Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARD PREDICTIONS, THOUGHTS AND PREFERENCES!



It's become tradition that every year I give my Predictions for the Emmy Awards, although it's a little tough because, many times, not having cable, I'm often just catching up to a TV show through DVD or streaming and now they're nominated for 12 Emmys or whatever. There's so many good shows on TV as well now, and on the internet too, it takes up so much of one's time, it's hard to even cover everything if you tried. You should see my list of TV shows, I still have to add to my Netflix, it's getting to be as long as my Movie list, if you account for seasons. There's a good cracked.com article about the hard work it takes being a pop culture expert, you can see the link below:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-reasons-being-pop-culture-nerd-harder-than-you-think_p2/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=new+article&wa_ibsrc=fanpage

They came up with four reason, I can think of about 20, but despite that, part of the fun of Award shows is catching up on the nominees, and if not that, at least hoping that your personal and/or sentimental favorites win some Awards, and making these little guessing games and pools about who will win and who won't. It's a risk, to say something going to happen before it happens, and it's written down here, for the world so I can't change it, no matter what. So, another great year of television, another Primetimes Emmy Awards, as always we're going category-by-category, and hopefully my successive streak of choosing every major winner correct, will continue.

(LAWYER'S NOTE: David Baruffi reserves the right to change or alter any/all of these picks at any time prior to, during and/or after the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast from now until the end of time.)

Alright, let's start with the Comedy categories.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory-CBS
Girls-HBO
Louie-FX Networks
Modern Family-ABC
30 Rock-NBC
Veep-HBO

I still find myself baffled by "Parks and Recreation"'s omission from this category, and truly think that "Modern Family"'s has been severely overrated by winning this Award three years straight, and is still considered by many to be the favorite in the category. Oh, in case some of you are wondering where I'll be determining favorites from, go to goldderby.com, they're the experts in giving odds for major Award shows. I still think this is the year that they're gonna be upset though, this was an unwatchable year for them, and frankly, every one of the other nominees is a better show right now. I finally watched "Veep", at least the first season recently, and I must say, I like the show, however I don't love it. I had the same reaction to Armando Ianucci's other show "In the Loop", as well as the movie that was made from that show, well-written, but it comes from such a cynical place, for a show about politics essentially, that there's no one to really cheer for. That's partly why I love "Parks and Recreation," at least we have Leslie Knope actually trying her damnedest in a system that's filled with the morality-challenged and corrupt. Anyway, that's my "Veep" rant. I'm actually more unsure of who's gonna win this year than ever before in this category. It's "30 Rock"'s final season, they're a sentimental choice, but they've already won three times before, so I'm leaning towards either "The Big Bang Theory" or "Girls" breaking "Modern Family"'s streak. Maybe "Louie" can sneak in, but it's very rare that a first-time nominee in this category can win, especially when the show's not in it's first season, so I think he's got a better shot in other categories, just like last year.
PREDICTION: "The Big Bang Theory", I actually think last year was better for them, but I think they want to honor it now, it's the #1 sitcom, it's continuously funny and growing in its fanbase, this would be the good year to honor it as a show.
PREFERENCE: "Girls"

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin-"30 Rock"-NBC
Jason Bateman-"Arrested Development"-Netflix
Louis C.K.-"Louie"-FX Networks
Don Cheadle-"House of Lies"-Showtime
Matt LeBlanc-"Episodes"-Showtime
Jim Parsons-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS

I think this means that officially, Jon Cryer's win last year, was indeed an anomoly, 'cause "Two and a Half Men", and Cryer in particular, were pretty much shutout this year.  Larry David wasn't eligible this year, (and who knows if "Curb..." will come back or not.) so Matt LeBlanc, gets one returning spot, while the big wild card in this category is Jason Bateman for "Arrested Development". This is the test year with internet shows to see which ones will get Awards and which won't. "House of Cards" clearly did better in the drama side of the ballot, but because Bateman never won for "...Development", which the Emmys did like and honor, in fact this is the first season the show didn't get a Best Comedy Series nomination (It could've easily, I did see the season btw.) so they do like this show, and the cult fanbase has grown, it's very possible that this a long-belated honoring of his work on the show. That said, you'd think they'd also honor others like David Cross and Portia Di Rossi for instance, so he's the unpredictable factor. Cheadle, longshot at best, he's the only one who gets nominated for "House of Lies" every year. hard to see him winning it in this field. There is this stigma that Louis C.K. is essentially playing himself; I've never agreed with that thought in shows like this, but many times, it does cost certain people Emmy Awards, because of that stigma. Seinfeld never won, Cosby was never nominated for "The Cosby Show", etc. etc. So, unless this is "Louie"'s year to win everything, I think it's between Baldwin and Parsons. Both have won the Award multiple times, it's Baldwin's last year eligible, Parsons won it most recently, 6 to 1 half a dozen.
PREDICTION: Alec Baldwin-"30 Rock"
PREFERENCE-Jason Bateman-"Arrested Development"

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Laura Dern-"Enlightened"-HBO
Lena Dunham-"Girls"-HBO
Edie Falco-"Nurse Jackie"-Showtime"
Tina Fey-"30 Rock"-NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-"Veep"-HBO
Amy Poehler-"Parks and Recreation-NBC

