“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Game of Thrones” is so revered that most don’t even realize it hasn’t yet won an Emmy in this category. A show that surpasses expectations every season, “Game of Thrones” has earned that long-awaited and well-deserved golden man. Winter has finally arrived, and voters should support Thrones unless they want to weather the storm of backlash from loyal fans.
What do you get when a four-time Emmy-winning show ends and “Breaking Bad” is finally out of the running? A fifth win for “Mad Men.” “Game of Thrones” may have changed the game multiple times, but Hollywood won’t be able to resist giving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce a little parting gift.
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Parks and Recreation” (NBC)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix)
While “Modern Family” has brought home the Emmy for the past seven years, “Parks and Recreation” has quietly pushed comedy to a new level. Ron Swanson himself would approve.
Last year’s biggest competition for perpetual award-winner “Modern Family” was the sassy and not-so-classy “Orange is the New Black.” With a new rule forcing “Orange” into the drama category, the road to the finish line has once again been paved for America’s favorite dysfunctional family.
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Jeffrey Tambor has carried “Transparent” for the past season, and viewers are waiting with bated breath to see his character Maura thrive in season two. Emmy voters can’t—and won’t— ignore this new contender.
"Transparent" has drawn justified criticism for failing to cast a trans woman in Tambor's role. In terms of sheer acting prowess, however, Tambor’s portrayal of Maura in Transparent has made history; with his killer performance, he is sure to go home with a well-deserved Emmy this Sunday.
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Ray Donovan doesn’t have quite the viewership that fellow dramas “House of Cards” and “Mad Men” possess. And yet, its star Liev Schreiber manages to be a clear standout contender among a myriad of deserving actors. Suave, stoic and sensitive, Schreiber steals the show and should steal the Emmy.
Jon Hamm’s last year as a nominee for Mad Men won’t let him go home a loser—for the seventh straight year. It’s simply a foregone conclusion
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Rec”
Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback”
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Like Mr. Hamm, Amy Poehler is another last-time nominee for a beloved, departing series. Sadly, she may once again go home without a golden man on her arm. Queen Leslie Knope faces some stiff competition, and another contender may be poised to steal her crown.
The Emmy’s tend to play favorites, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is clearly one of them. And while her character Selina didn’t fair as well, Louis-Dreyfus is all but guaranteed another victory thanks to Veep’s outstanding fourth season.
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Who hasn’t heard of Cookie Lyon? Henson’s performance has launched her to the top of the pop culture food-chain. While Robin Wright has also cemented her place as a strong Emmy contender, Henson’s beloved and oft-quoted character should get her a win.
Viola Davis’ performance as Annalise Keating rocked the T.V. world. Keating is smart, sexy, and black, a combination that is unfortunately still somewhat of a novelty in the pop-culture world. As Keating, Davis displays unmatched range and poise that will win her an Emmy.
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Lena Headey’s performance throughout the seasons should have guaranteed her a win by now. She’s always been a formidable actress on Game of Thrones, but this season she cried, lied, and walk-of-shamed her way to an Emmy. Viewers may love to hate Cersei, but no one can hate on Headey’s performance.
Christina Hendricks may pull at voters’ heartstrings with her final nomination for Mad Men. Her character has been through many hardships throughout the years, but last season Hendricks really took it up a notch. It’s hard to imagine the Emmy going to someone besides her.
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
This year, “Game of Thrones” has been nominated an unprecedented twenty-four times. It would be a Red Wedding-level tragedy for it not to win in at least one acting category, especially given Peter Dinklage’s performance as the beloved Tyrion Lannister. He may be a dwarf, but he stands taller than most, if not all, nominees with his performance.
Jonathan Banks may be one of the most underrated actors nominated this year. The Emmys have to give him a win for “Better Call Saul” to make up for snubbing his performance on “Breaking Bad.”
With its frank depiction of race and class in the American criminal system, “American Crime” not only proved to be gripping television, but also sparked a much needed conversation on current injustices offscreen.
The culturally-relevant, hard-to-watch American Crime is so powerful that it’s hard to imagine another potential winner. With a first-rate cast that deserves acting awards itself and an important message to boot, American Crime is sure to take the win.
“Dancing With the Stars”
“The Voice” has sung it’s way to an Emmy before and just might do so again this year. One of the two shows to dethrone “The Amazing Race,” “The Voice” has ingrained itself in American pop culture, and possibly even the Emmys.
A perennial favorite—it’s won 10 times in this category—“The Amazing Race” is bound to pull out another win. If the Emmys are a race, this show will once again surge past its fellow nominees.