Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS PREDICTIONS, THOUGHTS AND PREFERENCES!!!!



Happy Primetime Emmys Weekend, Everyone!

I'm way behind in getting around to this, and we got a lot of categories to get through, so I won't go into too much of an opening this year. We're going through every category that they'll announce Sunday Night, as usual, and I'll go over a couple of the Emmys they gave out already at the Creative Arts Awards, which if you wear keeping an eye on the Facebook page, I made predictions for on this site, Facebook page, which you should be following, here:

https://www.facebook.com/David-Baruffis-Entertainment-Views-and-Reviews-602692689824035/?ref=bookmarks

So go follow the site, soon that, and you can just scroll down a bit and you'll find the two prediction posts I made up for the Creative Arts, so you know I'm not lying when I say which ones I got right or wrong, and as always, after the show, I will be posting our annual, Post-Mortem on the show, which we'll call our Primetime Emmy Awards Analysis, so keep an eye out for that after the show. Let's get right into my Prediction for this year, we're starting with Comedy Series nominations, let's get to my PREDICTIONS and if I have one, m PREFERENCE on who I think should win!


COMEDY SERIES

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Black-ish-ABC
Master of None-Netflix
Modern Family-ABC
Silicon Valley-HBO
Transparent-Amazon
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-Netflix
Veep-HBO

I'll make the call now, that this is probably "Modern Family"'s last year getting nominated, at least until they may end they're series; I can already suspect a couple shows that might break in next year and knock them off, especially. Thankfully, ABC's got a pretty good replacement with "Black-ish", but I don't expect an upset, they only got three nominations overall. In fact, only "Veep" and "Transparent" won anything during the Creative Arts Emmys, so it's not as clear-cut as it seems based on them. Gold Derby, surprising has "Silicon Valley", in 5th on their odds, they almost as many nominations as "Veep", so I'm a little shocked their behind that much; I don't think much of the show, but if there's a spoiler, I would look out for "Silicon Valley". "Veep" is, just to big a favorite though, um, maybe "Transparent" can sneak in, but I doubt it, and I will never completely rule out "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" great show, Tina Fey is brilliant, although I liked the first season a little more then the 2nd, but she's pulled it off in weird places, and she already has, like her eighth Emmy win this year, or whatever the number is; we'll get to that, later. If "Louie" has never won, and Aziz Ansari's previous show, "Parks and Recreation" could never win, then I'm not 100% sure that "Masters of None" can win either.

PREDICTION: "Veep"
PREFERENCE: "Transparent" 


LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson-"Black-ish"-ABC
Aziz Ansari-"Master of None"-Netflix
Will Forte-"The Last Man on Earth"-FOX
William H. Macy-"Shameless"-Showtime
Thomas Middleditch-"Silicon Valley"-HBO
Jeffrey Tambor-"Transparent"-Amazon

Six different shows, six different networks in the category, that's weird. Um, here's the thing that's really making everybody wonder, the new voting system. that switch from a primary tape system, which required voters to see the tapes, (Which they still are supposed to do but...) to the more popular system that allows the entire eligible Academy members to vote. So the question that everybody has, "Do the tapes matter?" 'cause there's a lot of categories, acting ones especially, where we're struggling to figure out how the vote will play out. This system was in place last year, and the Academy already has a really close relationship with complacency, but it looks like, this year, may have a lot of repeat winners; more than normal. Is it the most popular nominee, the most popular show, or are they seeking through each of the tapes to really see who submitted well? We'll know more by the end, but most are predicting chalk with last year, and I can't really disagree. This wasn't Jeffrey Tambor's greatest season, although he does have a great episode, but he's vulnerable. Probably not against Forte or Macy, who lost to him last year, but Anthony Anderson is on the show on the rise, that snuck into the Series category kinda out-of-nowhere and he got into this category last year, so... Aziz Ansari and Thomas Middleditch are also knew, and Ansari; he's up for three awards, this year, I suspect he's viable in all of them, but I'm not sure exactly which one he'll win for. Middleditch, he is good on "Silicon Valley", and he's overdue; he was great on "The Office" for years before this, but first acting nomination for that series, and it's been on three years now, it wouldn't shock me, but I don't think it's likely he'll win here, but he's a good outside possibility.

PREDICTION: Jeffrey Tambor-"Amazon
PREFERENCE: Aziz Ansari-"Master of None"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ellie Kemper-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"-Netflix
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Veep-HBO
Laurie Metcalf-"Getting On"-HBO
Tracee Ellis Ross-"Black-ish"-ABC
Amy Schumer-"Inside Amy Schumer"-Comedy Central
Lily Tomlin-"Grace and Frankie"-Netflix

Alright, we'll pretend for a moment that Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn't winning this, (Spoilers: she's winning again, ugh, and that would be five in a row, and that would be the record; not that she needed another Emmy record to set.) and let's look around. Um, Amy Schumer, until somebody win for a Variety-Sketch Series, I'm not gonna predict it, besides she has other places to win so.... Lily Tomlin, got nominated because she's a popular Board of Directors members and I'm sorry, I'll give "Grace and Frankie" another try at some point, but man is that show disappointingly hard-to-watch. I suspect Ellie Kemper was 7th last year and should've been nominated last year, (And again, I'll explain that later.) but because of that, she's an unknown quantity on a show they Academy does seem to love, and is playing one of the more original characters among the nominees, so I'm not overlooking her, like I suspect others are; I think she might be the one that can pull this off. However, if anybody knows how to win an Emmy over Julia Louis-Dreyfus, it's Laurie Metcalf. I'm glad she finally got in for "Getting On", she's definitely the most fascinating character from that show and she beat Julia, three times a row for Supporting Actress in a Comedy, when she was on "Roseanne"; Julia never won on "Seinfeld" until after Metcalf stopped getting nominated, so Julia's never beaten Metcalf, and not that many people saw it but they seemed to like "Getting On", those who do, and really liked Laurie Metcalf this year, as she got three acting nominations this year overall. As to Tracee Ellis Ross, she's been around forever, breakout show and performance, that got Best Series, sh'es got a legitimate shot, and btw, the last time an African-American actress won this category was, Isabel Sanford in 1981 for "The Jeffersons"! Wait, really? That can't be right, didn't Phylicia Rashad win some year? No? Huh? Did anybody ever actually win for acting in "The Cosby Show"? (Searches emmys.org) Just Roscoe Lee Browne for Guest actor in '86? Wow, I'll be damned. Alright, so there's that possible history. Yeah, it's hard to get too excited though, they were giving this category to Julia back way before they changed the system, there's no reason to really think it'll change now.

