This year 'smart' dramas Homeland, Mad Men and Breaking Bad dominate the Primetime Emmy Award nominations yet again and even for fans of the TV shows, it will be hard to predict which of their favourite series will carry off the most gongs. The Hollywood Reporter's Stacey Wilson highlights just how highly contested this year's 'best drama' category is: "If you win this year, it's going to be a real feather," she said to ABC News. The nominees list for each category is decidedly hefty but we've identified the ones that are toughest to call.
Bryan Cranston Voted Best Actor?
Having never won an 'outstanding drama' Emmy before, it looks like Breaking Bad could finally scoop the big gong this year having picked up five Primetime Emmy's before; 3 'best actors' for Bryan Cranston, 2 'best supporting actors' for Aaron Paul. With the first half of its final season currently airing, it looks like this could be the last chance for the show, as popular as ever, to scoop the night's biggest award. Downton Abbey, whilst having previously looked strong, has endured harsh reviews in its third season meaning it will be interesting to see whether this has had any impact on the voters.
Will Aaron Paul Win Outstanding Supporting Actor Again?
Although Breaking Bad is on a strong trajectory to win big, if it does it will only beat political thriller Homeland by a hairline. The second season finished in stunning style but critics preferred the first season and it is not currently on TV, which could have affect its chances enough for Breaking Bad to pull away. Mad Men won the 'oustanding drama' Emmy in 2011 but missed out on all 11 categories in 2012 for which it was nominated. However, a trend for consistent quality in its programming and plotlines means that the advertising agency drama could pick up a few awards ahead of its seventh and final season. Then again, fantasy series Game of Thrones is equally likely to emerge as the night's big winner after the rabid fans and rave reviews and a good balance between plotline and character development against the adored-by-fans frippery of dragons and boobs. However, on balance, we're sticking with Breaking Bad for its ability to step up the tension and drama, time and time again.
We Don't Want Elisabeth Moss To Rest On Her Laurels: We Reckon The Best Is Yet To Come.
For the 'Outstanding lead actress' award, it would be far too easy to say Homeland's Clare Danes will win again. This year, we reckon there'll be a surprising push from Scandal's Kerry Washington who has been extremely well received critically despite. Elisabeth Moss has had a good run in Mad Men as Peggy, but we feel she's only just beginning to show her true acting chops in new crime drama Top of the Lake, which is a strong call for best miniseries. Robin Wright in House of Cards - her return to the small screen after decades of films - could also be a strong contender in a series in which she stars alongside the magnetic Kevin Spacey. Our vote, however, sticks with Washington.
Will Clare Danes Miss Out To Kerry Washington?
'Outstanding lead actor' is just ridiculous; it's a list of the strongest actors television has seen in years and somehow the voters will have to decide which is most deserving of the best actor prize. After having won three consecutive times, Bryan Cranston could easily walk through the awards, but Damian Lewis was on purely hateful good guy/bad guy form in Homeland and with a previous Emmy to his name, he's too strong an actor to ignore. Critics have praised Kevin Spacey in political drama House of Cards, with USA Today lauding Spacey and fellow lead Robin Wright: "If you think network executives are nervous, imagine the actors who have to go up against that pair in the Emmys."
Kevin Spacey: A Strong Contender For Best Actor In House of Cards.
We could be here all day debating each category, but we'll leave it there for you to feast on and mull over for now, with more of our predictions on the way ahead of the 22nd September Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony.
Tell us who your predictions are: the full list of nominees can be found here.