In our new prediction slugfest, Gold Derby Editors declare the 2014 Best Drama Actor race to be one of the toughest battles in recent memory. All six nominees could easily hear their names called on Emmy night thanks to their industry cred and episode selections, but we single out three in particular: three-time acting champ Bryan Cranston for “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective” co-stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
Joining me in our latest video (watch below) are Rob Licuria, Matt Noble, Charles Bright and Ralph Galvan as we analyze the episodes submitted to Emmy judges as examples of their best work from the past TV season. Cranston went with “Ozymandias,” Harrelson chose “The Locked Room” and McConaughey talked his way into “Form and Void.” The other nominees are: Kevin Spacey for “House of Cards” (“Chapter 26”), Jeff Daniels for “The Newsroom” (“Election Night, Part 2”) and Jon Hamm for “Mad Men” (“The Strategy”).
If Emmy voters reward Cranston for this role for the fourth time, he would be tied with current Drama Actor record holder Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”). But McConaughey and Harrelson have the double-episode factor that could steal away votes from Cranston, as both of the “True Detective” actors appear on each others’ episode submissions. Will McConaughey’s recent Oscar win for “Dallas Buyers Club” help him jump over the Emmy hurdle?
Of the other leading men, Spacey has the best chance at an Emmy upset because of the creative upswing for his show and his character’s buzzed-about political maneuverings. Even though Daniels won last year, we don’t give him much of a chance to repeat since the competition is so fierce. And overdue Hamm eats a burger in his episode submission.
Gold Derby’s official combined racetrack odds currently find McConaughey in first place with 4/9 odds, Cranston in second place with 4/1 odds, Spacey in third place with 20/1 odds, Hamm and Harrelson tied for fourth place with 50/1 odds and Daniels in last place with 100/1 odds.
See all of our Editors’ predictions ranked per category here. Compare them to forecasts by the Emmy Experts here and by our Top 24 Users here. See the rankings and racetrack odds generated when all predictions are combined.
Do you agree with our Editors’ predictions for Best Drama Actor? Make your own predictions below the video and then sound off in the comments section or join the discussion in our Emmys forum. See the full list of Emmy episode submissions here.