Part of the immense fun the annual Emmy ceremony brings every year comes not from the actual ceremony, but from compiling a list of your own dream nominees. And another part of that comes from predicting who will actually be nominated. Well, just recently, I posted a set of my own dream nominations, which you can find elsewhere on this blog, and now it’s time for the predicting part.
As was the case with my dream nominations, my lack of knowledge concerning many of the comedies in the running for nomination means that I will only be focusing on the drama categories today. It sucks, I know, but I’m not willing to discuss shows and actors I have little familiarity with at this point.
Also, if you have any thoughts on my predictions, or any of your own, please feel free to share them in the comment box at the end of this post.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
This category is kind of difficult and kind of easy to predict at the same time. While at least three of the six open slots are guaranteed to go to Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Damien Lewis (Homeland), and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), the remaining three are completely wide open for the taking. You have perfectly valid competition coming from newcomers Matthew Rhys (The Americans) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), as well as a strong contender in the form of Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)–an actor who seems to be prime nomination material.
Regarding Rhys, whether or not the academy employs a complete Sons of Anarchy-esque shutout for everything concerning The Americans is a very plausible, and extremely frustrating, possibility. If not, I would imagine Keri Russell having more of a chance at clinching a nomination than Rhys, hence why I don’t predict his name will be called on Thursday.
I doubt the same can be suspected of their attention towards House of Cards, however, as I highly doubt it will walk away without a nomination somewhere in the major categories. I strongly predict that Spacey, along with Daniels, will snatch two of the remaining three open slots after the three guaranteed nominees as mentioned above, leaving one more to fill.
The two main candidates I see grabbing that final slot would be between two stalwarts of the category: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter). It’s difficult to predict which one the academy would likely go for out of the two, because both are established favourites within this category. I almost had to resort to a coin flip to make a decision, but I think that Hall would have the advantage in this year’s nominations, leaving Buscemi out in the cold.
- Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
- Damien Lewis – Homeland
- Jon Hamm – Mad Men
- Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
- Jeff Daniels – The Newsroom
- Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
This is probably the most exciting category this year because of how much competition there is within it. You have three guaranteed nominees in the form of Claire Danes (Homeland), Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife), and possibly Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), leaving three open slots that have no guarantees attached to them.
In the newbie corner, you have Keri Russell (The Americans) making a valid attempt at grabbing the nomination, as well as Robin Wright (House of Cards) making a play that just might be successful. However, it is perhaps Kerry Washington (Scandal) that has the strongest chance of being nominated, with the show she belongs to becoming something of a behemoth in its most recent season. The buzz about her is big enough for me to consider her a very plausible candidate come Thursday, and one I would be delighted to see scoop a nomination.
There is also Glenn Close (Damages) to consider, who would have absolutely no chance of winning but is an established favourite among academy members, whose last chance to be nominated for the show comes this year. Plus, Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) might make a splash in the category, although I am predicting somewhat of a Downton blackout in this year’s batch of nominees, with only Maggie Smith I consider to be guaranteed a nomination.
And if that wasn’t enough, Connie Britton (Nashville) also makes a comeback in this category for the first time since Friday Night Lights concluded in 2010. The academy demonstrated that they adore Britton from the numerous nominations they gave her over FNL’s lifespan, so it’s very possible that her return to the category will be enough to get her a nomination, even if the show itself is lacklustre.
I’d also like to add that even with the attention she’s been getting over recent weeks, and the many campaigns I’ve seen to get her nominated, I very strongly doubt that Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) will be nominated. It’s a shame, because I think this award belongs to her in every way possible, but given the tendencies of those submitting voting ballots and the usual way in which genre shows are mostly ignored, I just don’t think she has any chance at all.
- Claire Danes – Homeland
- Julianna Marguiles – The Good Wife
- Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
- Kerry Washington – Scandal
- Keri Russell – The Americans
- Connie Britton – Nashville
(It was genuinely difficult predicting this category because there are so many people who have a good chance of clinching a nomination. I’m still not totally convinced that either Keri Russell or Connie Britton will be nominated, or that Robin Wright will fail to procure a position in the category, or even that Michelle Dockery’s name will be absent, so you can see the difficulty I had.)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
I think we can all say, with a degree of absolute certainty, that Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) will be nominated in this category. It wouldn’t be the same without him. The question, however, is whether Jonathan Banks will join him, as he’s the only one with a credible chance to join Paul in this year’s category. (It seems to have become somewhat of a tradition to have two Breaking Bad stars in this category, and last year’s candidate Giancarlo Esposito isn’t eligible this year.) I’m fairly confident that he’ll make it onto the roster for the one and only time he’ll be able to, giving him the recognition he so deserves from his time on the show.
Also, last year’s nominations saw two surprising entries in the form of Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter, both of Downton Abbey fame. This year, Coyle neglected to submit himself for consideration, taking his name out of the hat. But as I said earlier, I am predicting less of a presence for Downton Abbey this year, so I don’t expect Carter to make an appearance, either.