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus-"Veep"
PREFERENCE: Ellie Kemper-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louie Anderson-"Baskets"-FX Networks
Andre Braugher-"Brooklyn Nine-Nine"-FOX
Tituss Burgess-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"-Netflix
Ty Burrell-"Modern Family"-ABC
Tony Hale-"Veep"-HBO
Keegan-Michael Key-"Key & Peele"-Comedy Central
Mike Walsh-"Veep"-HBO

The 2% rule was enacted here leaving us seven nominations instead of six, however the only two additions from last year were Mike Walsh for "Veep", a bit of a surprise nomination there, and I can't believe I'm saying this, Louie Anderson for "Baskets". I have heard of it, I have not seen "Baskets" yet, and I am aware that he's playing a woman in the movie, um,- I've been a fan of Louie Anderson for years and I didn't think he would ever hear his name again much less, as an Emmy nominee, although he does have two Daytime Emmys, not for hosting "Family Feud" but for "Life with Louie" the animated series, which I always liked good show, and those were for Voice-Over work too, so he's shown he can win a Performance Emmy before. He's the one big unknown in this category, and I have no idea how many people saw or liked "Baskets", it's the show's only nominations, so (Shrugs). Other than that, Andre Braugher, back again as the only representative from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", Keegan-Michael Key back again, very surprising; he should be in Lead but... also, his last season, but again, until I see a sketch comedy performer win, I'm not predicting it. Burrell's the only "Modern Family" acting nomination, and that's all that needs to be said there. Tony Hale's got competition from his own show, and that's gonna be interesting, 'cause there were cases of vote splitting throughout the Creative Arts category, particularly when it came to multiple nominees from the same series, unless something/somebody was an overwhelming heavy favorite to win, and that's what the problem is. Tony Hale's won this category twice, but not in consecutive years, and the question is, how big a favorite is he? And, if Matt Walsh can get some votes now that he's got in, and is competitive in the category, and by all account, "Veep" performers seem to be, than I'm suspecting upset, and to me, the most logical place would be Tituss Burgess getting the win. He was the favorite last year, arguably has just as good an episode, (If episodes mattered...) and is probably the second choice on most polls. I suspect this is a closer 3-way race between Anderson, Burgess and Hale than it seems.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE; Tituss Burgess-"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", I'm gonna call the upset here, just to make it a little fun for me.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anna Chlumsky-"Veep"-HBO
Gaby Hoffman-"Transparent"-Amazon"
Allison Janney-"Mom"-CBS
Judith Light-"Transparent"-Amazon
Kate McKinnon-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Niecy Nash-"Getting On"-HBO

So, this category went down from eight nominations, back to the standard six this year, with only Judith Light coming into the category as a new nominee, although Judith Light's been around forever so, not exactly new, although amazingly, only her second Primetime Emmy nomination, although she does have two Daytime Emmys for Lead Actress on "One Life to Live", back when those awards actually mattered. (And yes, back when she won them, they did matter.). Sketch comedy, until I see it, blah, blah, blah, but if somebody's going to win it this year, Kate McKinnon, probably has the best chance. Political year, she played Hillary Clinton in her episode and much of the year, and this is her official breakout year, so if you're looking out there upset, she makes sense. But, it's the last year for "Getting On", and Niecy Nash has been around forever and she proved last year wasn't a fluke, so she can pull it off too. Anna Chlumsky, continuous nominee, keeps running into Allison Janney, and Gaby Hoffman has the biggest problem in that she's splitting votes with her co-star, so that's an automatic worry. And the real kicker is that, "Mom" is really a good show that's gotten better and better each year, it even got into some craft categories this year, so I don't really see Allison Janney going down this year. She's the best actress around, everybody knows it, she's got a better show than the nomination count indicates, everyone knows it, and she doesn't lose even when she has competition.

PREDICTION: Allison Janney-"Mom"
PREFERENCE: Kate McKinnon-"Saturday Night Live"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Master of None-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari-Netflix
Silicon Valley-"Daily Active Users"-Alec Berg-HBO
Silicon Valley-"Founder Friendly-Mike Judge-HBO
Transparent-"Man on the Land"-Jill Soloway-Amazon
Veep-"Kissing Your Sister"-Dave Mandel-HBO
Veep-"Morning After"-Chris Addison-HBO
Veep-"Mother"-Dan Stern-HBO

They, fine-ally, increase the Writing and Directing nominees to six each for Comedy and Drama Series, and the 2% rule came into play as now, we have, seven nominees, two from "Silicon Valley", three, from "Veep" and one each from "Master of None" and "Transparent". Yikes. So yeah, the popular voting system, they vote for the same shows they and as often as they submit it seems, in these categories. Okay, there's a huge split here across the board, but we've got "Veep"'s "Mother" episode that seems to have gotten nominated everywhere it could've been, so that's the most likely favorite, and "Man on the Land", which I think was the early favorite and still has a huge chance despite Jill Solloway winning the category last year, and the interesting nominee is Aziz Ansari for "Master of None" and his episode "Parents", and I'm trying to figure out if that episode has a better shot at Writing than Directing, but it can go either way. The vote splitting here though, is just really traumatic however. Even Mike Judge's nomination seems like an afterthought with three "Veep"'s up, are the voters really gonna sort through them to put "Mother" over, or can this be where something else can steal it? Gold Derby, is leaning towards "Mother", but it's close.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Transparent"-"Man on the Land"-Jill Soloway


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Catastrophe-"Episode 1"-Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan-Amazon
Master of None-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang-Netflix
Silicon Valley-"Founder Friendly"-Dan O'Keefe-HBO
Silicon Valley-"The Uptick"-Alec Berg-HBO
Veep-"Morning After"-David Mandel-HBO
Veep-"Mother"-Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck-HBO

Okay, I have seen an episode of "Catastrophe", and it happened to be the one that snuck in this nomination, which I'm calling the "Episodes" nomination, because there's always that one weird nomination for Writing for the show "Episodes" in this category and they weren't eligible this year, so "Catastrophe" which btw, won the BAFTA award earlier this year, so don't discredit it right away, it's in the conversation, but I doubt that many Academy members have seen it. "Morning After," is probably the lesser nominee of the "Veep" noms, so "Mother" I suspect is the heavy favorite, with "Master of None" being the spoiler. I don't really think either "Silicon Valley" episode is in the running, although "Founder Friendly" is most prognosticators' third choice. "Parents", this is the probably the most likely spot where Aziz Ansari would win, especially with that episode it really is in the Writing, and I bet those who see it, especially many of the older members of the Television Academy, will probably fall in love with it's writing as well, but it would have to go one-on-one with "Mother"?

PREDICTION: "Veep"-"Mother"-David Mandel
PREFERENCE: "Master of None"-"Parents"-Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang


GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Larry David-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Peter MacNicol-"Veep"-HBO
Tracy Morgan-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Martin Mull-"Veep"-HBO
Bob Newhart-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Peter Scolari-"Girls"-HBO*
Bradley Whitford-"Transparent"-Amazon

