What are Top 10 Emmy contenders for Best Single-Camera Series Cinematography?

The TV academy has a history of nominating single camera shows that get very little Emmy love elsewhere, from UPN’s “Everybody Hates Chris” in 2006 to ABC’s “Pan Am” in 2012 — for their cinematography. However, last year’s lineup mirrored Best Drama Series, and this year’s is likely to do the same. The nominees last year were: 

Boardwalk Empire” (season 3 – fifth nomination, 2011, 2012 winner)
Breaking Bad” (season 5.1 – fifth nomination)
Game of Thrones” (season 3 – first nomination)
Homeland” (season 2 – first nomination)
House of Cards” (season 1 – first nomination, 2013 winner)
Mad Men” (season 6 – fifth nomination, 2008 winner)

Top 10 Emmy contenders for Multi-Camera Series Cinematography

Breaking Bad” has been nominated every season, but was curiously never up for the equivalent award given out by the American Society of Cinematographers, whose voting membership overlaps with the television academy.

On the other hand, “Game of Thrones” has won the ASC Award the last two years, but only gained its first Emmy nomination for cinematography last year. This is probably due to how it has appeared on the Emmy ballot. While a show like “House of Cards” has one cinematographer for its entire season, “Game of Thrones” instead employs a constant rotation of guests in order to accommodate the simultaneous, non-sequential manner in which they shoot episodes. With each cinematographer being submitted, “Game of Thrones” has had as many as six on the ballot in any given year, which has surely split its votes. This year, “Game of Thrones” has submitted four episodes, relatively few for the series, so it may even pick up a second nomination.

Boardwalk Empire” won the Emmy and the ASC Award for both of its first two seasons and had multiple episodes nominated each year by both groups. Unlike “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones,” however, industry support for “Boardwalk Empire” has been softening as the series ages, but with its track record in cinematography, it should lose nominations in other categories before it is wholly snubbed here. Other former Emmy favorites that are on the decline are “Mad Men” and “Homeland,” both of which have been inconsistently nominated.

Best Single-Camera Cinematography and Best Drama Directing have gone to the same series for the last three years (“Boardwalk Empire” in 2011-2012, “House of Cards” in 2013). That puts “True Detective” in a good position, as it is an early directing frontrunner for “Who Goes There,” which features a widely discussed six-minute tracking shot; it has submitted that same episode in this race.

“Breaking Bad” – season 5.2 – “Granite State” (Michael Slovis)
True Detective” – season 1 – “Who Goes There” (Adam Arkapaw)
“House of Cards” – season 2 – “Chapter 18” (Igor Martinovic)
“Game of Thrones” – season 4 – “Two Swords” (Jonathan Freeman)
“Boardwalk Empire” – season 4 – “Erlkönig” (David Franco)

“Breaking Bad” – season 5.2 – “Buried” (Arthur Albert)
“Game of Thrones” – season 4 – “Oathkeeper” (Rob McLachlan)
“Boardwalk Empire” – season 4 – “Farewell Daddy Blues” (Bill Coleman)
“Mad Men” – season 7.1 –  “Waterloo” (Christopher Manley)
“Homeland” – season 3 – “The Star” (David Klein)

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Below, take a photo tour through this year’s top 10 contenders for Best Drama Series. And be sure to use the easy drag-and-drop menu to make your predictions in that race:

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