Close Competition Should Make for Interesting Emmy Awards
The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards are upon us. Will powerhouses like “Game of Thrones” and “Modern Family” continue their Emmy dominance? Will Dame Maggie Smith and “Downton Abbey” go out on winning notes? What do we make of new power players like “Black-ish” and “Mr. Robot”? All these questions and more will be answered right here in my official Emmy predictions!
Best Drama Series Nominees:
- “The Americans”
- “Better Call Saul”
- “Downton Abbey”
- “Game of Thrones”
- “House of Cards”
- “Mr. Robot”
Analysis: “Game of Thrones” won this award last year in an upset of “Mad Men.” “Mad Men” isn’t around anymore, making GoT the new show with a target on its back. If there’s an upset, it will be by “The Americans,” but I’d be shocked. The Emmys have the tendency to go with repeat winners in the major categories, making “Game of Thrones” the safe choice to win television’s biggest prize.
Best Comedy Series Nominees:
- “Master of None”
- “Modern Family”
- “Silicon Valley”
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Analysis: A win for “Veep” seems likely, but keep an eye on the timely “Black-ish.” While it isn’t one of my favorite shows, it has major momentum this year and I wouldn’t be stunned if it took the win. Still, my gut tells me that “Veep” will win for the second straight year.
Best Actor-Drama Nominees
- Kyle Chandler for “Bloodline”
- Rami Malek for “Mr. Robot”
- Bob Odenkirk for “Better Call Saul”
- Matthew Rhys for “The Americans”
- Liev Schreiber for “Ray Donovan”
- Kevin Spacey for “House of Cards”
Analysis: Just when you thought Kevin Spacey would own this category with Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston out of the picture, “Mr. Robot” became a massive hit. The star of “Mr. Robot, Rami Malek, looks poised to steal the gold in a true coming out party. I’m expecting him to win multiple awards for his role as Elliot Anderson this year, starting here with an Emmy.
Best Actress-Drama Nominees
- Claire Danes for “Homeland”
- Viola Davis for “How to Get Away with Murder”
- Taraji P. Henson for “Empire”
- Tatiana Maslany for “Orphan Black”
- Keri Russell for “The Americans”
- Robin Wright for “House of Cards”
Analysis: This is shaping up to be the toughest major category to predict. It could realistically go to any of the nominees. The difficulty of Maslany’s many roles in “Orphan Black” make her an interesting possibility, but Viola Davis and Clare Danes have a history of winning that is hard to look past. It’s also difficult, of course, to ignore Robin Wright’s work in “House of Cards” and she seems to be the odds-on favorite.
Still, I have the feeling Keri Russell will be rewarded, whether or not “The Americans” ends up winning Best Drama Series.
Best Actor-Comedy Nominees
- Anthony Anderson for “Black-ish”
- Aziz Ansari for “Master of None”
- Will Forte for “The Last Man on Earth”
- William H. Macy for “Shameless”
- Thomas Middleditch for “Silicon Valley”
- Jeffrey Tambor for “Transparent”
Analysis: Jeffrey Tambor and Aziz Ansari both deserve this award, and Tambor is the reigning champ for his revolutionary role in “Transparent.” Fan favorites Macy and Forte don’t quite have as much momentum, but it’s fun to see them get recognition. Anthony Anderson is on fire this year and I predict that his work will be rewarded in a minor upset over Tambor.
Best Actress-Comedy Nominees
- Julia Louis-Dreyfuss for “Veep”
- Ellie Kemper for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
- Laurie Metcalf for “Getting On”
- Tracee Ellis Ross for “Black-ish”
- Amy Schumer for “Inside Amy Schumer”
- Lily Tomlin for “Grace and Frankie”
Analysis: As much as I would love to see Ellie Kemper win her first Emmy, I’m almost positive she won’t. This category belongs to Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Her win is simply as close to a lock as there is at the Emmy’s this year.
In the Supporting Actor categories, I think “Better Call Saul’s” Jonathan Banks squeezes out a victory over Peter Dinklage and Kit Harrington on the drama side, while Tony Hale easily wins in comedy for “Veep.”
In the Supporting Actress categories, I expect that Maggie Smith will carry the flag for “Downton Abbey,” beating out the “Game of Thrones” trio of Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey and Maisie Williams in Drama.
Allison Janney should win for the third straight year for her work in “Mom” in the Best Actress-Comedy category.
I’m expecting a great show on Sept. 18. At their core, the best things about awards shows SHOULD be their spontaneity Given the tightness of each race, the 68th Primetime Emmy’s have the potential to be the most spontaneous awards show in years.