To fill the third slot of the category, I expect that we’ll see Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) take his place in the roster as he has done the last two years he’s been eligible, with his victory being established back in 2011. Everybody loves the Dinklage, it seems, and rightly so.
For one of the remaining three slots, I suspect that it’ll be the year that Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) takes home his first nomination for the show, with an increased screen presence giving him the opportunity to do so that he didn’t have last year. A previous Emmy winner, I would be very surprised to see his name not on the nominations list come Thursday.
With the two remaining open slots, I predict that we’ll see two newcomers come in to occupy them: Corey Stoll (House of Cards), and Sam Waterston (The Newsroom). The former has enjoyed many a critical praising since the Netflix-only series arrived on the interwebs that may or may not lend a hand in gaining him a nomination, and the latter is somebody who has received Emmy love before and is likely to do so again.
- Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
- Jonathan Banks – Breaking Bad
- Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
- Mandy Patinkin – Homeland
- Corey Stoll – House of Cards
- Sam Waterston – The Newsroom
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
This is probably the easiest category of the ones I’ve discussed to predict, mainly because three, possibly four of the six available slots are guaranteed to go to certain actresses. We all know that Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) will be taking home a nomination (and probably an undeserved win, but that’s for another day), as will Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife). And after those slots have been occupied, that leaves two more to fill.
To fill one of those slots, I expect that we’ll see Morena Baccarin (Homeland) take her first nomination for the show, giving Homeland a presence in all of the major drama categories. It would be a deserved nomination, too, and one I would have no trouble accepting.
The final open slot was a difficult one for me to predict. On the one hand, I thought that Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) would be nominated once again, but with a storyline in the show’s fourth season that was pretty much reviled by everyone who watched it, I think her chances will be seriously hurt. On the other hand, I’ve heard plenty of praise and adoration for Monica Potter (Parenthood) to consider her a viable threat to snatch Panjabi’s seat. I haven’t experienced her performances in season four for myself (I’ve only just started the show so I’m way behind), but I expect I’ll agree with the praise when I reach that point.
There is also the dark horse known as Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) to consider. Her nomination last year came as a big surprise, and was absolutely undeserved, but could she appear again this year? I’m genuinely unsure. I don’t expect so, but then I didn’t expect her to be nominated last year and look how that turned out. Personally, the thought of giving a nomination to her for a storyline that was such a sisyphean task to watch is unfathomable, so I really hope it doesn’t happen.
- Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
- Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
- Christine Baranski – The Good Wife
- Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
- Morena Baccarin – Homeland
- Monica Potter – Parenthood
Outstanding Drama Series
And now we get to the big one–the outstanding drama series category. Last year saw a surprise victor in the form of Homeland, taking home the award for its debut season and snatching the title away from Mad Men–a show that has taken home the award so many times despite none of its cast ever emerging victorious in their respective categories. I expect that we’ll see little change in this category beyond two, maybe three, positions.
Firstly, it doesn’t even need to be said that Homeland is going to take home a nomination, despite season two being a wonky, occasionally incoherent mess that paled in comparison to its first season. But Homeland is Homeland, and the show’s successes last year should leave you in no doubt that the academy loves the show and will nominate it again.
It also stands to reason that both Breaking Bad and Mad Men will once again see nominations in this category. The former has won countless times in the acting categories (and that’s just from Bryan Cranston), but has never won the outstanding drama series category, while the latter is the complete opposite. And I doubt we’ll see anything breaking from that pattern, either, as both shows approach their endgames in the next twelve months.
Elsewhere, for the last three slots, I expect that we’ll see Game of Thrones taking home a well-deserved nomination for a fantastic third season, as well as Downton Abbey grabbing onto one for the second year in a row since it was deemed eligible for the main drama categories. While I expect a lessened presence for the show in the acting categories, I feel pretty confident predicting a nomination in the outstanding drama category, as unfortunate as that may be.
And now we’re left with one open slot, of which I had four shows in mind that might occupy it: The Good Wife, House of Cards, The Americans, and The Newsroom. Last year saw The Good Wife criminally left off this category’s nominees’ list, and as sad as I feel saying this, I expect that it’ll happen again. Which leaves three very viable new shows potentially taking home a nomination.
It was difficult choosing one of the three to include in my predictions because I think they’re all very strong candidates, but I have done so nevertheless. And while it wouldn’t be a personal choice of mine considering the competition, I’d be surprised if it isn’t called out in the actual nominations.
Also, before I reveal my predictions, it’s worth noting that there’s quite a valid chance that Scandal might be a dark horse and clinch a nomination for itself. The show has an incredible buzz flying around it at the moment that’s hard to ignore, and it may just progress into an Emmy nomination. Personally, I don’t expect it to happen, but I wouldn’t be very surprised if it did, either.
- Breaking Bad
- Game of Thrones
- Mad Men
- House of Cards
- Downton Abbey
And thus concludes my Emmy predictions for this year. There’s a chance I will get around to discussing the comedy categories once the nominations are revealed (a strong chance, actually), but for now I’m focusing on the drama categories above all.
Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts and your own predictions for the nominations, so feel free to share them directly below!