Not many people noticed this, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus set a record this year, passing Lucille Ball for most Acting Emmy nominations as a regular in a Comedy Series. It's her 14th, being nominated 7 times for "Seinfeld," five times for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and now twice for "Veep", and she's won at least once, for each show. Very impressive stat, and she's the favorite again this year. Laura Dern's nominated for "Enlightened," which was canceled so that's a little unlikely, but I'm always glad to see Laura Dern get appreciated. I haven't seen that show yet, but still.... There were 7 nomination last year, Melissa McCarthy, who won just two years ago, is the most interesting snub actually.  No 3-camera sitcoms in this category, which is also unusual and interesting this year. Zooey Deschanel and "New Girl" got nothing this year, and frankly that shows been too undorkably unwatchable, even last year. If it's a "Girls" year, then I think it's not outside the realm of impossibility that Lena Dunham could take it this year, but although I do think that's the best show on right now, it's polarizing to some, but it wouldn't be unreasonable for her to win here. (Sigh.) I'm desperately trying to convince myself that this will finally be Amy Poehler's year. She should win it, she should've won it at least twice now, but they just keep seeming to pass it by her.
PREDICTION: Tina Fey-"30 Rock"
PREFERENCE: Amy Poehler-"Parks and Recreation"- Prove me wrong Academy!

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ty Burrell-"Modern Family"-ABC
Adam Driver-"Girls"-HBO
Jesse Tyler Ferguson-"Modern Family"-ABC
Bill Hader-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Tony Hale-"Veep"-HBO
Ed O'Neill-"Modern Family"-ABC

Eric Stonestreet's conspicuous absence from the category means a new winner, but still likely a new winner from "Modern Family". Adam Driver for "Girls" is a new nominee, and I wouldn't be shocked if he pulled an upset here, he has to bring a character to life that's tough to imagine when written down, and he does an amazing job at it on "Girls", I wish I thought of him before. Tony Hale's interesting, as "Veep" got two extra acting nominations this year, also because he was eligible for "Arrested Development", but was nominated here instead oddly. (Tough call for me, I think he did both parts equally well.) Thankfully, no more Max Greenfield for "New Girl", a nomination that never made any sense to me last year, Ty Burrell, won the Award two years ago, common sense would tell you that, if you're gonna honor "Modern Family" you'd give the award to someone else from the show, but the Emmys haven't been using that notion in a while, which is particularly sad, because I think we all know, who we really do want to see win from the show, he's nominated again but, we thought that last year, and they didn't do it then, it's now just confusing. If they go for Ty Burrell again, it'll be clear that they've abandoned that notion of honoring everyone from a series, if they go for someone else, then maybe it'll be a much more entertaining and fun Emmys. Don't count out Bill Hader completely either, it's his last year of eligibility, he's been great on "SNL",
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE: Ed O'Neill-"Modern Family" Here's hoping the Emmys actually do what we want this year.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Mayim Bialik-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Julie Bowen-"Modern Family"-ABC
Anna Chlumsky-"Veep"-HBO
Jane Krakowski-"30 Rock"-NBC
Jane Lynch-"Glee"-FOX
Sofia Vergara-"Modern Family"-ABC
Merritt Weaver-"Nurse Jackie"-Showtime

Whew! A new record with seven nominees in the category, and this makes it a little more up in the air, regarding who will win. Bialik and Weaver were new additions last year, very glad both of them are still in the mix. It's Jane Krakowski's last year of eligibility, it would be nice to finaly see her win the Award. She's another one who's been around forever, since "Ally McBeal" I remember her; she's a Tony-winning Triple Threat, and when you really think about it, the dialogue she, and many other cast members of "30 Rock", what they have to pull off, in the way that they do pull it off, it's a wonder they haven't won more Awards. She's the sentimental choice. Jane Lynch was not nominated last year, oddly enough, but she's back in the category this year, being the only thing bearable on "Glee" nobody will question it, but she's won before, she's a longshot this year. Anna Chlumsky's the other new one, as "Veep" is seriously looking more and more like a contender, she's gotta a tough part too. I thought last year was Sofia Vergara's year, they gave it to Julie Bowen instead, and I'm not sure why actually. This is one of those situations, where, she might not be getting votes because of how she looks. Seriously, it sounds stupid, and it is, but I think it's very possible that's an issue, that some member aren't taking her work as seriously as Julie Bowen's, she's the favorite again btw. I don't know though, I'm thinking Vergara's roles been a little tougher lately. If she wins, I won't be pissed at the "Modern Family" sweep like other years. That's the thing though, if you're gonna keep nominated practically a show's entire ensemble every year, you gotta pass the Award around, unless it's completely clear that one person's performance is in another stratosphere, and I just don't think that's the case with "Modern Family". Now, the question is, is it a "Modern Family" year, or not?
PREDICTION AND PREFERENCE: Mayim Bialik-"The Big Bang Theory", with a little bit of hope that either Vergara or Krakowski might tie with her. Probably not, but  would be nice.

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Bobby Cannavale-"Nurse Jackie"-Showtime
Louis C.K.-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Will Forte-"30 Rock"-NBC
Nathan Lane-"Modern Family"-ABC
Bob Newhart-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Justin Timberlake-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC

The Guest Actor/Actress awards are given out a week early at the Technical Emmys, or as Kathy Griffin likes to call them, The Schemmys, but they're always announced on the broadcast later anyway, and the winners usually present an Award or two, a nice little honor for doing a guest spot, which by the way, most guest appearance on TV shows, especially major stars who do guest appearances, are pretty damn hard to get most of the time. Most of them are blind luck that someone on the show, knows someone who knows someone who knows someone, who's willing to do them a favor by being on the show. At least that's how it used to be, sometimes major stars are lining up nowadays for some shows. Quite often too, many become welcoming recurring characters they enjoy the show so much, like Bobby Cannavale's who's being nominated for the same show in multiple years. (Mel Brooks actually won this award four times in a row for "Mad About You", once upon a time.) Well, now that they've started throwing "SNL" hosts into these categories, they've been sweeping the category in recent years though. Timberlake's already won twice and this was a great performance he had again this year. Anyway, enough of that crap, Bob Newhart HAS NEVER WON AN EMMY BEFORE! That's gotta change, and it better, 'cause that's just embarassing. I don't care if he deserved it or not, he should win it anyway, and if the Emmys have any sense at all about who we want to see win the Awards, they'll listen.
PREDICTION AND PREFERENCE: Bob Newhart-"The Big Bang Theory"
WINNER: Bob Newhart-"The Big Bang Theory
THOUGHTS: About fucking time! Congratulations Mr. Newhart! 


GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Dot-Marie Jones-"Glee"-FOX
Melissa Leo-"Louie"-FX Networks
Melissa McCarthy-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Molly Shannon-"Enlightened"-NBC
Elaine Stritch-"30 Rock"-NBC
Kristen Wiig-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC

God bless Elaine Stritch for still being this active and amazing, she's the favorite, she's also won this Award twice before, including once fo "30 Rock", frankly, I would've picked Kristen Schaal from "30 Rock" to win this year, but it's hard to vote against her. Partly 'cause it's somewhat likely she'll kick your ass, and that's how amazing talented she is. I think it's tempting to take Kristen Wiig as well; she never won as a regular before, despite multiple nominations. Frankly, I've always considered her slightly overrated in terms of the great "SNL" alum, but she is an original. Frankly the role that I've heard the most about this year, of the group was Melissa Leo's for "Louie", she's another TV veteran who's got famous later, and never got honored for her series work, this would be the interesting spot here for a "Louie" win here. I'm not sure I really have a preference here, so I'm just gonna go with prediction.
PREDICTION: Elaine Stritch-"30 Rock"
WINNER: Melissa Leo-"Louie"
THOUGHTS: She was my second choice, should've thought about it another minute or two. Damn. 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Girls-"On All Fours"-Lena Dunham-HBO
Glee-"Diva"-Paris Barclay-FOX
Louie-"New Year's Eve"-Louis C.K.-FX Networks
Modern Family-"Arrested"-Gail Mancuso-ABC
30 Rock-"Hogcock!"-Beth McCartner-Miller-NBC

Well, "Glee"'s a definite long, longshot, as it's barely mentioned in any other major categories. This could be a predictor category for the rest of the night, "Modern Family"'s won this category mutliple times now, it's not uncommon for directing to be the Best Series predictor in general. That said, Louis C.K. won two writing Awards last year, he's nominated for multiple directing awards across othe categories, they could be going skill by skill with him, and they can do it considering his range. Lena Dunham's directing however, is incredible at times, she's the face of "Girls", it could be a "Girls" year. Beth McCartney-Miller's the sentimental choice, she has 8 Emmy losses in her career, no wins, and she's an amazing comedy director, it's not impossible that "30 Rock" could win in its last season.
PREDICTION: "Louie"-Louis C.K.
PREFERENCE-"Girls"-Lena Dunham

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Episodes-"Episode 209"-David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik-Showtime
Louie-"Daddy's Girlfriend (Part 1)-Louie C.K. (Story & Teleplay); Pamela Adlon (Story)-FX Networks
The Office-"Finale-Greg Daniels-NBC
30 Rock-"Hogcock!"-Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock-NBC
30 Rock-"Last Lunch"-Tina Fey and Tracey Whitfield-"NBC

No "Modern Family" for the second straight year, is somewhat curious, and no Lena Dunham in the category in hindsight is a bit odd, but last year, when 4 of the 5 nominations were from shows that weren't Best Series nominees, the category's been leaning more towards the odd anyway. It's gonna look totally different next year two, with no more "30 Rock" or "The Office", and thank god, they honored "The Office" for something, (they didn't honor it enough, but good for getting the Finale into here) and there won't be "Louie" next year either, as Louis C.K. has announced that he's taking a break from the show. (I'm not 100% on "Episodes" either) So, only "Louie" and "30 Rock" got in. Louis C.K. won last year, but his co-hort Pamela Adlon, she's his producing and writing partner, she hasn't won. She's an actress as well, she plays Pamela on the show, she's also one of the top voiceover artists in Hollywood, she actually has an Emmy for "King of the Hill" doing that, she was the voice of Bobby on that show, as well as other characters too, she's also on "Californication", would be nice to see her get an Award as well. It's more likely though that one of the finale series will take the award this year however, especially considering the other nominees.
PREDICTION: "30 Rock"-Tina Fey and Tracey Whitfield
PREFERENCE: "The Office"-Greg Daniels

Alright, let's move onto the drama categories now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad-AMC
Downton Abbey-PBS
Game of Thrones-HBO
Homeland-Showtime
House of Cards-Netflix
Mad Men-AMC

It's weird to say this, regarding an internet series, but "House of Cards" is in the mail currently. I'll be watching it ASAP, so I'm a little in the dark on that one, but I'm fairly certain that they're a bit of an also-ran overall in this category. "Homeland" won last year, "Mad Men," the previous four years; there's still a decent chance for another "Homeland" sweep like last year, but I think most people, have figured out that it was overrated in terms of this category, the year before. Besides that, it really looks like it down to "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones". Those two btw, tied for Best Drama Series at the Critics Choice Awards earlier this year. Both cult shows, with big fanbases, that are growing in popularity and respect. There isn't too many people who have seen "Breaking Bad" that don't think it's the best show on television, a lot of people have started ranking it as one of the best of all-time, as it's going into it's final season, or half-season, or whatever next year. They're the heavy favorites this year, although I'll be honest, I did think this was the year, they were just, a little off from their peak, which I think most will agree was the year before, that said, I still have a hard time voting against it as well.
PREDICTION & PREFERENCE: "Breaking Bad"

