Thursday, September 17, 2015

THE PRIMETIME EMMYS 2015 – PREDICTIONS FOR A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR

The Primetime Emmys are usually not that hard to predict. Once the television academy latches on to a particular nominee—in most of the major categories—they’re likely to repeatedly award the same shows or people. With MAD MEN’s four consecutive wins, MODERN FAMILY’s five, Jim Parsons’ four Emmys for THE BIG BANG THEORY and Bryan Cranston’s four for BREAKING BAD, completely unexpected results are quite rare. This year, however, things are mixed up a bit. Two-time drama series winner, BREAKING BAD is out of the race, and MODERN FAMILY’s win for outstanding series comedy isn’t a sure-shot this time. Let’s break it down.

Outstanding Drama Series
BETTER CALL SAUL
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
HOMELAND
HOUSE OF CARDS
MAD MEN
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

HOMELAND should probably win. It did dethrone MAD MEN three years ago, and it had an excellent season last year. However, I suspect the Academy will reward MAD MEN one last time before it leaves the mix. Incidentally, if MAD MEN does win, it would become the drama series with the highest number of Emmy wins for outstanding drama series, ever.

Outstanding Comedy Series
LOUIE
MODERN FAMILY
PARKS AND RECREATION
SILICON VALLEY
TRANSPARENT
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
VEEP

This is the big one. If MODERN FAMILY wins this year, which I hope it does, it becomes the series with the maximum number of Emmy wins for outstanding series—comedy or drama. However, this year, TRANSPARENT could shake things up completely. Although MODERN FAMILY has continued to win despite breakout successes such as GIRLS and VEEP joining the mix, so I’ll dare to say that MODERN FAMILY will win again, breaking an Emmys record.

Lead Actress, Drama
Taraji P. Henson, EMPIRE
Claire Danes, HOMELAND
Viola Davis, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK
Elisabeth Moss, MAD MEN
Robin Wright, HOUSE OF CARDS

They could really mix things up by giving this one to Taraji P. Henson or Viola Davis. But I think the Academy will play safe again this year, and give it to Claire Danes. She’s won twice before, and she did have a stellar season 4 of HOMELAND.

Lead Actor, Drama
Bob Odenkirk, BETTER CALL SAUL
Kyle Chandler, BLOODLINE
Kevin Spacey, HOUSE OF CARDS
Jon Hamm, MAD MEN
Jeff Daniels, THE NEWSROOM
Liev Schreiber, RAY DONOVAN

Kevin Spacey could win this one finally for HOUSE OF CARDS. Jeff Daniels could win a second time, but I don’t think that’ll happen This is a tight race for sure, because even Bob Odenkirk is deserving. However, I think the Emmys curse will finally be lifted from Jon Hamm, and the Academy will give him an award for his work on the last episode, after being nominated eight times for every year that the show has been on.

Lead Actress, Comedy
Lisa Kudrow, THE COMEBACK
Lily Tomlin, GRACE AND FRANKIE
Amy Schumer, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
Edie Falco, NURSE JACKIE
Amy Poehler, PARKS AND RECREATION
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP

Julia Louis-Dreyfus could easily win a fourth time, especially because of her great performance on VEEP last season. Lisa Kudrow would be an interesting pick though. Incidentally, when Kurdow was nominated for the first season of THE COMEBACK in 2006, she lost to Dreyfus, who won that year for THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE. The Academy clearly loves Dreyfus, so I think she’ll win again.

Lead Actor, Comedy
Anthony Anderson, BLACK-ISH
Matt LeBlanc, EPISODES
Don Cheadle, HOUSE OF LIES
Will Forte, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Louis C.K., LOUIE
William H. Macy, SHAMELESS
Jeffrey Tambor, TRANSPARENT

Will Jim Parsons win a fifth Emmy for BIG BANG? He could, and he probably will for an upcoming season. This year, though, I think Jeffrey Tambor is taking an Emmy home for TRANSPARENT.

Supporting Actress, Drama
Joanne Froggatt, DOWNTON ABBEY
Lena Headey, GAME OF THRONES
Emilia Clarke, GAME OF THRONES
Christine Baranski, THE GOOD WIFE
Christina Hendricks, MAD MEN
Uzo Aduba, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Here’s another place where the Academy will be generous with their love for MAD MEN. Christina Hendricks’ performance in the final season of MAD MEN was excellent, so she would deserve it even. I would also be happy to see Christine Baranski or Joanne Froggatt win though.

