Emmy predictions: What will be the five nominees for Best Drama Series Casting?

Once a show is snubbed in a category at the Emmys, it is hard to make it back into that race. This holds particularly true for Best Casting (Drama Series). Last year’s nominees were: 

Downton Abbey” (season 3 – third nomination, including 2011 as miniseries)
Game of Thrones” (season 3 – third nomination)
The Good Wife” (season 4 – fourth nomination)
Homeland” (season 2 – second nomination, 2012 winner)
House of Cards” (season 1 – first nomination, 2013 winner)

Since this category was created 14 years ago, no series has returned to the race after being snubbed. That all but rules out the return of past contenders “Boardwalk Empire” and “Mad Men.” 

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Furthermore, this category favors series in their first few years. Indeed, “Law & Order” stands as the only show to contend after its fifth season. That long-running NBC staple debuted in 1990 but there was no Emmy for casting for its first five years. While it did not reap bids in the first two years of the initial combined category, it did for the last two years of that award and then for three years running in this genre-specific race.

Since then, only three long-running dramas each contended for their fifth seasons: “The West Wing,” “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men.”  

Thus, four-time also-ran “The Good Wife” could be in trouble this year. While it is expected to make a comeback in several top races, unlike “The West Wing,” “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men,” it has never won Best Drama Series. 

However, should “The Good Wife” be snubbed here that may not be bad news. After all, “24” was dropped from this category beginning in its fifth season even though that is the one that won Best Drama Series. Likewise for “Friday Night Lights,” which reaped its only Best Drama Series bid for its fifth and final season. But, unlike “The Good Wife,” each of these shows had won this casting award with “24” taking the prize for season three while “Friday Night Lights” won for its freshman year. 

The reigning champ usually reaps a repeat bid; the only exception to this in 14 years was “Six Feet Under.” It had prevailed for its first and second seasons in 2001 and 2002 but a prolonged hiatus meant that it was only eligible again in 2004 and it was snubbed then.

Very few drama series reap their first casting nominations for a season other than the initial one. In 2010, a tie resulted in six nominees rather than five; among these were “Big Love” and “Dexter” which earned their first and only casting bids for their fourth seasons. 

House of Cards” won this award last year for its freshman season. It was the only new drama that earned more than three Emmy nominations last year. This year, “Masters of Sex” and “True Detective” are the hottest newcomers. 

The wildcard is reigning Drama Series champ “Breaking Bad,” which was snubbed in this race for all of its first five seasons. It is the only drama series to take the top prize without having been nominated at least once for casting. If it reaps a bid in this race this year, it will be the oldest ever first-time nominee. 

1. “House of Cards” – season 2
2. “True Detective” – season 1
3. “Masters of Sex” – season 1
4. “Game of Thrones” – season 4
5. “Downton Abbey” – season 4

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6. “Breaking Bad” – season 6 
7. “The Good Wife” – season 5 
8. “Homeland” – season 3 
9. “Mad Men” – season 7 
10. “Boardwalk Empire” – season 4

Take a tour through our photo gallery below, which features the top 10 Drama Series contenders in order of their current Gold Derby odds.

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