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Hugh Bonneville-"Downton Abbey"-PBS
Bryan Cranston-"Breaking Bad"-AMC
Jeff Daniels-"The Newsroom"-HBO
Jon Hamm-"Mad Men"-AMC
Damian Lewis-"Homeland"-Showtime
Kevin Spacey-"House of Cards"-Netflix

Well, these are all deserving nominees, Lewis won last year, Cranston, ran away with the category the previous years, only not winning once, when the show wasn't eligible, and that went to Kyle Chandler for "Friday Night Lights" instead, which was really odd, even at the time. Jon Hamm, hasn't won yet, he's been nominated every year, he's the sentimental choice. Jeff Daniels, for the criminally overlooked "The Newsroom", which should be the show that's sweeping the Emmys, and Kevin Spacey for "House of Cards" are the new nominees in the category. Kevin Spacey's a bit of a wildcard, considering we just don't know how much the Emmys really like "House of Cards", compared to these other shows. Cranston's listed as the favorite, Lewis and Spacey are next at 2nd and 3rd choices, I wouldn't be shocked at all if Jeff Daniels surprises everyone and wins the Award actually. I don't quite see it happening, but they've done that occasionally with this category, honor a young show they like, but doesn't get into Best Drama Series, by honoring it's star, and he's the only nominee who's show isn't up for Best Drama Series. Kinda hard to separate a lead on "Game of Thrones" of course, so that's no real surprise. Like always, a great, big name list of actors, and names like Buscemi, Olyphant, Hall, can't into this category in a year, it shows how loaded this category really is.
PREDICTION: Bryan Cranston-"Breaking Bad"
PREFERENCE: Jeff Daniels-"The Newsroom"

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Connie Britton-"Nashville"-ABC
Claire Danes-"Homeland"-Showtime
Michelle Dockery-"Downtown Abbey"-PBS
Vera Farmiga-"Bates Motel"-A&E
Elisabeth Moss-"Mad Men"-AMC
Kerry Washington-"Scandal"-ABC
Robin Wright-"House of Cards"-Netflix

Big changes from this category last year, four new nominees ,and  a record seven total nominees, also. Danes, won last year, she's the only one nominated who's ever won the Award in fact. Connie Britton's been nominated for other series, very shocked her name showed up for the very melodramatic "Nashville"; this might have been a nomination, partly for her other work, partly 'cause she has to sing on her show, although, that begs the question, why wouldn't you nominate, a Katherine McPhee or Megan Hilty for the now-canceled "Smash", which was a better show, granted, it did deserved to be canceled after last year. Glenn Close, was the big snub, not nominated for the last season of "Damages," she won the Award multiple times, as did Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife", particularly insulting for her, two other network shows got nominated in this category, instead of her; last year it was only her and Kathy Bates, for the now-canceled "Harry's Law" as the only shows network TV got in. Kerry Washington, probably the fan favorite, "Scandal," is a very popular show, not a bad one either, it's just not in the league of even, the tenth best cable drama right now, she's a second choice, and the first African-American nominated in this category since Cicely Tyson for "Sweet Justice", in '95, and if you remembered that show, kudos. It's more likely Claire Danes will repeat. "Homeland"'s overrated as a show, but the acting is spectacular; it actually makes up for some of the series' issues. Dockery and Moss, the other returning nominees, they're longshots, "Mad Men" especially has been, genuinely snubbed across the acting board for awhile now, just bizarrely so too. Only John Slattery has ever won for acting in the show, and he isn't even getting nominated anymore. Farmiga's likely as also-ran, although a nice surprise to see her show up; Robin Wright, a bit of a wildcard longshot, but I just can't see the scenario where she breaks through in this field however.
PREDICTION: Claire Danes-"Homeland"
PREFERENCE: Elisabeth Moss-"Mad Men"

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jonathan Banks-"Breaking Bad"-AMC
Bobby Cannavale-"Boardwalk Empire"-HBO
Jim Carter-"Downtown Abbey"-PBS
Peter Dinklage-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Mandy Patinkin-"Homeland"-HBO
Aaron Paul-"Breaking Bad"-AMC

Well, this category looks quite different from last year, as-eh, most of the actors nominated last year for their respected shows, died. (On the series anyway) Only Carter, Dinklage and Paul, are here from last year. Strangely, the odds-on favorite however is Mandy Patinkin, he's a beloved TV legend, but-eh, a little surprised to see him as the favorite here. The award is a little up in the air a bit. Haven't seen Bobby Cannavale's role on "Boardwalk Empire" but he's one of the best actors alive, it's gotta be deserved. Jonathan Banks's this is his first Emmy nomination since "Wiseguy", and he's taking the nomination spot that Giancarlo Esposito had for "Breaking Bad" last year. Hard to bet against Aaron Paul, especially when he won last year, when I think everybody thought it was going to Esposito. He's won the Award, the last two years he's been eligible. Peter Dinklage won the year he wasn't; so it's feeling to me like another "Game of Thrones" vs. "Breaking Bad" battle here. Little surprise Jim Carter's the only "Downtown Abbey" nominee here, I would've liked to have seen, Brendan Coyle get nominated again, but you can say that about members of the casts of many different dramas this year. Gut instinct, I don't think Aaron Paul's gonna win again, just not sure who's going to however.
PREDICTION: Mandy Patinkin-"Homeland"
PREFERENCE: Bobby Cannavale-"Boardwalk Empire"

