I love, love, love the Emmys. It’s my favorite night of the year. I woke up too late to live tweet or anything crazy like that so I watched a repeat of the nomination here. I watched each category be announced, paused it and wrote about it. The order you see below is the order Kerry Washington and Jimmy Kimmel announced them in.
Supporting roles were not announced during the webcast and can be found listed here. I included my thoughts on these categories after the Outstanding Comedy Series award. I chose not to touch on all of the awards (writing, directing, etc) but will eventually make my final picks in every category in the week prior to the ceremony. Enjoy.
Outstanding Drama Series
- Boardwalk Empire
- Breaking Bad
- Downton Abbey
- Game of Thrones
- Mad Men
It’s no surprise that no basic cable series was nominated. We’re in a new Golden Age of television. An age where dramas must be presented like films and these six shows are not only filmed beautifully, but they also have Hollywood-level writing an acting. It may seem like a slam dunk for Mad Men to win its fifth award in a row, but it must watch its back this year. Downton Abbey has moved from the miniseries category it won and was erroneously placed in last year, becoming a not so dark horse contender. My pick, and the most recent Golden Globe and Television Critics’ Award winner in the category – not to mention taking home a Peabody – is Showtime’s Homeland.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Glenn Close, Damages
- Claire Danes, Homeland
- Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
- Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
- Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Again, no real shockers here. Only Danes and Dockery hadn’t been nominated for their role before and that’s because this is both of their first time eligible for the category. I’m hesitant to rule anyone out, but Dockery seems like the longest shot. The British period piece is too much of an ensemble for me. Bates and Close are perennial nominees – with Close winning for the role in back-to-back years not long ago. Moss may well deserve the award for sitting in the supporting actress category for far too long, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Danes won. In fact, I’m sitting on Homeland to win most of its awards the drama is nominated for. Danes turn as an operative with bipolar disorder was some of the best acting I think I’ve ever seen on television.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Hugh Bonnaville, Downton Abbey
- Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
- Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
- Michael C. Hall, Dexter
- Jon Hamm, Mad Men
- Damien Lewis, Homeland
Cranston is back in the category after missing a nod last year due to his show being off the air during the voting period. It’s safe to say that he’ll continue to dominate the category leaving regulars Hamm and Hall shut out once again. Buscemi returns for another year, but his portrayal may not even has been as strong as his first season. It could be Bonneville or Lewis, but I feel the former gets discounted because of how much an ensamble his show is. The latter, though I absolutely love his show, may have to wait until Breaking Bad goes off the air before we see another actor win this category.
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
- American Horror Story
- Game Change
- Hatfields & McCoys
- Hemingway & Gellhorn
This is the biggest toss up for me. Fans upon fans tell me Sherlock is one of the best shows around. Then I see something is original as AHS and I think, “How can that not be the winner?” In all honesty, I have not watched Game Change or Hemingway & Gellhorn; instead of making a fool out of myself by making a predicition, I’ll sheepishly walk away until I watch those.
Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
- Ashley Judd, Missing
- Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
- Julianne Moore, Game Change
- Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch
As I’ve made it clear I’m not a miniseries/television movie enthusiast, I do feel that Britton’s role in AHS was terrific. Knowning how the Emmys normally shake out – with this category going to big name in movies that they carried – I wouldn’t doubt Kidman, Moore or Thompson taking home the award.
Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
- Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
- Idris Elba, Luther
- Woody Harrelson, Game Change
- Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
- Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Costner and Paxton might wash each other out among voters, making this a four-way race. Cumberbatch seems to be the general public’s vote and I have a strong feeling he’d take this home. Again, there is the big name in a television movie thing going on with Owen and Harrelson. But what about Elba? Perhaps this is more of a toss up than I think it is.
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Show
- Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
- Phil Koeghan, The Amazing Race
- Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
- Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
- Dancing with the Stars
- Project Runway
- So You Think You Can Dance
- Top Chef
- The Voice
It seems impossible to beat The Amazing Race. So I won’t bet against it.
Outstanding Variety Series
- The Colbert Report
- The Daily Show with John Stewart
- Jimmy Kimmel Live
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- Saturday Night Live
John Stewart dominates this category, but Jimmy Fallon has really stepped up his game. I’m going to say it’s between those two and the rest can stay home. (Except Kimmel, who is hosting the ceremony on September 23.)
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
- Lena Dunham, Girls
- Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
- Tina Fey, 30 Rock
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
- Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
- Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Alright. If Poehler doesn’t finally win in this category…I don’t know what I’m going to do. Fey is a sweetheart and McCarthy did great last year, but this is Amy’s time to shine. Only two of the three new noms have a shot in my eyes. Louis-Dreyfus and Dunham might pull a fast one on us, but Deschanel shouldn’t be considered a serious contender. Falco might be sitting in the wings as an overlooked nominee, but I wouldn’t count her out
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
- Don Cheadle, House of Lies
- Louis CK, Louie
- Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
- Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
This was, by far, the most disappointing category. Everyone save Cheadle, who has no chance of winning the category, has been nominated before and there really isn’t anything fresh from what they’ve done with the roles. Maybe David will win as sort of an career-spanning effort on Curb? I don’t see voters giving CK the award for his off-beat comedy. Parsons three-peating would probably be the safest bet.
Outstanding Comedy Series
- The Big Bang Theory
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Modern Family
- 30 Rock
Okay, it looks like Modern Family, might get knocked off its throne. The two-time winner might be usurped by any of the other nominees. Girls and Veep might be welcomed as fresh comedies with a unique perspective. It’s really difficult to say. Perhaps Curb, like David, will be awarded the top-prize for its complete body of work.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
- Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Bowen continued her dominance on Modern Family and very well could repeat, but Wiig has put in a lot of effort on SNL and gave some extremely memorable performances that could give the actress the win.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
- Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
- Ty Burrell, Modern Family
- Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
- Bill Hader, Saturnday Night Live
- Max Greenfield, New Girl
Welcome to the Modern Family category. Seriously, take your pick. It would be the biggest shock of the night if one of them do not win. My personal favorite is Burrell.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
- Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
- Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
- Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
- Christina Hendrick, Mad Men
- Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Dame Maggie Smith? Yes, please.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
- Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
- Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
- Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
- Jared Harris, Mad Men
- Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Dinklage may have taken it home last year, but Harris gave an undeniably breathtaking performance this year.