While "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey" are the presumed frontrunners for Best Drama Series based on their impressive amount of Emmy nominations (17 and 16, respectively), the unlikely spoiler on Emmy night may just be dark, gritty "Breaking Bad."
The popular AMC series has a lot going for it this Emmy season. First and foremost, it's the only nominated series -- Drama or Comedy -- that's airing new episodes during the voting process. TV academy members mark their ballots during August, so being able to watch fresh episodes of a series that's nominated for last year's season is a surefire way to stay in voters' minds. Fellow AMC series "Mad Men" took advantage of this scenario several summers in a row, and wound up winning the Best Drama trophy each time.
Another ringing endorsement for "Breaking Bad" is its year-to-year Emmy growth. Every year it's been eligible, the series has managed to receive more nominations than the year prior. The first season nabbed only four nominations, the second season got five bids, the third season received seven nods, while the current fourth season came in at 13 total nominations. With four acting wins so far (three for series star Bryan Cranston and one for Drama Supporting Actor Aaron Paul) the show is already a force to be reckoned with in the acting races.
"Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey" may be the shows to beat based on nominations, but since both series cater to the same older, upper-class audience, Emmy watchers wonder if they might split the vote. If that's true, we may be seeing an upset at the Emmy finish line with younger-skewing "Breaking Bad."
Currently, Gold Derby's Experts, Editors and Users have "Breaking Bad" in second place to win Best Drama Series with odds of 13 to 5. "Mad Men" leads the pack with odds of only 7 to 5 while "Downton Abbey" is a close third with odds of 9 to 2. "Homeland," "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire" trail behind.
Below, the 13 nominations earned by "Breaking Bad," with episode titles listed where applicable:
BEST DRAMA SERIES
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Bryan Cranston as Walter White ("Crawl Space")
BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anna Gunn as Skyler White ("Cornered")
BEST DRAMA GUEST ACTOR
Mark Margolis as Tio Salamanca ("Face Off")
BEST DRAMA DIRECTING
Vince Gilligan ("Face Off")
BEST SINGLE-CAMERA SERIES CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Slovis ("Face Off")
BEST SINGLE-CAMERA PICTURE EDITING
Kelley Dixon ("End Times")
Skip MacDonald ("Face Off")
BEST SERIES SOUND EDITING
BEST COMEDY or DRAMA SERIES (ONE HOUR) SOUND MIXING
BEST SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
OTHER EMMY NEWS: