It’s time for the 67th Annual Emmy Awards. This year the categories are filled with a lot of diversity and history could be made if either Viola Davis or Taraji P. Henson become the first African American woman to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series. Click here for a printable Emmy ballot.
Below are my picks for the major categories:
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
JON HAMM, MAD MEN
KEVIN SPACEY, HOUSE OF CARDS
LIEV SCHREIBER, RAY DONOVAN
JEFF DANIELS, THE NEWSROOM
KYLE CHANDLER, BLOODLINE
BOB ODENKIRK, BETTER CALL SAUL
I’m going with the sentimental vote in this category. It’s shameful that Jon Hamm hasn’t won an Emmy for MAD MEN. His heartbreaking performance in the series finale should finally right that wrong.
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
VIOLA DAVIS, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
ROBIN WRIGHT, HOUSE OF CARDS
CLAIRE DANES, HOMELAND
TARAJI P. HENSON, EMPIRE
TATIANA MASLANY, ORPHAN BLACK
ELISABETH MOSS, MAD MEN
This is by far the toughest category. My gut tells me that voters will want to take the opportunity to award the first Emmy in this category to an African American actress, both of whom are well deserving. My fear is that Davis and Henson will split the vote. I think with all the buzz surrounding Henson’s performance as Cookie on Empire, it’s her award to lose. If Henson and Davis do split the vote, Tatiana Maslany could take home the gold for playing multiple roles on ORPHAN BLACK.
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY
ANTHONY ANDERSON, BLACK-ISH
WILL FORTE, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
MATT LEBLANC, EPISODES
JEFFREY TAMBOR, TRANSPARENT
WILLIAM H. MACY, SHAMELESS
LOUIS C.K., LOUIE
DON CHEADLE, HOUSE OF LIES
This is another strong category, but I think Jeffrey Tambor has the edge. With Louis C.K. winning the Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series at the Creative Arts ceremony this past weekend, he could be the spoiler in the category.
BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY
JULIA-LOUIS DREYFUS, VEEP
LISA KUDROW, THE COMEBACK
AMY POEHLER, PARKS AND RECREATION
AMY SCHUMER, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
EDIE FALCO, NURSE JACKIE
LILY TOMLIN, GRACE & FRANKIE
Everyone loves a comeback and Lisa Kudrow certainly had the comeback of the year. Kudrow earned her second Best Actress nomination for her role in THE COMEBACK ten years after she was nominated for the first season of the show. Lisa Kudrow gave such an honest and vulnerable performance making her quite deserving of the award. Julia-Louis Dreyfus could of course win, again, for VEEP. Or, if Academy members are feeling edgy and daring Amy Schumer could be take the gold.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
PETER DINKLAGE, GAME OF THRONES
JIM CARTER, DOWNTON ABBEY
JONATHAN BANKS, BETTER CALL SAUL
ALAN CUMMING, THE GOOD WIFE
MICHAEL KELLY, HOUSE OF CARDS
BEN MENDELSOHN, BLOODLINE
The two front-runners in this category are Jonathan Banks, for the BREAKING BAD prequel BETTER CALL SAUL and Ben Mendelssohn for BLOODLINE. Both actors give strong performances, often stealing focus from their respective series leads. I give the edge to Mendelssohn whose performance as the tortured younger brother in a family full of dark secrets, gave energy to every scene in which he appeared.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
JOANNE FROGGATT, DOWNTON ABBEY
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, MAD MEN
EMILIA CLARKE, GAME OF THRONES
LENA HEADEY, GAME OF THRONES
UZO ADUBA, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
CHRISTINE BARANSKI, THE GOOD WIFE
I think this category goes to Lena Headey for her role as Cersei Lannister on GAME OF THRONES. Her naked walk of shame in the season finale stands as one of the most iconic moments of the series. Uzo Aduba could be the upset. Last year she won the Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in ORANGE IS THE BLACK. With the new rule changes, the show is now in the drama category and Aduba had great dramatic material during season two. If Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss are overlooked in the Lead Actor and Actress categories, the Academy might honor Christina Hendricks, giving the show its only acting win during its seven season run.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
TY BURRELL, MODERN FAMILY
KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY, KEY & PEELE
ADAM DRIVER, GIRLS
ANDRE BRAUGHER, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
TONY HALE, VEEP
TITUS BURGESS, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Titus Burgess stole the show with his star-making turn as Titus Andromedon in THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT. A win in this category gives voters a chance to acknowledge the Netflix comedy. Pino Noir!
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
NIECY NASH, GETTING ON
GABBY HOFFMANN, TRANSPARENT
ALLISON JANEY, MOM
JULIE BOWEN, MODERN FAMILY
MAYIM BIALIK, THE BIG BANG THEORY
KATE MCKINNON, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
JANE KRAKOWSKI, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
ANNA CHLUMSKY, VEEP
I think Anna Chlumsky takes this one for her amazing monologue where she gives President Salina Meyers a dressing down that was years in the making. Chlumsky can play confident and neurotic at the same time and is never over-shadowed by the amazing Julia-Louis Dreyfus.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
MODERN FAMILY, ABC
PARKS AND RECREATION, NBC
SILICON VALLEY, HBO
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
It’s time for MODERN FAMILY to be dethroned and LOUIE is just the show to do the honor. The edgy drama from FX won the Best Writing for a Comedy Series award this past weekend and the unorthodox comedy deserves the win.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
BETTER CALL SAUL, AMC
DOWNTON ABBEY, PBS
GAME OF THRONES, HBO
HOUSE OF CARDS, NETFLIX
MAD MEN, AMC
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, NETFLIX
This category is a battle between MAD MEN and GAME OF THRONES. I’m going with MAD MEN. In its final moments it delivered a water-cooler moment when it was revealed or alluded to that series lead Don Draper would go on to create the iconic “I want to buy the world a Coke” ad. GAME OF THRONES had an action packed finale and the scope of its production is award worthy, as demonstrated by its multiple wins at the Creative Arts ceremony. But, my final vote goes to MAD MEN.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The Emmy’s air on Saturday, September 20th at 8pm EST on FOX.
Who are you picks to take home the gold? Let me know in the comments below.