cranston, but I think this is the case where Cranston’s three previous Emmy wins hurt his chances when pitted against showbiz’ poster actor in a one time performance.

Prediction: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
Alternate: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
02. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
03. Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards
04. Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

Emmy Drama Guest Actress

Hi there. You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. After analyzing the comedy guest actress and drama guest actor tapes earlier this week, let’s move on to their counterparts by beginning this one with the Guest Actress Drama category. it is interesting to note that three of last year’s nominees are back again but without current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife to defend her throne. As a matter of fact, it seemed like CBS’ plan backfired as they only had Preston as the sole guest actress of the show to be considered and the Emmys snubbed it altogether. Anyway, as for the nominees.

The Emmys continue its stupid decision of ignoring The Americans outside of Margo Martindale. This year, she gets her consecutive nod for her performance as Claudia for the show. While she clearly lacks in screentime in her submission Behind the Red Door, her only moments happened at the near start and the near end of the episode, so that might work for her, but while her reveal at the end was dramatic, it was a bit low key or calm to elicit a winning performance for this nomination.

On the other hand, another consecutive nominee Jane Fonda was all shouts and all sparks in her submission Red Team III for The Newsroom as she gave a five minute speech and lecture to boost the whole news team after they submitted their resignation. That said, she’s hurt by the new policy that guest tapes aren’t edited down since her only appearance happens in the last five minutes so those not fan of the show will have to endure the first 54 minutes or so before they’ll witness Fonda’s moments in this episode.

After a seven year hiatus, Allison Janney comes back with a bang by picking up two nominations for her performances in two different genres in two different shows. Like her on-screen husband Beau Bridges, she’s also nominated for her turn in Masters of Sex, and while her episode Brave New High isn’t necessarily the type of tapes that win here, she provides a very devastating and poignant take of a woman who never had an orgasm. It was heartbreaking and emotional, and I think she nailed her submission.

From a snub for her season-long performance last year, Kate Mara gets herself a nomination for a short stint in the sophomore season of House of Cards. While she only has Episode 14 as her sole submission, it is that one episode that heavily involved her character in it. And I think that’s more than enough. After all, that same episode was just nominated in Writing and Directing for this year, so it clearly has its fans in the panel.

Receiving her third nomination in this category (for another Shonda Rhimes show), Kate Burton was on fire in her episode A Door Makred Exit. The cold open actually begins with her story, and it is scenery chewing at its finest. She continues to get this big scenes one after the other and I guess it all depends on the panel assigned in this one if they prefer the soap opera melodrama of the show because if they do, then an Emmy on her way is really feasible. To be fair to Burton, she’s one of the only two people in the ensemble (the other being Emmy snubbed(!!!) Bellamy Young) who clearly has a grasp of what the show’s nature is about, so there’s that.

Last but certainly not the least (or well maybe she really is) is Dame Diana Rigg for her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. I will not be surprised if voters who will watch the tapes will be surprised that there isn’t really anything about this submission or her season long performance that deserve a nomination, but at this point, the only thing supporting her is if the Emmys has a real (and I mean really hard, Viagra hard) hard-on for Game of Thrones. Otherwise, it is a filler nod at most.

Last year, I predicted Jane Fonda with her speech and her status in the industry, and while I don’t think she was  shoo-in then, I really don’t think I’ll put myself in the same position of predicting her again. As a matter of fact, the three repeater nominees this year are the three weaker contenders in this race. I think I’ll call this the battle of the wives with gay husbands. Whether they’ll go with out outlandish histrionics of Kate Burton or the subtle and more quiet approach by Allison Janney, I won’t really be surprised. It’s too close, but I’ll be giving this one to Allison Janney. This year is her major TV comeback, and I’m sure Emmy(s) would be the cherry on top of her cake. Dark horse position goes to Kate Mara though. She can push herself to a win (pun intended) especially if there is a strong love for the House of Cards train (sorry I can’t help it :D)

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Kate Burton, “Scandal

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
02. Kate Burton, “Scandal
03. Kate Mara, “House of Cards
04. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
05. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
06. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

