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Emmy Predictions 2012: Comedy categories

The Primetime Emmy Awards are coming this Sunday, Sept. 23rd. ABC will be airing them with Jimmy Kimmel as the host. Every day this week I’ll be giving my predictions in every category. Today I’ll be taking a closer look at the Drama categories. The Drama Series category is one of the hardest categories to predict, so we’ll be biting our nails to the reveal of the final category of the night. Let’s see my take on the predictions…

Best Drama Series:
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

WILL WIN: Homeland
SHOULD WIN: Breaking Bad

This category is incredibly hard to predict. There are strong cases for four of the nominees to take it home. Boardwalk Empire is probably in 6th and I don’t think Game of Thrones is completely accessible to a lot of voters. That leaves the other four shows, and it honestly wouldn’t shock me to see any of the other four win. Downton Abbey received a boatload of nominations this year. Much more than anticipated, so Emmy voters obviously love it. Breaking Bad had an incredible season and the new season over the summer might earn it some extra votes. Homeland is the hot new show on television, and Emmy voters have awarded new shows here before. And Mad Men has won this award for the past 4 years in a row and it’s strong season would makes it deserving of another win. They could very well tie the record for most Series wins with Frasier. I’m going with my gut instinct and saying that Homeland* takes this award. I feel like the other shows have been divisive with viewers and people could be tired of giving it to Mad Men. Homeland has a wide variety of viewers and I think it’s most appealing to what Emmy voters tend to gravitate towards. But as I said before, it wouldn’t surprise me if any of the other 3 took home the top prize.

Best Actor – Drama Series:
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

WILL WIN & SHOULD WIN: Bryan Cranston

This is a pretty easy prediction. Bryan Cranston has won this award the past 3 times he’s been nominated (he wasn’t eligible last year because Breaking Bad didn’t air any new episodes in the eligibility period) and it’s entered the pantheon of legendary television performances. Every episode could be an Emmy submission, and his actual submission is a great showcase for his work. I would be shocked if he doesn’t win this again. The only other two that could possibly upset are Jon Hamm & Damian Lewis. This is Hamm’s 5th nomination and people are starting to feel he’s overdue. Could he get this based on sympathy? And I said in the Drama category, I think voters are going to lean towards Homeland and I could see him getting swept up in the series love with Danes.

Best Actress – Drama Series:
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men


This is the easiest category to predict. It’s the biggest lock of the night next to Jessica Lange. I don’t even think any of the other nominees have a chance to upset. If Danes doesn’t win, there is going to be A LOT of analyzing as to why she didn’t get the most votes. It’s a great performance, she submitted the perfect Emmy tape, and I think the show is looking pretty good to take Series. I’ll be looking forward to her Emmy speech.

Best Supporting Actor – Drama Series:
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

WILL WIN & SHOULD WIN: Giancarlo Esposito

This is an interesting category. I would like to think that Esposito has this in the bag, but that’s not the case. He was incredible last season on Breaking Bad and his tape is gangbusters. I’m just not sure all of the Emmy voters will be completely won over by his performance. Aaron Paul or Peter Dinklage could possibly repeat, Jared Harris had a memorable storyline, and the Emmy voters love for Downton Abbey could give Carter or Coyle a possible edge over the other competition. This category has done some crazy things in the past and it wouldn’t surprise if something weird happened this year.

Best Supporting Actress – Drama Series:
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

WILL WIN: Maggie Smith
SHOULD WIN: Christina Hendricks

I really think this is a two person race between Christina Hendricks & Maggie Smith. Hendricks had an amazing season and her tape is a great showcase for her character and her acting ability. The Emmy voters love Mad Men and it’s yet to win an acting award. That could possibly change this year and Hendricks is the best bet. And Maggie Smith is on a show that the Emmy voters love. She’s one of the most respected actresses in the business and one of the most talked about actors on the show. But could she be too comedic to possibly win? I don’t think so. I think Smith will take this, but I’m hoping that Hendricks can sneak it and take the trophy. It would be a great win.

Best Writing – Drama Series:
Downton Abbey – “Episode 7” – Julian Fellowes
Homeland – “Pilot” – Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff
Mad Men – “Commissions and Fees” – Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton
Mad Men – “Far Away Places” – Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner
Mad Men – “The Other Woman” – Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner

WILL WIN: Homeland
SHOULD WIN: Mad Men – “Far Away Places”

I have no clue who’s in the lead in this category. With 3 writing nominations, Mad Men is still loved in this category and could take home it’s 4th writing award. It would absolutely be deserving of it with any of those episodes, but I fell vote splitting might be an issue. Downton Abbey has a strong chance. Julian Fellowes is a respected writer and the two-hour episode could standout among the other ones. Then there is Homeland. Emmy voters tend to lean towards “Pilot” episodes in these categories and the writing is one of the strongest elements of the show. Because I’m predicting Homeland to take Series, I think it needs one of the writing/directing awards to go with it and this is its best bet.

Best Directing – Drama Series:
Boardwalk Empire – “To the Lost” – Tim Van Patten
Breaking Bad – “Face Off” – Vince Gilligan
Downton Abbey – “Episode 7” – Brian Percival
Homeland – “Pilot” – Michael Cuesta
Mad Men – “The Other Woman” – Phil Abraham


This category is always random. Directors/episodes that seem like safe bets usually end up losing here. Remember when Dexter randomly won a few years ago? It usually doesn’t line up with shows that frontrunners in Series. I’m going to go with Breaking Bad. The episode featured one of the most memorable moments in recent television history (Ding! Ding! Ding!) and it a well directed episode of television. I think the show is well liked enough and got enough nominations that it has strong support from Emmy voters. While I think the show will lose in Series, the directors branch is smart enough to give the best show on television an Emmy.