2013 Emmy Award Predictions: ‘House Of Cards’ Is Wildcard Challenger To ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Mad Men’

  @EllenKilloran on September 20 2013 5:07 PM

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will air this Sunday on CBS, and for the first time in a long time, the broadcast may actually be vaguely exciting. Most all of the major categories are stacked with equally worthy competitors, and the Netflix original series “House of Cards” is perched to make history as the first online series to win an Emmy Award (it’s already made history by being nominated in the first place – in the top categories -- along with “Arrested Development,” represented by Jason Bateman as a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series nominee).

There will be some competition outside of the nominee pool – in the form of counterprogramming from AMC and Showtime, which are airing key episodes of “Breaking Bad” (the penultimate episode) and “Dexter” (the series finale) at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. In another time, viewers might choose to watch the broadcast live and DVR “Breaking Bad” and “Dexter” for later, but in today’s spoiler-averse social media culture, there’s pressure to watch popular series as they air. Last week’s explosive “Breaking Bad” episode reached a record-breaking 6.4 million viewers, about half of the viewership of the 2012 Emmy broadcast. Of course, we wouldn’t expect a basic cable series with a somewhat specialized audience to cut Emmy viewership in half, but we have to imagine it will take a bite out of the ratings. Wonder if Academy voters will penalize AMC for refusing to get out of Emmy’s way? (Probably not.)

A common refrain heard around any awards ceremony is that it’s impossible to choose winners out of a deserving nominee pool. But this year that feels particularly true. “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “House of Cards” could all easily walk away with the Drama Series trophy. Likewise, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey are equally matched contenders in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Generally speaking, we have to give a slight edge to “Breaking Bad” in these categories, and predict this is Anna Gunn’s year to take the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series prize. We don’t expect that Aaron Paul will have repeat success with another Supporting Actor win; this year, that prize probably will – and should – go to either his co-star Jonathan Banks or Mandy Patinkin, by far the best thing about “Homeland”’s sophomore season.

This could also be the year for “Mad Men” to finally take home an individual acting prize, with Christina Hendricks positioned as a strong challenger to Gunn, and Elizabeth Moss a popular favorite in a tight race among Lead Actress nominee, where it is truly anyone’s game. Moss is nominated a second time for her powerhouse turn in The Sundance Channel miniseries “Top of the Lake,” the phenomenal, quirky and female-dominated brainchild of Jane Campion, which will likely lose out to HBO’s “Behind the Candleabra” for the top prize.

In the comedy field, many prognosticators are presuming “Modern Family” will continue to dominate as it has before, but if there was ever a year to shake things up, this is it. “Enlightened,” which was canceled this year to the chagrin of its devoted fan base, could get the retribution win, as could Lead Actress Laura Dern. A Supporting Actress win for “Nurse Jackie”’s Merritt Wever would be cause for celebration – and we think she has a shot of edging out “The Modern Family” ladies.

Read on for a complete list of nominees, with our picks in bold.

 

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey,” PBS

*Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,”  HBO

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men,” AMC

Damian Lewis, “Homeland,” Showtime

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix

 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Connie Britton, “Nashville” ABC

Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey,” PBS

Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel,” A&E

Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men,” AMC

Kerry Washington, “Scandal,” ABC

*Robin Wright, “House of Cards,” Netflix

 

COMEDY SERIES:

“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS

“Girls,” HBO

*“Louie,” FX

“Modern Family,” ABC

“30 Rock,” NBC

“Veep,” HBO

 

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development, Netflix

Louis C.K., “Louie,” FX

Don Cheadle, “House of Lies,” Showtime

Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes,” Showtime

*Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory,” CBS

Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock,” NBC

 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Lena Dunham, “Girls,” HBO

*Laura Dern, “Enlightened,” HBO

Tiny Fey, “30 Rock,” NBC

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation,” NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

*Adam Driver, “Girls,” HBO

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, ABC

Ed O'Neill, Modern Family, ABC

Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC

Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live, NBC

Tony Hale, Veep, HBO

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS

Jane Lynch, “Glee,” Fox

Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” ABC

Julie Bowen, “Modern Family,” ABC

*Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime

Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock”, NBC

Anna Chlumsky, “Veep,” HBO

 

DRAMA SERIES:

*“Breaking Bad,” AMC

“Downton Abbey,” PBS

“Homeland,” Showtime

“Game of Thrones,” HBO

“House of Cards,” Netflix

“”Mad Men,” AMC

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO

Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey,” PBS

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones,” HBO

*Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland,” Showtime

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey,” PBS

Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones,” HBO

Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife,” CBS

Morena Baccarin, “Homeland,” Showtime

Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men,” AMC

 

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

*Michael Douglas, “Behind The Candelabra,” HBO

Matt Damon, “Behind The Candelabra,” HBO

Toby Jones, “The Girl,” HBO

Benedict Cumberbatch, “Parade's End,” HBO

Al Pacino, “Phil Spector,” HBO

 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story,” FX

Laura Linney, “The Big C: Hereafter,” Showtime

Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector,” HBO

Sigourney Weaver, “Political Animals,” USA

*Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake,” Sundance Channel

 

MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

“American Horror Story: Asylum”, FX

*“Behind the Candelabra,” HBO

“Phil Spector,” HBO

“Political Animals,” USA

“The Bible,” History

“Top of the Lake,” Sundance Channel

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