The Guest Actor Awards were given out at the Creative Arts already, and if you are familiar with what happened here, then you probably already have an opinion. For those who don't know however, we need to begin with the crossed-out name on the ballot, Peter MacNicol, and it's a damn shame, but you may remember that after a lot of criticism form people purportedly submitting in the wrong categories in order to improve their chances of winning an Emmy, particularly with people like Uzo Aduba, winning in Guest Actress-Comedy Series for "Orange is the New Black", despite appearing in every episode of the season, and other such anomalies, John Lithgow winning for being the villain of the season on "Dexter", is another one, they changed the rules so that Guest Performers had to have appeared in less than 50% of that season's episodes, if it's 50% or more, they must submit in Supporting (Or possibly even Lead, although I haven't seen that brash move yet). Well, Peter MacNicol, when the nominations were submitted, was eligible, but, after the entire season of "Veep" was completed, it turned out that he appeared in five of the season's ten episodes, therefore, when this revelation was discovered by Gold Derby, who then submitted the query to the Television Academy, they had no choice but to disqualify MacNicol. In case you're wondering there is precedent for this, back in 2000, Henry Winkler's nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "Battery Park" (and, no, I don't remember that show either) was disqualified after it turned out his episode submission didn't air within the qualification period, because the show was cancelled before it's original April air date and the submitted episode didn't air until June, and he was replaced with the next highest vote-getter in the category, that year it was William H. Macy for "Sports Night" being the beneficiary, although he lost to Bruce Willis for his work on "Friends". So, that's what they did, they went back to the votes, and that's how Peter Scolari earned "Girls" only nomination this year. (Deep breath) Okay, so that happened, and now to the predictions, most figured Larry David was the favorite, and I agreed, his portrayal, somewhat surprising portrayal of Bernie Sanders; I didn't remember the-eh, crowd swell for that to happen until suddenly "SNL" did it, not the way, it was with Tina Fey and Sarah Palin, where it was just, flying off the tips of our tongues the second Palin opened her mouth, but I thought he was the favorite, the problem was that he had Tracy Morgan's comeback performance hosting "SNL" after that terrible accident. So he's a sentimental favorite, so is Martin Mull, and this is his first ever Emmy nomination, and he's been around, since "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", and on the stand-up circuit probably longer; it's amazing he's never been nominated until now; I thought he must've gotten in at least once for "Roseanne" but... (Shrugs, Oh, and he's no longer competing against his co-star, so "Veep" votes go to him) and there's two past winners in the category with Bob Newhart, back again for his won in "The Big Bang Theory" and Bradley Whitford, who won last year for "Transparent", although, curiously for a different role this time around, so that's a bit of a questionable nomination, but Margo Martindale won for a cup of coffee last year and Whitford can probably be big enough to do the same. And Scolari, great story getting in, he's never won and he's been around forever, since "Bosom Buddies" and he and nobody else ever won for "Newhart", but yeah, he finished 7th in the original voting, he's the longest longshot in the field.

PREDICTION: Larry David-"Saturday Night Live"
PREFERENCE: Peter Scolari-"Girls"
*WINNER: Peter Scolari-"Girls"

Okay, so before I move onto the next category, yes, Scolari pulled it off. I have a theory, and this is what I was building up to, um, and it's not that he, got in and got the sentimental vote, had the comeback story, blah, blah, blah, here's the thing, I think this is proof that they aren't nominating enough people in these categories. Hear me out; I know it seems like they nominate a lot already, but the increase the Comedy/Drama series nominees to seven a few years ago, which is fine, more shows should mean more nominees in the category, I'm all for that. Except they kept all the other nominees in the genre at six, and this has never made sense to me, and this is why. I mean, just do the math, if there's enough shows to require a minimum of seven deserving nominees, not counting the 2% rule in place, which adds more nominees if they come within 2% of the votes of the last nominee, then, why are there only six actors, per category, directors/writers per category, (Which again, was five until last year) why six, everywhere else. Think of it this way, say the Academy really admired six great shows, and they decided to nominated them in every category, one nominee each, which is possible, unlikely but not impossible. Most shows can point to a male and female lead, and then they're even more likely to have many male and female supporting actors and actresses and everything else, a show can get nominated for Best Series, and literally get nothing else, and not a single nomination would go to an eighth show. So, what if, they're not nominating enough people? So I suspect Scolari should've been nominated to begin with. It actually less sense the more you realize it, that there's only six actors/category when you realize how many actually do put their names up for consideration compared to the amount of series in the category. Enough for seven shows = only enough for six of everything else? Yeah, that doesn't make sense, and if you really want proof, I can now point to Peter Scolari, who didn't get in, originally, but got a nomination due to a disqualification, and then pulled off the victory, despite not only finishing 7th in the original voting, but not even qualifying via 2% rule. And who know, who was behind him, and who was behind him that might've qualified via 2% rule! So, this isn't as weird as it looks, it just means that the accounting patterns of the Academy, need to come under advisement and make some changes; I suggest requiring all categories under a genre to have the same minimum amount of nominees for each category, whatever that number is. That's my big declaration this year.

(Deep breath) Alright, we still got a lot to do, so next category!

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christine Baranski-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Melora Hardin-"Transparent"-Amazon
Melissa McCarthy-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC
Laurie Metcalf-"The Big Bang Theory"-CBS
Amy Schumer-"Saturday Night Live"-NBC

Oh-kay, god the Guest Actor categories this year, let's start with the obvious again, why are Tina Fey & Amy Poehler submitted as one nominee? Well, I know some disagree with this, but I actually am fine with it. Essentially they're both "Hosts" for the same episode and are therefore playing the same role, so you can't really separate them. I know, some of you are calling bullshit, but that's not my fault, but there is a precedent, just not at the Emmys. At the 2009, Tony Awards, David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kini Kulish, each won the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical, for playing "Billy Elliot". I didn't agree with it then, but they all played "Billy Elliot," and they alternated days where they played the titular role, so they were nominated together and they won together. Since they're both technically playing, "Host", is kinda makes sense. To give you an Emmys example, the Reality Show Host category has gone through this situation multiple times, originally with Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio nominated together for "Top Chef" and for a few years now, both Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn were nominated as a pair, and even won a couple years ago. I'm not gonna pretend it's not questionable, but they could've not voted for them. Anyway, they're one of the three nominations nominated for "SNL" along with Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy against two from the same episode of "The Big Bang Theory" Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf, and Melora Hardin for "Transparent" who was definitely playing spoiler. So, big favorite over competiting co-stars splitting the vote, or are the votes split? Oh, um, one more thing, Amy Poehler has as of yet, not won an Emmy, although, let's all admit, it's a bit shitty that this would be how she could win her first Emmy, on the back of Tina Fey..., it's way overdue, even over Melora Hardin's amazing performance, not to mention her never getting recognized for "The Office"

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"
*WINNER: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler-"Saturday Night Live"-About damn time, congrats, Amy!


DRAMA SERIES

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
The Americans-FX Networks
Better Call Saul-AMC
Downton Abbey-PBS
Game of Thrones-HBO
Homeland-Showtime
House of Cards-Netflix
Mr. Robot-USA

I'm starting to finally get around to "The Americans" and after some reluctance, I'm starting to understand it's appeal. I especially think Keri Russell is great on the show, although honestly, if this is supposedly the Best Drama Series on TV the last four years, eh, I'm nowhere near that standard. I understand, but if it is right, then I suspect this is a very weak era for Drama Series. I don't think it's gonna win. If anything can beat "Game of Thrones", and that's a big "If..." um, I can see "Downton Abbey" getting votes for it's last season, although it did win for miniseries it's first year, so I don't think it's entirely got the sentimental backing behind it. "House of Cards" really underperformed at the Creative Arts, didn't win a single Guest Acting Prize, that was really shocking, it was arguably favored to win at least one, and maybe two. The cool factor show is definitely "Mr. Robot", which I also caught up on, and I liked a lot at first, but the end of the first season, totally lost me. I tend to think of it as, "If "Dexter" was a hacker" to some extent. I think it's very good, especially this season, I'm not particularly with the second so far. But these are honestly stretches however. It's "Game of Thrones" winning, honestly I'm not that crazy about any of these series this year; I actually might argue "Homeland" right now is the most interesting of the shows, if I'm being honest, and I thought that show was overrated the hell back in it's first season, when everybody was praising it to high heaven. Anyway....

