The first two years of the Critics’ Choice Television Awards presented several surprising winners in their quest to try to influence the Emmy race — most notably last year’s shockeroo “Community” winning Best Comedy Series and fan favorite John Noble (“Fringe“) claiming victory as Drama Supporting Actor in 2011.
Will the TV critics once again throw a few unexpected winners into the mix? You can count on it!
The third annual ceremony takes place June 10 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which gives Gold Derby Editors Chris “Boomer” Beachum, Rob Licuria, Daniel Montgomery, Marcus Dixon and Charles Bright just enough time to make our predictions in the top two races: Best Comedy Series and Best Drama Series. (See the complete list of nominees here.)
The TV critics’ Comedy Series line-up is “The Big Bang Theory,” “Louie, The Middle,” “New Girl,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Veep.” Since 2011 winner “Modern Family” and 2012 champ “Community” were both left off the list, we are guaranteed a brand new winner in this category this year.
Their top picks in the Drama Series race are “The Americans,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife” and “Homeland.” Inaugural 2011 victor “Mad Men” failed to receive a nod, but last year’s winner “Homeland” is hoping to two-peat.
Below, a sampling of our Editors’ lively roundtable discussion regarding what series we think the TV critics will reward as the Best Comedy and Drama Series on the air.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Beachum: I think “Louie” will win Best Comedy Series because it is the critical favorite these days. However, Louis C.K. will almost certainly not show up, and that can influence a group like this who wants their winners in person. If that is the case, watch out for the ratings king “The Big Bang Theory,” which has a very surprising five acting nominations, indicating widespread support.
Licuria: “Louie” will win — this is TV art. There’s nothing better on TV and critics were apoplectic in their praise for the show’s third season. Every episode was an A+. There’s just no viable alternative!
Montgomery: Hard for me to imagine “Louie” losing it this year. The last two winners, “Modern Family” and “Community,” aren’t in the running this year, and among these contenders there’s isn’t one as passionately trumpeted by critics as “Louie.”
Dixon: It may be an out there choice, but I’m going with “The Middle.” The critics absolutely adore this show (despite the Emmys snubbing it every year), and don’t forget that “The Middle” was first nominated at the 2011 critics’ ceremony back when there were 10 nominees for Best Series instead of the normal six.
Bright: “Louie” will most likely prevail in Comedy Series. But I would also keep my eye on “Parks & Rec” as a a possible upset.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Beachum: “Game of Thrones” will win Best Drama Series. They will probably wait one more year to honor “Breaking Bad” and might not want to play “follow the leader” on “Homeland.” It is a somewhat new awards event, and “GOT” will give them very splashy headlines and photos.
Licuria: “Homeland” will win, as I have little reason to believe the critics will waver from their love for this show, despite some grumbling that season two’s quality fell off a bit before the stunning season finale. It’s the safe bet.
Montgomery: I think it’s a two-way race. “Homeland” won last year, but I don’t think critics will want to repeat themselves. That leaves “Breaking Bad,” a critically lauded show that hasn’t won yet, and “Game of Thrones,” which is generating big buzz RIGHT NOW. Since critics love to appear ahead of the curve, I give the slight edge to “Thrones.” But “Breaking” wouldn’t surprise me.
Dixon: The critics have been championing “Breaking Bad” since day one, but so far haven’t had the guts to honor it with the top series prize at their trophie-fest, instead rewarding “Mad Men” (2011) and “Homeland” (2012). I think this year the critics will finally put their votes where their mouth is, especially since the series only has eight more episodes left.
Bright: “Game of Thrones” will win the Drama Series honor. It’s a fanboy show but many of those fanboys are also critics and I think the opportunity for them will prove too tempting to pass up.