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Ecks Factor: Who's Taking Emmy Home Tonight?

No guts, no glory. Here are my predictions for tonight's Primetime Emmy Awards, subject to be really wrong.

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
Mad Men (AMC)

Who Should Win: Breaking Bad
Who Will Win: Homeland
Biggest Snub: Revenge

Thoughts: What a crazy category. I think any of these six shows can walk away tonight with the victory. Mad Men's chances of a fifth consecutive victory are great, but the competition is too fierce to not consider any other possibilities. Boardwalk Empire was the longshot to get nominated, so the win is unlikely. I'll say the same for Game of Thrones. On a different year, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire would be the frontrunners. Breaking Bad has been so good in its five seasons, but will the Emmys wait until one of the next two opportunities to reward it? But I'll include in the four-way race, also between Downton Abbey, Homeland and Mad Men. Downton Abbey was previously eligible in the Miniseries categories, but has moved this year to Drama. It will likely pick up a few acting wins, but will miss the top award. To cut the field in half further, I say it comes down to Mad Men and Homeland. Mad Men could hold a rare distinction by winning for a fifth time, but I personally believe the Emmys will go for new blood in Homeland. I just would not bet any money on it.

Outstanding Comedy Series
    30 Rock (NBC)
    The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
    Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
    Girls (HBO)
    Modern Family (ABC)
    Veep (HBO)

Who Should Win: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Who Will Win: Modern Family
Biggest Snub: Happy Endings

Thoughts: Girls and Veep came along at just the right time to snag two of the six nominee slots for Best Comedy. While Girls is relevant enough to stay in the minds of voters, if Veep had premiered, say, last July, I don't think it would have been nominated. Not saying that it doesn't deserve the nomination, but Happy Endings deserves the win here and isn't even nominated. Just sayin'. 30 Rock stole the nomination from Parks & Recreation, an equally deserving Biggest Snub recipient. Fans say 30 Rock had a strong season, but it's not winning over newer content. My pick for who should win is easily Curb Your Enthusiasm, a series that has been consistently hilarious for eight seasons and has never won the big award. Heck, Larry David reunited the Seinfeld gang and even filmed part of a reunion episode in Season 7 and still lost. The Big Bang Theory is a dark horse here to sneak out a victory, but I'm calling it to come down to Girls and Modern Family. And Girls is just too young at this stage to win. Expect the Modern Family three-peat.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
    Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
    Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
    Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    Michael C. Hall, Dexter    
    Jon Hamm, Mad Men
    Damian Lewis, Homeland

Who Should Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Who Will Win: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Biggest Snub: Hugh Laurie, House

Thoughts: In any other field, three straight (eligible) victories would be an asset. Here, it's an eye-opener that maybe voters should start spreading the wealth. Doesn't mean they will, or that they should, but after being ineligible last year, Cranston is back with his fourth nod, and while many predict he'll win again, I believe voters will go against the grain here. Damian Lewis is too young in the category to be a contender and is overshadowed by co-star Claire Danes. Jon Hamm could finally win as Don Draper, but it seems like a joke now. Will he finally win? Michael C. Hall is clearly the 6th nominee, which leaves him out. He should have won years ago as Dexter Morgan. If I had to guess, this will be one of those categories where the votes get split between certain people, and Steve Buscemi will steal a victory as Nucky Thompson. I've seen crazier things happen.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
    Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
    Glenn Close, Damages
    Claire Danes, Homeland
    Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
    Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
    Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Who Should Win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Who Will Win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Biggest Snub: Emily VanCamp, Revenge

Thoughts: I'm familiar with almost every nominee, just not their specific work. But I do know how well Claire Danes is doing as the flawed, bipolar spy on Homeland and it can't be ignored. Which is probably exactly why it will be ignored, but I'm going all in on my prediction that Danes is the one to beat here. Outside shot goes to Michelle Dockery, depending on how much voters love them some Downton Abbey.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
    Louis C.K., Louie
    Don Cheadle, House of Lies
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
    Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Who Should And Will Win: Louis C.K., Louie
Biggest Snub: Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Thoughts: A tricky vote here. Do voters go with one of the old favorites in Alec Baldwin, Jon Cryer (previously won in supporting) or Jim Parsons? Or do they go with their nomination darling in Louis C.K.? Let's assume Larry David and Don Cheadle are out, as far Baldwin and Cryer. It's going to come down to the all-too-deserving C.K. and the all-too-praised Parsons. More than ever, it's evident that the Emmys don't mind rewarding people and shows multiple times. But Louis C.K. has something around seven or eight nominations in total this year all across the board, and his biggest nomination is right here. It will be a travesty if he doesn't win, but I won't be shocked to hear Jim Parsons' name for the third time.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
    Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
    Lena Dunham, Girls
    Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
    Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
    Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation

Who Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Who Will Win: Lena Dunham, Girls
Biggest Snub: Beth Behrs, 2 Broke Girls

Thoughts: Zooey Deschanel's Jess tamed down throughout the season, resulting in what I feel is definitely a stronger show, but her funny side has been overshadowed by Max Greenfield's Schmidt and even the underrated Jake Johnson. This category comes down to two deserving candidates: Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler. With Parks & Recreation snubbed for Best Comedy, this might be Amy's last viable shot to win this award, and she deserves it. But all signs are pointing to Dunham, who does so well in her role, you forget she's acting in a TV show. Outside shot goes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who could win for her third regular comedy role (after Seinfeld and Old Christine). But I predict that will come at a future telecast.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
    Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
    Peter Dinklage, Games of Thrones
    Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
    Jared Harris, Mad Men
    Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Who Should Win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Who Will Win: Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Biggest Snub: Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Thoughts: I am tragically unfamiliar with Downton Abbey. So this is a wild guess that Downton will dominate the supporting acting categories, starting with Brendan Coyle. I can't even be sure if he deserves it over Jim Carter, but that's why I'm only a KIND OF leading expert on TV. Last year's winner, Peter Dinklage, is joined by previous winner Aaron Paul and newbies Jared Harris and Giancarlo Esposito. It was a great feat to get Esposito recognized, but I'm not predicting that he'll win, even over co-star Paul, who has transformed Jesse Pinkman since the beginning. But this should belong to Mandy Patinkin, who somehow lost out for a nod on Homeland. Talk about tragic.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
    Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
    Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
    Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
    Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
    Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
    Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Who Should Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Who Will Win: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Biggest Snub: Morena Baccarin, Homeland

Thoughts: The vote will likely come down to Mad Men's Hendricks and Downton Abbey's Smith. My vote that means nothing goes to Anna Gunn, who is long overdue as Skyler on Breaking Bad. But I doubt she'll win the award. Same goes for The Good Wife co-stars Baranski and Panjabi (a previous winner for the CBS drama), as well as Smith's Downton Abbey co-star, Joanne Froggatt. It's probably a rookie mistake to assume the Emmy voters will go for the distinguished Smith over the deserving Hendricks, but that's where I stand.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    Ty Burrell, Modern Family
    Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
    Max Greenfield, New Girl
    Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
    Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
    Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Who Should Win: Max Greenfield, New Girl
Who Will Win: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Biggest Snub: (TIE) Damon Wayans Jr., Happy Endings AND Nick Offerman, Parks & Recreation

Thoughts: Wayans Jr's snub was expected, but it's a complete shock to see Offerman left off the nomination ballot. But it was a welcome surprise to see Max Greenfield nominated for New Girl, after the actor has routinely stolen the show from star Zooey Deschanel. This category will again come down to the Modern Family foursome. Stonestreet and Burrell have an award apiece. I've always felt Ferguson was the weak link in the cast, but there's a certain art to his performance as Mitchell. But Ed O'Neill is due to win as Jay Pritchett, possibly alongside co-star Vergara. But his main competition is the always-hilarious Burrell. It's also a nice surprise to see Bill Hader nominated for SNL.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
    Julie Bowen, Modern Family
    Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
    Sofía Vergara, Modern Family
    Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
    Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Who Should Win: Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Who Will Win: Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Biggest Snub: Eliza Coupe, Happy Endings

Thoughts: Sofia Vergara has been a candidate to win since her first season, but again, I feel voters will go for an easier choice by rewarding Kristen Wiig for seven years on SNL, as well as her jump to the big screen, starting with Bridesmaids. But the remaining nominees won't make it easy. As with Ty Burrell, Bowen is as safe a bet as any to repeat the win, while the late Joosten could snag some sympathy votes for a favorite performance amongst voters (she's won twice). I wouldn't even predict against Bialik, who has stolen some of Jim Parsons' thunder on The Big Bang Theory. At the end of the night, I predict Wiig will be holding the statuette.


That's all for this weekend. Tune in this week for my take on The Mob Doctor, Revolution and a few more pilots.

Until then, stay tuned.

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