PREDICTION: "Game of Thrones
PREFERENCE: "Downton Abbey"


LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kyle Chandler-"Bloodline"-Netflix
Rami Malek-"Mr. Robot"-USA
Bob Odenkirk-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
Matthew Rhys-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Liev Schreiber-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime
Kevin Spacey-"House of Cards"-Netflix

Since Jon Hamm won the award last year, this award will actually for sure, go to somebody new, for sure. Who wins...? Hmm. This is one of the tougher categories to predict. Kevin Spacey is the obvious choice, at first, because he's the one most overdue, and also, he's the most revered of the names above; he does have two Oscars, but he's lost every Emmy nomination he's ever had. Kyle Chandler is the only person who's shown they can win this category, but I don't think anybody cares about or even likes "Bloodline" anymore; Chandler and Mendelsohn I suspect are getting nominated just on reputation and connections. Rami Malek is currently the favorite, he'd be one of the youngest winners ever in this category. Most people suspected the spoiler to be Bob Odenkirk, based on some of the Creative Arts Emmy results, I'm thinking the one's that's really being underrated is Liev Schreiber for "Ray Donovan". That show getting increased amount of nominations and they got more acting nominations than ever before, including Schreiber's second consecutive nomination. I don't think "Ray Donovan"'s got the insight track for the upset, quite yet though, maybe next year.

PREDICTION: Kevin Spacey-"House of Cards"
PREFERENCE: Liev Schreiber-"Ray Donovan"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Danes-"Homeland"-Showtime
Viola Davis-"How to Get Away with Murder"-ABC
Taraji P. Henson-"Empire"-FOX
Tatiana Maslany-"Orphan Black"-BBC America
Keri Russell-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Robin Wright-"House of Cards"-Netflix

I finally did get around to watching an episode or two of "Orphan Black", it's-eh, okay. Maslany is incredibly talented, but other than that, I can't imagine why anybody would watch it. Viola Davis won last year, she's the only major nominee again for "How to Get Away with Murder", which-, I-eh, (Sigh) god, some of these shows, I just do not get how they're popular. She is also the only thing about the show that's sorta worth watching. "Empire" I haven't seen, but they don't seem to like that show either, and this is a popular vote. We already know they'll take Davis over Henson, although, Keri Russell is definitely the most potential spoiler; she's the one who's never been nominated before. That said, I think this is where Robin Wright will come out on top. "House of Cards" may have faltered, but it's clearly the biggest show among the nominees and arguably she's maybe a bigger character than Spacey's is on the show now. Claire Danes, can steal it, but I think they're tired of having her win. Anybody can win this though.

PREDICTION: Robin Wright-"House of Cards"
PREFERENCE: Keri Russell-"The Americans", and no, I never liked "Felicity" I just think she makes this show way better than all the other actors make there's.


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jonathan Banks-"Better Call Saul"-AMC
Peter Dinklage-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Kit Harrington-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Michael Kelly-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Ben Mendelsohn-"Bloodline"-Netflix
Jon Voight-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime

Huh. I just realized that Peter Dinklage has never beaten Jon Voight head-to-head.... Hmm... anyway, uh, not too different from last year, Kit Harrington is the major addition, and Jon Voight is back in the category after not getting in last year for some reason-, man, those "Ray Donovan" nominations out of nowhere, just keep screwing with everything. Um, Gold Derby has Harrington at a 1-2 favorite at the moment, I see where they're coming from, but I'm suspicious of it. I'm really not sold on Harrington winning this; usually when you get eh, multiple actors from an ensemble nominated, they usually, only start the practice of passing the Emmy around to different members of the cast every year, when they really just love the show and want to get everybody in, and "Game of Thrones" has never had that. In fact, this show has done terribly when it comes to acting awards. Peter Dinklage has won twice, sure, but those also happened to be the two years Aaron Paul wasn't eligible to be nominated. (And the first one was from the show's first season, I believe, maybe it's second, but I think it was it's first) so, they like Dinklage unless there's somebody better. (That's why I'm suddenly looking at Jon Voight, but-eh, I don't know, he's not as beloved, even as a veteran legend as some on the outside might think. I don't think it helps that he's a Trump supporter this year either.) If there is a split vote between the "Game of Thrones" guys the most likely scenario is that Jonathan Banks sneaks in, who most think they owe an I.O.U. to anyway, as many had him winning last year. I suspect Michael Kelly can play spoiler here, I, really think Ben Mendelsohn was just a name-check nomination, I cannot imagine the scenario where enough Emmy voters are even watching "Bloodline", (BTW, who does watch that? I tried it, I mean I guess it's not bad, but-um, yeah, I'm a bit baffled by that one to be honest. Maybe I need to look closer at it, just looks something that's trying very hard not to be a family soap opera, but yeah, it seem to just "Antigone" in Florida to me.) I mean, I'm told Harrington's character was popular, um-, I haven't seen the last few seasons, I honestly forget which one he is; which one is he? Jon Snow? Um... (Thinking pause) I-eh, I don't remember him. Which one was he again? Why are you looking at me, like I just said that? No, I really don't remember him? Like, okay, okay... So, he was important and then died, but he's alive now? OH Him, I-, No, I barely remember him. You see, this is what I was talking about, with fantasy having too many characters that nobody can care about or remember them, there's like forty or fifty or so character as is between all these families, in a made-up universe, so it's not like I can read a history book and refresh my memory, and most of them, are not distinctive enough. I'm already struggling trying to learn about the world of these movies, and now I need to remember and keep track of the live characters but now the dead ones are back!?!?!?! I like "Game of Thrones" and even though I'm behind, and only watched three seasons, I can maybe, recall, five characters if I'm really thinking about it. One of them is Tyrion Lannister, 'cause he's one of the few actually interesting ones, so I'm-, I'm not buying Harrington yet.

PREDICTION: Peter Dinklage-"Game of Thrones"
PREFERENCE: Jonathan Banks-"Better Call Saul"


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Emilia Clarke-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Lena Headey-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Maggie Smith-"Downton Abbey"-PBS
Maura Tierney-"The Affair"-Showtime
Maisie Williams-"Game of Thrones"-HBO
Constance Zimmer-"UnReal"-Lifetime

