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Emmy Winner Predictions 2013: Best Cinematography

The Emmys are only a few weeks away…so it’s best to start predicting. I’m going to take a look at each category and predict who I think will be taking home the lovely Emmy statue on Sept. 15 (Creative Arts) or Sept. 22 (Primetime telecast).

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Best Cinematography – Single-Camera Series:
Boardwalk Empire – “Margate Sands”
Breaking Bad – “Gliding Over All”
Game of Thrones – “Mhysa”
Homeland – “Beirut Is Back”
House of Cards – “Chapter 1”
Mad Men – “The Doorway”

*This is a tough race to call. Boardwalk Empire has won this award for the past two years, but I really feel like it’s win total is going to drastically dwindle this year. Michael Slovis should’ve won for Breaking Bad already. But I don’t think this submitted episode is going to get him the trophy this year. Mad Men is also frequently nominated here and doesn’t win. I think it will come down to a race between Game of Thrones and House of Cards. This is the first nomination here for Game of Thrones, so the voters haven’t appreciated it’s camera work before. The House of Cards pilot has a very sleek and polished style that I think the voters will favor over the other nominees.*

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Best Cinematography – Multi-Camera Series:
The Exes – “Pirates of the Care of Eden”
How I Met Your Mother – “The Final Page, Part 2”
Mike & Molly – “Molly’s Birthday”
2 Broke Girls – “And the Psychic Shakedown”
Two and a Half Men – “Grab a Feather and Get In”

*Don’t ask why, but Two and a Half Men has won this award for the past two years and was nominated almost every year before that when it was competiting against more impressive single-camera comedy shows. The Emmy voters love the camera work on the show…for whatever reason.*

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Best Cinematography – TV Movie/Miniseries:
American Horror Story: Asylum – “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2”
Behind the Candelabra
The Girl
Parade’s End
– “Part 5”
Top of the Lake – “Episode One”

*PBS/Masterpiece Theatre has swept this category for the past three years, but once again they didn’t manage to get a nomination in a category they usually win. Even though I’ve been splitting the TV Movie/Miniseries winners between AHS and Behind the Candelabra…I think this will be a race between The Girl and Top of the Lake. The Girl fits in the British production mold that usually dominates this category, while Top of the Lake actually had very impressive cinematography that was praised in every critic’s review. It should be an easy win for Lake but it wouldn’t surprise me if The Girl snuck up and picked up the trophy instead.*

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Best Cinematography – Non-Fiction Programming:
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – “Myanmar”

Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
The Men Who Built America
– “A New War Begins”

*This category favors nature and outdoor cinematography work over traditional documentaries. Life won in 2010 and Frozen Planet won last year. In between, Anthony Bourdain’s other show No Reservations won in 2011. I expect his new show to take this award also. I think his biggest competition is The Men Who Built America, just because it’s also different from the other three traditional documentaries nominated.*

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Best Cinematography – Reality Programming:
The Amazing Race – “Be Safe and Don’t Hit a Cow”
Deadliest Catch – “Mutiny on the Bering Sea”
Project Runway – “A Times Square Anniversary”
Survivor – “Create a Little Chaos”
Top Chef – “Glacial Gourmand”

*Another predicted win for Deadliest Catch. I kind of hope that the Emmy voters switch it up a little bit and don’t make it as boring as to award Deadliest Catch with every single technical award. But I just don’t see them thinking any of the other nominees (which they pass over every year) are going to be any more impressive than the year before. If I had to pick a show that could possibly upset, I would guess Survivor, which won this award before Deadliest Catch switched sides and starting competiting in this group.*