Emmy Experts raise a glass to ‘Mad Men,’ predict fifth victory as Best Drama Series

The final season of “Mad Men” will be one for the record books, according to our Emmy Experts, as they give the AMC hit leading 9/2 odds to win its fifth Best Drama Series trophy. Are our Emmyologists correct in toasting the departing series, or is it due for a nasty awards hangover?

Hurry — make your predictions now and you could win our $1,000 prize as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a leading role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys). You can change your predictions as often as you like, but it’s important to make your first picks now so that they can be part of Gold Derby’s racetrack odds.

RELATED VIDEOS: Jon Hamm and Matt Weiner on ‘Mad Men’ and Emmys

A coveted fifth victory as Best Drama Series would break the current tie between four-time Emmy champs “Mad Men” (2008–2011), “The West Wing” (2000–2003), “L.A. Law” (1987, 1989–1991) and “Hill Street Blues” (1981–1984). Over on the comedy side, laffers “Modern Family” and “Frasier” have already won five trophies apiece, so isn’t it time for a drama to play catch-up?

Six of the seven Experts polled so far have “Mad Men” in either their first or second position to win: Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo).

The lone holdout is Gold Derby’s own Paul Sheehan, who has “Mad Men” in his sixth slot. Hmm, does Sheehan know something the other Experts don’t? After all, he was the leading Expert last year in predicting the Emmy winners, reaping 66% accuracy.

In fact, “Mad Men” hasn’t won a single trophy for the past three years, with 12 goose eggs in 2013 and eight more Emmy misfires last year.

But “Mad Men” has always been a notable victim of the schizo nature of Hollywood awards, which can embrace winners madly one moment, then humiliate them on a public stage.

While the series has won three Emmys for Best Writing, it’s never claimed a trophy for Best Directing. And, infamously, the show has yet to win an acting award for any of its performers, including breakout lead Jon Hamm, despite a whopping 34 acting bids over the past seven years.

Inevitably, perplexed kudos-watchers are left wondering: How the hell can a program be declared the best on TV four times and not be the best acted or directed?

But despite all that, “Mad Men” has a leg up on the competition due to its now-or-never nature. Voters may feel a sense of urgency to reward this classic show one last time, just as they did for the final seasons of “Breaking Bad” (2014) and “The Sopranos” (2007). Comparison to “The Sopranos” is apt for two reasons. “Mad Men” showrunner Matthew Weiner worked in its writers’ room a decade ago and it was a series that fickle Emmy voters spurned, loved, jilted, then gave a touching goodbye kiss in the aftermath of its controversial last episode.

In the event “Mad Men” fails to rally at the Emmys, our Experts predict that either “Game of Thrones” (5/1 odds) “House of Cards” (11/2 odds), “Empire” (13/2 odds) or “Orange is the New Black” (8/1 odds) will hear their names called instead. Click here for our Experts’ rankings for Best Drama Series. Click here for their Emmy rankings in all categories.

However “Mad Men” fares at the Emmys, it’ll always hold a place as one of TV’s greats — a show that dared to be different and always stayed true to Weiner’s unique vision. Have some scotch on us, “Mad Men.” You deserve it.

Top 24 User Victor Rodriguez Redondo predicts Emmys: ‘Mad Men’ vs. ‘Game of Thrones

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. See contest rules.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often 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. The Top 24 Users did the best at predicting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) when competing against Gold Derby’s Editors (77.68%), all Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). Which group will come out victorious this year?

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