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Morena Baccarin-"Homeland"-Showtime
Christine Baranski-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Emilia Clarke-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Anna Gunn-"Breaking Bad"-AMC
Christina Hendricks-"Mad Men"-AMC
Maggie Smith-"Downton Abbey"-PBS

Well, Maggie Smith, won last year, her second consecutive Emmy for "Downton Abbey", one as a Miniseries, another for Drama Series, after it switched categories last year. Morena Baccarin and Emilia Clarke, both newcomers in the category, both nominations might be hints on how well, the Emmy voters think of their respective shows, Clarke's nominations especially I think, might be a sign for "Game of Thrones", personally I can't make heads or tales out of 90% of the actors on that show, everyone except Peter Dinklage pretty much, but-eh, the fact that the Emmys did this year, speaks volumes. The general consensus is Maggie Smith, or Anna Gunn, pulling off the upset, possibly a signal that it's "Breaking Bad"'s year if she wins, although you could argue that for any of the nominees except for Baranski. I'm still fairly dumbfounded that Christina Hendricks hasn't been honored yet, but "Mad Men"'s on a supposed down year, it's not looking like they're gonna suddenly start stealing the acting awards unfortunately, so....
PREDICTION: Anna Gunn-"Breaking Bad"- It's looking like she has the momentum in her favor, over Maggie Smith, and that's why I think it'll break to her.
PREFERENCE: Christina Hendricks-"Mad Men"

GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Dan Bucatinsky-"Scandal"-ABC
Michael J. Fox-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Rupert Friend-"Homeland"-Showtime
Harry Hamlin-"Mad Men"-AMC
Nathan Lane-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Robert Morse-"Mad Men"-AMC

Well, I thought Michael J. Fox was gonna win this category last year for "The Good Wife", so they idea got blown out the water, but he's the favorite this year, Dan Bucantinsky, is probably the strongest second choice. If we're thinking conspiracy crazy, Award-giving patterns, there might be a temptation to give it to Fox, partly because he's coming back to primetime TV this year, and I'm presuming that most aren't gonna think his new show's gonna be as successful as his previous ones. Guy's one of the best actors alive, he's got a truckload of Emmys already, it's a little to vote against him under normal circumstances. Rupert Friend's also looking like a possibility. I don't really have a preference, the only performance I've seen is Fox's, and I'm kinda thinking along the lines of the experts as well here. Can't see them giving them giving it to Hamlin or Morse for "Mad Men", those votes will split. Nathan Lane's eligible in another category, but it's unlikely he'll win either. I thought the sentimental vote was going to Fox last year, so, who knows, but I think it's between him and Bucatinsky.
PREDICTION: Michael J. Fox-"The Good Wife"
WINNER: Dan Bucatinsky-"Scandal"

GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Linda Cardellini-"Mad Men"-AMC
Joan Cusasck-"Shameless"-Showtime
Jane Fonda-"The Newsroom"-HBO
Margo Martindale-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Carrie Preston-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Diana Rigg-"Game of Thrones"-HBO

Joan Cusack, been nominated in this category, every year "Shameless" has been on TV, which also makes this my yearly reminder to get around to watching "Shameless" eventually. (Yeah, I've been bad, I know. It's hard to get to everything.) Jane Fonda's the favorite, I'm glad she is. Margo Martindale's always well-like by the Emmys, she won Best Supporting Actress a couple years ago for "Justified", you could've argued she should've been in this category instead, so there's that, but considering that's "The Americans" only major nomination.... Just in general it's hard to vote against Jane Fonda, she was spectacular, I think it's a safe bet here.
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE: Jane Fonda-"The Newsroom"
WINNER: Carrie Preston-"The Good Wife" 
THOUGHTS: Jane Fonda was robbed! She should've won. 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Boardwalk Empire-"Margate Sands"-Tim Van Patten-HBO
Breaking Bad-"Gliding All Over"-Michelle McLaren-AMC
Downton Abbey-"Episode 4"-Jeremy Webb-PBS
Homeland-"Q&A"-Lesli Linka Glatter-Showtime
House of Cards-"Chapter 1"-David Fincher-Netflix

While Tim Vat Patten and Lesli Linka Glatter, have to be on the shortlist of the best directors in television right now, it's a bit of a tradition to honor famous film directors who find time to direct some television, so unless there's something really unusual, this is probably the spot where "House of Games" will break through. McLaren's listed as the second choice for "Breaking Bad", I think Glatter for "Homeland" and Van Patten for "Boardwalk Empire" are the real outsiders possibilities here; I don't see Jeremy Webb sneaking in under much circumstances, but it's pretty clear Fincher is gonna win this one.
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE-"House of Cards"-David Fincher

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad-"Dead Freight"-George Maestras-AMC
Breaking Bad-"Say My Name"-Thomas Schnauz-AMC
Downton Abbey-"Episode 4"-Julian Fellowes-PBS
Game of Thrones-"The Rains of Castamere"-David Benioff and D.B. Weiss-HBO
Homeland-"Q&A"-Henry Bromell-Showtime

It's you think more nomination is a sign of things to come, I will remind everyone that "Mad Men" has three nominations in this category last year, and lost to "Homeland", so that's a flawed theory. "Homeland" again is the favorite, "Q&A" seems to be the episode that looks like it'll be honored here; it's the only one nominated for Directing, and that's going to Fincher, so this would be the spot here. The "Breaking Bad"'s look like they're splitting the vote. I haven't seen the "Homeland" or the "Game of Thrones" episodes yet myself, so a little hard to judge, although I'm a big David Benioff fan. He wrote the script for "25th Hour" and "The Kite Runner" two great films, particularly the former. Fellowes has won many times before, it's a down year for "Downton Abbey", hard to think he's gonna take it here. Eh, so hard to tell here.
PREDICTION: "Homeland"-Henry Bromell
PREFERENCE: "Breaking Bad"-George Maestras

Alright, now let's quickly go through the reality categories.

