Gold Derby’s racetrack odds were hit-and-miss at the Emmys

You might not have done too well if you followed Gold Derby’s Emmy cheat sheet to the letter. After correctly forecasting all but two Creative Arts races, our oddsmakers were correct only nine times out of seventeen predicted categories at the Emmy telecast, an accuracy rate of just over 50%.

Gold Derby correctly foresaw that “Modern Family” would repeat for Best Comedy, but the series acting races were strewn with upsets. Supporting Comedy Actor winner Ty Burrell was the only correct acting prediction in the comedy field, with 2/3 odds. His on-screen wife, Julie Bowen, won Best Supporting Comedy Actress, defeating Jane Lynch (“Glee“), who was considered the frontrunner thanks to her hosting performance on Kristen Wiig‘s submitted episode of “Saturday Night Live,” but Bowen was always considered a possible spoiler; she received competitive 6/1 odds on the strength of a pair of impressive episodes submitted by her and her co-star Sofia Vergara.

Laura Linney (“The Big C“) was handed her first Emmy defeat after three victories. She was the 5/6 favorite to win Best Comedy Actress, but lost to 14/1 underdog Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”), who may have been helped by her strong performance in this summer’s hit film “Bridesmaids.” But the most shocking comedy victory was by Jim Parsons, who won his second consecutive Emmy for “The Big Bang Theory” despite Steve Carell‘s farewell episode of “The Office.” Carell was the overwhelming favorite with 1/10 odds. Parsons was a distant second at 25/1.

Gold Derby correctly predicted three categories in the dramatic field: Best Drama Series, which went to 2/5 favorite “Mad Men”; Best Drama Actress, which went to Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“); and Best Supporting Drama Actress, typically the most unpredictable Emmy category, which went to “Justified‘s” Margo Martindale as expected. Supporting Drama Actor was considered a very close race; Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones“) won with 13/2 odds, not far behind the presumed favorite, John Slattery (“Mad Men“), who had 9/5 odds.

Most pundits thought Jon Hamm would finally win Best Drama Actor for “Mad Men,” thanks to his submission episode, “The Suitcase,” but it was not to be. The winner instead was Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights“), a 50/1 longshot who was one of the biggest surprises of the night. The shutout for “Mad Men’s” actors means the four-time Best Drama champ has yet to win an acting award.

Pundits correctly predicted only two movie/miniseries races: Best Movie/Mini Actress (Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce“) and Best Supporting Movie/Mini Actor (Guy Pearce, “Mildred Pierce”). Narrow supporting-actress favorite Evan Rachel Wood (27/20) lost a close race to “Downton Abbey” scene-stealer Maggie Smith (8/5), and strong frontrunner “Mildred Pierce” (1/3) lost the race for Best Movie/Miniseries to “Downton Abbey” (9/2). But there was perhaps no bigger surprise than Best Movie/Mini Actor, which went to Barry Pepper (“The Kennedys“), who was ranked dead last by our pundits with 50/1 odds.

Gold Derby rebounded in the variety and reality races, where dominant contenders “The Amazing Race” (7/5) and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (2/11) prevailed yet again. “Race” has now won Best Reality-Competition Series eight times in nine years, and “The Daily Show” has won Best Variety Series nine times in a row.

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