The battle for the iron throne will ascend the Emmys' golden stage this year, according to expert Matt Roush. He thinks HBO's "Game of Thrones" will be the rare fantasy series to win Best Drama, explaining, "’Game of Thrones’ has to win some year, much like ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and this is its best since year one and ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Homeland’ are both vulnerable."
He stands alone among our experts and editors in predicting a win for "Thrones," which has been nominated for the last two years. Four experts and six editors expect a repeat win for last year's surprise champ "Homeland." Two experts are betting on "Downton Abbey." One expert thinks "Breaking Bad" will take top honors, while one editor gives "House of Cards" the edge.
Not all of our predictors agree that "Thrones" will even be nominated this year. Only three out of seven editors rank it among the likely nominees, while four out of eight experts predict it to make the lineup.
The Emmys are notoriously fickle when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. Only one such program has ever won a top series prize: "Lost" in 2005. Other shows – like "Star Trek," "The X-Files," and "True Blood" – have occasionally been nominated but never won, and most are never nominated at all, so "Game of Thrones," with two Drama Series bids and eight Emmy wins to date, is already one of the most successful fantasy shows at the awards.
Our users are more optimistic about "Game's" prospects, with 13 predicting it will win, placing it fifth overall. However, it's well behind frontrunner "Homeland," which is backed by more than 400 users.
Can "Game of Thrones" really win? Take our poll, and discuss the series in our forums.
Over the years, Emmy has demonstrated an affinity for certain familiar genres in the races for Best Comedy and Best Drama: the family sitcom (“The Cosby Show,” “Modern Family”), the office comedy (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Office”), the police procedural (“Hill Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue”) and the courtroom drama (“The Defenders,” “The Practice”). And the races for Best TV Movie and Miniseries have been filled with historical biopics (“Eleanor and Franklin,” “John Adams”) and literary adaptations (“Roots,” “Nicholas Nickleby”).
But Emmy has continually turned a blind eye to science-fiction and fantasy programs. The following 25 programs tried to overcome Emmy's sci-fi/fantasy curse and while some fared better than others, none but "Lost" were able to take the top prize.
Above: She saved the world a lot. But despite the protestations of critics, neither the show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" nor lead actress Sarah Michelle Gellar were ever nominated for Emmys. Series creator Joss Whedon received a single writing nod in 2000, losing to "The West Wing"; to date, that is the only time a show on the WB, UPN, or CW networks has ever been nominated for an award presented on the Emmy telecast.
Click arrow to right of photo to see how 24 other sci-fi and fantasy shows fared at the Emmys.
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.