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2013 Emmy Predictions: The Drama Categories

2013 Emmy Predictions: The Drama Categories

The Emmys haven’t exactly been perfect at nominating the most
deserving dramatic television — see the widespread dismissals of the
likes of “Sons of Anarchy,” “Battlestar: Galactica,” “Gilmore
Girls,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” and most horrifyingly, “The Wire.”
But they have improved significantly in recent years, particularly in embracing a new era of intensely acclaimed, mostly cable-made “smart TV.”

That’s certainly evident with this year’s nominees, the second batch in a row to ignore series from NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS altogether: “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards” and “Mad Men.” It’s a diverse and generally deserving lineup (though “The Americans,” “Justified,” “Orphan Black” and “Sons of Anarchy” all really deserved to be here too, particularly instead of the lazy third season of “Downtown Abbey”), and one that offers a serious race for the trophy. Any of them could take it, though if you had to take out one contender it would actually be three time winner “Mad Men,” which seems to be old news to Emmy voters this time around (for the first time ever, it didn’t get an acting nomination).

Emmy voters clearly have loved “Breaking Bad” over the years (giving stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul multiple Emmys), so it seems like this year is a good occasion to finally give it the top prize. But then again, it makes almost just as much sense to see the massively popular “Game of Thrones” take it, or maybe “House of Cards,” given how much unusual “of the times” credibility the Emmys got for nominating it in the first place.

We’ll see in September. For now, here’s our predictions.

The nominees and the predictions:

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production

Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling Television and Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21

House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television

Will Win: Breaking Bad
Could Win: Truly any of them (this is a very tight race), but House of Cards seems like the most reasonable spoiler given the buzz attached to it even being nominated.
Should Win: Breaking Bad
Shoulda Been Here: The Americans

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody

House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Jon Hamm as Don Draper

The Newsroom • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy

Will Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Could Win: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Should Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Shoulda Been Here: Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Bates Motel • A&E • Universal Television, Carlton Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions
Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison

House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson

Nashville • ABC • ABC Studios
Connie Britton as Rayna James

Scandal • ABC • ABC Studios
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope

Will Win: Kerry Washington, Scandal
Could Win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Should Win: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Shoulda Been Here:  Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire • HBO • Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti

Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut

Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson

Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling
Television and Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson

Will Win: Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (sympathy votes for snubbing him last year?)
Could Win: Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Should Win: Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Shoulda Been Here:  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Anna Gunn as Skyler White

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, Television 360, Startling
Television and Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

The Good Wife • CBS • CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris

Will Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Could Win: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Should Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Shoulda Been Here:  Monica Potter, Parenthood

This Article is related to: Television



I was very disappointed last year when Giancarlo Esposito did not take best supporting for BB. His performance that year and in year's past was amazing work. Was glad to see Aaron Paul be the one to beat him though. This year, while Jonathan Banks deserves the award for the sum of his seasons on BB, I can't deny that the best supporting work this past year was provided to us by Bobby Cannavale on Boardwalk. He was chilling. You didn't know if his next move was going to be a laugh or a brutal smack down. He deserves to win this year. Probably won't though.

EPJ 234

As much as I would love to see Homeland win in all of the major categories again, I think Claire Danes is the only one who has a shot at a repeat win. Her consistently riveting portrayal of CIA operative Carrie Mathison is the kind of dramatic acting that Emmy voters live for.


I think Vera Farmiga should win. Her performance in Bates Motes is twisted and effectively haunting.


I love Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston's performance, but he's already one (deservedly so). My vote is for Kevin Spacey. Arguably the best performance I've ever seen on a series.


I think Vera Farmiga should win, but this category is very strong, all of those women deserve to win!


Breaking Bad outstanding overall. Bryan Cranston can never have enough emmys for his role as Walter White.


Michelle Fairley should have been here, I love Emilia but her performance just wasn't as good. Peter Dinklage might win for his drunk scene

will towne

I'm hoping Breaking Bad Wins most of the major categories its in. It truly deserves it. At least Drama series


Michelle Fairley surely deserves a nomination, if not a win. Seriously I can re-watch the red wedding and I still am just as a affected by her performance. A true talent that deserves recognition.

tina lofty

For best female actor in drama series I would love to see Michelle Dockery to nominated,she is an extraordinary female actor.


For the supporting actress, I would love to see Elizabeth McGovern from Downton Abbey and Michelle Fairely from GoT. Hayden Paniettiere (Nashville) and Anna Gun (BB). The last 2 spots can go to one of the Mad men ladies and one of the Good wife ladies.


