The 38th annual Daytime Emmys are being broadcast live from Las Vegas on CBS Sunday night. There is a bittersweet element to these awards, with the recent cancellations of ABC sudsers “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” However, they are among the most competitive in recent years, with cliffhangers in many of the top races.
Best Drama Series
“All My Children,” ABC
“The Bold and the Beautiful,” CBS
“General Hospital,” ABC
“The Young and the Restless,” CBS
“B&B‘s” submission is more a public service announcement than good drama, but the episode, about cancer-stricken fashion mogul Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) learning humility from the Los Angeles homeless, is also nominated for writing, directing, and lead actress for Flannery, so I’m tentatively picking it for the win. But “GH” just swept the Creative Arts Awards and is likely to set a new record for most awards won in a single year, so be wary. “GH” has won more Best Drama titles than any other series. Expect a photo finish.
Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Ricky Paull Goldin, “All My Children,” ABC
Michael Park, “As the World Turns,” CBS
James Scott, “Days of Our Lives,” NBC
Maurice Benard, “General Hospital,” ABC
Christian LeBlanc, “The Young and the Restless”
Odd numbered years tend to be good luck for Christian LeBlanc – he won this category in 2005, 2007, and 2009 – but I think he’ll be sitting this one out. This race comes down to James Scott and last year’s winner Michael Park, with Maurice Benard as a possible spoiler. Scott submitted an episode full of emotional fireworks (playing drunk doesn’t hurt), but “Days” has always struggled at the Emmys, winning just two acting awards in the last twenty years, so I give the edge to Park.
Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Alicia Minshew, “All My Children,” ABC
Debbi Morgan, “All My Children,” ABC
Colleen Zenk, “As the World Turns,” CBS
Susan Flannery, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” CBS
Laura Wright, “General Hospital,” ABC
Michelle Stafford, “The Young and the Restless,” CBS
Most pundits seem to be discussing Flannery, Stafford, Morgan, and even Wright as possible winners of this race. Flannery and Morgan are within striking distance, but neither has an episode reel that compares to Colleen Zenk. The actress has never won an Emmy and has only been nominated three times; this should be her year.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Jackson, “General Hospital,” ABC
Jason Thompson, “General Hospital,” ABC
Brian Kerwin, “One Life to Live,” ABC
Doug Davidson, “The Young and the Restless,” CBS
Billy Miller, “The Young and the Restless,” CBS
Billy Miller won this category last year, but he’ll have a hard time fending off Jonathan Jackson, who won three Younger Actor Emmys for this role in the ’90s and is considered a virtual lock to win a fourth trophy this year.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Melissa Claire Egan, “All My Children,” ABC
Julie Pinson, “As the World Turns,” CBS
Heather Tom, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” CBS
Nancy Lee Grahn, “General Hospital,” ABC
Bree Williamson, “One Life to Live,” ABC
Tricia Cast, “The Young and the Restless,” CBS
Tricia Cast, like Jonathan Jackson, won a Younger Actress Emmy in the 1990s, left her show, and made a much-heralded return in recent years. Like Jackson she’s the frontrunner to prevail, having submitted an episode about the slaying of one son at the hands of her other. But two other previous winners have a chance to upset: the defending champion, Julie Pinson, and two-time Younger Actress winner Heather Tom (1993, 1999) who, at only 35, has been nominated twelve times.
Best Younger Actor in a Drama Series
Scott Clifton, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” CBS
Chandler Massey, “Days of Our Lives, CBS
Chad Duell, “General Hospital,” ABC
Scott Clifton is one of the few soap actors to have been nominated for three different roles. He earned three nods for “GH,” and a nod last year for “One Life to Live,” but he has yet to win. His sample episode, edited down to just his scenes, is about four times the length of either of his competitors. It would have to be pretty bad for his competitors to catch up. It’s not.
Best Younger Actress in a Drama Series
Brittany Allen, “All My Children,” ABC
Lexi Ainsworth, “General Hospital,” ABC
Emily O’Brien, “The Young and the Restless,” CBS
Both of Lexi Ainsworth‘s on-screen parents are Emmy winners (Maurice Benard and Nancy Lee Grahn) and nominees again this year. Expect the family tradition to continue in spite of Emily O’Brien, who is nominated for the third time without a win.
Best Talk Show (Entertainment)
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Syndicated
“Live with Regis and Kelly,” Syndicated
“Rachael Ray,” Syndicated
“The View,” ABC
After “Ellen” won this prize for its first four years on the air, it seemed like it would do so in perpetuity unless its star, like Oprah Winfrey before her, decided to remove it from contention. Then, in 2008 “Rachael Ray” surged ahead and won the first of two consecutive Emmys in this category. “Ellen” won again in 2010, and this year it comes down to a race between the two rivals. “Rachael Ray” submitted a sentimental, on-location show about a struggling school in Philadelphia, the kind of very special episode she has previously prevailed for, but this time “Ellen” answers back with an hour featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden. She has won with less, so I think “Ellen” will pull off another victory.
Best Talk Show (Informative)
“The Doctors,” Syndicated
“The Dr. Oz Show,” Syndicated
“Dr. “Phil,” Syndicated
Since the two-time winning “Tyra Banks Show” left the air, it seems like this categoy has become a de facto award for Best Medical Show. “Dr. Phil” has never been well liked by the TV Academy; his show has never won a single Emmy. Mehmet Oz won Best Talk Show Host last year, so his show should not be underestimated, but I expect last year’s winner, “The Doctors,” to repeat.
Best Talk Show Host
Travis Stork, Andrew Ordon, Jim Sears, Lisa Masterson, “The Doctors,” Syndicated
Mehmet Oz, “The Dr. Oz Show,” Syndicated
Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, “Live with Regis and Kelly,” Syndicated
Rachael Ray, “Rachael Ray,” Syndicated
Sherri Shepherd, Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, “The View,” ABC
It’s risky to predict a show with multiple hosts to win this category, but if you’re going to do it, it may as well go with the only ones who have ever won it. In their submission, the “View” women welcome back Barbara Walters after she left the show to have heart surgery, and then they interview President Barack Obama, the first sitting president ever to visit a daytime talk show. Both “The View” and “Ellen” could end up winning Emmys for interviewing America’s First Couple. If so, expect the “Doctors” to treat Sasha and Malia sometime next year.
Best Game Show
“Cash Cab,” Discovery
“The Price is Right,” CBS
“Wheel of Fortune,” Syndicated
“Cash Cab” has won this award three years in a row, and in a game show landscape without much new blood, there’s no reason to believe it won’t win again. However, “Jeopardy!” is probably already the frontrunner for next year’s Emmy thanks to the dominating performance of the robot Watson against two of the game show’s greatest human champions.
Best Game Show Host
Ben Bailey, “Cash Cab,” Discovery
Todd Newton, “Family Game Night,” The Hub
Wayne Brady, “Let’s Make a Deal,” CBS
Meredith Vieira, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” Syndicated
Though his show has claimed three consecutive Emmys for Best Game Show, Ben Bailey won his first hosting award only last year. The charismatic star, who navigates New York City traffic while administering trivia questions (if you don’t think that’s award-worthy, you don’t live here), defeated Wayne Brady last year, but Brady is beloved by voters. He won two Emmys for his talker in 2003 and 2004, even though the show only lasted those two years. He won a primetime Emmy for the improv show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” And if that’s not enough, he’s hosting this year’s telecast. I have a hunch this award is his to lose.