TV Feature: Predictions For the 64th Annual Emmy Awards Winners

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CHICAGO – The 64th Annual Emmy Awards will go down on Sunday night and this year promises to be more unpredictable than ever…unless it’s not. While most pundits are thinking that this is the year that the Academy will take risks and award new blood, there’s just as much of a chance that we’ll see as many repeat winners as ever, maybe more.

It will probably be a healthy mix of the two with new winners like Deschanel & Danes joining returning favorites like Cranston & Parsons. How’s it all going to end? No one knows for sure (but come back Sunday night for all the winners). Here’s my best guesses along with what should win and what should have been nominated.

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
Photo credit: PBS

“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“Mad Men” (AMC)

This category has arguably never been more competitive. Can AMC’s “Mad Men” set a record with a fifth win in a row or will two daunting new competitors — “Downton Abbey” and “Homeland” — steal the prize? How about the most acclaimed season in “Breaking Bad” history? Or either of HBO’s most beloved dramas? Honestly, for the first time in Emmy history, I wouldn’t be surprised nor too disappointed if ANY of the six nominees here won. Don’t let anyone tell you that we’re not in the golden age of television. If I have to choose, I’m thinking back to last year when “Downton Abbey” competed in the mini-series categories and DOMINATED. I have a strange feeling that the Emmy love last year will carry over this year and “Downton” will be a multiple Emmy Award winner.

Will Win: “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Should Win: “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Should Have Been Nominated: “Justified” (FX)

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Photo credit: AMC

Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey”
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

Another tough one. I’d be stunned if Buscemi or Hall won, so we can rule them out. Bonneville would only win if there’s a 100% “Downton” sweep. He’s the least likely acting winner from the show if just because he’s in the toughest category. That leaves newcomer Lewis, never-won Hamm, and the three-time-winner Cranston. Walter White wasn’t eligible last year because of the way that the seasons fell and the Academy didn’t take that chance to award Hamm (going with sentimental favorite Kyle Chandler for “Friday Night Lights”). If Hamm couldn’t win last year, he won’t this year. It may have to be the final season of “Mad Men” before he finally does. I’m going with one of the best single seasons by an actor in TV history but something tells me that Lewis could be the dark horse here. I wouldn’t be too surprised.

Should/Will Win: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Should Have Been Nominated: Dustin Hoffman, “Luck”

Claire Danes
Claire Danes
Photo credit: Showtime

Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law”
Glenn Close, “Damages”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”

This might be the easiest category to predict not only because of the sheer acting force of the inevitable winner but the lack of competition. You can rule out Bates & Close from the beginning. They’re lucky they were nominated. Margulies won last year but the lack of a dramatic nod for the series means less support this year. That leaves three and while Moss had arguably her best season to date and Dockery could ride the aforementioned “Downton” sweep, I’d be stunned if Claire Danes doesn’t fill the empty space on her mantle on Sunday night.

Should/Will Win: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Should Have Been Nominated: Katey Sagal, “Sons of Anarchy”

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
Photo credit: PBS

Jim Carter, “Downtown Abbey”
Brendan Coyle, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad”
Jared Harris, “Mad Men”
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

Both supporting categories are often places for surprises and make predictions nearly impossible. Consequently, I’m going with that “Downton” sweep sense that I’m getting and predicting winners for that show in both categories, not exactly going out a limb given the four nominations it has in the supporting fields. Who could upset? Dinklage could win again, as could Paul. My greatest hope for an upset is Esposito, one of the best TV villains of the last decade.

Will Win: Brendan Coyle, “Downton Abbey”
Should Win: Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad”
Should Have Been Nominated: Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
Photo credit: PBS

Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

Simple rule of Emmy predictions — If the Academy can give an award to a living legend, they often do. Who could spoil Maggie? Well, if you’re looking closely you’ll see that I’m predicting no major awards for “Mad Men”. Is that really going to happen? There’s a nagging feeling that Hendricks could be the representative for the stellar fifth season of this beloved show. She’s the only possible upset to the “Downton” ladies.

Will Win: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Should Win: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Should Have Been Nominated: Regina King, “Southland”

Go to Page 2 for the Comedy Awards:

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While I disagree with you

While I disagree with you saying Loie is probably the best show on tv, since it’s Breaking Bad, I agree with all your picks. And I actually think either Esposito or Paul will win (they’re equally good) in the supporting actor in a drama series category.

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