No Hannibal nominations? Best drama? Best actor (Hugh Dancy), supporting actor (Mads Mikkelsen), supporting actress (Caroline Dhavernas, or the multiple guest actresses (Gina Torres, Gillian Anderson)??


i think that hayden Panettiere, michelle fairley archi panjabi and deserves a nomination for their roles on nashville, game of thrones and the good wife


In a perfect world, it'd be:
Best Drama – Breaking Bad
Best Actor – Jon Hamm or Damian Lewis (although I'm leaning more toward Jon Hamm)
Best Actress – Claire Danes
Best Supporting Actor – Bobby Cannavale
Best Supporting Actress – Michelle Fairley
I still think Mad Men is a lock for a nomination. The season was wrapped up really beautifully, and even during a bad season, Mad Men is still one of the six best shows on TV, at least. (To me, it's only second this season to Breaking Bad) Besides, even if it didn't deserve a spot, I doubt they'd refuse to nominate a show that's won 'Best Drama' four times in a row. It's happened before, but I'd imagine the show would have to start *really* sucking for that to happen.
I also hope to God 'The Newsroom' isn't nominated, but it seems like a really award-friendly show, so it's probably going to happen. Jeff Daniels is the only remotely Emmy-worthy aspect of that show.


Emilia Clarke needs to at least be nominated! She just draws you in and captivates you. Plus, she is speaking multiple fictional languages with such fluency, it's amazing.


breaking bad really deserves some love, great show!


Best Actor Comedy:
1. Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
2. Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
3. Louis C.K., Louie
4. Jon Cryer, Two & a Half Men
5. Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
6. Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
SPOILERS: Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Joel McHale (Community), Matthew Perry (Go On), Charlie Sheen (Anger Management)
SNUBBED: Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It)

Best Actress Comedy:
1. Lena Dunham, Girls
2. Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
3. Tina Fey, 30 Rock
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
5. Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
6. Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
SPOILERS: Christina Applegate (Up All Night), Selma Blair (Anger Management), Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Mindy Kailing (The Mindy Project), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
SNUBBED: Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development)

Best Supporting Actor Comedy:
1. Will Arnett, Arrested Development
2. Ty Burrell, Modern Family
3. Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
4. Nick Offerman, Parks & Recreation
5. Ed O'Neil, Modern Family
6. Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
SPOILERS: Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live), Jesse Tyler Fergunson (Modern Family), Nolan Gould (Modern Family), Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live), Jeffrey Tamblor (Arrested Development)
SNUBBED: David Cross (Arrested Development)

Best Supporting Actress Comedy:
1. Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
2. Julie Bowen, Modern Family
3. Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
4. Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
5. Jessica Walter, Arrested Development
6. Merritt Weaver, Nurse Jackie
SPOILERS: Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation), Bette White (Hot in Cleveland), Ariel Winter (Modern Family)
SNUBBED: Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes)


I agree with most of these, but have some slight differences. Here are my predictions:

Best Actor Drama:
1. Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
2. Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
3. Michael C. Hall, Dexter
4. Jon Hamm, Mad Men
5. Damien Lewis, Homeland
6. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
SPOILERS: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Kelsey Grammer (Boss), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
SNUBBED: Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

Best Actress Drama:
1. Glenn Close, Damages
2. Claire Danes, Homeland
3. Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
4. Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
5. Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
6. Robin Wright, House of Cards
SPOILERS: Connie Britton (Nashville), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU), Keri Russell (The Americans), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Kerry Washington (Scandal)
SNUBBED: Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)

Best Supporting Actor Drama:
1. Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
2. Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
3. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
4. Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
5. Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
6. Corey Stoll, House of Cards
SPOILERS: Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), David Morrisey (The Walking Dead), John Slattery (Mad Men), Sam Waterson (The Newsroom)
SNUBBED: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)

Best Supporting Actress Drama:
1. Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
2. Rose Byrne, Damages
3. Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
4. Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
5. Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
6. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
SPOILERS: Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Sharon Gless (Burn Notice), January Jones (Mad Men), Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire)
SNUBBED: Kate Mara (House of Cards)


I keep saying it WALTON GOGGINS deserves to be nominated and WIN. If not then they have not watched The Shield or Justified


Joan Cusack has been phenomenal in Shameless and needs a nomination!! She has made me laugh and cry, even without speaking.


I've seen only Mad Men and Homeland and think Mad Men was MUCH better this year .. would like to see Kartheiser and Shipka nominated for supporting over Slattery/Jones/Pare .. actually think Shipka was better this year than Hendricks, but would give both nominations .. I actually don't think Damien Lewis is all that in year 2, but Danes definitely deserves a nomination .. if anything, the daughter deserves a nomination. The daughter in Homeland was really good as well as supporting. She drove a lot of the key scenes in S2.


