Next Thursday we’ll see what the Television Academy recognizes as the best TV of the past year with this year’s Emmy award nominations. Some award darlings have moved on to the pearly gates (30 Rock), other favorites had weak years (Homeland, Downton Abbey, Newsroom) and some shows/performances are generating enough buzz and support that the academy may feel they have “permission” to nominate some worthy newcomers. Will we see some new names recognized for excellence this year?
Of course we’ll see some perennial favorites – this is the final chance to reward Breaking Bad which will go down as one of the most remarkable shows ever. Well-rewarded Mad Men is starting their long goodbye (over 2 years!), so they could also be recognized, but may see a stronger push for their final year next year.
But, more and more, the TV Academy can’t deny some of the great stuff happening on genre shows, more quirky shows and online shows. Right? Right?
Case in point: If Tatiana Maslany is not nominated for her 7 roles in Orphan Black (this season), then the Emmy loses any meaningful credibility. The Academy can be slow to recognize new shows/performers, but after another year of tremendous critical and fan support and her second Critic’s Choice award, could this be her year?
What else does Tatiana need to do to earn a nomination? Let’s look at the popular traits of award winners:
British accent – Check! (Sarah and Rachel)
Sing and Dance – Check! (Alison)
Mental issues – Check! (Helena and, after that finale, Rachel)
Play sick/dying – Check! (Cosima and Jennifer)
Alcoholic – Check! (Alison)
Play a protective mother – Check! (Sarah)
Play a man – Check! (Tony)
Unravel a conspiracy – Check! (Sarah et al)
Play a strong female character in a male-dominated world – Check! (How about 5 of them?)
Fight the Nazis – um….maybe not yet. But we do have a group of armed and organized, genetically-obsessed genetic purists…
Let’s hope the Academy gets with it and finally recognizes Tatiana for her outstanding work!
Orange is the New Black also has a lot of potential with strong buzz and love for the show. Is it enough to garner some Emmy recognition?
Here’s a look at my predictions for locked-in nominees and other names that also have a shot for Emmy glory!
Best Drama: The first three shows are pretty much a lock for a nomination. Homeland and Downton Abbey were pretty weak this season so the door may be open for some more adventurous choices.
On the Ballot: True Detective, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, The Good Wife
Alternates: Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Orphan Black, The Americans, The Bridge, Scandal, The Blacklist, Masters of Sex
Best Actress, Drama: So many worthy contenders in this category! This may be one of the toughest categories since there are better roles for women on TV than in the movies.
On the Ballot: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Kerry Washington (Scandal), Claire Danes (Homeland)
Alternates: Keri Russell (The Americans), Connie Britton (Nashville), Diane Kruger (The Bridge), Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
Best Actor, Drama: Alright, alright, alright! Matthew McConaughey is having a great year with a lock on a nomination and a good shot at an Emmy to go with his Oscar.
On the Ballot: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Alternates: Woody Harrelson (True Detective), James Spader (The Blacklist), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex), Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Best Supporting Actress, Drama: Lots of contenders, but we’ll probably see a lot of familiar names here. A wave of love for True Detective could push Michelle Monaghan on to the ballot, but it would be great to see Maisie Williams get recognition for holding her own in a cast of standout performances.
On the Ballot: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Alternates: Michelle Monaghan (True Detective), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead), Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), Monica Potter (Parenthood), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Annet Mahendru (The Americans)
Best Supporting Actor, Drama: There’s no way Aaron Paul and Peter Dinklage can be overlooked this year – amazing work from the two of them. Several Game of Thrones episodes seemed to have speeches specifically written for a “For Your Consideration” submission for Peter. The other slots are a bit more open.
On the Ballot: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Alternates: Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan), Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire), Walton Goggins (Justified)
Best Comedy: Will Modern Family make history with yet another win? It was a pretty inconsistent year so maybe, maybe not, but they will get the nomination. The question is whether or not there’s enough love and buzz for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Orange is the New Black to push Girls off the ballot.
On the Ballot: Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Veep, Louie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orange is the New Black
Alternates: Girls, Shameless, Silicon Valley
Best Actress, Comedy: Is there anyone who could snap Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ two-year winning streak?
On the Ballot: Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Alternates: Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Anna Faris (Mom), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Emmy Rossum (Shameless)
Best Actor, Comedy: With a Golden Globe win, Andy Samberg should be one of the new nominees for this category.
On the Ballot: Louie CK (Louie), Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
Alternates: Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show), William H Macy (Shameless), Johnny Galecki (Big Bang Theory), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley)
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy: This category has a few wildcards so we’re bound to see some new names here.
On the Ballot: Allison Janney (Mom), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Merritt Weaver (Nurse Jackie)
Alternates: Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black), Laura Prepon (Orange is the New Black), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory), Kristen Bell (House of Lies)
Best Supporting Actor, Comedy: Some years this category should just be titled “best male performance in Modern Family.” That show should dominate again this year, but expect the wonderfully deadpan Andre Braugher to mix things up.
On the Ballot: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Tony Hale (Veep), Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Alternates: Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Adam Driver (Girls), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Best TV Movie: With so many contenders, the academy split TV movie and Miniseries into separate categories this year. The TV movie categories will be sending many love notes to The Normal Heart. For everyone else, the honor is in the nomination.
On the ballot: The Normal Heart, Sherlock: His Last Vow, The Trip to Bountiful
Alternates: Burton and Taylor, Killing Kennedy
Best Miniseries: Alright, Fargo should be a lock on the win for this category. Stunning, stunning show where everything came together just right…
On the Ballot: Fargo, American Horror Story: Coven, Luther, Dancing on the Edge
Alternates: The White Queen, Rosemary’s Baby, The Hollow Crown
Best Actress, mini-series/TV movie: This category could recognize a broad range of movie actresses, but Cicely Tyson is the overall frontrunner.
On the Ballot: Cicely Tyson (Trip to Bountiful), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven), Helena Bonham Carter (Burton and Taylor),
Alternates: Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), Whoopi Goldberg (A Day Late and A Dollar Short), Sarah Paulson (American Horrors Story: Coven), Zoe Saldana (Rosemary’s Baby)
Best Actor, mini-series/TV movie: Hopefully the Academy will recognize both Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman for their terrific performances in Fargo. Regardless, Mark Ruffalo should probably clear off room on his mantle…
On the Ballot: Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart), Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo), Martin Freeman (Fargo), Christopher Plummer (Barrymore), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow), Idris Elba (Luther)
Alternates: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge), Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown), Tom Hiddleston (The Hollow Crown)
Best Supporting Actress, mini-series/TV movie: And the award better be going home with Allison Tolman (Fargo)!
On the Ballot: Julia Roberts (The Normal Heart), Allison Tolman (Fargo)
Alternates: Kathy Bates (American Horrors Story: Coven), Frances Conroy (American Horrors Story: Coven), Lily Rabe (American Horrors Story: Coven), Ellen Burstyn (Flowers in the Attic), Jacqueline Bisset (Dancing on the Edge)
Best Supporting Actor, mini-series/TV movie: This category could be dominated by the men of The Normal Heart so this category will be shaped by how much love that movie can generate.
On the Ballot: Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart), Martin Freeman (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
Alternates: Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart), Taylor Kitsch (The Normal Heart), Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart), Alfred Molina (The Normal Heart), Bob Odenkirk (Fargo), John Goodman (Dancing on the Edge)
Whew! So those are my thoughts on the matter. Anyone I missed? Who else do you think deserves some praise?
Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly will announce the nominees next Thursday, July 10th.
Comment below or email me at Erica@MikeTheFanboy.com
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