Predictions: Justin Timberlake, Gwyneth Paltrow will win Creative Arts Emmys

According to the predictions here at Gold Derby, Justin Timberlake and Gwyneth Paltrow will be among the winners when the Creative Arts Emmys are doled out on Saturday. While the top acting and series prizes will be awarded to the year’s best shows at next Sunday’s Primetime Emmys, the lion’s share of prizes honoring art directors, cinematographers, editors, casting directors, and so on will be presented at the Creative Arts as will the four Emmys for guest acting in comedy and drama.

Singer-turned-actor Timberlake is already a two-time winner for guest hosting “Saturday Night Live” and for co-writing “D*ck in a Box” with Andy Samberg. This year he has two more chances to win. He’s nominated twice in the songwriting race – for “3-Way (The Golden Rule)” and his opening musical monologue on “SNL” – and is expected to win a second Guest Comedy Actor trophy for his hosting duties on the NBC sketch comedy. He last won in 2009 and is considered the overwhelming favorite to repeat according to our Gold Derby predictions center. Editors are unanimous, and a majority of experts and users agree, giving him decisive 2/5 odds. “Modern Family” guest star Nathan Lane is a distant second at 15/2, followed by “The Big C‘s” Idris Elba (14/1) and “30 Rock‘s” Matt Damon (25/1).

 Tina Fey is also a guest-acting nominee for “Saturday Night Live.” Like Timberlake, she won in 2009, but her outlook this year is less rosy, with 16/1 odds. Instead, Guest Comedy Actress appears to be a close race between Oscar-winners Paltrow (“Glee“) and Cloris Leachman (“Raising Hope“). Experts favor Leachman, and for good reason; she has won nine acting Emmys, more than anyone in the award’s history, two of which came in this category (2002 and 2006, both for “Malcolm in the Middle”). But most editors and users expect Paltrow to prevail, following the lead of Gold Derby’s Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum, who weren’t impressed by Leachman’s submitted episode. As a result, Paltrow has a slight edge with even odds, with Leachman close behind at 8/5.

Michael J. Fox is another Emmy darling, with five wins to his credit. He’s the overwhelming favorite to win his sixth award, with 4/11 odds to win Guest Drama Actor for his performance on “The Good Wife.” Despite submitting strong episodes to Emmy judges, Jeremy Davies (“Justified“) is a distant second at 13/2 and Paul McCrane (“Harry’s Law”) is further behind at 10/1. But they’re the only three stars with a serious shot at the prize; Robert Morse (“Mad Men“), Beau Bridges (“Brothers and Sisters“), and Bruce Dern (“Big Love“) are distant longshots.

Guest Drama Actress appears to be a much closer race. Though the category is crowded with seven nominees, two have emerged as clear favorites. Julia Stiles is predicted by a slim majority of editors and users for her role as a rape victim-turned-vigilante on “Dexter,” while experts believe Joan Cusack will prevail as an agoraphobic neighbor on “Shameless.” Cusack comes out ahead in our polling with 6/5 odds, but Stiles, at 13/8, makes this a dead heat.

The award for Best Reality-Competition Series will be presented during the Emmy telecast, but two other major reality prizes will be awarded at Creative Arts. Jeff Probst (“Survivor“) is undefeated in the race for Best Reality Host, and it appears that his winning streak will continue. At 2/5, he’s the odds-on favorite to win his fourth in a row. But a few Emmy experts and Gold Derby users hold out hope for first-time nominee Cat Deeley (“So You Think You Can Dance“) at 8/1, Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol“) at 12/1, and Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars“) at 14/1.

The Discovery Channel’s crab-fishing series “Deadliest Catch” switched categories this year, and it appears that the change will pay off. After five straight losses for Best Nonfiction Series, it’s now favored to win Best Reality Series (5/4). But the next four contenders are tightly grouped: “Hoarders” (9/2), “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” (13/2), “Undercover Boss” (8/1), and “MythBusters” (8/1). Only “Antiques Roadshow” (50/1) appears to be completely out of the running.

Another close race is being run for Best Variety Special, where the “2010 Kennedy Center Honors” leads with even odds. The yearly special has won this category several times in the past, but this year it faces tough competition from Lady Gaga, whose HBO-televised “Monster Ball Tour” is close behind at 3/1. More than a quarter of our editors and a third of our users think she will win, and she would be one of the youngest singers to do so; when a concert special wins this race, it usually goes to a veteran performer, which might favor “Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go One” (8/1). Carrie Fisher‘s one-woman show “Wishful Drinking” (12/1) and “The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway” (16/1) are down but not out.

Ricky Gervais was shocked and delighted when he learned he was nominated for Best Special Class Program for hosting the “68th Annual Golden Globe Awards,” for which he was widely raked over the coals. Perhaps due to his sharply divided reception as host, few Gold Derby experts and users think the program will win, though more than a third of editors think the rebellious comic will prevail. The Golden Globes have 7/2 odds overall, far behind the “64th Annual Tony Awards” (4/7). Despite widely panned performances by hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, the TV Academy nominated the “83rd Annual Academy Awards” ceremony, which doesn’t appear likely to win (9/1). This year’s Grammy telecast brings up the rear at 33/1.

Will our gifted Emmy psychics be proven right, or are there cracks in our crystal ball? Find out tomorrow night, September 10, when Gold Derby provides coverage of the Creative Arts Emmys as they take place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. An edited version of the awards ceremony will air September 17 on Reelz.

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