Michelle Fairley for supporting actress…completely blown away by her portrayal in The Rains of Castamere

Meg Hyland

Where is the love for Hannibal??? you only have to look at episode 11, Roti and then you only have to give the emmy to Hugh Dancy!


I would love to see Emmy Rossum nominated for Shameless, She brings that show to life and has had some amazing material and performances this past year.


Michael Cudlitz for Supporting Actor hands down!!!!!!!


What about Hannibal & Hugh Dancy? He is amazing.


Mads Mikkelsen is a fantastic Hannibal and is able to convey emotion so subtly that you have to really pay attention to catch it, but you know it is there. He makes it so Hannibal is only predictable when it's convenient.


But where is Hannibal? I mean the show is a work of art, and one of the most emotionally stimulating shows I have ever seen!


Yikes – it's actually WALTON Goggins


Michelle Fairley totally deserves to be nominated (if not win) the emmy


Timothy Olyphant deserves to return to the top 6 in Best Drama Actor category for Justified. He was really good this past season … Raylan Givens was put through the paces.


You left out Michael Cudlitz of Southland for the Best Supporting Drama Actor category. He should definitely be mentioned for his performance in the final season.


It's WaltON Goggins, not WaltER


I still don't understand how Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter is not even mentioned on this list. Season 7 was her best performance to date and yet she still doesnt have a chance?


What Noel Fisher did with less than an hour total screen time in S3 of Shameless was simply breathtaking.


I'm not sure if he is even eligible, nor what category he would fall under, but John Noble's performance as Walter bishop in Fringe has been incredible. I know the series is considered sci-fi, so not much love, but he has created one of the most entertaining, multi-dimensional characters I have ever seen.


Elizabeth McGovern was submitted Supporting and Brendan Coyle didn't submit at all.


Honestly believe Lana Parrilla from once upon a time deserves a nomination, incredible actress.


Kerry Washington deserves a nomination!


I love cable…I mean Homeland and Game of Thrones are great shows starring terrific actors but I really feel like this year they should give a little more attention to traditional broadcasting channels…I personally loved Scandal and Revolution and I really hope they get some nominations.


They should be nominate Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for sure!


They should just nominate Tatinana Maslany six times – once for each role.


Hayden Panettiere's performance in Nashville was consistently nuanced and incredible, but she outdid herself in the season finale. She definitely deserves a nomination for Best Supporting Actress (after all, she was nominated for the Golden Globe).


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Michelle Fairley from Game of Thrones should be in "The Locks" !!!
I can't imagine a better performance than what these two actor delivered in the third season!
The bath scene with Jaime's monologue and the red wedding with Catelyn's face closing the episode are just those special, very rare moments what I'll never forget. And I'm pretty sure, I'm not the only one! GOT is the reason I enjoy watching TV again. Congrats for George R. R. Martin and the screen writers who are responsible for this amazing show and for turning me to a couch potato every Sunday night :)


If Tatiana Maslany doesn't win for her performance(s) in Orphan Black, the "winner" should just leave the statue on the podium.


Michelle Fairley from GOT should be in there after the last episode. And I'd be really surprised if the show didn't get nominated after that, although I still think Breaking Bad should (and will) win.


I think "Game of Thrones" needs a little more credence in the supporting actress category. Emilia Clarke ("And Now His Watch Is Ended") and Michelle Fairley ("The Rains of Castamere") gave two of the most compelling performances on television this year. Clarke's performance in her respective episode is nothing short of compelling, considering she does all her acting while speaking a fictional foreign language, and it's natural and emotionally tied to her character's journey. Fairley, on the other hand, is an acting force that I think has been looked over on the show for too long now; her character's complexity is subtle, and she handles it with grace. For spoiler's sake, I can't describe her acting with detail, but she essentially experiences all the stages of grief in the matter of three minutes in the final moments of her respective episode, and mixed with the heart-breaking story of her character as the matriarch of a constantly-breaking family, it's daunting to think about having to act what she did. But she did do it, and she succeeded with great emotional appeal. Maybe neither of these women deserve the win, but they definitely deserve higher consideration for a nomination.


Giancarlo Esposito from Revolution should be nominated. I loved him as Gus on Breaking Bad.

Jennifer Bunch

Nothing for "Sons of Anarchy"? Are you kidding? Katey Segal? Ron Perlman? Charlie Hunnan? Maggie Siff? Not to mention Jimmy Smits and Harold Perrineau.

And personally, I'd give Best Supporting Actor in a drama to Kim Coates in a heartbeat.


I don't know if this would go under Outstanding Supporting Actor or Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series but I really hope David Morrissey is nominated for his role as The Governor. Brilliant performance.


What? How is Peter Dinklage a lock for Best Supporting Actor over Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Are you mad?

