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Emmy Winner Predictions 2013: Best Documentary, Non-Fiction & Informational Series/Special

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 Documentary or Non-Fiction Series:
American Masters
The Abolitionists (American Experience)
The Men Who Built America
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman

*When in doubt, just go with the safe choice. American Masters usually wins this category unless something else new and exciting is nominated. I predicted a lot of nominations for the American Experience series about abolitionists, but it was only nominated here. The Men Who Built America got more nominations than anyone was expecting, but I suspect it will only get recognized for its technical work. I think that Vice could possibly surprise (and finally win Bill Maher an Emmy). But American Masters had another strong year and I don’t think any of the other nominated shows are strong enough to win over it.*

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Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Special:
All the President’s Men Revisited
Crossfire Hurricane
Death and the Civil War (American Experience)
Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden

*This category favors biographical documentaries on historical figures. A documentary on Teddy Kennedy won this award in 2010. Ethel was more well received and has the added benefit of being made by her daughter Rory Kennedy. I don’t think any of the other programs are good enough to take the frontrunner status from Ethel. The biggest competition seems to be Death and the Civil War…but once again, it could’ve been nominated in more categories. If it had been then I would take it much more seriously. I feel pretty confident with my pick of Ethel and would be surprised if anything else won.*

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Best Informational Series or Special:
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Brain Games
Inside the Actors Studio
Oprah’s Master Class
Stand Up to Cancer

*Brand new category! It’s exciting to see a new category pop up…however, it makes it harder to predict because there’s no precedent set. There’s no way of knowing what the Emmy voters will prefer. Inside the Actors Studio has been nominated at least 10 times and has never won. The show is past its prime and if it hasn’t happened yet, I don’t think it ever will. Stand Up to Cancer is also consistently nominated but it makes it more difficult to win after it loses every year. Oprah’s Master Class is a well produced show but lacks a little emotion. And Brain Games is basically an informational game show. I don’t think any of them have what it takes to win. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown received multiple nominations across the categories and Emmy voters love Anthony Bourdain. I think he should win this pretty easily.*