When it comes to the 2012 Emmy Awards, Gold Derby's Experts are clashing with its Editors and Users in several key categories. The exclusive website odds and statistics predicting the winners for this weekend's ceremony are determined by a scientific mix of these three groups.
The team of 15 Experts, also known as Emmyologists, consists of television journalists from major publications and websites: Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (TV Guide), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Maria Elena Fernandez (Newsweek Daily Beast), Maggie Furlong (Huffington Post), Elena Howe (L.A. Times), John Kubicek (Buddy TV), Daniel Manu (TV Without Pity), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Rick Porter (Zap2It), Matt Roush (TV Guide), Mo Ryan (HuffPo TV), Jill Serjeant (Reuters), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), and Ken Tucker (Entertainment Weekly). Click here to see Emmy prediction rankings in any category by the Experts.
The 10 Editors of Gold Derby are Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon, Darrin Dortch, Rob Licuria, Daniel Montgomery, Matt Noble, O'Neil, Andrew Pickett, David Schnelwar, and Sheehan. You can click here to see Emmy prediction rankings in any category by the Editors.
A big battle among these pundits is the one for Best Drama Series with four shows garnering significant results. Reigning four-time champ "Mad Men" is the overall leader at 21/10 with votes from five Experts (Birnbaum, Kubicek, Manu, O'Neil, Ryan) three Editors (Dortch, O'Neil, Pickett), and 38% of Users (made up of the many members and guests visiting Gold Derby). In a very close second place at 13/5 is "Breaking Bad" with support from six Experts (Elber, Fernandez, Howe, Porter, Sheehan, Tucker), two Editors (Noble, Sheehan), and 24% of Users. Just behind in third is "Downton Abbey," which has just one Expert vote (Roush), five Editors (Beachum, Dixon, Licuria, Montgomery, Schnelwar), and 18% of Users. Even "Homeland" in fourth position has three Experts (Bianco, Furlong, Serjeant) and 12% of Users supporting it.
Both of the lead races appear to be out of reach. Three-time winner Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") is a solid 5/6 favorite over Damian Lewis ("Homeland") at 4/1 for Best Drama Actor. Cranston has votes from 11 Experts, seven Editors, and 57% of Users. An even stronger pick is Claire Danes ("Homeland") at 8/15 with support from 14 Experts, 10 Editors, and 62% of Users over last year's champ Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") at 6/1 for Best Drama Actress.
Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad") also seems to have a clear 11/10 edge over Jared Harris ("Mad Men") at 10/3 for Best Drama Supporting Actor. He is predicted by 10 Experts, six Editors, and 45% of Users. Either man would be a first-time Emmy winner. On the other hand, the race for Best Drama Supporting Actress is a tougher call between past champ Maggie Smith ("Downton Abbey") at 8/5 and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") at 19/10. Smith has votes from nine Experts (Bianco, Elber, Fernandez, Howe, Kubicek, O'Neil, Porter, Roush, Ryan), two Editors (O'Neil, Schnelwar), and 38% of Users. Hendricks is supported by five Experts (Birnbaum, Furlong, Manu, Serjeant, Tucker), four Editors (Beachum, Dixon, Noble, Pickett), and 36% of Users.
Two-time champ "Modern Family" is a major favorite at 8/15 as Best Comedy Series with 14 of 15 Experts, all 10 Editors, and 62% of Users predicting it to prevail again. Furlong is the only Expert to go against the grain with her pick of "Girls."
The same can not be said of any of the comedic acting races where all appear to be very competitive. In the Best Comedy Actor category, two men are at the top of the field. Louis C.K. ("Louie"), who earned seven Emmy nods this year, has a slim 5/4 lead over two-time reigning winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"). C.K. is supported by 10 Experts (Furlong, Howe, Kubicek, Manu, O'Neil, Porter, Roush, Serjeant, Sheehan, Tucker), five Editors (Dortch, Montgomery, O'Neil, Schnelwar, Sheehan), and 34% of Users. Parsons is predicted by five Experts (Bianco, Birnbaum, Elber, Fernandez, Ryan), two Editors (Beachum, Licuria), and 37% of Users.