I'm calling it now, "Game of Thrones" loses this category. Clarke, Headey and Williams will split the vote three ways and somebody's gonna sneak, especially since there's legitimates arguments for all three of the other nominees winning this. Maggie Smith, she's won this category before, longtime veteran, they love her, she came back into the category this year, for "Downton Abbey"- (And the only one strangely enough, I definitely expected them to do a lot better and they deserved to.) and the other two nominees, are quite possibly the most intriguing longshots out there. Maura Tierney's nominations, wasn't quite out of nowhere, but "The Affair" had done poorly at the Emmys until now, despite winning the Golden Globe in the show's first season. I watched a couple episodes of it, it's um-, hmm; I don't know whether I think it's any good or not myself, if I'm being completely honest, at least in terms of the first season, it not difficult a story, but it is a difficult show to describe. I guess the closest I can come up with, is something like, imagine "Thirtysomething" was written by Charlotte Brontes. Something along those lines. It's got a weird perspective gimmick as well. It's not bad, but television seems like the wrong for whatever this story is. Maura Tierney though, snuck into the Golden Globes earlier this year, even though they seemed sick of the show as well, won the Globe in maybe the biggest upset of the night, and I suspect snuck in here, very unexpectedly. She's one of those names I kicked myself for not predicting her to get nominated, but this was a crowded field this year, more than normal too. But she got it, and that tells that A. They are watching the show and she is good, and it reminds me that, they like and have for years; she's been working in television since "Newsradio" and she was one of the best characters on "ER" during it's later years, and she's a character actress, so I'm not ruling her out right away. However, she might not even be the big spoiler, and this leads to Constance Zimmer's nominations, maybe not as shocking, as "UnReal" is one of those breakout shows that, I thought should've gotten a Series nomination myself, (And had Shiri Appleby been nominated for Lead Actress, I'd probably be trying to trick myself into predicting she would win) and she's got a similar path, great character actress, been around forever; she's one of those people who's shown up on every great drama series you can think of as some point, finally gets a breakout character on a show people are watching, and on Lifetime, of all channel btw; I think that's the first time Lifetime got an acting nomination that wasn't in the Movie/Miniseries Category since, eh, oh god, probably Blair Brown for the last couple seasons of "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd". and here's the kicker, she plays a flawed and somewhat sociopathetic reality show producer on the series. I'm not gonna say, why actors, might have some affection for this kind of part, but-um, let's just say I'd suspect her character is the one of these nominees that I suspect might be the most relatable to the Academy. Now as to the "Game of Thrones" girls, eh, um, Emilia Clarke's the dragon lady, right. Okay, I got that one, Lena Headey's back and.. (Search IMDB.com) Oh, is she Tyrion's sister? Okay. Sister or mother? And Maisie... how old is this girl, 19? Okay, um... yeah, I'm sold; I think they're splitting their votes.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Constance Zimmer-"UnReal"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Downton Abbey-"Episode 9"-Michael Engler-PBS
Game of Thrones-"Battle of the Bastards"-Miguel Sapochnik-HBO
Game of Thrones-"The Door"-Jack Bender-HBO
Homeland-"The Tradition of Hospitality"-Lesli Linka Glatter-Showtime
The Knick-"This Is All We Are"-Steven Soderbergh-Cinemax
Ray Donovan-"Exsuscito"-David Hollander-Showtime

Okay, that "Downton Abbey" episode is the Series Finale, so you can't discount that entirely, butlike I said, this is one of those where, vote splitting will happen, unless there's a heavy favorite and "Battle of the Bastards" like, "Veep"'s "Mother" episode on the other side, seems to be the heavy favorite, and while I don't think it's impossible for there to be a weird upset from maybe "Homeland" or from "Ray Donovan", which is a possibility, it's hard to imagine this episode losing one of these categories this year. "Game of Thrones" unlike did do well at the Creative Arts, and by the end of Sunday night, it could pass "Frasier" for most Emmy wins for a Series. It still has to catch up to "Saturday Night Live" for overall for any series, but yeah, it's probably happening unless something bizarre happens.

PREDICTION: "Game of Thrones"-"Battle of the Bastards"-Miguel Sapochnik
PREFERENCE: "The Knick"-"This Is All We Are"-Steven Soderbergh


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Americans-"Persona Non Grata"-Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg-FX Networks
Downton Abbey-"Episode 8"-Julian Fellowes-PBS
Game of Thrones-"Battle of the Bastards"-David Benioff & D.B. Weiss-HBO
The Good Wife-"End"-Robert King and Michelle King-CBS
Mr. Robot-"esp1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)-Sam Esmail-USA
UnReal-"Return"-Marti Nixon and Sarah Gertrude Shaprio-Lifetime

In case you're wondering, how do they determine which episodes specifically get nominated for some of these, and I do think there's some regulations regarding how often a person can be nominated for a show in Writing/Directing in a year, a show can submit as many or as few episodes it wants, and for instance I think "Game of Thrones" submitted only one or two, so that's why you get some years where, let's say "The Sopranos" or-eh, "NYPD Blue" of even "Hill Street Blues" if you want to go way back, they might sometimes sweep the nominations in some of these categories. But yeah, you can just put your name in, pretty much and get in. Anyway, ooh, very clever, Emmys picking "Episode 8" the episode before the finale of "Downton Abbey", which was a better written episode, although the Finale was good too, and "End" is of course, "The Good Wife"'s finale episode and the first time they've been nominated in this category in a while too, although that's about it that the show got for it's last season. Man, Margulies, Cumming, even Christine Baranaski didn't get in this year, what the hell? I don't even think much of that show, but it wasn't worth ignoring entirely. Anyway, while I suspect "The Americans" might be in the running as well, the only show that really has a shot at toppling "Battle of the Bastards" is "Mr. Robot". Gold Derby is actually predicting "Mr. Robot", and the Writers do have a tendency more than most to make a more radical pick here. I don't know if that's true in the popular vote age, but you know, I suspect there's already more of a thinking that "Battle of the Bastards" is more of a directing accomplishment than a writing one, and if you don't think Rami Malek is gonna win for acting, this would be where you'd honor "Mr. Robot". 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Mr. Robot"-"esp1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)"-Sam Esmail


GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mahershala Ali-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Hank Azaria-"Ray Donovan"-Showtime
Reg E. Cathay-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Michael J. Fox-"The Good Wife"-CBS
Paul Sparks-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Max von Sydow-"Game of Thrones"-HBO

Three "House of Cards" and three respected veterans nominated in this one. Reg E. Cathay won last year for "House of Cards", so he's a favorite, but the question now is, exactly how did they like him last year? It was an upset last time, and he also didn't have this much competition from his co-stars. Michael J. Fox, he keeps getting nominated for "The Good Wife" he wasn't won yet, I don't think he's suddenly gonna win now. Hank Azaria, here's that weird "Ray Donovan" nomination sneaking in again. Well, he is a beloved veteran in a split ballot year, so you never know. That said, Max von Sydow, just the idea of him on "Game of Thrones" is just, badass, in general. If there's any actor who absolutely should just be on "Game of Thrones" at some point, it's him, and shockingly he's never won anything so... well, he's won a couple things over the years but nothing major and he's eighty-something years old, so this would be the time if you were gonna give him anything.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Max von Sydow-"Game of Thrones"
*WINNER-Hank Azaria-"Ray Donovan" 


GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Ellen Burstyn-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Allison Janney-"Masters of Sex"-Showtime
Margo Martindale-"The Americans"-FX Networks
Laurie Metcalf-"Horace and Pete"-Louisck.net
Molly Parker-"House of Cards"-Netflix
Carrie Preston-"The Good Wife"-CBS

Okay, only two "House of Cards" nominees in this category, and there is a definite favorite in Ellen Burstyn for "House of Cards". She's just an Emmy magnet, often winning and getting nominated in weird places, even once famously nominated for fourteen seconds of screen time. And in all due respect to Molly Parker, Burstyn has the material to win this year. The problem is she's up against two other Emmy magnets, and three if you want to count Laurie Metcalf, who seems like an Emmy magnet this year with three nominations, including here, getting the only nomination for Louis C.K. personal project "Horace and Pete". The Academy members should have their copies of that show, they were sent by Louis C.K. himself, at great personal expense to him, 'cause he did that entirely independently and it cost him millions so, hopefully it'll work for Ms. Metcalf, but.... Other than her, Allison Janney, has seven or eight, whatever it is now, and she's won for "Masters of Sex" before, which for some reason can't seem to get any other nominations despite being way-the-hell better than all the Series nominees, and Margo Martindale won this Emmy controversially last year for "The Americans" after winning for less than a couple minutes of screen time; she basically won for a cup of coffee, and purportedly she's even in this episode less that last year so, (Shrugs) maybe they just really like her, who knows. But they all like Carrie Preston, who has also won this category before for "The Good Wife", so three former winners, for performances in their shows in this category, and still Ellen Burstyn seems like a favorite. Most popular show among the nominees, biggest actress, biggest part... pretty inevitable.

PREDICTION: Ellen Burstyn-"House of Cards
PREFERENCE: Laurie Metcalf-"Horace and Pete"
*WINNER: Margo Martindale-"The Americans"-Alright, nevermind, they really just like Margo Martindale, and in a popular vote, the most popular person is just gonna win. Moving on, let's go to Variety.


VARIETY SERIES

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee-Crackle
Jimmy Kimmel Live-ABC
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-CBS
Real Time with Bill Maher-HBO
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon-NBC

Well, with "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" not getting nominated, it's clear that John Oliver is the heavy favorite, if there is a potential spoiler, it's definitely James Corden; he did extremely well at the Creative Arts Emmys and his Carpool Kareoke has really caught on, although if I'm being completely honest, I don't really get it. I mean, I do, but to the extent that's become, I-, (Shrugs) eh, I don't really why it's become so hugely popular, but I like Corden, I get that he's doing something a little different a little more Graham Norton than the other talk show hosts, and he's definitely got a lot of skill and talent, but I wouldn't have nominated him, this year anyway. I do love, "Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee", and I am glad that that got in here, and one of the first time a show went from the Short-Format Non-Fiction Category, and then moved to the Long-Form Variety category and got nominated; don't think any other show has done. It's also the first streaming series to get nominated in the category, and btw, Crackle did surprisingly well overall, they didn't get a lot, but they definitely over-achieved. (Also, the nominated episode is the Barack Obama episode, so that might be why it got in)  The two Jimmy's and Bill Maher coming back into the category round up the rest, and no matter the result, this will be a new winner in the category, which doesn't have a lot of them remember. Only "The Colbert Report", "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Late Show with David Letterman" have won this award in the past, like 20 years or so, so somebody new's coming up here. 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


OUTSTANDING VARIETY-SKETCH SERIES
Documentary Now!-IFC
Drunk History-Comedy Central
Inside Amy Schumer-Comedy Central
Key & Peele-Comedy Central
Portlandia-IFC
Saturday Night Live-NBC

I don't think they have increased the nomination total for the series for this category, so on top of the other five from last year, it seems "Documentary Now!" got in due to the 2% rule, which I'm okay with. I'm kinda surprised that show is popular enough to be honest. Parodying documentaries is-eh, that's not something you except to see much of on American television, especially nowadays. That's an idea, I think I expect more from the ancient days of television, from like Sid Caesar or someone like that back when television was a luxury and not an everyday household item that everyone has in each room of the house. "Inside Amy Schumer" won the annual category last year, and according to Gold Derby, she's the favorite to win again. It did do well at the Creative Arts, but this is "Key & Peele"'s last season, so this is last time for them to be honored, if they're gonna do it. I was gonna predict them, but eh, Amy seems to be on a roll. "SNL" could play spoiler, this is a bounceback year for them. "Portlandia" has it's fans, I'll be honest, I'm not one of them. It's not a bad show per se, but I-eh, I get what they're making fun of, but I think it's a bit limiting myself. Sorta the same with "Drunk History", they feel like gimmicks to me, where you can base sketch comedy around, but it's not necessarily, the most insightful and pointed sketch material out there.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Inside Amy Schumer"


OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL
Adele Live in New York City-NBC
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors-CBS
The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special-CBS
Lemonade-HBO

Tough year, Adele vs. Amy Schumer vs. Beyonce, and "The Kennedy Center Honors" usually take this category. I'm actually a bit shocked that James Corden's "...Carpool Karaoke..." special snuck in here, that was basically just, a bunch of the clips that he already played on his show shoved together, most of us can probably recreate watching that accidentally by watching the clips on Youtube if we wanted. It's been awhile since a stand-up performance has won this category and besides they can honor Amy Schumer elsewhere, so I suspect it's between Adele and Beyonce, and, I know I can't stand Beyonce, and I know there are others like me, I can't imagine there's more people who hate Adele, so just based on that, I'm going with Adele. That, and-eh Amy Schumer's special were the only ones of these nominees I sat through more than once, voluntarily so...

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Adele: Live in New York City"
*WINNER: "The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special"-Wow, really? (Sigh) Well, Adele was on the best of those "Carpool Karaoke"'s so, I'm calling this half a correct prediction. Still though, that's, yeah, that's not fair. I mean it was like "SNL"'s fortieth anniversary last year, that was an actual show and even with the old sketch clips it was 40 years of something, this is honoring something that premiered yesterday. I don't get it. 


OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAM
The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards-NBC
Grease: Live-FOX
The Oscars-ABC
Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show-CBS
69th Annual Tony Awards-CBS

For those curious, "Special Class Programs" are for programs, usually specials, that don't originate as "exclusively made-for-television" variety events. This includes Award shows, music and dance programs, almost basically, and event that's aired live on television, but not necessarily news or sports, something that doesn't have to be aired. Huh, well that makes me more skeptical as to why "Grease: Live" is in this category, but (Shrugs) oh well.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Grease: Live"
*WINNER: "Grease: Live"

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Inside Amy Schumer-"Madonna/Whore"-Ryan McFaul-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-"Episode 303"-Paul Pennolino-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-"Post-Super Bowl Episode"-Tim Mancinelli-CBS
Saturday Night Live-"Hosts: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler"-Don Roy King
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon-"Episode 325"-Dave Diomedi-NBC

Don Roy King is back in this category after not being in it, for the first time in forever. Usually he wins this 'cause it's a live show and there's a lot more moving parts that involve a lot of camera work and whatnot than say, "Last Week Tonight..." usually does; it's for all-intensive purposes a guy sitting at a desk staring at the camera, not the most difficult thing to shoot. But, there's always an exception or two, more elaborate specials and episodes like James Corden's "Post-Super Bowl" show probably has a lot going on as well.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Saturday Night Live"-Don Roy King
*WINNER: "Inside Amy Schumer"-Ryan McFaul


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Adele Live in New York City-Beth McCartney-Miller-NBC
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-Chris Rock-HBO
58th Grammy Awards-Louis J. Horvitz-CBS
Grease Live-Thomas Kail; Live Television Direction by Alex Rudzinski-FOX
The Kennedy Center Honors-Glenn Weiss-CBS
Lemonade-Kahlil Joseph and Beyonce Knowles Carter-HBO

For those wondering, due to a weird arrangement the Television Academy made with the DGA and the WGA awhile back, they Variety Special Directing and Writing go on the main show every other year, while the Variety-Series Directing and Writing go on the main shows in the other years, so this award will be given out and it's a competitive one and actually this year, it's a fascinating category. "The Kennedy Center Honors" has struggled to win much since the switch to the popular voting system, and it's close too, since the 2% rule applied to increase the nominees to six. Louis J. Horvitz and Glenn Weiss are always favorites when they win for me, 'cause half the time one of them is directing the Emmys in the truck when they win this when it's on the main show but I don't know about this year for either of them. "Grease: Live" won the Variety Special Emmy, that's definitely the most obvious complicated live directing on the show, although the Grammy are tough too. Would be nice to see Chris Rock win for directing, but I don't think that'll happen. Beth McCartney-Miller is up for her 11th Emmy by the way for the Adele special and she's never won; so she's who I'm voting for, but man, "Grease: Live" was a juggernaut this year.

