With nominations for the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards being announced this Thursday, the big question in the drama races is whether new blood can break into this competitive field or will old favorites continue to dominate. Two of last year’s nominees for Best Drama Series are out of the running this year as 2005 champ “Lost” signed off while “Breaking Bad” went on extended hiatus.
According to our experts, editors and users, three-time Drama Series champ “Mad Men” is likely to prevail once more and sits atop our new Emmys Frontrunners chart which details first place votes. Four of the show’s past acting contenders — Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery and Christina Hendricks — are certain to contend again but January Jones could be snubbed.
“The Good Wife” is a lock in the Drama Series category and is just behind “Mad Men” on our other new chart — Emmy Nominees WIll Be … — which ranks the contenders in likelihood of reaping bids on Thursday. Last year’s Supporting Actress Emmy champ Archie Panjabi and nominees Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming should all contend again and may be joined by first-timers Josh Charles and Chris Noth.
“Dexter” is also likely to return to the race for a fourth straight year as will Drama Actor contender Michael C. Hall. However, “True Blood” may lose its slot to another HBO series — “Boardwalk Empire” — which won both Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes and the SAG ensemble prize earlier this year. Cast members in contention include Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Pitt and Michael Shannon while Oscar champ Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”) is likely to reap a directing bid for helming the pilot.
The paycaster’s other epic series — “Game of Thrones” — may get the last slot in the Drama Series race. Regardless, it and “Boardwalk Empire” are poised to reap numerous bids across the technical categories and will likely lead with the most nominations.
DirecTV’s “Friday Night Lights,” which has steadily earned more respect from Emmy voters with every year, might finally be included in the top Drama Series category, along with repeat mentions for its leads Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.
Of AMC’s two freshman series, “The Walking Dead” should earn numerous creative arts nominations while the buzzed-about crime saga remake “The Killing” has a chance at a series nod as well as one for lead actress Mireille Enos.
FX’s critically hailed “Justified” is that network’s best shot in the Drama Series race and for its actors Timothy Olyphant and Margo Martindale while stablemate “Sons of Anarchy,” which might finally see its leading lady Katey Sagal in the mix.
Use the drop-down menus to explore both sets of charts to see how your favorites fared. And use this information to make or change your predictions as to what will be nominated Thursday morning.