Without the help of Tony Soprano, will HBO ever again be able to claim victory in the race for Best Drama Series?
According to Gold Derby polling, HBO’s two nominated dramas “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” are currently tied for last place with odds of only 50 to 1. Adding insult to injury, 12 of our 13 Experts and eight of our nine Editors have these series in their final two slots. The lone holdouts are HuffPo TV‘s Mo Ryan, who has “Boardwalk Empire” in third place, and Editor David Schnelwar, who has “Homeland” in his last position.
In 2004, HBO made history by becoming the first pay-cable network to win Best Drama Series with the mob drama “The Sopranos.” The show’s final season in 2007 claimed another trophy for the network, bringing its tally to two. Since then, basic cable network AMC matched HBO’s two wins and doubled them thanks to four-time reigning champ “Mad Men.”
In the past decade, a half-dozen other HBO dramas have been nominated in this category — “Six Feet Under” (2002, 2003, 2005); “Deadwood” (2005); “Big Love” (2009); “True Blood” (2010); “Boardwalk Empire” (2011, 2012); and “Game of Thrones” (2011, 2012) — but none so far have been able to match the glory of “The Sopranos” and give HBO another much-wanted win. This year should be no exception.
Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users believe that “Mad Men” will take home its record-breaking fifth Best Drama Series trophy, with overall odds of 2/1. In second place is fellow AMC series “Breaking Bad” (13/5 odds), followed by PBS’s “Downton Abbey” in third (4/1 odds) and Showtime’s “Homeland” (13/2 odds) in fourth.
The good news for HBO? Even if “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” flunk out at this year’s Emmys, both series could well return to contend next year along with buzzed-about new drama “The Newsroom” created by Emmy and Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” “The Social Network”).