PREDICTION: "Grease: Live"-Thomas Kail; Live Television Direction by Alex Rudzinski
PREFERENCE: "Adele: Live in New York City"-Beth McCartney-Miller


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee-Writers: Jo Miller, Samantha Bee, et. al.-TBS
Inside Amy Schumer-Writers: Amy Schumer, Michel Lawrence, et. al.-Comedy Central
Key & Peele-Writers: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Jay Martel, et. al.-Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-Writers: John Oliver, Tim Carvell, et. al.-HBO
Portlandia-Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Graham Wagner, and Karey Dornetto-IFC
Saturday Night Live-Head Writers: Rob Klein and Bryan Tucker; Writers: James Anderson, et. al.-NBC

Wow, four sketch comedy series nominated, I know they only separated the categories, but I don't remember the last sketch show to win this category, offhand. It's been awhile, I think "SNL" won, when Tina Fey was head writing it... (Searching Emmy website) yeah, in '02, and before that, "The Chris Rock Show" in '99, but that might be changing in the future as there are more sketch shows nominated for Writing than talk shows, and one of the talk shows didn't even get into the Series category, (Which I'm still pissed off at btw, #SamanthaBeeWasRobbed!) but, eh, not this year.

PREFERENCE/PREDICTION: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"
*WINNER: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo-Amy Schumer-HBO
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid-John Mulaney-Netflix
Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping-Patton Oswalt-Netflix
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted-Tig Notaro-HBO
Triumph's Election Special 2016-Robert Smigel, David Feldman, et. al.-Hulu/Funny or Die

So, this is basically, the-eh, well, pretty much-eh, the Emmy for Best Stand-Up Special, which should definitely be an Award now, Emmys! I know technically this includes, every kind of Special Variety program, but look at it. No award shows, no Honors or specials, it's basically stand-up specials and I guess the apple in the bag of oranges is Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and his weird thing, which would, I believe be Hulu's first Emmy, first Primetime one at least, I think, yeah, (Checking Emmys.com again.) Yeah, Hulu didn't win it's Visual Effects nomination for-eh, "11.22.63", so this is Hulu's only shot, and they're sharing it with Funny or Die. You know, this has been the trend lately to go to the stand-ups for writing and there are, just too many of them, that I think the Academy needs to separate their own category for them, Variety-Special-Comedy, I don't know what to call it, but there's more of them than ever before, and hell that's not even counting, say stand-up series, those old HBO "Comedy Half-Hour"'s or the nine or ten other version of that that are on television nowadays. So, who's gonna win. Amy Schumer's the favorite, makes sense, it's the only thing that's up for something outside of this category, if there's a sentimental vote however, and I would not be shocked by this, Patton Oswalt. He's overdue for awards in general and with his wife's sudden passing recently, that's where the sentimental votes are going. He's funny as hell too. Tig Notaro, might also scrape in there. Um, maybe John Mulaney's funnier doing stand-up than he was on that horrible abortion of a Fox show he had, although he's almost have to be, but no, I don't see him pulling it off here.

PREDICTION: "Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo"
PREFERENCE: "Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping"- I actually thought Amy's special was better, but she's gonna have a truckload of Emmys when this is over, I'd rather see Oswalt get this one.


REALITY PROGRAMS

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race-CBS
American Ninja Warrior-NBC
Dancing with the Stars-ABC
Project Runway-Lifetime
Top Chef-Bravo
The Voice-NBC

Okay, eh, "American Ninja Warrior" getting in, especially over "So You Think You Can Dance", which really under-performed across the board, even Cat Deeley didn't get in, that was shocking. I guess it's hard to hate "American Ninja Warrior", there's nothing really hateful about it, and I get why it's possible, to me, it's...- actually what it really reminds me of "American Gladiators". The original one, not the horrible redo NBC tried of that. Only without the gladiators, and it's just the eliminator. It's an obstacle course, I mean, it's impressive, but (Shrugs) anyway, I have to admit that I'm not exactly about any of these particular nominees this year, I think it's between "The Voice" and "The Amazing Race", who've been going back and forth winning this award. I suspect "The Voice" is just more popular, so I think that'll win, but (Shrugs) yeah, reality competition programming, way down. I wonder if this genre is dying?

PREDICTION: "The Voice"
PREFERENCE: "Top Chef"


OUTSTANDING HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Tom Bergeron-"Dancing with the Stars"-ABC
Steve Harvey-"Little Big Shots starring Steve Harvey"-NBC
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-"Project Runway"-Lifetime
Jane Lynch-"Hollywood Game Night"
RuPaul Charles-"Rupaul's Drag Race"-Logo
Ryan Seacrest-"American Idol"-FOX

Ryan Seacrest is back in for "American Idol"'s last season, although I doubt he'll win. Jane Lynch, I don't think it should be in this category; it's not a reality show, but to me, it's clearly the best of the nominees, and the won that does the most as the show's host. Good for Rupaul finally getting in, and good for Logo in general, I think this is their first big Emmy nomination, so kudos for them, and it'd be nice to see RuPaul finally win. Bergeron and Klum/Gunn are possibilities as always, and they've both won before so don't count them out but I think the Academy is more or less, "Been there/done that" when it comes to them, and they need a really good excuse to not give it to Lynch again.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Jane Lynch-"Hollywood Game Night
*WINNER: RuPaul Charles-"Rupaul's Drag Race"-Wow! She's more popular than I thought, good for her. 


OUTSTANDING STRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Antiques Roadshow-PBS
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Food Network
Lip Sync Battle-SpikeTV
Mythbusters-Discovery Channel
Shark Tank-ABC
Undercover Boss-CBS

The only new nominee is "Lip Sync Battle", which I suspect has a decent shot at winning, lot of celebrities into it, on it. I'm more or less waiting for them to get as sick of "Shark Tank" as I've gotten so that they can finally award "Antiques Roadshow", but that's probably wishful thinking.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Antiques Roadshow"
*WINNER: "Shark Tank"


OUTSTANDING UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Born This Way-A&E
Deadliest Catch-Discovery Channel
Gaycation with Ellen Page-Viceland
Intervention-A&E
Project Greenlight-HBO
United Shades of America-CNN

It's always tough to bet against "Deadliest Catch" in this category, it's got a stranglehold on it, but "Intervention" is back, they're a former winner, and "Project Greenlight" they've never won before, but everybody in the industry watches that show when they do do a season, trust me. It's about the film industry, respected in the industry, eh, they've got to be sick of "Deadliest Catch" by now, right?

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: "Project Greenlight"
*WINNER: "Born This Way"- Okay, didn't see that coming. I'll have to watch that now. Hmm.