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION SERIES
The Amazing Race-CBS
Dancing with the Stars-ABC
Project Runway-Lifetime
So You Think You Can Dance-FOX
Top Chef-Bravo
The Voice-NBC

Same six as last year, zero surprises. and I will never understand how "Dancing with the Stars" keeps getting in here. There's also no real prospects for an upset here, "The Amazing Race" has won the category, every year but one, when "Top Chef" pulled an upset, but that was three years ago, unlikely to happen here. It does feel wrong to some extent that it keeps winning, but it's a damn good reality show, it definitely should at least be nominated every year, including in bad years, which this last one wasn't, fair to say it's gonna win. "The Voice" might be the best shot at an upset, but if it didn't win last year, when it was a good show, before they became too much like "American Idol", then I can't foresee it winning this year, when- frankly I went from blogging and praising and loving the show, to not even watching the parts that are still good and make it deserving of the nomination. So "The Voice", really fell for me this time around.
PREDICTION: "The Amazing Race"
PREFERENCE: "Project Runway"-Just give it to them once, for Christ's sake, Academy!

OUTSTANDING HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
Tom Bergeron-"Dancing with the Stars"-ABC
Anthony Bourdain-"The Taste"-ABC
Cat Deeley-"So You Think You Can Dance"-FOX
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-"Project Runway"-Lifetime
Ryan Seacrest-"American Idol"-FOX
Betty White-"Betty White's Off Your Rockers"-NBC

This is the first time the category's got six nominations instead of five. Phil Keoghan oddly left off; he was nominated last year, and I guess the Academy fell out of love with Jeff Probst for some reason, after he won the Award the first three years. Um, obviously this is a strange category to judge anyway, but Anthony Bourdain, nominated for the little-scene and deserved-to-be-canceled "The Taste", which I don't particularly disagree with, 'cause I did see that show, and my big issue is not whether he was a good host or not, it's whether or not he was the host, 'cause I did try watching that show for, 4 or 5 episodes, he was a judge, he had a group of chefs he mentored; I seriously didn't know he was the host. I mean, if he ever was to actually host a reality show, he could, and he'd be nominated every year, so, good for him. I love "No Reservations", and all that other stuff he does, great to see as a judge on "Top Chef" whenever he can, but.... Betty White's show was also canceled earlier this year, might come back at some point, knowing NBC's tendencies, but sentimental vote here, but she is a good host in general. People don't realize this, one of her many, many Emmys is for Game Show Hosting for a short-lived show called "Just Men", she was the first woman to win that award, and I think only Meredith Viera has won it since, so it's not a horrible choice. Bergeron won it last year, he's a heavy favorite to do so this year, and he deserves it. He is the quintessential host, in general, very talented. "Dancing..." is unwatchable, but that's not his fault. Also, glad to see Heidi Klum back in this category, as well as Tim Gunn, who should've been nominated as a co-host before, for some reason wasn't, he's quite good as well. Also, Cat Deeley, great host as well. Good show, "So You Think You Can Dance," very natural; she hosts more shows in England than she does here, insiders do know that she is as good as Bergeron is as an all-around host who can do almost anything, she's a second choice in the odds, slight shot at an upset for her here too.
PREDICTION: Tom Bergeron-"Dancing with the Stars"
PREFERENCE: Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-"Project Runway"
WINNER: Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-"Project Runway"
THOUGHTS: Never felt so happy to get a prediction wrong! About time "Project Runway" got something! Congrats Heidi and Tim, we love you!!!

OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM
Antiques Roadshow-PBS
Deadliest Catch-Discovery Channel
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Food Network
Mythbusters-Discovery Channel
Shark Tank-ABC
Undercover Boss-CBS

I certainly hope the Academy figures out how important this category really is eventually, and pushes it to the main show, 'cause I do think it's a more-than-deserving category, with, really, many quality shows over the years, being honored, and call me crazy, but with things like "Pawn Stars" and "Duck Dynasty", and some of the other popular shows over the recent years, I'd say it's just as important than the Reality-Competition category, if not moreso. The only new ones are "Deadliest Catch," which is back in the category after a hiatus the year before, and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", replacing "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution". "Undercover Boss" won the award last year, which is a good show, but it's so formulaic at this point, I tend to think it gets tiresome to watch after a while. "Deadliest Catch" has won in the past, as has "Mythbusters"; this is a category where they are known for passing the winner around a bit. Only "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List", have won this award more than once, they both won it twice. General consensus is that, "Shark Tank" is the favorite; it should be, it is at the top of reality programming right now. Good concept, done well, marketed and packaged well by ABC; it took a few years but they got it right in that regard, and it's a fascinating show. I personally, wouldn't mind if "Antiques Roadshow" would win this at least once, (Also Mark L. Wahlberg, constantly overlooked in the Reality Host category, he should get more acclaim too.) I don't think it's this year though.
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE-"Shark Tank"
WINNER: "Undercover Boss"
THOUGHTS: Very shocked it won again, this should've been "Shark Tank"'s year.

