With “Lost” gone forever and “Breaking Bad” taking a break, the Emmy race for Best Drama Series is guaranteed at least two newcomers this year. Following its victories at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards , one of them will certainly be “Boardwalk Empire,” but what else will be nominated?
Emmy voters love TV reruns, so expect three of last year’s four eligible nominees to be back: first-timer “The Good Wife,” three-time nominee “Dexter,” and three-time winner “Mad Men.” If “Mad Men” can pick up a fourth series trophy, it will tie “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” and “The West Wing” for the most victories in this category.
“True Blood” might return as well, but its bid last year might have been a fluke. Historically, Emmy voters have shunned fantasy fare, and “True Blood” reaped no bids last year for acting, directing, or writing. Previous nominees “House” and “Big Love” could contend again.
Other than “Boardwalk Empire,” other first-year series with good chances are “Blue Bloods” (CBS family police drama starring Tom Selleck), “The Borgias” (Showtime period piece with Jeremy Irons), “Game of Thrones” (HBO fantasy epic starring Sean Bean), “The Killing” (AMC murder mystery with Mireille Enos), “Shameless” (Showtime adaptation of a Brit hit starring William H. Macy), “The Walking Dead” (AMC zombie show from Oscar nominee Frank Darabont), and “Camelot” (Starz’s regal revival of King Arthur’s roundtable).
Returning fare that might score their first series nomination include “Friday Night Lights,” which earned bids for writing plus its two lead actors — Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton — last year thus demonstrating stronger support than in the past. The series has been cancelled, but it might get a farewell hug as could “In Treatment,” which has scored top bids in the past plus a win for Dianne Wiest (Supporting Drama Actress, 2008).
FX network has two returning series with strong shots at top nods. “Sons of Anarchy” continues to receive strong critical support and TV viewership (it’s the highest rated series in FX history). If nothing else, “Anarachy” will probably nab a nom for lead star Katey Sagal. “Justified” recently won a Peabody Award and received top nominations from both journo groups: Television Critics Assn. Awards and the new Critics Choice TV Awards. Another recent Peabody champ in the mix: TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” which boasts past Emmy faves Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula.
USA Network continues to give a strong push to to returning shows “White Collar” and “Burn Notice” plus rookie “Covert Affairs,” and Starz is flexing its campaign muscle for “Spartacus.”
In this video slugfest, Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil along with senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum discuss the major contenders and the possible spoilers. Be sure to check out our experts and editors predictions as well.
Watch our three experts slug it out over these other cliffhanger races:
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
BEST COMEDY SERIES
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
BEST SUPP. COMEDY ACTOR
BEST SUPP. COMEDY ACTRESS
BEST SUPP. DRAMA ACTOR
BEST SUPP. DRAMA ACTRESS