*There are some rule changes, for the nomination process, please refer to my last piece.
One of the bigger changes was defining a comedy as 30 minutes; there was a clause which allowed a series to petition this rule. Shameless, Glee, and Jane the Virgin won their petition, and were allowed to compete in the comedy categories, while Orange is the New Black lost their petition and will compete in the drama series categories this year, which is different from last year.
Last year’s Guest Actor in a Drama series winner Joe Morton, who plays Poppa Pope in Scandal, is no longer eligible in the category because he showed up in too many episodes; he is now competing in the Supporting Actor in a Drama.
These are just some examples of how those rule changes will impact the Emmy nominations, the nomination process remains the same, voters will check their top ten series choices, and this will be narrowed down to seven nominees in Drama and Comedy series. Voters will check 6 nominees for acting categories, and five for every other category. There is a chance for more nominees in any category based on the percentage of votes they receive, so don’t be shocked if there are 8 nominees in Comedy or Drama Actress, the most competitive categories. Here goes my own predicting!
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Orange is the New Black
There locks in this category are, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Mad Men. These shows are locks because of their history with the Emmy Awards.
Downton scores consistent nomination numbers. Game of Thrones has been the highest nominated series for many years, and the finale had tons of buzz. House of Cards has the political prestige, plus Spacey and Wright. Mad Men’s series finale had lots of buzz and the show has won here 4 times.
I would say Orange would rank five it score the most Comedy nominations last year, had big SAG and PGA wins, and is well liked. It should be able to translate here; it is just in new territory as a drama.
Next in line is Empire, it has acclaim, and was one of the strongest network shows this past year, which is something I could see the Academy rewarding. This category often lack diversity, and could fill that spot. Empire had huge Nielsen ratings, all big things.
The hard spot to predict is the 7th slot, there a lot of directions I could see voters picking.
The Affair won two Globes, and had some critical buzz, but it seems to have lost its buzz and traction. No one is talking about this show in the same light as they did last September and January.
The Americans won the big prize at the Critics’ Choice awards, and is coming off its most acclaimed season. The problem is the show has only received three nominations in its previous two years. Two of those three nominations were for veteran Emmy winner Margo Martindale, in Guest Actress in a Drama, and one was for Original Main Title Theme Music. The show has not even received a Casting nomination. You could compare this to Friday Night Lights, critically acclaimed early, but Lights received consistent Casting nominations, and a Directing nomination for its first season before its final two seasons.
Better Call Saul could benefit from Breaking Bad love, and while I think it could get a Writing nomination or Directing nomination, and nominations for Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, I think it may be in 8th place here.
I think the real threat is previous winner and two time nominee Homeland. Homeland won this honor in its first season, was nominated in season two, and dropped last year. The Emmy Awards like repetition, but the show only received two nominations last year. The third season had a tremendous drop in quality, while the fourth season has been well received and the show has shown up at the guild awards.
I think the last spot is between Homeland and Saul, namely because the Emmy Awards like tradition, and these two nominees would be in line with checking this box. I think are both seen as prestige shows.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
There are five shows I see as locks in this category, Big Bang, Louie, Modern Family, Valley, and Veep. All of these shows were nominated in Comedy Series last year, and the Emmy Awards have a massive rubber stamper in the Comedy categories, more than the drama categories. All of these shows performed well last year, and will continue to perform well this year.
Orange is the New Black was the sixth nominee last year, and that leaves two spots wide open in this category. Unlike Brooklyn Nine-Nine last year, which won Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, I think Transparent is a lock at a nomination. The show has massive critical acclaim, and performed well at many guild awards. I think you can safely predict these six
Picking the seventh spot is tricky. The majority or the pundits predicting have Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in the seventh slot, as do I, but I could see it going to any series. I have Kimmy in the seventh spot because of the Tina Fey factor, and it’s the strongest contender from Netflix, now that Orange is out in Comedy. These are strong enough for me to keep it in seventh, but it could go in any direction.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine could bounce back from a bad showing last year; it did have a SAG ensemble nomination, but doubtful, since it’s fallen off everywhere.
Black-ish has an accessibility factor, and seems like the strongest contender of these other potential nominees, but it does not sound like people are talking about it in the same way they did Modern Family.
Grace and Frankie has the traditional sitcom feel, and four legends of stage and screen, but reviews were mixed.
Jane the Virgin has the critical support, everyone love Gina Rodriguez, but it was nowhere at the guilds, and has the CW factor, meaning the network has never received a major nomination.
Parks and Recreation has been nominated once before, has had writing nominations, and Amy Poehler has been nominated many times, the show could get a final hug, but unlikely.
I will stick with Kimmy Schmidt for number seven.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom
John Hamm-Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk-Better Call Saul
Clive Owen-The Knick
Kevin Spacey-House of Cards
The biggest locks are Spacey and Hamm, they are also the front runners without episode submissions. After that it gets tricky.