Alright, let's get to the Variety categories!

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report-Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart-Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live!-ABC
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon-NBC
Real Time with Bill Maher-HBO
Saturday Night Live-NBC

Little to discuss here, same six as last year, probably same deserving winner as well. I mean, as great as some of the other shows can be,- Yeah, no surprises here, not much to discuss.
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE-"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL
The Kennedy Center Honors-CBS
Louis C.K.: Oh My God-HBO
Mel Brooks Strikes Back! With Mel Brooks and Alan Yantob-HBO
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One)-NBC
12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief-Multiple Channels

A little surprised this category's in a coveted position, it's even on goldderby.com odds on it, and they're split btw, between "The Kennedy Center Honors" and "Louis C.K...." "Kennedy Center..." usually wins this Award, so much so that Kathy Griffin named one of her stand-up special "Kathy Griffin: Kennedy Center On Hers" to try and confuse the nomination committee, it didn't work but that's the running joke. There really should be a category just for stand-up specials anyway, there's enough of them nowadays that they should qualify for their own category really, and this is a ridiculous group anyway. The Hurricane Sandy Concert, in the same category as Mel Brooks, and the extra half-hour of "SNL", NBC puts on when they're latest attempt at a new Thursday show fails; it's a mess this category. I didn't/haven't watched all of thses, but I do watch the Kennedy Center Honors every year, it's a nice thing, but I think other similar prizes are better to watch like, when the Kennedy Center gives out the Mark Twain Prize every year, or the Library of Congress gives out the Gershwin Prize for Songwriting, those are better shows to me, in the same vein. I don't know; it's not really a big care award for me, but gut instinct, either everyone's wrong and they're gonna give it to the Sandy Concert, or they're gonna give Louis C.K. another Emmy here, in case he doesn't win one of two of his other 8 nominations.
PREDICTION and PREFERENCE: "Louis C.K.: Oh My God"
WINNER: "The Kennedy Center Honors"
THOUGHTS: It's always a good show, but Best Variety Special every year? I don't know about that.

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report-Opus Moreshi; Head Writer, et al.-Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart-Tim Carvell; Head Writer, et al.-Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live-James Kimmel; Head Writer, et. al-ABC
Portlandia-Fred Armison, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel and Bill Oakley-IFC
Real Time with Bill Maher-Bill Maher, et. al-HBO
Saturday Night Live-Seth Meyers, et al.-NBC

Jimmy Kimmel is a new entry to this category, mostly famous nowadays for the inventive ways each shows finds to introduce all the members of their show's writers' room in a video package, and that's always fun. Sometimes "The Daily Show..." can be upset here if they want to honor someone else, but, it was an election year....
PREDICTION: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
PREFERENCE: "Real Time with Bill Maher"-29 nominations Bill Maher has received, never won, so that's why I'm hoping his outside-shot can pull through.

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards-Barry Adelman, et. al.-NBC
Louis C.K.: Oh My God-Louis C.K.-HBO
Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs-Eric Slovin; Head Writer, et al.-Comedy Central
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One)-Seth Meyers; Head Writer, Colin Jost, Head Writer, et. al-NBC
66th Annual Tony Awards-Dave Boone, Special Material by Paul Greenberg-CBS

They used to put these categories on the main show; I'm not so sure this year, so by the time this is posted, a winner might've already been announced. Anyway, Louis C.K. won this Award last year, could win it again, although I think they're looking for a reason to honor Award show writing, and they should as well, and I think they want to honor the Golden Globes, basically for having Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host. I guess you can do that.
PREDICTION: "The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards"-Barry Adelman, et. al.
PREFERENCE-"66th Annual Tony Awards"-Dave Boone, Special Material by Paul Greenberg
WINNER: "Louis C.K.: Oh My God"-Louis C.K.

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report-"Episode 8131"-James Hoskinson-Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart-"Episode 17152"-Chuck O'Neill-Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live-"Episode 13-1810"-Andy Fisher-ABC
Late Show with David Letterman-"Episode 3749"-Jerry Foley-CBS
Portlandia-"Alexandria"-Jonathan Krisel-IFC
Saturday Night Live-"Host: Justin Timberlake"-Don Roy King-NBC

No real preference as you might imagine here. Might not even be given out on the main show so, it's basically a shot in the dark here, and trying to figure out whose directing here might be the toughest one to do.
PREDICTION: "Saturday Night Live"-Don Roy King

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
The Kennedy Center Honors-Louis J. Horvitz-CBS
London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony-Bucky Gunts and Hamish Hamilton-NBC
Louis C.K.: Oh My God-Louis C.K.-HBO
The Oscars-Don Mischer-ABC
12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief-Michael Dempsey-Multiple Channels

PREDICTION: "The Kennedy Center Honors"-Louis J. Horvitz- No real reason here, I think the Emmys just like it when their isn't a clear winner to give the Award to the guy directing the Emmys.
WINNER: "The Kennedy Center Honors"-Louis J. Horvitz

Alright, one main section to go, onto Movies/Miniseries!