In the overstuffed seven-person competition for Best Comedy Actress, three ladies are the ones garnering all the votes. Two-time winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") has a slight 7/5 lead over Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") at 7/2 and Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl") at 9/2. Louis-Dreyfus is the choice of nine Experts (Bianco, Elber, Furlong, Howe, Manu, O'Neil, Serjeant, Sheehan, Tucker), six Editors (Beachum, Dixon, Licuria, O'Neil, Pickett, Sheehan), and 34% of Users. For Poehler, she has support from three Experts (Fernandez, Kubicek, Porter), two Editors (Dortch, Montgomery), and 30% of Users. Further behind is Deschanel with votes from three Experts (Birnbaum, Roush, Ryan), two Editors (Noble, Schnelwar), and 15% of Users.
Joaquin Phoenix explains how "I'm Still Here" prepared him for "The Master": "['The Master'] is being touted as Phoenix's big comeback, following a brief hiatus spent filming the mock-umentary, 'I'm Still Here,' where he explored a career in rap. Though the film was considered a confusing flop, the actor said that it was just what he needed before returning to acting. 'Part of why I was frustrated with acting was because I took it so seriously. I want it to be so good that I get in my own way,' Phoenix told the Time magazine of his decision to take a break from acting. 'Once I became a total buffoon, it was so liberating.'" ON THE RED CARPET
It's official: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban join Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson as "American Idol" judges: "Fox was under pressure to get deals finalized with Ms. Minaj and Mr. Urban because the first tapings of auditions for a new season of 'Idol' begin Sunday night in New York; the shows will begin broadcasts in January. The network had held off from confirming the widespread rumors of their selection because they had not signed their contracts until this weekend. The new judges replace Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, who both left 'Idol' last spring after two seasons." NEW YORK TIMES
Director Cristian Mungiu returns to the Oscar race. Will the Academy make up for their 2007 snub? "... eyebrows would have been raised if Romania hadn't submitted 'Beyond the Hills.' Cristian Mungiu's long-awaited follow-up to his 2007 Cannes champion, '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' earned a raft of glowing reviews -- if not quite the unanimous veneration that greeted his previous film -- upon its premiere back in May ... The selection of Mungiu's film throws down an interesting gauntlet of sorts to this voting branch, for the director's last film remains something of a thorn in the their side. Just as 'The Dark Knight' is widely -- if not quite accurately -- regarded as the film that triggered a change in the structure of the Best Picture category when it failed to make the cut in 2008, '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' is similarly perceived in relation to the foreign-language race." IN CONTENTION
Will "The Book of Mormon" move from stage to screen? "The two creators [Trey Parker and Matt Stone] were first asked about the recent rumors that the musical might be turned in to a feature film. Parker discussed their plans (or rather their lack-of-plans) to the press. 'We don't have any,' he explained. 'The only thing is that when we first started working on it seven years ago we kind of toyed with the idea of it being a Broadway show or being a movie. Obviously since Matt and I knew how to make a movie we thought we'd make a movie because we can do that pretty quickly, but we stuck with it and after we saw our first few workshops with an audience, we thought this would be cool as a stage thing.'" I AM ROGUE
Broadway, "Law & Order" vet Jesse L. Martin will guest star on "Smash": "Jesse L. Martin, one of the original members of the Tony-winning 'Rent' Broadway cast, will recur over an arc and will sing in some episodes of the musical drama. Martin will play Scott Welker, the artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Workshop whose story crosses with virtually every cast member. 'Smash' is about a group of dreamers and schemers with big dreams of Broadway stardom, working on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe." EXAMINER
Listen to Gold Derby editor Tom O'Neil grill Deadline Hollywood's Oscar seer Pete Hammond on which films are ahead in the lead races: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress.
CLICK HERE to see Gold Derby's main podcast page featuring fiesty chats with other top award gurus and contenders.
