Not so fast, ‘Breaking Bad’: ‘True Detective’ may crush you at the Emmys

Since airing its final season last summer, “Breaking Bad” has been considered the show to beat for the Emmy as Best Drama Series, which it bagged last year. This morning it scored its biggest Emmy haul ever with 16 nominations.

But watch out for HBO’s much buzzed about “True Detective,” which scored a respectable tally of 12 bids and could be setting itself up to take down the current reigning drama champ. (See the complete list of Emmy nominees here.)

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In addition to the hefty batch of nominations it received this morning, “True Detective” has several other factors in its favor. First and foremost, the show is on HBO and the network is an Emmy powerhouse. This year HBO scored the most nods for any network (99), a title it has earned every year since 2001.

“True Detective” also has a huge Cool Factor in its favor and freshman shows with that sort of buzz have done well at the Emmys. In fact, since at-home Emmy judging began in 2000 several first-year shows won the top drama prize, including “The West Wing” (2000), “Lost” (2005), “Mad Men” (2008) and “Homeland” (2012). Each one of those programs were viewed as being very hip and a big part of pop culture when they premiered and “True Detective” has certainly followed in that path.

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The show also has two of our experts predicting it to win: Mike Cidoni (Associated Press) and Ken Tucker; as well as the prediction of one of our top 24 users: Awardsfuny. While “Breaking Bad” does have top combined odds to win with 19/10 right now, “True Detective” is just behind it with a solid 4/1 shot.

And one cannot forget that “Breaking Bad” has been off the air since September (one week after last year’s Emmys). Any buzz that “Breaking Bad” has lost since it signed off has been readily claimed by “True Detective” and when it comes time to vote for the top drama, a mindset that factors that kind of buzz could put “True Detective” in the ultimate winner’s circle.

However, it should be noted that long periods between episodes airing and voting doesn’t always have a negative impact. Three years ago “Mad Men” won its fourth trophy for Best Drama while it was in the middle of a 17-month hiatus. Past seasons had their premieres right as Emmy voting for the previous season would begin, but even without a new season going for it, the show held on to its title of top drama. In 2012, “Homeland” won Best Drama Series eight months after its last episode aired.

Yes, “Breaking Bad” did take home Best Drama Series at last month’s Critics’ Choice TV Awards, but it was “True Detective” star Matthew McConaughey who claimed Best Actor. That suggests the voters there wanted to spread the wealth amongst both shows. Might the Emmys follow suit?

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