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES OR MOVIE
American Horror Story: Asylum-FX Networks
Behind the Candelabra-HBO
The Bible-HISTORY
Phil Spector-HBO
Political Animals-USA
Top of the Lake-Sundance Channel

Well, not having cable, I haven't seen any of these, so I'm not gonna press for too many Preferences here. Just on a guess, I would've thought "Behind the Candelabra" would be the favorite, and it is a heavy favorite. "Political Animals" is somewhat interesting as that was originally a series, that got canceled, and the producers of the show decided to put that into the Miniseries category instead, a practice I discussed at one point a few months back prior to the nomination announcements that's growing in popularity. Anyway, I can't see "AHS: Asylum", really getting in, despite the majority of nominations for that show, they're mostly in technical categories, neither does "The Bible" have much chance, that's really just filling out the category this year. If there's an upset, I suspect it could be "Top of the Lake", but unlikely.
PREDICTION: "Behind the Candelabra"

LEAD ACTOR IN A MOVIE/MINISERIES
Benedict Cumberbatch-"Parade's End"-HBO
Matt Damon-"Behind the Candelabra"-HBO
Michael Douglas-"Behind the Candelabra"-HBO
Toby Jones-"The Girl"-HBO
Al Pacino-"Phil Spector"-HBO

Yeah, "Behind the Candelabra"'s probably gonna take a lot of these categories. Douglas is the heaviest favorite in the field, he's gonna win easily, there's not really much else to go over here.
PREDICTION: Michael Douglas-"Behind the Candelabra"

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MOVIE/MINISERIES
Jessica Lange-"American Horror Story: Asylum"-FX Networks
Laura Linney-"The Big C: Hereafter"-Showtime
Helen Mirren-"Phil Spector"-HBO
Elisabeth Moss-"Top of the Lake"-Sundance Channel
Sigourney Weaver-"Political Animals"-USA

Jessica Lange won this category last year for "American Horrror Story" is a minor favorite this year as well, which begets the question of whether or not it's actually a miniseries, but then again, Laura Linney's show went from Series to Miniseries, so who knows anymore. I haven't seen this season of "The Big C," but I do like that show in general, but I don't know, I think it's a longshot. Good groups of actors in these categories, there's hardly ever names anymore where we go, "Who's that?" we just know who they are, and the bigger names are finding more creative freedom and interesting character on televison, cable especially.
PREDICTION: Elisabeth Moss-"Top of the Lake"

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE/MINISERIES
Scott Bakula-"Behind the Candelabra"-HBO
James Cromwell-"American Horror Story: Asylum"-FX Networks
John Benjamin Hickey-"The Big C: Hereafter"-Showtime
Peter Mullan-"Top of the Lake"-Sundance Channel
Zachary Quinto-"American Horror Story: Asylum"-FX Networks

A lot of people were a little surprised Bakula got the nomination here, as opposed to his castmate Rob Lowe for "...Candelabra", so I think that's what's taking him out of this. Glad Hickey got nominated for his work finally for "The Big C..." he was underrated. Cromwell's the favorite, I think he's the probable winner, just based on the name and reputation, he's a great actor who rarely gets these kind of accolades, so this would be a good spot here.
PREDICTION: James Cromwell-"American Horror Story: Asylum"

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE/MINISERIES
Ellen Burstyn-"Political Animals"-USA
Sarah Paulson-"American Horror Story: Asylum"-FX Networks
Charlotte Rampling-"Restless"-Sundance Channel
Imelda Staunton-"The Girl"-HBO
Alfre Woodard-"Steel Magnolias"-Lifetime

Sarah Paulson is the heavy favorite here; she was nominated in this category last year for "Game Change" which she amazing in, I just saw that recently. Another good list of actors though. If there's anyone I think, people might be overlooking, Alfre Woodard always has a way of sneaking into categories like these, often for a lesser work, and pulling off an upset or two, 'cause of her amazing talent. If anybody can win for a Lifetime remake of "Steel Magnolias" it'd be her, but especially with only "AHS: Asylum", getting a Best Miniseries/Movie nomination of the bunch, I think it's more likely will take it.
PREDICTION: Sarah Paulson-"American Horror Story: Asylum"- She would've also been a preference 'cause I'm an obsessed "Studio 60..." fanatic, and I always want to see them succeed.

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Behind the Candelabra-Richaed LaGravenese-HBO
The Hour-Abi Morgan-BBC America
Parade's End-Tom Stoppard-HBO
Phil Spector-David Mamet-HBO
Top of the Lake-Jane Campion and Gerard Lee-Sundance Channel

Whew! Good group here. Hard to ever imagine any of these legendary writers losing anything, but "The Hour" and "Parade's End" are unlikely since they didn't get into the Best Miniseries/Movie Category. Mamet is beloved, he may be the greatest playwright of our time, and don't tell that to Tom Stoppard, but "Phil Spector" was about as equally derided as it was praised. So, I think that leaves it as Jane Campion vs Richard LaGravenesse. Tempting to think Campion could take it, but I think ties are going to "...Candelabra" this year.
PREDICTION: "Behind the Candelabra"-Richard LaGravenese

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES/MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Allison Anders-"Ring of Fire"-Lifetime"
Jane Campion and Garth Davis-"Top of the Lake"-'Part 5'-Sundance Channel
Julian Jarrold-"The Girl"-HBO
David Mamet-"Phil Spector"-HBO
Steven Soderbergh-"Behind the Candelabra"-HBO

Whew! This could've been the Oscars ballot on certain random years. This is an-eh, all-star list of director's here, and I want to remind people that "Lincoln" was almost eligible for these categories according to Spielberg, that would've been something. Well, "Ring of Fire" and "The Girl" are clearly out for not getting Best Movie/Miniseries nominations. Mamet literally wrote the book on directing, or at least one of them. Lumet wrote the other one, but I think it's between the two Oscar winners, and I think all signs are pointing to Soderbergh, and the odds and charts seem to be agreeing with me. If there is an upset, it would be Campion & Davis, but very slim chance indeed. 
PREDICTION: Steven Soderbergh-"Behind the Candelabra"










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