The gory and gothic miniseries "American Horror Story" may lead the field with 17 nominations, but it is the political drama "Game Change" that is predicted to win the Emmy Award as Best TV Movie/Miniseries. This is only the second year that long-formers and movies are competing together in this newly combined category.
Jay Roach directed this recreation of the 2008 Presidential campaign when Senator John McCain (Ed Harris) selected Governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as his running mate. The last time Roach had a political film at the Emmys was in 2008 when he prevailed for "Recount." Both were HBO projects.
Gold Derby has "Game Change" in first place at 27/10 with support from six Experts, seven Editors, and 45% of Users. Among its 12 overall bids, Roach, Harris, Moore, and writer Danny Strong also have strong odds to win their categories as well. The other acting nods went to Woody Harrelson and Sarah Paulson.
FX officials decided to enter "American Horror Story" as a miniseries because its complete storyline of a haunted house in Los Angeles ended after one season. Another reason was that it would fare much better at the Emmys with fewer contenders than the drama races. It is tied for second place at 9/2 with backing by three Experts, two Editors, and 25% of Users. While writing and directing are not among its 17 nominations, the program is expected to win for Jessica Lange as supporting actress. Other acting nominees are Connie Britton, Frances Conroy, and Denis O'Hare.
PBS has "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia," which is tied for second at 9/2 with votes from four Experts, one Editor, and 13% of Users. It received 13 Emmy nods including those for stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson in a modernized retelling of the famous British sleuth.
The most watched of all the contenders in this race was "Hatfields and McCoys," which was a ratings king for the History Channel. The three-nighter about the legendary Kentucky/West Virgina family feud has 16 Emmy bids, including ones for stars Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger, and Mare Winningham. It is in fourth place in the predictions at 15/2 with votes from one Expert, one Editor, and 11% of Users.
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The fifth spot is held down by the BBC America production "Luther," which earned only four nominations. One of those is for star Idris Elba, who was also nominated last year and won the Golden Globe in January for his role as a young British homicide detective. It has 25/1 odds and the support of one Expert, no Editors, and 3% of Users.
"The Silver Linings Playbook" solidified its status as an Oscar frontrunner by winning the people's choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.
After a rousing reception last Saturday, this new comedy drama from David O. Russell had people buzzing about its awards hopes. Bradley Cooper plays a recovering mental patient who meets a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who changes his life. Two-time Oscar champ Robert De Niro who plays his doting dad, is said to do his best work in years, while Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver is his mother.
Two years ago, Russell relaunched his once-promising career with "The Fighter," which netted him his first Oscar nod and won the supporting prizes for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. That film's star, Mark Wahlberg, a long-time Russell fan, was to star in his adaptation of Matthew Quick's novel but took a pass, freeing up the role for Cooper.
"The Hangover" star proves he has the acting chops to handle this complicated character and is a strong contender in the Best Actor race. Lawrence, a 2009 Best Actress nominee ("Winter's Bone"), also headlined the box office juggernaut "The Hunger Games" this year, proving she has commercial as well as critical appeal.
In a measure of the strength of support for "Playbook," it edged out "Argo" as the people's choice. That film from director/star Ben Affleck has a strong Canadian connection as it details the heroic efforts of Canadian diplomats, working with the CIA, to extract six American diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
Four of the 34 past winners of the TIFF audience award have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars: "Chariots of Fire" (1981); "American Beauty" (1999); "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) and "The King's Speech" (2010). Like that last double champ, "Silver Linings" is from the renowned Oscar campaigners at the Weinstein Company.
Six other TIFF winners contended for the academy's top prize: "The Big Chill" (1983); "Places in the Heart" (1984); "Shine" (1996); "Life is Beautiful" (1998); "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) and "Precious" (2009).
While AMC's period drama is predicted to win a record fifth statue for Best Drama Series next Sunday, it's yet to claim a single award for acting.
With Drama Guest Actor Ben Feldman losing to Jeremy Davies ("Justified") and Drama Guest Actress Julia Ormond losing to Martha Plimpton ("The Good Wife"), the show has racked up a whopping 21 acting losses.
