Predicting the 65th Emmy Awards

The 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are this Sunday on CBS and will be hosted by the incomparable Neil Patrick Harris. That means it is time to make my annual picks yet again in hopes of doing better than the previous year. I was going to break this up into a multi-day post, but since I got these out so late I’ve included all of the major award. Check it out below.

65th Emmy Awards

Writing and Directing

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special

  • Behind the Candelabra, Written by Richard LaGravenese

  • The Hour, Written by Abi Morgan

  • Parade’s End, Written by Tom Stoppard

  • Phil Spector, Written by David Mamet

  • Top of the Lake, Written by Jane Campion & Gerard Lee

It’s usually a film that wins this award – save for Downton Abbey before it moved to the Drama category –  so I’m looking at Behind the Candelabra to win this award.

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

  • The Colbert Report

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!

  • Portlandia

  • Real Time with Bill Maher

  • Saturday Night Live

It’d be nice to see dark horse Portlandia take home the prize, but it looks like The Daily Show is going for a three-peat.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock (Episode: “Hogcock!”), Written by Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock

  • 30 Rock (Episode: “Last Lunch”), Written by Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield

  • Episodes (Episode: “Episode 209”), Written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik

  • Louie (Episode: “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1”), Written by Pamela Adlon & Louis C.K.

  • The Office (Episode: “Finale”), Written by Greg Daniels

Not-so-secretly I want The Office to go out on top. However Louis C.K. is at the top of his game and will most likely take home another writing award for Louie.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • Breaking Bad (Episode: “Dead Freight”), Written by George Mastras

  • Breaking Bad (Episode: “Say My Name”), Written by Thomas Schnauz

  • Downton Abbey (Episode: “Episode Four”), Written by Julian Fellowes

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: “The Rains of Castamere”), Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

  • Homeland (Episode: “Q&A”), Written by Henry Bromell

Two Breaking Bad nominations points to the show as a favorite for this category, but it might split the votes. Not that I think it matters because “Q&A” was one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen and Homeland should take home the award.

Outstanding Director for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special

  • Behind the Candelabra, Directed by Steven Soderbergh

  • The Girl, Directed by Julian Jarrold

  • Phil Spector, Directed by David Mamet

  • Ring of Fire, Directed by Allison Anders

  • Top of The Lake (“Part 5”), Directed by Jane Campion & Garth Davis

Behind the Candelabra will pair this win for Steven Soderbergh with its writing award.

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series

  • The Colbert Report, Directed by James Hoskinson

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Directed by Chuck O’Neil

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Directed by Andy Fisher

  • Late Show with David Letterman, Directed by Jerry Foley

  • Portlandia, Directed by Jonathan Krisel

  • Saturday Night Live, Directed by Don Roy King

Not much to go on in this new award, but the voters seem to love The Daily Show in any Variety Series award.

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock (Episodes: “Hogcock!” / “Last Lunch”), Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

  • Glee (Episode: “Diva”), Directed by Paris Barclay

  • Girls (Episode: “On All Fours”), Directed by Lena Dunham

  • Louie (Episode: “New Year’s Eve”), Directed by Louis C.K.

  • Modern Family (Episode: “Arrested”), Directed by Gail Mancuso

I love how Modern Family is filmed and see it winning for the third year in a row.

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire (Episode: “Margate Sands”), Directed by Tim Van Patten (HBO)

  • Breaking Bad (Episode: “Gliding Over All”), Directed by Michelle MacLaren (AMC)

  • Downton Abbey (Episode: “Episode Four”), Directed by Jeremy Webb (PBS)

  • Homeland (Episode: “Q&A”), Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Showtime)

  • House of Cards (Episode: “Chapter 1”), Directed by David Fincher (Netflix)

Boardwalk Empire has won this twice in a row, but I’m going to fanboy over “Q&A” once more and give the award to Homeland.


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

  • Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish Worthington on Political Animals

  • Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters on American Horror Story: Asylum

  • Charlotte Rampling as Eva Delectorskaya (older) on Restless

  • Imelda Staunton as Alma Hitchcock on The Girl

  • Alfre Woodard as Louisa “Ouiser” Boudreaux on Steel Magnolias

I have to root for Charlotte Rampling in a category that is the most difficult for me to predict.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

  • Scott Bakula as Bob Black on Behind the Candelabra

  • James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden / Hans Grüper on American Horror Story: Asylum

  • John Benjamin Hickey as Sean Tolke on The Big C: Hereafter

  • Peter Mullan as Matt Mitcham on Top of the Lake

  • Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson on American Horror Story: Asylum

I’m rooting for Zachary Quinto in this race. However, Miniseries and Movie categories are normally dominated by one title, so don’t count out Scott Bakula.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory

  • Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on Modern Family

  • Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer on Veep

  • Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock

  • Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on Glee

  • Sofía Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family

  • Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on Nurse Jackie

It’s nice to see Jane Lynch and Jane Krakowski back in the running. If anyone is going to dethrone two-time defending winner Julie Bowen, it’d be Krakowski to recognize her for her entire body of work on 30 Rock. But I don’t see that happening.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody on Homeland

  • Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife

  • Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones

  • Anna Gunn as Skyler White on Breaking Bad

  • Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris on Mad Men

  • Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey

There’s been six different winners in six years, but I wouldn’t count out Dame Maggie Smith. Still, I’m sensing Anna Gunn taking home the trophy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family

  • Adam Driver as Adam Sackler on Girls

  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family

  • Bill Hader as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live

  • Tony Hale as Gary Walsh on Veep

  • Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett on Modern Family

There is one less Modern Family actor than normal (shockingly it is two-time winner and the reigning holder Eric Stonestreet) and two new faces are in the mix. I’m not going to pick who but a Modern Family actor will take home another award.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad

  • Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti on Boardwalk Empire

  • Jim Carter as Charles Carson on Downton Abbey

  • Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones

  • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad

  • Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson on Homeland

Personally I want Mandy Patinkin, but Aaron Paul continues to seem to be on fire. Really it is one of the best races this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

  • Jessica Lange as Sister Jude / Judy Martin on American Horror Story: Asylum

  • Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison on The Big C: Hereafter

  • Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney Baden on Phil Spector

  • Elisabeth Moss as Det. Robin Griffin on Top of the Lake

  • Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish Hammond on Political Animals

This is peculiar because Laura Linney was nominated (and won a Golden Globe) for her role on The Big C when it was still considered a series and not a miniseries. But they doesn’t deter me from believing Jessica Lange will take this. But I won’t sleep on Elisabeth Moss.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens on Parade’s End

  • Matt Damon as Scott Thorson on Behind the Candelabra

  • Michael Douglas as Liberace on Behind the Candelabra

  • Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock on The Girl

  • Al Pacino as Phil Spector on Phil Spector

For me it is a toss up between Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. But I’m notoriously poor at picking this category. So I might as well say everybody else’s name.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe on Enlightened

  • Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on Girls

  • Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton on Nurse Jackie

  • Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selena Meyer on Veep

  • Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation

No one has repeated this in recent history so I’m voting against JLD. But that doesn’t make pick any easier. I’d want Tina Fey to go out on top, but I feel like Amy Poehler might finally take home the award

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes on Nashville

  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on Homeland

  • Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey

  • Vera Farmiga as Norma Louise Bates on Bates Motel

  • Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson on Mad Men

  • Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on Scandal

  • Robin Wright as Claire Underwood on House of Cards

There are a lot of great actresses in this category but I’d be lying to myself if I say I’d thought about anyone other than Claire Danes to win this one again.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock

  • Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development

  • Louis C.K. as Louie on Louie

  • Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan on House of Lies

  • Matt LeBlanc as Himself on Episodes

  • Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory

This one is a difficult pick. There are a few Golden Globe winners and a few Emmy winners in the mix. Personally I want to see Alec Baldwin go out on top, so that’s who I’m picking. Interesting to note last year’s winner, Jon Cryer, wasn’t even nominated.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham on Downton Abbey

  • Bryan Cranston as Walter White on Breaking Bad

  • Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy on The Newsroom

  • Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men

  • Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody on Homeland

  • Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood on House of Cards

For me it is a toss up between the reigning champion Damian Lewis and prior juggernaut Bryan Cranston. Looking at the Golden Globes as a predictor I’d have to go with Damian Lewis yet again.


Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

  • The Amazing Race

  • Dancing with the Stars

  • Project Runway

  • So You Think You Can Dance

  • Top Chef

  • The Voice

It’s basically been The Amazing Race from the get-go and I don’t see it slowing up one bit.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

  • American Horror Story: Asylum

  • Behind the Candelabra

  • The Bible

  • Phil Spector

  • Political Animals

  • Top of the Lake

I’m looking at three of these titles as potential winners, but all of the buzz seems to be HBO’s Behind the Candelabra. Who am I to disagree?

Outstanding Variety Series

  • The Colbert Report

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!

  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

  • Real Time with Bill Maher

  • Saturday Night Live

Jon Stewart hasn’t lost since 2003. David Letterman enjoyed a 1998-2002 run prior to that. I’d want Late Night to win, but maybe next year when Jimmy Fallon takes over for The Tonight Show. It has to be The Daily Show yet again.

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock

  • The Big Bang Theory

  • Girls

  • Louie

  • Modern Family

  • Veep

It’d be a shock if Modern Family didn’t win. The Office, 30 Rock and Modern Family all de-throned the previous winner in their first year of eligibility. Voters seem to be voting under the mantra of “if nothing new comes along, then the best stays the best.”

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Breaking Bad

  • Downton Abbey

  • Game of Thrones

  • Homeland

  • House of Cards

  • Mad Men

The same mantra for Outstanding Comedy doesn’t necessarily work here. Outside of Mad Men’s run, this winner has varied from year to year. However, I still believe Homeland to be the clear winner here. Next year might be Breaking Bad for its effort this last season, but not this year.

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