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 Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

actor drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Ian McShanw, “Deadwood” [WRONG]
2006: 
Kiefer Sutherland, “24” [CORRECT]
2007: 
James Gandolfini “The Sopranos” [WRONG]
2008: 
James Spader, “Boston Legal” [WRONG]
2009: 
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” [CORRECT]
2010: 
Hugh Laurie, “House” [WRONG]
2011: 
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” [WRONG]
2012: 
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” [WRONG]

Now we’re off to one of the most highly contested categories at this year’s Emmy awards: Drama Actor in a Lead Series. Almost everyone here has a narrative going in for them, and this is already a busy category on its own despite Steve Buscemi missing for Boardwalk Empire and perennial nominee Michael C. Hall’s supposed sixth consecutive nod. Anyway, off to the nominees…

After picking up Globe and SAG nods earlier this year, Jeff Daniels received his first Emmy nomination for The Newsroom. And despite submitting the show’s pilot (which is probably his best shot, so kudos to him for doing so), it seemed that he’s one of those filler nods that deserves a nomination but you can rule out for the win. If anything, this is the best scenario that works for the concept of “the nomination is the reward.”

Surprisingly making it again for the second time, despite everyone (including yours truly) undermining his chances is Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville.  Bonneville went with Episode 5 of the show’s third seasons, which is a breath of fresh air from his co-stars who went with the season opener. But then again, he’s such a non-factor in this race that it won’t even matter.

Then  you have multiple nominee Jon Hamm. Despite multiple nods under his name, he still wasn’t able to snatch a golden Emmy of his own whether for his work here in Mad Men or his guesting stint on 30 Rock. For this year, he submitted the season ender In Care Of. Now with the announcement of Mad Men‘s final season being divided into two parts, this gives Hamm (and everyone else in the cast) two more shots to get nominated and give the show its first acting win. I just don’t see it happening this year.

Bryan Cranston aims to win his fourth Emmy for his role as Walter White for Breaking Bad. While it’s not wise to count him out of the conversation, winning the fourth Emmy is a harder feat than what it looks like. In this category’s history, only one performance managed to scoop up four Emmys for it. A lot of them came close such as James Gandolfini in The Sopranos, and James Spader in Boston Legal only to be defeated in their last time. Now I have no doubt that Bryan Cranston can easily tie it… but he’ll have to wait for next year I guess.

That leaves us with current winner Damian Lewis. His season might be uneven in general, but remember that when it comes to the Emmys, you only need one surefire episode to batch you that Emmy gold. And he clearly has one with Q&A.  This is a very competitive episode that is tailor made to win an Emmy. And I have no doubt that this will not be put into waste, as Lewis is one of the two frontrunners this season.

Lastly, there’s two time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. His first foray into television series is put into good fruition, as he instantly gets nominated for an Emmy for it. Spacey is no stranger with the Emmys since he has been nominated for 2008’s TV movie Recount, but this is his first shot to end up with one. Emmy voters also tend to be starstrucked with movie stars and Oscar winners, so that works well in his advantage. For this year, his only semi downside is submitting Episode 1 instead of his baitier tapes into the season. As Julianna Margulies proved in 2010, buzz can only take you so far and a winning tape can beat you in an instant.

All in all, I see this as a three way race among Bryan Cranston, Damian Lewis, and Kevin Spacey. I’m more dismissive of Cranston’s chances since it is more fitting to see him win is record tying one on the last season of the show next eligibility year. That leaves me choosing between Oscar winner Spacey and current winner Damian Lewis. This is where Spacey is at a disadvantage, since his tape pales in comparison. With that said, I’m going with Damian Lewis for a consecutive win too.

Prediction: Damian Lewis, “Homeland
Runner-Up: Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Full Rankings:
1. Damian Lewis, “Homeland
2. Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards
3. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
4. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
5. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
6. Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey

You can see my other Emmy predictions in other categories here.