Peter Dinklage's role has been vastly reduced this season and Coster-Waldau's, Jaime Lannister has been this season breakout character.

At this moment in time my 2 locks would be Aaron Paul and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

I would even rate Charles Dance's performance higher than Peter Dinklage's this season

And seriously though, Sam Waterston, over Coster-Waldau, Goggins and Cannavale? Come on now, everyone knows The Newsroom was the Jeff Daniel's machine

Lastly, I do not understand the House Of Cards and Walking Dead love on this list. You only listed Rectify in one category (where you listed Abigail Spencer lower than Morena Baccarin, seriously?) and Rectify completely blows both those shows out of the water. And Parenthood was superb this past season and you think it has less of a chance of an Emmy nomination than The Walking Dead, a show which declined immensely after it's midseason break and totally copped out on its Season Finale. That is quite non sensical


your putting your money on homeland while game of thrones only a strong contender????


What about Hannibal??


I sure hope they give some consideration to Rectify and Aden Young. I am addicted to that show!


I seriously hope Jennifer Carpenter gets at least nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Drama Series. This girl is amazing. It's shame she is so underrated. She makes her character so alive, it is unbelievable. Really rare talent.


I certainly hope some of these are wrong, Dinkelage and Aaron Paul locks? Don't get me wrong I love both of their performances year to year but in these prior seasons they didnt have the kind of material that held a candle to past performances. Not only that but each has superior competition this season within their show in Johnathon Banks and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau(who is insultingly low on this list). Lastly, on the supporting actor topic if Carey Stoll isnt nominated this will be one of the worst snubs I can recall.

Similarly, Bryan Cranston leading the pack for a season tat a lacking opportunities to showcase his ability as well, at least not near the level of say season 's "Crawl Space," which he did not win for. Cranston was good as always but didnt have the kind of moments one should need to win, also with the final season of Breaking Bad still to come there will be plenty of opportunity to shower further praise to the actors. Having said this, I woudnt be opposed to a win for Breaking Bad in the best drama series category, because despite it's lack of dramatic character moments to showcase the terrific acting range capable it was a phenomenal series of television.

One final note, Andrew Lincoln deserves much more consideration he has the strongest potential episode submission of anyone in the category with "The Killer Within," as part of what many considered the series best season. However, on a show largely ignored by the emmy's(not without good reason at times) Lincoln is unlikely to receive the attention he deserved, Cranston's unlikely to be omitted from Best Actor in favor of someone more deserving for their work this year, and Dinkelage and Paul are unlikely to be swapped out for the acting MVP's of their respective seasons, all due to the fact that the emmy's refuse to change from year to year.


Can they give Connie Britton that Emmy nod already? Or at least a nomination. I can think of at least 5 Emmy-worthy scenes on Nashville.


I would like to see "The Newsroom" get some recognition. Is an excellent show and beautifully made.

Steven Owsley

No love for "The Americans" ? Matthew Rhys was an emmy frontrunner in my opinion 5 minutes into the pilot and has carried the show ever since. Also, could there possibly be some love for Annie Parisse from "The Following?"


Once upon a time for best drama ?
Lana Parrilla for best actrice ?

Josh Labron

Who said there was a poor critical reception for the 3rd season of Downtown? I loved it


I believe the 6 Drama Series Nominations will all repeat from last year. Maybe House of Cards will sneak in past the overrated Downton Abbey. But those 5 Cable Beasts (as I like to call them) are not going anywhere! And you're clearly not "Emmy Savvy" if you can't see that. Boardwalk Empire as an "outside possibility" is just ludicrous.

But if you are going to put different shows in voters minds, please pick reasonable and deserving series. The Good Wife, Scandal, and The Walking Dead are not reasonable or deserving. How about Rectify, Parenthood, and Shameless! Or a few others besides those "pop" shows.


best lead actress: Vera Farmiga.


Connie Britton needs to get a nomination. She always brings her A game


@ joshua

Breaking Bad will be eligible for Season 5 Part 1 this year. S5.2 will be eligible next year (similar to what happened with the final season of The Sopranos).


Actually, Homeland's 2nd season was much more well-received than the first. I wouldn't be surprised if it wins again, but I think that they might actually go with Breaking Bad, mostly because it's their last chance to reward it and also because it was the most critically-acclaimed show of the year. I predict either a Breaking Bad or Homeland win for Outstanding Drama Series. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are locks though.


I think Kerry Washington will get in, buzz just keeps building for that show and her. Also hope out of the ones you have that Connie Britton, Monica Potter, and Hayden Panetierre get in.


What I'm most bummed about is the dismissal of Southland. Especially Michael Cudlitz.

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