Production Design Emmy: Can ‘Downton Abbey’ or ‘Mad Men’ beat ‘Boardwalk Empire’?

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This year at the Emmys, there will be three Best Production Design trophies handed out for narrative series: one for period programs, one for fantasy/contemporary shows and one for half-hour comedies. Of the period dramas in the hunt, two are Best Drama Series nominees — “Downton Abbey” and “Mad Men.” They face off against reigning four-time champ “Boardwalk Empire” as well as “The Knick” and “Masters of Sex.”

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Boardwalk Empire” may have signed off for good, but it can still add more Emmys to its already impressive total of 18 wins. The HBO series submitted the episodes “Golden Days For Boys And Girls,” “Friendless Child” and “Eldorado” for Emmy consideration in this race. Bill Groom (Production Designer), Adam Scher (Art Director) and Carol Silverman (Set Decorator) are the individual nominees. “Boardwalk Empire” is undefeated in this category, having gone four-for-four between 2011 and 2014.

PBS’s long-running “Downton Abbey” submitted its Season 5 finale, “Episode 9,” for Emmy consideration in this production design category. Donal Woods (Production Designer), Mark Kebby (Art Director) and Linda Wilson (Set Decorator) are the individual nominees. “Downton Abbey” has lost all four of its previous production design bids.

Emmy favorite “Mad Men” hopes to sign off with several victories this year, including Best Production Design where AMC submitted the series finale “Person to Person.” Dan Bishop (Production Designer), Shanna Starzyk (Art Director) and Claudette Didul (Set Decorator) are the individual nominees. “Mad Men” hasn’t won for its production design since the pilot episode back in 2008.

Freshman drama “The Knick” (Cinemax) is up for episodes “Method And Madness,” “Mr. Paris Shoes” and “Get The Rope.” Howard Cummings (Production Designer), Henry Dunn (Art Director) and Regina Graves (Set Decorator) are the individual nominees.

Showtime hopeful “Masters of Sex” will be judged for its episodes “Blackbird,” “Below The Belt” and “One For The Money, Two For The Show.” Michael Wylie (Production Designer), Elizabeth H. Gray (Art Director) and Halina Siwolop (Set Decorator) are the individual nominees. “Masters of Sex” lost its inaugural bid in this race last year.

Find out who wins when the Creative Arts Emmys are handed out Sept. 12 at the Microsoft Theater (formerly the Nokia) in Downtown Los Angeles.

‘Downton Abbey’ Emmy episodes submitted for Best Drama Series

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Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.) Which group will be victorious this year?

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Photo: “Downton Abbey” Season 5. Credit: PBS
Photo: Jon Hamm in “Mad Men.” Credit: AMC/courtesy Everett Collection/REX

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