Will ‘Breaking Bad’ unseat incumbent ‘Homeland’ for Drama Series Emmy?

Could we be underestimating “Homeland” again this year? It was the surprise winner of Best Drama Series at the 2012 Emmys, but most of our experts, editors, and users once again consider it the underdog, which may be because its chief rival, “Breaking Bad,” has a unique advantage: with ratings and critical acclaim at all-time highs, the show began airing its final episodes in the middle of the Emmy voting period.

Nine out of 13 experts predict “Breaking Bad” will win. So do six out of eight Gold Derby editors, and 61% of all users. But despite its perceived strength, several are betting on “Homeland” to repeat: three experts — Daniel Manu (TV Without Pity), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), and Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood) — and editor Chris Beachum currently rank Showtime’s spy thriller as the favorite to win, as do 22% of users.

Our top 24 users are evenly split: 11 pick “Breaking Bad” while 11 others back “Homeland.” The remaining two predict an upset victory for HBO’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones.”

Will “Breaking Bad” win for the first time? Other edgy, critically acclaimed dramas have also had to wait until their fifth seasons to finally win (“24,” “The Sopranos”). But often shows that take top honors for their first seasons keep on winning for several years (“The West Wing,” “Mad Men”), which may favor “Homeland.”

Below, watch our recent editors’ slugfest debating the race for Best Drama, then make your predictions:

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