of the nominees in each category is going to be as hard as it was a few years ago when the Emmy's went to the panel system, and they had some out of left field nominees.
In the drama categories not many shows within their first year will contend, the biggest contender is Homeland, and it should grab a nomination in Outstanding Drama Series, and have three acting nominations, Mandy Patinkin may be left out.
Downton Abbey is new to this category, but was an Emmy winner in the mini-series/movie category over the most nominated series Mildred Pierce. My favorite Emmy expert Tom O'Neil has the best logic for why this film will get into the drama category, it will satisfy the snob vote. Plus there is history that works like this do incredibly well, from Upstairs/Downstairs to Cranford.
One show that may finally disappear from these categories all together is Dexter. Michael C. Hall and the team from this show were picked out of habit last year. No disrespect to the fine people who work on this show, but Dexter lost it's edge after they killed Julie Benz.
With new shows being added to the game, and old shows like Justified and Sons of Anarchy having great seasons the Emmy voters have a tough call on their hands within this category. Will these F/X gems make the cut? Maybe Justified, but doubtful.
One of the most interesting points this year is how basic cable/major networks will far come nominations time. The only major network show that has a chance at a Best Drama nomination is The Good Wife. The show had a strong season (even in it's third), but was it enough in this competitive race? The show has always grabbed 12 nominations or so, and is a major favorite within the acting branch. Can Wife take out one of the two HBO series Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones?
In the battle of Boardwalk verses Thrones, after thinking about it time and time again, I have to give the edge to Boardwalk. Boardwalk won the most creative arts Emmys ever last year with seven, but only took home one on awards night for obvious favorite Martin Scorsese, in the drama directing category. The show had the most nominations 17, but will Boardwalk end up like Six Feet Under in season three, dead on arrival? Thrones is a genre show, and if you are not a fan of the show understanding the lore is quite difficult, the same way understanding Lost was difficult. Lost did not earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series during its second year. Thrones was nipping at the heals of Boardwalk last year with 13 nominations, but only won one Emmy at the creative arts Emmys (which is should have won more), and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage.
With all these what if scenarios the real question is who ends up being nominated this year, so here is my best guess.
Best Drama Series
The Good Wife
Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi-Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston-Breaking Bad
John Hamm-Mad Men
Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates-Harry's Law
Julianna Marguilles-The Good Wife
Elizabeth McGovern-Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss-Mad Men
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Alan Cumming-The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage-Game of Thrones
Giancarlo Esposito-Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul-Breaking Bad
John Slattery-Mad Men
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski-The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks-Mad Men
Anna Gunn-Breaking Bad
Kelly McDonald-Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi-The Good Wife
Maggie Smith-Downton Abbey
I am only going to predict the main five, the rest are usually more off the wall, and I am predicting today because I will be at a retreat until Thursday morning so I will miss out on my last minute predictions, but this is what I think at the moment. Game of Thrones could make it into the best drama race, and there are a lot of variables while predicting this. Most nominations will go to Mad Men again, but their total will be lower. What do you think?