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Emmy Award Predictions

The Emmy Awards will be presented August 29th and after several years of also-ran winners the nominations received a welcome shake up this time around. This should lead to statues on some new mantles and an overall exciting night. Following are my thoughts on the top categories…

BEST COMEDY SERIES

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“Glee” (FOX)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
“The Office” (NBC)
“30 Rock” (NBC)

Will Win – “Glee” is garbage (and not a comedy, but never mind); however, I think Academy members realized as much after it inexplicably received the most nominations of any show this year. That clears the way for “Modern Family” to take the award in its first season.

Should Win – After seven remarkable seasons, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” had its best year yet. Had the “Seinfeld” reunion storyline happened in the show’s first couple of years, it would be a shoo-in. Unfortunately, the Academy rarely rewards a long running series for the first time so late in its run.

BEST COMEDY ACTOR

Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”)
Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
Matthew Morrison (“Glee”)
Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”)
Steve Carell (“The Office”)
Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)

Will Win – Now that the “30 Rock” machine has cooled off a bit, Alec Baldwin might not have this one in the bag. This should mean Jim Parsons would snag an easy win, but unfortunately the Academy is very sentimental and will likely give Tony Shalhoub yet another (underserved) statue for the final season of “Monk.”

Should Win – The two best actors in this category, Jim Parsons and Larry David, have the unfortunate disadvantage of being both brilliant and irritating. Their performances are wickedly funny week after week, but the fact that their characters are less than likeable most of the time hurts their chances of ever winning an Emmy.

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS

Lea Michele (“Glee”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”)
Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”)
Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”)
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”)

Will Win/Should Win – Edie Falco is remarkable in “Nurse Jackie” and has the added bonus of having dramatic scenes in her submission episode, which always helps when vying for awards in comedy. Toni Collette could pull out another win for her portrayal of a woman with multiple personalities, but it will be difficult for anyone to take this award away from someone who has so successfully shed the shadow of Carmella Soprano.

BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR

Chris Colfer (“Glee”)
Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”)
Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”)
Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”)
Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”)

Will Win – Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Colfer won this award strictly by default. His nomination was a surprise, but now that he’s in the running, he has a good shot at winning. Any of the “Modern Family” contenders are far better and more than worthy, but I worry they will all cancel each other out. Jon Cryer got his award last year, which was already a fluke. Neil Patrick Harris submitted a rotten episode and has a better shot with his other two nominations (for the Tony Awards and a guest spot on “Glee”). That leaves Colfer, the most annoying character on a show crammed with infinitely hateable cast members.

Should Win – Week after week, Ty Burrell is not only the funniest person on “Modern Family,” but on the entire TV dial. After a long history of starring in failed sitcoms, it’s great to see him in a success worthy of his enormous talent.

BEST SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS

Jane Lynch (“Glee”)
Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”)
Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”)
Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”)
Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”)
Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men”)

Will Win – Nobody has a shot at beating Jane Lynch. Nobody.

Should Win – Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neill are the funniest couple on TV so it would be great to see one half of the pair walk away with a statue. She can make anything funny, sometimes without even saying a word.

BEST DRAMA SERIES

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Dexter” (Showtime)
“The Good Wife” (CBS)
“Lost” (ABC)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“True Blood” (HBO)

Will Win/Should Win – “Mad Men” is consistently the best show on TV, comedy or drama. Enough said.

BEST DRAMA ACTOR

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”)
Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”)
Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”)
Hugh Laurie (“House”)
Matthew Fox (“Lost”)
Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)

Will Win – Hugh Laurie, Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm are all overdue for a win here and I think one of them will finally take it from the formidable Bryan Cranston. My money is on Michael C. Hall, whose personal struggle with cancer over the past year has many supporters on his side.

Should Win – Jon Hamm, Jon Hamm, Jon Hamm. Subtlety rare wins these things and he’s never given any grandstanding to do as Don Draper, but his work the past season was impeccable. His submission episode, “The Gypsy and the Hobo,” finds him reduced to a low whisper in one of the most heartbreaking and fabulous scenes ever aired.

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS

Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”)
Glenn Close (“Damages”)
Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”)
Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”)
Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”)
January Jones (“Mad Men”)

Will Win – History shows that the Academy loves Julianna Margulies and she will be rewarded for a solid return to the tube, even if “The Good Wife” is not the most riveting show on the air. She does, however, get a lot to do each episode and voters are suckers for courtroom scenes. Just ask James Spader.

Should Win – January Jones plays such a cold and distant ice princess that it will be difficult for her to snag many votes. However, that she is so successful in her portrayal only speaks to her enormous acting prowess.

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR

Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”)
Martin Short (“Damages”)
Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”)
Michael Emerson (“Lost”)
John Slattery (“Mad Men”)
Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age”)

Will Win – If people decide not to vote for Bryan Cranston this year, they will still want to show some love for “Breaking Bad.” I’m surprised Paul has not won an award thus far, so this should be the year he gets to walk up on the Emmy stage.

Should Win – John Slattery plays smarmy better than anyone, although my vote would likely be for his previous work on earlier seasons of “Mad Man.” This past year he did not get nearly as much to do, since the show shifted much of its focus to Jon Hamm and January Jones..

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS

Sharon Gless (“Burn Notice”)
Rose Byrne (“Damages”)
Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”)
Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”)
Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”)
Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”)

Will Win – This award tends to go to highly respected actresses as a collective accolade for their terrific careers (ie: Tyne Daly, Holland Taylor, Dianne Wiest, Stockard Channing, Cherry Jones, Blythe Danner), so that puts Sharon Gless and Christine Baranski out in front. The nomination for Gless on such a lightweight show was a big surprise to everyone, but upon watching her fun and flashy performance it’s easy to see why she’s on this list. Given that the Baranski vote will be split by Panjabi, and likewise the “Mad Men” gals strike each other out, give this one to Gless.

Should Win – Like much of the Academy, I’m sure, I am torn between Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks. Moss is such a force to be reckoned within the halls of Sterling-Cooper and Hendricks is the polar opposite as she slinks down the same halls with sexual energy. Both deserve to win, but I would have a difficult time choosing which box on the ballot to check.

Bradley