Critics’ Choice TV Awards nominations predictions: ‘Empire,’ ‘American Horror Story:Hotel,’ ‘Fargo’ will lead

empire matt bomer fargo kirsten dunst taraji p henson terrence howard

We're predicting nine categories for Monday's Critics' Choice TV Award nominations: Best Drama Series, Best Comedy Series, Best Movie/Miniseries and all six lead-acting categories. And according to the combined predictions of Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round and the hundreds of total Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors, expect  "Empire," "Fargo" and "American Horror Story: Hotel" to have strong showings.

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Instead of taking place in the spring to precede the Emmys, these kudos are now being presented in the winter right alongside the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, starting this year. That has meant a one-time change in the eligibility period for these prizes presented by the Broadcast TV Journalists Association.

As the last Critics' Choice TV Awards, held on May 31, already honored achievements from the first half of 2015, they're only considering programming that has aired since June for this next round of awards. That means "The Americans," which won Best Drama earlier this year, isn't eligible. Neither is "Game of Thrones," which swept the Emmys. "Justified" is out too, as is "Better Call Saul." 

"Empire" is forecast to earn nominations for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Terrence Howard) and Best Drama Actress (Taraji P. Henson). Henson won this past May for the first season of the Fox drama, which aired in the spring, and she's expected to win again for this fall's second season.

"Fargo" is another recent Critics' Choice champ, claiming Best Miniseries, Best Movie/Mini Actor (Billy Bob Thornton) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Allison Tolman) in 2014. Now it's expected to win another three for its second season featuring a a brand new cast: Best Movie/Miniseries and lead-acting honors for Patrick Wilson and Kirsten Dunst. Jean Smart is also forecast for a Best Movie/Mini Actress nom.

"American Horror Story: Hotel" is expected to contend in the same categories, with lead-acting noms for Matt Bomer and Kathy Bates. While no previous installments of the "AHS" anthology have won this award, they have boasted four acting wins. Bates earned a bid for "AHS: Coven," and Bomer won for the TV movie "The Normal Heart."

Other predicted Critics' Choice winners include "Mr. Robot" and its star Rami Malek for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actor. "Transparent" is forecast to take Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor); Tambor is the defending champ in his category, but "Transparent" didn't win Best Comedy when it was nominated in May for its first season; that prize went to "Silicon Valley," which aired in the spring and thus is ineligible in this cycle.

Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") is the frontrunner for Best Comedy Actress. She was nominated in May, but lost to Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer"). Since Schumer isn't eligible this time around, it may be a good time for TV critics to play catch up with Rodriguez.

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What do you think will win Best Drama Series at the Critics' Choice TV Awards? Make your predictions beginning with this category to the right or at the bottom of this post.

Get the top score predicting all nine TV categories and you could win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year's nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

"Fargo" and "American Horror Story" photo credits: FX

"Empire" photo credit: FOX

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