Supporting Actor, Drama
Jonathan Banks, BETTER CALL SAUL
Ben Mendelsohn, BLOODLINE
Jim Carter, DOWNTON ABBEY
Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES
Alan Cumming, THE GOOD WIFE
Michael Kelly, HOUSE OF CARDS

From the above roles, only Peter Dinklage has won for his role on GAME OF THRONES before. The Academy has skipped years between awarding the same person, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he wins this time. However, I really think it’ll be Jonathan Banks. His performance in the episode he’s nominated for was absolutely brilliant.

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Mayim Bialik, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Niecy Nash, GETTING ON
Julie Bowen, MODERN FAMILY
Allison Janney, MOM
Kate McKinnon SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Gaby Hoffmann, TRANSPARENT
Jane Krakowski, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Anna Chlumsky, VEEP

While Mayim Bialik will continue being the ‘bridesmaid’, I think Allison Janney will win again, for MOM. Jane Krakowski could win, but I doubt it, given the limited recognition the Academy gave her even for her work on 30 ROCK.

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Andre Braugher, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Adam Driver, GIRLS
Keegan-Michael Key, KEY & PEELE
Ty Burrell, MODERN FAMILY
Tituss Burgess, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Tony Hale, VEEP

This is one of those categories with a lot of repeat wins. Ty Burrell has won twice before, and I suspect he’ll win again. The upset could be Tituss Burgess for UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT.

Writing For A Drama Series
Joshua Brand for THE AMERICANS, “Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?”
Gordon Smith for BETTER CALL SAUL, “Five-O”
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for GAME OF THRONES, “Mother’s Mercy”
Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for MAD MEN, “Lost Horizon”
Matthew Weiner for MAD MEN, “Person To Person”

MAD MEN’s the strongest contender. Of course the odds of it winning are high, with two episodes nominated, but it has also won before. And the Academy might be a little partial to MAD MEN’s swan song. So I think it’ll be ‘Person To Person’.

Directing For A Drama Series
Tim Van Patten for BOARDWALK EMPIRE, “Eldorado”
David Nutter for GAME OF THRONES, “Mother’s Mercy”
Jeremy Podeswa for GAME OF THRONES, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”
Lesli Linka Glatter for HOMELAND, “From A To B And Back Again”
Steven Soderbergh for THE KNICK, “Method And Madness”

I think this one will go to HOMELAND. With all the action in the nominated episode, it’s a strong contender for sure. And despite two nominations for GAME OF THRONES, I don’t think it’ll win.

Writing For A Comedy Series
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik for EPISODES, “Episode 409”
Will Forte for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, “Alive In Tucson”
Louis C.K. for LOUIE, “Bobby’s House”
Alec Berg for SILICON VALLEY, “Two Days Of The Condor”
Jill Soloway for TRANSPARENT, “Pilot”
Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for VEEP, “Election Night”

This one’s going to be tight, between SILICON, TRANSPARENT and VEEP. Both, SILICON and VEEP’s nominated episodes were packed with suspense and very well-written situational comedy. I would give it to VEEP. However, I think the Academy will give it to TRANSPARENT, knowing their knack for awarding pilots of breakout successes in this category.

Directing For A Comedy Series
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, “Alive In Tucson”
Louis C.K. for LOUIE, “Sleepover”
Mike Judge for SILICON VALLEY, “Sand Hill Shuffle”
Jill Soloway for TRANSPARENT, “Best New Girl”
Armando Iannucci for VEEP, “Testimony”

MODERN FAMILY won this the last four consecutive times, but it’s not on this list this year, so it’ll be a first-time win for any of the nominated shows. I think it’ll be VEEP. ‘Testimony’ was indeed an excellently directed episode. The rising dramatic tension was strong and hilariously funny.



I think Sunday’s going to be exciting, with records potentially being broken, or with us an entirely new mix of Emmy winners. I hope MAD MEN and MODERN FAMILY win the series awards, but I would like it if the other categories don’t turn out to be as predictable as I think they’ll be. 

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