Emmy Picks 2013: Drama

The Academy will announce the Emmy nominations on Thursday. It’s always a crapshoot in predicting what strikes voters’ fancy, but it’s usually whatever struck their fancy last year. I’m going a little more in depth this year, picking which six (or sometimes seven) nominees I think will make the cut, plus a list of potential spoilers, ranked from most to least likely, including their previous Emmy nomination history. As always, the header photo represents the frontrunner.

Game of Thrones' Red Wedding
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
Mad Men (AMC)
The Walking Dead (AMC)

Potential spoilers:
House of Cards (Netflix) – new show
The Americans (FX) – new show
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) – 2

In my dreams: The Newsroom (HBO)

The skinny: Yikes. What a tough category. Though it’s always a bad idea to bet against HBO, it seems Boardwalk Empire is the most likely to fall. I think it hurts the show that it airs so early in the year. But it’s no shame to lose out to what’s arguably the most popular drama on TV (The Walking Dead). But there’s still the possibility that even that could lose out to a paradigm-shifting political drama on Netflix or a show that made the Cold War exciting.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damien Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Potential spoilers:
• Matthew Rhys, The Americans (new show, never previously nominated)
• Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire (2)
• Andre Braugher, Last Resort (1 for Gideon’s Crossing, 2 including 1 win for Homicide)
• Timothy Olyphant, Justified (1)
• Jeremy Piven, Mr. Selfridge (never in this category)

In my dreams: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

The skinny: Again Boardwalk Empire falls as a new show makes its way into the fray. Even if House of Cards doesn’t get broad support, it’s hard to imagine voters not singling out the impressive work of Kevin Spacey. If I had my way, Hugh Bonneville would be cast aside for Matthew Rhys or Jeff Daniels.

Claire Danes in Homeland
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men

Potential spoilers:
• Keri Russell, The Americans (new show, never previously nominated)
• Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (8 including 1 win)
• Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (5 including 1 win) 
• Kerry Washington, Scandal (new show, never previously nominated)
• Mireille Enos, The Killing (1)
• Robin Wright, House of Cards (new show, never previously nominated)

In my dreams: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

The skinny: You can pretty much call this category right here. Kyra Sedgwick and Mariska Hargitay were once powerhouses, but they’ve both been out for at least a year, and it’s very hard to break back in.

Jonathan Banks in Breaking Bad
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
John Slattery, Mad Men
Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey

Potential spoilers:
• Corey Stoll, House of Cards (new show, never previously nominated)
• Noah Emmerich, The Americans (new show, never previously nominated)
• Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey (1)
• Jim Carter, Downton Abbey (1)
• Alan Cumming, The Good Wife (1 in this category, 1 as Guest Actor)
• Peter Sarsgaard, The Killing (never previously nominated)
• Josh Charles, The Good Wife (1)
• Walton Goggins, Justified (1)

In my dreams: Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal

The skinny: The only one in danger here is Dan Stevens, and his competition is only his Downton Abbey co-stars. But oh how I wish Mads Mikkelsen could get nominated. What he’s doing on Hannibal is so extraordinary, and miles away from what Anthony Hopkins or Brian Cox did with the role. But it will be a miracle if that show gets anything beyond technical awards.

Monica Potter in Parenthood
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Potential spoilers:
• Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey (1 as Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie)
• Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife (3 including 1 win)
• January Jones, Mad Men (1 as Lead Actress)
• Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire (1)
• Rose Byrne, Damages (1)
• Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy (5)
• Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy (4)

In my dreams: Olivia Munn, The Newsroom

The skinny: Again, Joanne Froggatt is the only one in danger here. Her competition is Elizabeth McGovern and Elizabeth McGovern only.

Michael J. Fox in The Good Wife
Ed Asner, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Jere Burns, Justified
William Daniels, Grey’s Anatomy
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Harry Hamlin, Shameless

Potential spoilers:
• Derek Luke, The Americans (new show, never previously nominated)
• Dylan Baker, The Good Wife (2)
• Andre Braugher, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (never in this category; 2 as Supporting Actor for Men of a Certain Age; 1 as Lead Actor for Gideon’s Crossing, 2 including 1 win for Homicide; 1 win as Lead Actor in a Miniseries for Thief)
• Jason Ritter, Parenthood (1)
• Beau Bridges, Franklin & Bash (1 for Brothers & Sisters, 1 for The Closer, 1 for The Outer Limits)
• Ray Romano, Parenthood (never in this category)

In my dreams: Gerald McRaney, House of Cards

The skinny: As always, a crap shoot. The only lock is Michael J. Fox.

Shirley MacLaine in Downton Abbey
Patricia Arquette, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife

Potential spoilers:
• Alfre Woodard, True Blood (1 for this role, 1 win for The Practice, 1 for Homicide, 1 for St. Elsewhere, 1 win for L.A. Law; 11 other nominations including 2 wins)
• Alison Brie, Mad Men (never nominated)
• Debbie Allen, Grey’s Anatomy (never in this category; 4 as Lead Actress for Fame)
• Bernadette Peters, Smash (never in this category)

In my dreams: Gina Torres, Hannibal

The skinny: Who knows?!!!!!!!!!!!! My worst fear is that Margo Martindale is the only representative of that great FX show. Not that she’s undeserving, just that other actors need love too. Same goes for The Newsroom.

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