LIMITED SERIES/TELEVISION MOVIES

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
American Crime-ABC
Fargo-FX Networks
The Night Manager-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-FX Networks
Roots-HISTORY

And last but certainly this year, not least. Man, the Limited Series categories absolutely overtook everything else this year, and that's not good for me. I mentioned earlier when I did that Top Ten Miniseries list that I don't tend to get to these shows right away, and it's hurting me here. But, Limited Series and TV Movies, just took over the conversation around all the water coolers. And nothing dominated more at the Emmys and the water coolers than, O.J. Simpson. Dammit, I already lived through the damn thing once, now I gotta live through it again! Thanks Ryan Murphy (Forced smile, thumbs up) And the sad thing is, the little parts of it that I did see so far, it was really good, so.... "Fargo" and "The Night Manager" are in the conversation but... (Shakes head) Congratulations FX, you win.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"
PREFERENCE: "Fargo"


OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
All the Way-HBO
Confirmation-HBO
Luther-BBC America
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece)-PBS
A Very Murray Christmas-Netflix

Is it mean for me to actually want "A Very Murray Christmas" to win? Eh, alright, um, this wasn't as big as the Limited Series this year, but "All the Way" seems like the safe and expected winner, the one that actually did show up in other categories, but it went 0 for 4 at the Creative Arts and "Sherlock" actually won something, so now we got to worry about more surprise "Sherlock..." upsets now. Sigh. The fact is, nothing in the category is strong this year, so it's really just a crapshoot.

PREDICTION: "All the Way"
PREFERENCE: "Luther"


LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Bryan Cranston-"All the Way"-HBO
Benedict Cumberbatch-"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece)-PBS
Idris Elba-"Luther"-BBC America
Cuba Gooding, Jr.-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Tom Hiddleston-"The Night Manager"-AMC
Courtney B. Vance-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks

Wow, tough category. This could go anywhere, Cumberbatch has won the category before, Idris Elba's on a role, and he won at SAG recently for "Luther" so not completely out there for him to win again, Cuba Gooding Jr., former Oscar winner, always in contention, but it's likely between Bryan Cranston and Courtney B. Vance. Just based on recent history of reprised Tony winning performances in these categories losing, Vance seems like a lock, plus he's the one with the breakthrough performance, and he's a longtime respected veteran actor, but it's Cranston and if there's a way to honor him, Hollywood will usually try to find a way. 

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Courtney B. Vance-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"


LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kirsten Dunst-"Fargo"-FX Networks
Felicity Huffman-"American Crime"-ABC
Audra McDonald-"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"-HBO
Sarah Paulson-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Lily Taylor-"American Crime"-ABC
Kerry Washington-"Confirmation"-HBO

Sarah Paulson is once again the heavy, heavy favorite to win a Limited Series Acting race, which means, look out for upsets 'cause she's never won. And there's definitely potential for her to lose out there. Any other year and Kirsten Dunst might've walked away with this, but god this is a loaded category. Audra McDonald, also reviving a Tony winning performance, I don't know there's singing, so maybe. Kerry Washington's overdue, but I don't hear about too many people who really liked that "Confirmation" film. The two "American Crime" actresses however; it's a proven winner show, the show got even bigger this second season, Felicity Huffman is a former winner, but Lily Taylor, is a very frightening nominee if you don't think Sarah Paulson is safe. Longtime actress, been around forever, one of the best in the business, juicy as hell role in that show, this is the perfect storm of a role that could upset Paulson and that's worrisome, if she's way ahead of Felicity, then maybe, but if it's a split vote than Paulson's probably going up against Dunst.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Sarah Paulson-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Sterling K. Brown-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Hugh Laurie-"The Night Manager"-AMC
Jesse Plemons-"Fargo"
David Schwimmer-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
John Travolta-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-FX Networks
Bokeem Woodbine-"Fargo"

3 from O.J., two from "Fargo", and if there's vote splitting and someone needs a reason to vote Hugh Laurie has never won an Emmy. Yeah, I know, I keep thinking he must've won for "House" at least once, but no, he never did. Well, Sterling K. Brown is the favorite at the moment, but how well-known is he, or does that matter 'cause they've seen the miniseries? He's got two actors from his show competing against, both bigger names, Schwimmer's never won so he's due, and Travolta was never nominated until now, despite being having a memorable Emmy moment when he-eh, accepting Diana Hyland's Emmy for "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" after she passed away years ago. Plus, he's a movie star. Plemons is well-known too, "Fargo" is beloved, people remember him from "Breaking Bad". Man, this is a tough category. I literally think this is a throw a dart prediction to me.

PREDICTION: Sterling K. Brown-"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"
PREFERENCE: None


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kathy Bates-"American Horror Story: Hotel"-FX Networks
Olivia Colman-"The Night Manager"
Regina King-"American Crime"
Melissa Leo-"All the Way"-HBO
Sarah Paulson-"American Horror Story: Hotel"-FX Networks
Jean Smart-"Fargo"-FX Networks

I feel like I can safely predict that nobody from O.J. Simpson will win this category. I think. Regina King won last year, but Jean Smart is an Emmy magnet and "Fargo" is the second choice to O.J. Simpson across the board. Part of me, is weirdly thinking that Sarah Paulson could pull off the rare double-double and win both Emmys, she finally wins for "American Horror Story," granted in a weak year, but they're voting for her complete work, type of thing; she might pull off a Stockard Channing here. This is a category known for upsets and there's two people she's lost to in the category, including her cast-mate Kathy Bates. Melissa Leo's well-respected, but it just doesn't seem like a year anybody from a TV movie has a shot. Olivia Colman seems like the best shot for "The Night Manager" here though. Hmm.

PREDICTION/PREFERENCE: Jean Smart-"Fargo"


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
All the Way-Jay Roach-HBO
Fargo-"Before the Law'-Noah Hawley-FX Networks
The Night Manager-Susanne Bier-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Ryan Murphy-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"Manna from Heaven"-Anthony Hemingway-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"The Race Card"-John Singleton-FX Networks

Jay Roach has never lost this category, and Susanne Bier is a great Oscar-winning director, I wouldn't count her out. That said, the three nominations for O.J. Simpson. Good directors too, Anthony Hemingway's a good up-and-coming young filmmaker, and John Singleton, I-, I can't believe he had nothing better to do honestly; he's too talented to be a guest director for a Limited Series, but it makes sense. "Fargo" I can see, honestly, getting it's one win over O.J., here, vote splitting is gonna make this a hard prediction.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Ryan Murphy
PREFERENCE: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"The Race Card"-John Singleton


OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Fargo-"Loplop"-Bob DeLaurentis-FX Networks
Fargo-"Palindrome"-Noah Hawley-FX Networks
The Night Manager-David Farr-AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"From the Ashes of Tragedy"-Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"-D.V. DeVincentis-FX Networks
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story-"The Race Card"-Joe Robert Cole-FX Networks

(Shrugs, sigh) I-, Yeah, I got nothing, I'm throwing darts blindly here. It's a bunch of O.J.'s a couple "Fargo"'s and "The Night Manager" sneaking in there, basically all the other categories this in the Limited Series genre, wrapped into one. Okay, I promise next year, I will get to the damn miniseries. Watch, next year, it'll all be about the sitcoms and dramas again and I would've seen none of them.

PREDICTION: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"-"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"-D.V. DeVincentis
PREFERENCE: None


Alright folks, that's all the categories you need to know for Sunday night, plus a few extras. If you want to check the rest of the Creative Arts winners, you can check these links below:

http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2016-creative-arts-winners-saturday.pdf
http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/2016-creative-arts-winners-sunday.pdf

Trust me, even if you think the Emmys don't care about the shows you watch, they often do, they're just not on the big show they're on the Creative Arts and often you get to see some nice winner. Congrats, "Archer" for instance! And-eh, they may give you a hint or two on how the main show might play out, so don't discard especially if you want to do well in your Emmy pools.




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