Emmys cliffhanger: Will ‘Empire’ and Cookie Lyon reign supreme?

If the Emmys were an empire, cable television and streaming services would reign supreme as the kings and queens, while poor network TV would be the hard-working yet forgotten serfs.

But those were the old days, the days B.C. (Before Cookie). Now that Fox’s “Empire” has crushed ratings records, can this Best Drama Series contender save all of network TV at the Emmys?

Related: Marcus James Dixon’s Emmys predictions
for Best Drama Series: ‘Empire,’ ‘Better Call Saul,’ …

Thanks to the onset of cable and the changing of viewing habits, it’s been four years since a network production was even nominated as Best Drama Series (“The Good Wife”). And, shockingly, the last time a Big Four network drama won the top prize was a decade ago when another Fox series, “24,” claimed gold in 2006.

Things are much different over in the race for Best Comedy Series, where only a single cable show (HBO’s “Sex and the City,” 2001) has won. In the Emmy empire, network TV comedies are the goofy yet reliable jesters who are always there when you need them.

Isn’t it time for a network uprising on the drama front?

“Empire” stars Oscar nominees Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as bickering exes Lucious and Cookie Lyon who run the world’s most successful hip-hop record label. The show has taken America by storm, dominating social media and breaking Nielsen ratings records by having its viewership increase seven weeks in a row (and counting).

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“Empire” merits a respectable 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 69 score at Metacritic. TV Guide’s Matt Roush declares the show to be, “A master class in attitude,” giving it 4 out of 5 stars,

Can all of these accolades translate to the Emmys?

According to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds that combine the early predictions of our Editors, Top 24 Users and All Users, “Empire” is in ninth place (50/1 odds) to receive a Best Drama Series nomination. That puts it behind returning frontrunners like “House of Cards,” “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men” and “Downton Abbey,” but ahead of 2012 Emmy champ “Homeland.”

Meanwhile, Henson is in sixth place (10/1 odds) to reap a bid for Best Drama Actress, while Howard is in ninth place (100/1 odds) for Best Drama Actor.

Keep in mind that the Emmys are much more willing to reward the stars of network dramas than to honor the shows themselves, as Julianna Margulies (CBS’s “The Good Wife”) won last year and Kyle Chandler (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) prevailed in 2011.

Last year the Top 24 Users did the best at predicting the Emmy nominations (78.55%) competing against Gold Derby’s Editors (77.68%), All Users (74.78%) and our Experts (74.64%). Which group will come out victorious this year? (See all prediction accuracy rates here.)

Make your own Emmys picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Drama Series winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict “The Walking Dead,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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