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

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

drama guest actress

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Angela Lansbury, “Law and Order: SVU” [WRONG]
2006:
Patricia Clarkson, Six Feet Under” [CORRECT]
2007: 
Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy” [WRONG]
2008:
 Cynthia Nixon, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2009:
 Ellen Burstyn, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2010:
 Ann Margret, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2011:
 Joan Cusack, “Shameless” [WRONG]
2012:
 Jean Smart, “Harry’s Law” [WRONG]

After the movie miniseries and the reality/competition ones, let’s move to the guest acting categories for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. As you may know, the Guest Acting categories are being given a week before the actual ceremonies at the Creative Emmy Awards alongside the other technical category winners. Let’s begin with Guest Actress in a Drama Series, where in the biggest shock was the snub for Shirley Maclaine in Downton Abbey. The moment her casting was announced, a nomination was already predicted despite the end result of her guesting, but it’s sad that this once perennial nominee can’t even snatch an Emmy nod for a huge TV stint like this. Anyway…

Linda Cardellini is Mad Men‘s representative in this category for this year after unlucky tries made by previous nominees Cara Buono, Randee Heller, and Julia Ormond. In her submission Man of a Plan, Sylvia decided to once and for all make some huge steps towards her relationship with Don as his mistress. The good thing about this episode is that it’s a full circle act which gives her character some closure. But do you think this is the first acting performance that can snoop up an acting Emmy from the show? Your guess is just as good as mine.

Joan Cusack is back for her third consecutive bid for Shameless. Isn’t it amazing that she continues to be the only thing the Emmys recognize from this show? And how is she even a guest star when she appears all through the season (well I know. It’s probably stipulated in her contract in the same way other “guest stars” are in their shows like Robert Morse in Mad Men). As for Cusack, this is probably her best submission yet (A Long Way From Home) in the last three years as she deals with the giving up of her granddaughter which provides the drama while Jody introducing her to kinky sex provides the comedic part. I have predicted her once, and while I don’t think she’s winning this year, I won’t be surprised if she actually does.

Respected veteran Jane Fonda picks up an Emmy nod that can go along her two Oscars for her turn in The Newsroom. Aside from the snubbed Maclaine, this is the most buzzed guest acting stint in this category this season, and that gives her the most buzz among the other contenders. Watching her episode The 112th Congress  can be quite a chore since most of her scenes appear in the near end of the episode. However, she benefits from the trimmed down episode system of this category as all of her scenes were made to gain awards traction and makes her a viable winner.

After her very deserving win two years ago for JustifiedMargo Martindale is back for Emmy contention, this time for her role as Claudia in The Americans. Like Cusack, it’s probably stipulated in her contract that she is a guest star seeing she appeared in majority of the season’s episodes. In her submitted episode The Colonel which was also the show’s season finale, she gets revenge on the person who she thinks is responsible for someone else’s death. This includes her in a physical transformation in one of her scenes. This might not be the best tape of the bunch, but it gives her enough to work on, and I wouldn’t count her out for the win.

Among the plethora of The Good Wife actresses eligible this season, it is Mrs. Michael Emerson a.k.a Carrie Preston who gets to represent the show in this category. As attorney Elsbeth Tascioni, the actress submitted Je Ne Sais What? where in her character was arrested before the hearing of her client. Preson’s unique and quirky attention easily gets your attention and this episode gives her quite a work on and a grasp of how her character works. During the past three years of The Good Wife, there’s always an actress who wins for the show, and Preston can be its fourth consecutive win this year.

Lastly, there’s Dame Diana Rigg from Game of Thrones. Rigg is a past Emmy winner who already has reaped multiple nominations in the 70s and 80s. Somewhat a forum favorite, matriarch Olenna Tyrell goes on and does everything she can to protect and preserve her family’s interest. It’s not a very showy performance, but Dame Rigg’s presence was definitely felt throughout her scenes And Now His Watch Has Ended. However, a stint like hers benefits more from the old guest acting rules instead of a tape submission.

Despite this, it’s really hard to come up with a prediction in this category. The only one I can eliminate is Linda Cardellini, and I can see a winning scenario for the rest of them. However, with her stature and her tape (that benefits from the editing), I’d put Jane Fonda as my predicted winner on who’ll end up with the Emmy in this category.  Runner up position foes to Carrie Preston in a scene stealing and likable performance in The Good Wife.

Prediction: Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Runner-Up: Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
1. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
2. Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
3.  Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
4. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
5. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
6. Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”

To check out other Emmy predictions, simply click here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl