[WATCH] Emmy predictions slugfest on Best Drama Directing: ‘Game of Thrones’ (x2) vs. ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘The Knick,’ ‘Ray Donovan’

Who will take home Best Drama Directing at the Emmys? I got together via webcam (watch above) with two other contributing writers, David Buchanan and Riley Chow, to preview this race in advance of the Emmycast on Sept. 18. We agree that “Game of Thrones” will prevail in this contest for the second year in a row after winning in 2015 for the episode “Mother’s Mercy.” But which of its two nominated helmers will take top honors this year?

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The six directors nominated for their worked on five different series are:

Downton Abbey” season 6
“Episode 9” (Michael Engler)

“Game of Thrones” season 6
“The Door” (Jack Bender)
“Battle of the Bastards” (Miguel Sapochnik)

Homeland” season 5
“The Tradition of Hospitality” (Lesli Linka Glatter)

The Knick” season 2
“This is All We Are” (Steven Soderbergh)

Ray Donovan” season 3
“Exsuscito ” (David Hollander)

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This year, the Emmys switched to plurality voting to determine winners; i.e., casting a vote for only one nominee. TV academy members had previously ranked the nominees, so vote-splitting was not a factor. However, even with two nominees from the same show, we don’t think it will matter in this race.

We all agree that “Battle of the Bastards” the frontrunner and likely winner ahead of “The Door.” But as Riley notes, “In the directing categories names matter and Jack Bender has been nominated several times for ‘Lost’ and ‘Northern Exposure’ while Miguel Sapochnik was snubbed last year even though he directed ‘Hardhome’ the most critically acclaimed episode.”

Indeed, while this is the first Emmy nomination for Sapochnik, Bender is an Emmy veteran, with five nominations in this category and an Emmy win for Best Drama Series as a producer of “Lost” in 2005.

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