Last year’s Emmys contest champ predicts ‘House of Cards’ will beat ‘Mad Men’ in ‘tough’ Drama Series race

Savvy user Andrew Pierce, aka PierceUNC, beat all other Gold Derby predictors last year when forecasting Emmy nominations. He outscored thousands of users by scoring a jaw-dropping 80% accuracy across 23 categories. So, before you make your predictions in our Emmy nominations contest, it would be wise to consider his savvy picks.

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Last year, the 25-year-old correctly predicted all six Best Drama Series nominees, including “Downton Abbey,” which Gold Derby had collectively considered a 50/1 underdog. And he foresaw five out of six nominees in all drama lead and supporting categories. We asked him to dish his predictions for this year’s nominations, which will be revealed on July 16. 

Below, he explains why he thinks “House of Cards” will win Best Drama, why he’s skeptical of “Mad Men,” and why “The Good Wife” probably won’t make a comeback, even with seven nomination slots.

Why he’s not so sure about “Orange is the New Black” or “Game of Thrones”
“The entire Drama Series race to me seems in flux right now. We are not sure how ‘Orange is the New Black‘ is going to fair after switching to drama. ‘Game of Thrones‘ seems poised to rise to the top this time around, but are the voters willing to overlook its genre trappings? At this moment I am not really sure they are.”

Why he’s not convinced about a “Mad Men” comeback, even though it’s the frontrunner in our combined odds
“A lot of pundits and users are migrating back to ‘Mad Men,’ but it has not won an Emmy in four years and its nomination total continues to go down. I know that there is a lot of nostalgia out there for the show in its final season, but it needs to make a significant comeback in terms of nominations on July 16 for me to think that it is going rebound.”

Why “Empire” will be nominated, but probably won’t win
“‘Empire’ is a huge hit, and the voters who represent the broadcast side of things would be wise to embrace it, but I feel like it is simply a bit to melodramatic to win.”

Why “House of Cards” is the best bet for Best Drama Series
“That kind of leaves ‘House of Cards’ by default. ‘Breaking Bad‘ is no longer in its way, it is a political show (which they love) featuring genuine movie stars (which they love), and is leading the way in terms of its medium, [groundbreaking streaming service Netflix]. It is a tough race, but for now, I am sticking with ‘Cards.’”

Why “The Good Wife” fans shouldn’t get their hopes up
“If it couldn’t get back in last year for that awesome season (this season was pretty damn good too), then it will probably not happen, unfortunately. After its success at the [Critics’ Choice TV Awards], I think that ‘Better Call Saul‘ is going to ride the critical wave, and the ‘Breaking Bad’ love to get that final slot.”

There’s time yet for Pierce to change his mind, but as of this writing, his predictions for Best Drama Series (ranked in order of their likelihood to win) are:

1. “House of Cards”
2. “Game of Thrones”
3. “Mad Men”
4. “Empire”
5. “Downton Abbey
6. “Orange is the New Black”
7. “Better Call Saul

Click here to see the rest of his current predictions, and click here to enter or edit your own picks.

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Of the four groups making predictions at Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users did the best forecasting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) compared to the Editors (77.68%), All Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). 

Who do you think will win Best Drama Series? Make your prediction below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Average Gold Derby users just like YOU turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Make all of your Emmy predictions and you could win a place of honor on our leaderboard, a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up), and one of three contest prizes: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Prizes will be bestowed as gift certificates to be redeemed at Amazon. See our contest rules for more info.

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