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by Peter Knegt and Ben Travers
May 6, 2014 2:01 PM
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2014 Emmy Predictions: Best Drama Series

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions through August 25th, when the winners will be announced. 

"True Detective" made the cut, but can it stand up to the big boys where it really counts? The coulda-been miniseries is going up against no easy group of challengers, including the final season of "Breaking Bad' and the ever-popular "Game of Thrones." "House of Cards" is no slouch and "Mad Men" has four trophies under its belt. Anything could happen, but we'll do our best to analyze the trends and see who's got the edge each week.

READ MORE: Emmys: 2014's Tightest Races Find 'True Detective' Squaring Off Against 'Breaking Bad'

Below are predictions for best drama series from both Indiewire Awards Editor Peter Knegt and Assistant TV Editor Ben Travers. Check out predictions in all the categories here.

The nominees:
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"House of Cards"
"Mad Men"
"True Detective"

Ben's predictions:
Will win: "True Detective"
Could win: "Breaking Bad"
Should win" "True Detective"
Shoulda been here: "The Newsroom"

Peter's predictions:
Will win: "Breaking Bad"
Could win: "True Detective"
Should win" "Breaking Bad"
Shoulda been here: "Masters of Sex"


  • John | July 11, 2014 12:15 PMReply

    1)breaking bad

  • Critic | July 11, 2014 7:01 AMReply

    My list:

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Hannibal
    3. True Detective
    4. House of Cards
    5. Game of Thrones

  • Hannibal | July 11, 2014 6:59 AMReply

    Hannibal should also been in the nominees!

  • Samantha | July 9, 2014 9:50 AMReply

    I for one cannot understand the sudden hatred that many people seem to have of Downton Abbey. The plots, admittedly, are slightly weaker than they were in previous seasons, but we saw definite character development, and the acting is still stunning. I'll understand if it fails to pick up a nomination, but will feel it an injustice to a show that rebounded nicely following two major character deaths.
    My predictions are as follows, [in no particular order]
    1. Downton Abbey
    2. Breaking Bad
    3. The Good wife
    4. Game of Thrones
    That;s really all I can predict. The Good wife was simply brilliant in it's fifth season and I think it trumps True Detective. In a shows first season, it is often at its best in terms of critical response and story lines. Take Homeland for example. True Detective is experiencing the first season buzz that accompanies a fresh broadcast. The Good wife had just that, in its fifth season. To go five years without losing any credibility as a worthwhile show deserves recognition, and in effect, The Good Wife deserves to win.

  • Green | July 17, 2014 2:55 PM

    Agree with your statement 100%. I will be the first to say that season 4 of DA has been the worst yet, but I believe it's only because of the departure of Dan Stevens (Matthew), who provided so much of the story in all the other seasons that season 4 simply fell flat (and yes, brought Downton to its knees). The other actors/actresses all gave their typical brilliance. I really hope they find something-or someone-to fix the show in the next season, but even if they don't, the other three seasons (season two particularly) were still brilliant and deserved a lot more love from the Emmys than they got.

  • RAOUT | July 8, 2014 4:19 PMReply

    My predictions

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game of Thrones
    3. Downton Abbey
    4. The Good Wife
    5. True Detective
    6. Mad Men

    My perfect List would be, which will never happen:

    1. Revenge
    2. Once Upon a Time
    3. Game of Thrones
    4. The Good Wife
    5. Scandal (though season 3 was not so good)
    6. The Blacklist

  • Adler | July 5, 2014 11:40 AMReply

    My predictions for nominees (in no particular order):
    Breaking Bad
    Downton Abbey
    Game of Thrones
    House of Cards
    Mad Men
    True Detective

    Who will win: Breaking Bad
    Who could win: Both True Detective and Game of Thrones
    Who should win: Game of Thrones
    Who should be here: Hannibal and The Americans

  • Green | July 4, 2014 10:23 AMReply

    I really, really hope Game of Thrones wins it this year! What an amazing show, and this season has been the best yet! I'm keeping in mind that Breaking Bad and True Detective are also contenders, but I still feel Game of Thrones has a fighting chance.

  • Max | July 3, 2014 10:31 PMReply

    What will be nominated (in no particular order):
    Breaking Bad
    True Detective
    House of Cards
    Mad Men
    Game of Thrones
    Downton Abbey

    What Should be Nominated (in no particular order):
    The Americans
    Masters of Sex
    Boardwalk Empire
    True Detective
    House of Cards

  • - | June 29, 2014 4:16 PMReply

    I would really hope Hannibal gets in, seeing as House of Cards, while pretty good, doesn't really deserve a nomination in my opinion. My ideal picks would be
    1) True Detective
    2) Breaking Bad
    3) Mad Men
    4) Hannibal
    5) Game of Thrones
    6) The Americans

  • Tori | June 27, 2014 2:37 PMReply

    jeez, what's up with the Hannibal snub?

  • PHILIPPE AUGUSTO | June 23, 2014 1:20 AMReply

    Philippe's predictions:
    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Homeland
    3. House of Cards
    4. Game of Thrones
    5. True Detective
    6. Masters of Sex

    Mad Man

    In a Perfect World
    The Killing

  • UEF-L | June 22, 2014 9:07 AMReply

    This year was amazing!

    I am a television critic, and here is my top ten, and others, to win.