That's quite an alarming statistic, especially when compared to the various acting triumphs of Emmy's other four-peat Drama Series ("Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "The West Wing") during their inaugural years on the air.
There are a slew of possible reasons for the cast members' poor showings in these races -- bad episode submissions, too subtle performances, better competition -- but for whatever reason, the stars of "Mad Men" just aren't connecting with Emmy voters.
Next week, four more of the "Mad Men" cast contend at the 64th Primetime Emmy ceremony: Jon Hamm ("The Other Woman"), Elisabeth Moss ("The Other Woman"), Jared Harris ("Commissions and Fees") and Christina Hendricks ("The Other Woman").
Will any of these nominees break the "Mad Men" acting curse? Or will the show's unique losing streak drop further, from 21 losses to a jawdropping 25?
Here's the year-by-year breakdown of "Mad Men's" 21 acting losses, as of the 2012 Creative Arts Emmys:
2008 Emmys (Season One)
Lead Actor Jon Hamm ("The Wheel")
Supporting Actor John Slattery ("Long Weekend")
Guest Actor Robert Morse ("Nixon vs. Kennedy")
2009 Emmys (Season Two)
Lead Actor Jon Hamm ("The Mountain King")
Lead Actress Elisabeth Moss ("Meditations in an Emergency")
Supporting Actor John Slattery ("Six Month Leave")
"Game of Thrones" was the top winner at the Creative Arts Emmys, held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The HBO drama won six awards: Costume Design, Non-Prosthetic Makeup, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing. The series will contend twice more at next week's primetime telecast: for Drama Series and Drama Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage, who won last year.
Not far behind was the Discovery Channel's nature series "Frozen Planet," which picked up four Emmys: Nonfiction Series, Picture Editing, Cinematography, and Sound Editing.
For the complete list of Creative Arts winners, click here.
For Chris Beachum's take on the awards, click here.
Last year, "Boardwalk Empire" was the top winner with seven Creative Arts awards. This year, the Prohibition-era gangster drama won three: Art Direction, Supporting Visual Effects, and Cinematography.
Several other programs also won three awards, including the period miniseries "Great Expectations" (Art Direction, Main Title Design, Cinematography) and "Hatfields and McCoys" (Non-Prosthetic Makeup, Picture Editing, Sound Mixing).
"The 65th Annual Tony Awards" won Art Direction, Music and Lyrics, and Special Class Program, the last of which earned Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris his third Emmy; he won the same category in 2010 for hosting the "63rd Annual Tony Awards" and that year also won Comedy Guest Actor for "Glee."
The night's most highly anticipated awards yielded the biggest surprises. Kathy Bates won Comedy Guest Actress for playing Charlie Harper's ghost on "Two and a Half Men," defeating "Saturday Night Live" frontrunners Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph. It was the first career Emmy for Bates, who lost all nine of her previous bids. She competes again at next Sunday's telecast for Best Drama Actress in "Harry's Law."
"The Good Wife's" Martha Plimpton prevailed as Best Drama Guest Actress against last year's winner, Loretta Devine ("Grey's Anatomy"), and "Harry's Law" guest Jean Smart. It's the first Emmy for Plimpton, who was a Comedy Actress nominee last year for "Raising Hope."
Drama Guest Actor went to Jeremy Davies ("Justified"), upsetting Mark Margolis ("Breaking Bad") and Michael J. Fox ("The Good Wife"). Davies was also nominated last year for his role as petty criminal Dickie Bennett; that year his on-screen mother, Margo Martindale, won Drama Supporting Actress.
Despite is surprising Comedy Guest Actress losses, "Saturday Night Live" won four: Comedy Guest Actor for Jimmy Fallon, Technical Direction, Hairstyling, and Variety Directing. It's the second Emmy win for Fallon, whose late night series, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," is a contender for Best Variety Series next week.
Among other top contenders at next week's Primetime Emmy telecast, "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" went home empty handed, while "Homeland" earned two (Drama Casting and Picture Editing) and "Downton Abbey" also earned two (Music Composition and Hairstyling).
