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Emmy Predictions: Best Actor & Actress in a Drama Series

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the people eligible in the categories for Best Actor in a Drama Series and Best Actress in a Drama Series. I’m going to take a look at the categories and make groupings: Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One placements are for people/programs that I fully expect to get an Emmy nomination. Tier Two are people/programs that are still in the running but could be left out. And Tier Three are people/programs that I don’t expect to be nominated, but they would be a little bit of a surprise. Let’s take a look at the categories…

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

*Damian Lewis was last year’s winner and he looks poised to win another trophy, Bryan Cranston won this award three years in a row, and there’s no way they won’t be nominated Jon Hamm a 6th time for another tremendous season. These three have a lock on the category and I would be shocked beyond belief if they weren’t nominated.*

TIER TWO:
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

*Hugh Bonneville was nominated last year but it’s a much more competitive field this time around, and it looks like the nomination total of Downton Abbey could be heading south. Steve Buscemi & Michael C. Hall also rounded out the category last year. Buscemi is in a much better position than Hall, but I can see a scenario where both of them don’t make the cut. Jeff Daniels and Kevin Spacey are both movie stars that give very showy performances. They would both be in the first tier, but it’s still unclear how the Emmy voters are going to receive the new shows. Matthew Rhys is the biggest wildcard. The Americans had mixed reviews but everyone had positive things to say about Rhys. He’s still a little too unknown to be nominated. Maybe the quality of the performance will overcome that obstacle.*

TIER THREE:
Kevin Bacon, The Following
Hugh Dancy, Hannibal
Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Peter Krause, Parenthood
Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

*While I’m not predicting any of these people, the Emmys do some strange things in the acting categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

*I went with Buscemi, Daniels and Spacey for the last three spots. I am confident that Jeff Daniels & Kevin Spacey will be nominated. Both of their characters and performances are the types that Emmy voters tend to lean towards. I just wouldn’t be surprised if they were left off in favor of other actors. And even though I think Boardwalk Empire is barely hanging on in Drama Series, Buscemi should still be good for a nomination. Emmys have a tendency to keep nominating actors even if they don’t nominate the show in the big category.*

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

*I fully expect these four nominees to make return appearances from last year. Claire Danes is probably going to win Emmy #2, Michelle Dockery will be riding the Downton Abbey love to another nomination, Julianna Margulies is a beloved TV icon, and Mad Men is still loved enough by the Emmys to keep Elisabeth Moss around another year.*

TIER TWO:
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

*Glenn Close has been nominated every season for Damages. The final season aired last summer and I’m not sure the Emmy voters are going to remember that it existed. Kerry Washington has had a terrific year. Scandal got more and more popular every week, plus she had a memorable turn in Django Unchained. Her profile has been seriously raised since last year. Then it comes down to a battle of the new shows. Connie Britton has been Emmy nominated the past three years (two for Friday Night Lights and one for American Horror Story). She’s obviously well liked but her new show Nashville isn’t as liked. Will their favoritism towards her overcome that? Vera Farmiga is a respected film actress in her first television role, playing an iconic film character. It’s a mystery how Bates Motel will be received but Farmiga stands a decent chance. Robin Wright is in the same boat, but her character is borderline supporting and the field is much too tight. Tatiana Maslany is a huge wild card. She’s gotten a lot of support from critics and fans, but will the Emmy voters will go for a sci-fi show on BBC America?*

*While I’m not predicting any of these people, the Emmys do some strange things in the acting categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

TIER THREE:
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Lucy Liu, Elementary
Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Keri Russell, The Americans
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Emily Van Camp, Revenge

*While I’m not predicting any of these people, the Emmys do some strange things in the acting categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal

*I went with Vera Farmiga and Kerry Washington for the last two spots. Vera Farmiga is a respected actress in a showy role, that’s enough to overcome to the mediocre reviews and the fact that the show is on A&E. And I’ll echo what I said above about Kerry Washington. Her profile has been seriously raised since last year. The show is on a lot of people’s radar and I think Washington is pretty safe for a nomination.*

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