    1) True Detective (Best Drama this year)
    2) Game of Thrones (Sorry AMC, HBO takes top price)
    3) Breaking Bad (Last year was way better)
    4) Downton Abbey (This year kind of bought this show to its knee)
    5) House of Cards (I enjoyed this year more than last year, so it may be a huge spoiler)
    6) Bates Motel (If anything, last year was an upset to not get nominated)
    7) The Good Wife (Another nomination would be great, finally a nomination from the big 3)
    8) Masters of Sex (Amazing debut)
    9) True Blood (It finally rises after two seasons of wrecking)
    10) The Americans (Way better writing than most series)

    I was upset with some shows that lacked the juice to get on my list but I think some should BE ON my list:

    Mad Men (Not so great just like last year)
    Walking Dead (Not an upset, just pointing out a great drama)
    Once Upon A Time (If anything, this show deserves honor)
    The Killings (Seasons 1 and 2 were epic, this was a masterpiece with all those amazing casts)
    The Blacklist (I was shocked by the great series)
    Scandal (This is where the saying "Nothing beats the original" comes in)
    Orphan Black (1st season was better, but it still needs a nomination)

  • Miles | June 17, 2014 9:02 PMReply

    My predictions are:
    -Breaking Bad
    -Game of Thrones
    -House of Cards
    -Mad Men
    -The Good Wife
    -True Detective

    As to who will win? Honestly haven't a clue, though I'm leaning towards True Detective right now.

  • NewYorker | June 11, 2014 11:40 PMReply

    my predictions are
    Breaking Bad
    Downton Abbey
    House Of Cards
    Mad Men
    True Detective

  • David Clark | June 11, 2014 1:08 AMReply

    Nothing but respect for True Detective and Game of Thrones - both of which are fantastic shows that deserve all the praise in the world.

    But seriously, let them duke it out next time. This is Heisenberg's year - Breaking Bad should win in a landslide and it'll be a borderline war crime if it doesn't.

  • Chris | July 11, 2014 12:45 PM

    I'm delighted by your prediction and your comments. There is no question that BB should win. What show in the history of American TV nailed a finale quite like BB? It's hands down the greatest, most consistently superb drama of all time and therefore deserves to go out with the accolade it deserves. True Detective had one truly great episode this year and GOT has got plenty of seasons left to get theirs. Like you said, this is Heisenberg's year. Kudos and thanks for reminding your readers about a show that ended last year and may no longer be fresh in some minds (unlike 2014's TD & GOT). Cheers.

  • van pussy | June 11, 2014 10:18 AM

    what about last year, should not we call it Heisenberg's year, i do not support amc because their tragdy on BB make me sick, especially when emmy award on,they put the last eposides on the tv,one season wants two emmy award,shame on amc

  • EmmyWishes | June 9, 2014 5:36 PMReply

    I vote Once Upon A Time for "Best Drama." With that being said I cannot even begin to stress how much I want Robert Carlyle to get "Best Actor!!"

  • Jon | May 30, 2014 4:25 PMReply

    People who haven't read the books don't understand how amazing the last 3 episodes of Game of Thrones are going to be (particularly the last one). It could change things.

    That said, I still anticipate Breaking Bad winning.

  • Ablity | May 27, 2014 11:13 PMReply

    True Detective was the best T.V. season since Homeland season 1. Even with a ending and a villain that was rather uninteresting.

  • Johnny | May 20, 2014 2:49 AMReply

    Breaking Bad for sure. It's literally the best show of all time.

  • Chris | July 11, 2014 12:47 PM

    Without question. Cheers Johnny. Nothing can hold a candle to it (or likely ever will). I'm still going through Blue Sky withdrawal.

  • Fox | May 19, 2014 2:01 PMReply

    Breaking Bad
    Game of thrones
    True Detective
    The Americans

    Homeland shouldn't even sniff close to it even if there were ten nominees, it was pretty bad last season, that's how far it has fallen.

  • James | May 15, 2014 12:08 AMReply

    Wow this was a great year for television and its really hard to decide for me. I am stuck between Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and True Detective. I love them each too much Its really hard to decide. But at the end of the day, Breaking Bad will win because of politics. I dont think any one show will take home a lot of awards, it will be a tight eace and I cant wait to see how it unfolds.

  • The Great Alex | May 23, 2014 2:45 PM

    Are the politics that Breaking Bad is the best show of all time?

  • Max | May 16, 2014 7:36 PM

    What "politics" say that Breaking Bad will win?

  • Edward | May 14, 2014 12:11 PMReply

    My predictions

    Breaking Bad
    True Dectective
    Game of Thrones
    House of Cards
    Mad Men

  • shelly | May 7, 2014 2:38 PMReply

    Season 2 or Orphan Black has been a crative disaster. That is NEVER getting a series nomination.

  • Jay | April 23, 2014 11:10 AMReply

    I don't understand how Scandal can miss this list? That's the best show on television in my opinion.

  • Marissa | June 22, 2014 7:39 PM

    That's exactly what I'm saying.

  • Brett | April 10, 2014 9:03 PMReply

    True Detective.

  • John | April 8, 2014 6:43 AMReply

    With the new voting system there could be end up being seven nominees.

    My current predictions are:
    1. Breaking Bad
    2. True Dectective
    3. Game of Thrones
    4. House of Cards
    5. Mad Men
    6. Master of Sex
    7. The Good Wife

    Homeland, Downton Abbey

    in a perfect world:
    The Americans, Hannibal, Orphan Black (if season 2 is on point), Orange is the New Black (which should be competing in drama).

  • Max | April 8, 2014 10:26 PM

    I see what you did there.

  • John | April 8, 2014 6:44 AM

    I not too long ago had Person of Interest as an "in a perfect world" show, but I've recently lost interest.

  • David | April 8, 2014 3:51 AMReply

    It's a tough call. Breaking Bad is almost surface level while True Detective is much more nuanced. While True Detective is certainly great, Breaking Bad was more enjoyable.

  • Chris | July 11, 2014 12:57 PM

    Much more enjoyable and consistently great episode after episode. How do you get the meth train heist and car key remote machine gun episodes all in the last half of the final season? Both episodes could stand only as Oscar worth best film drama nominees.