From the new series, I think Bob Odenkirk will get in because he is well liked, and has a strong history in the industry. I think many respect the way he has turned from his comedy background to a more dramatic role. I would rank Terrence Howard fourth; he is a past Oscar nominee, which helps, although he is not the best liked in the industry which could hurt him. I think he will ride the Empire wave.
I think Jeff Daniels is in fifth; he won for this role two years ago, and was even nominated last year after the show continued to get much less attention. My sixth spot is a shot in the dark, and it was a toss-up between past winner Kyle Chandler in Bloodline, and Clive Owen in the Knick. I flipped a coin and went with Owen. Do not count out Hugh Bonneville!
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Viola Davis-How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson-Empire
Juliana Margulies-The Good Wife
Robin Wright-House of Cards
There are so many contenders in Drama and Comedy Actress, and I am truly happy about that, it just makes them the two hardest categories to predict.
My biggest long shot is Kerry Washington for Scandal; she is a big name and Scandal still scores in the acting categories. I think she could be taken down by Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey, Vera Farmiga in Bate’s Motel, Ruth Wilson in The Affair, or Elisbaeth Moss in Mad Men, in that order.
With that said, I think the other five nominees seem solid. I could also see this as a category where there are seven nominees, it happened two years ago. Davis and Henson are the frontunners, but you can never count out Robin Wright.
Outstanding Lead Actor in Comedy Series
Don Cheadle-House of Lies
Billy Crystal-The Comedians
William H. Macy-Shameless
Jim Parsons-The Big Bang Theory
This category has been one of the most boring categories for a long time, lots of repeat nominees, with lots of Parsons winning. There is some new blood that has a shot here, like Anthony Anderson in Black-ish, and Thomas Middleditch in Silicon Valley, but unfortunately I do not think they will make the cut.
I would look for many previous nominees to repeat here, Cheadle, Louis C.K., Parsons, and Macy will be back. I think Macy will dethrone Parsons; he won the SAG, and while his role is dramatic, it has some good comedic tones. Watch out for perennial nominee Matt LeBlanc from Episodes as a spoiler, the show gets writing nominations; he would replace Cheadle.
The two new additions to this category will likely be comedic legends, Billy Crystal for The Comedians and Jeffrey Tambor for Transparent, both seem like sure bets.
Outstanding Lead Actress in Comedy Series
Edie Falco-Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow-The Comeback
Amy Poehler-Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer-Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin-Grace and Frankie
The hardest category to predict, beyond Julia Louis Dreyfus I could make an argument for five other women to be nominated here. I could make an argument for 10 nominees in this category, and I will attempt to start with the five besides Louis-Dreyfus, because she is a lock!
I have Poehler ranked at number 2, namely because she has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, and while she has never won, they seem to like her a lot. This is split between two shows too. I could see her being snubbed too because Emmys have never warmed to Parks and Recreation.
My person in third place is Lil Tomlin. My initial gut was reaction was that both of the women from Grace and Frankie would make the cut, in the last moments I changed my train of thought, and only went with one. Tomlin is a living comedic genius, on the Board of Governors for Emmys, so it seems logical that she would make the cut.
I have Lisa Kudrow in fourth place for The Comeback. Kudrow has nine Emmy nominations including one for this role back at the 2006 ceremony; the show also received a writing nomination that year, which shows great support. The show is about the industry, and I think many actors relate to the brave performance Kudrow gives.
Amy Schumer is the “It Girl” of the moment, the way Melissa McCarthy was after Bridesmaids, her show and presence has gotten a lot of industry attention from critics; she even got a Peabody Award for her show. I think she it will be hard to ignore her strength.
On my sixth spot I was torn between three women, Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie, Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin, and Melissa McCarthy for Mike and Molly.
Falco has been nominated every year for her show, and the show receives 3 plus nominations every year, it would seem like she is the most likely of these nominees.
With statistics many would argue McCarthy is next. Like Falco she has won this award, she was not nominated two years ago, but was nominated last year, so she has the “comeback factor.
Then there is Gina Rodriguez, another star on the rise; she won the Globe, and has been all over the press, but will this be enough to break the CW/WB/UPN curse. It seems ridiculous that Emmy voters are snobby about not nominating shows/performers in major categories from those three networks but will nominate shows on Netflix and Amazon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer score a writing nomination, and that is the highest category for any of those networks.
I will go with statistics and pick Falco. Jane Fonda seems likely, and should could ride a wave if Grace and Frankie is well liked; the same could be said for Ellie Kemper and Kimmy Schmidt.
Please see below for the rest of my predictions in the Supporting categories of Drama/Comedy.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks-Better Call Saul
Jim Carter-Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage-Game of Thrones
Kit Harrington-Game of Thrones
Jon Voight-Ray Donovan
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Uzo Aduba-Orange is the New Black
Christine Baranski-The Good Wife
Lena Headey-Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks-Mad Men
Maggie Smith-Downton Abbey
Lorraine Toussaint-Orange is the New Black
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell-Modern Family
Andre Braugher-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Titus Burgess-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
TJ Miller-Silicon Valley
Chris Pratt-Parks and Recreation
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Mayim Bialik-The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen-Modern Family
Carol Kane-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt