This year’s Emmy race for Best Drama Series has a clear frontrunner in AMC’s reigning champ “Breaking Bad” but seveal series could snatch that win away, including HBO’s new anthology “True Detective” and Netflix’s second season of “House of Cards.” (See the racetrack odds for all contenders here).
After reading our recap, be sure to check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this post, which previews the top contenders and gets you ready to make your own Emmy predictions before nominations are announced on July 10.
Last year, “Breaking Bad” finally claimed this prize for the first half of its final season. Now, with the second half of season five, the AMC hit is a very strong contender to pick up a bookend and leads with odds of 13/10. The most recent drama series to prevail for its final season was “The Sopranos” (2007). Three decades earlier, Brit hit “Upstairs, Downstairs” did the same.
Two of last year’s also-rans are all but certain to return to the race. “House of Cards,” which broke ground for online streaming service Netflix in its freshman year and shows no signs for slowing down in its second season is in third place with odds of 6/1. And “Game of Thrones,” which finished its fourth season with its best reviews and ratings to date, has odds of 8/1.
The paycaster has an even stronger shot at the top prize thanks to “True Detective,” which ranks second to “Bad” with odds of 9/2.
“The Good Wife” is enjoying a sudden surge in attention following a buzzed-about season that included the shocking death of Josh Charles‘s character, Will Gardner. While it contended for its first two seasons in 2010 and 2011, it was snubbed for the past two. This CBS hit has odds of 14/1 this year.
“Mad Men” has fallen on hard times at the Emmys. It hasn’t won a single trophy since 2011, when it took a record-tying fourth Best Drama prize. Does it have the support it needs to stick around? It is on the bubble for a bid this year, with odds of 14/1. It’ll have one more chance at Emmy glory next year, when the series airs its final seven episodes.
“Downton Abbey” has been nominated for the last two years in this category and won Best Movie/Miniseries in 2011. However, despite record ratings for this fourth season, we predict it just missing out on a nomination with odds of 33/1.
Many expected “The Americans” to be one of last year’s biggest breakthroughs, but it received only two nominations: Main Title Theme Music and Drama Guest Actress (Margo Martindale). It remained a critics’ darling in season two earning multiple bids at both the Critics’ Choice and the TCA Awards and has odds of 33/1 to contend in this top category at the Emmys.
Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” was also a critical favorite when it debuted last fall. The provocative period piece about real-life sex researcher Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) has a slim chance to ambush the race with odds of 100/1.
Showtime won this race in 2012 with the freshman season of “Homeland.” While that political thriller was nominated again last year, its controversial third season inspired a widespread backlash from critics and viewers and leaves its Emmy fate uncertain. It also has odds of only 100/1.
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 below to make your predictions in this race.