Best Comedy frontrunner "Modern Family" won Sound Mixing. Fellow Comedy Series contender "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won Picture Editing for "Palestinian Chicken," the long-running comedy's first Emmy win in any category since its Comedy Directing win in 2003. And "Girls" won Comedy Casting.
Best Movie/Miniseries frontrunner "Game Change" won Movie/Mini Casting. It's rival next week for the top prize, "American Horror Story," won Best Hairstyling, but "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia" was shut out.KEEP READING
With upsets in all four guest acting categories at this weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, voters have once again proven that they like to surprise when least expected.
The biggest shocker came when nine-time loser Kathy Bates ("Two and a Half Men") won as the ghost of Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) as Best Comedy Guest Actress. She was a 10/1 longshot behind "Saturday Night Live" guest hosts Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph. Another "SNL" guest host, Jimmy Fallon, was predicted in second place at 23/10 but did prevail in a tight race with Michael J. Fox ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") as Best Comedy Guest Actor. Neither Bates or Fallon attended the ceremony Saturday night. She had never won before, but it was the second Emmy for Fallon.
Both Martha Plimpton ("The Good Wife") and Jeremy Davies ("Justified") did attend but were predicted to finish in third place. Plimpton had odds of 9/1 for Best Drama Guest Actress and defeated last year's champ Loretta Devine ("Grey's Anatomy") and Jean Smart ("Harry's Law"). At 6/1, Davies beat the favored Mark Margolis ("Breaking Bad") and five-time winner Michael J. Fox ("The Good Wife") as Best Drama Guest Actor. It was the first Emmy win for each.
Of the dramatic series, "Game of Thrones" had the largest haul of trophies with a total of six (art direction, editing, costumes, makeup, sound mixing, visual effects). The show is nominated as Best Drama Series for the Primetime Emmy ceremony next Sunday, but do not read too much into its chances because of these results. Contender "Boardwalk Empire" prevailed seven times last year but still lost to "Mad Men" for the top prize. Of the six nominees last night, "Empire" (art direction, cinematography, visual effects) won three, and "Downton Abbey" (hairstyling, music) and "Homeland" (casting, editing) won two each. Neither "Breaking Bad" or "Mad Men" earned any Creative Arts Emmys.
Only three of the nominees as Best Comedy Series won any awards last night. Two-time champ "Modern Family" received the prize for sound mixing, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won for editing, and "Girls" prevailed in casting. Contenders "The Big Bang Theory," "30 Rock," and "Veep" received no Emmy wins leading into the big ceremony. In eight seasons, this is only the second Emmy ever earned by "Curb" (along with directing in 2003).
"American Horror Story" had 12 nods at the early ceremony but could only manage a win for hairstyling. It still has five more chances next week and competes against multiple winners "Hatfields and McCoys" (editing, makeup, sound mixing) and "Hemingway and Gellhorn" (editing, music) as Best TV Movie/Miniseries. The frontrunner to win that category, "Game Change," only earned an Emmy for casting last night. The other contenders are "Luther" and "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia," neither of which won awards. Strangely, "Great Expectations" won four Creative Arts Emmys (art direction, cinematography, costumes, main title design) but could not even earn a bid for the top race.
The category often favors frenetic, action-driven films ("The Bourne Ultimatum," "Black Hawk Down," "The Matrix,"), large-scale epics ("The Aviator," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Titanic"), and films with multiple storylines ("Crash," "Traffic").
Among this year's contenders is "Zero Dark Thirty" (Oscar nominees William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor), from director Kathryn Bigelow, whose previous film ("The Hurt Locker") won this award in 2009.
Also in contention are the musical "Les Miserables" (Oscar-winner Chris Dickens), fantasy films "Life of Pi" (nominee Tim Squyres) and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (Jabez Olssen), "Argo" (also William Goldenberg), "The Master" (Peter McNulty), the disaster drama "The Impossible" (Elena Ruiz and Bernat Vilaplana), and the epic biopic "Lincoln" (three-time Oscar winner Michael Kahn).
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.