2013 Emmy Nominees and Predictions: Who Will Win?

In the words of 30 Rock‘s Kenneth Parcell, “There’s only two things I love in this world: everybody and television.” Next Sunday, September 22, the world will pay tribute to Kenneth’s two great loves during the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the ultimate night of TV prestige. This year’s show is already proving to be a memorable one, with a star-studded group of presenters (including Tina Fey, Michael Douglas, Zooey Deschanel, and Bryan Cranston) and Neil Patrick Harris taking the wheel as host. And unlike the more movie-based awards shows that will take place in a few months, the Emmys are generally less predictable … and therefore more exciting.

The Emmys always offer a good mix of surprises and old standbys when it comes to nominees, and this year is no exception. Past winners, such as 30 Rock, Homeland, and Mad Men, are back on the ballots, and so are a slew of newcomers, like Louie and Scandal. We will certainly be on the edges of our seats to witness the battle between edgy and old-school. Will Breaking Bad finally take home the grand prize? Will Modern Family finally NOT take home the grand prize?

Perhaps most notable about this year’s Emmy Awards, however, is the inclusion of House of Cards and Arrested Development in the voting pools — the first time in history that programs offered only online (both aired on Netflix) are nominated in major categories. If one of these shows manages to snag a big award, it would signify the industry’s acceptance of the transformation of home entertainment. With these Netflix originals in the mix, the aforementioned edgy vs. old-school battle will truly reach new heights this year.

To get you ready for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, we’ve broken down the major categories for you, including all the nominees and our predictions for who will walk away with trophies … and who should walk away with trophies (they usually aren’t the same thing). Take a look and let us know if you agree with our picks!

2013 Emmy Nominees and Predictions:

  • 65th Primetime Emmy Awards 1 of 11
    2013 Emmy Nominees.jpg

    Who should win? Who will win? Let's speculate wildly, shall we?

  • Outstanding Drama Series 2 of 11
    drama series


    — Breaking Bad

    — Downton Abbey

    — Game of Thrones

    — Homeland

    — House of Cards

    — Mad Men


    Should win: Breaking Bad

    The fact that Breaking Bad has never won in this category is rather baffling, but there's no time like the present for the Academy to make up for it. The show's most recent season has earned its best critical reviews to date, and its current cultural impact has never been greater. Voters might hold off and give Breaking Bad this award next year as a final sendoff, but the first part of Season 5 is certainly amazing enough to warrant the prize now.


    Will win: Breaking Bad

    I actually think Breaking Bad has an extremely high chance of finally taking home the grand prize this year, for all the reasons I mentioned above. Homeland is probably its biggest competition, coming off of last year's win and a great second season. Then there's House of Cards, which would be an edgy and exciting winner, but I think the Academy can honor it in other categories and leave this prize to a non-Netflix nominee.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia

  • Lead Actress in a Drama Series 3 of 11
    lead actress drama


    — Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (Norma Bates)

    — Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (Lady Mary Crawley)

    — Claire Danes, Homeland (Carrie Mathison)

    — Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (Peggy Olson)

    — Robin Wright, House of Cards (Claire Underwood)

    — Connie Britton, Nashville (Rayna Jaymes)

    — Kerry Washington, Scandal (Olivia Pope)


    Should win: Kerry Washington, Scandal

    I would love to see Elisabeth Moss finally get recognized for her work as Peggy Olson, but Mad Men is epically unlucky in acting categories. First-time nominee Kerry Washington is just the sort of buzz-worthy actress on a buzz-worthy show that voters gravitate towards. Plus, her turn as political "fixer" Olivia Pope is incredible. If she won, Washington would be the first black woman to pick up the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award, which would just make her victory even sweeter.


    Will win: Claire Danes, Homeland

    Still, the world (and Academy) is not finished with its Claire Danes love affair. She and her cry face walked away with this award last year, and a sophomore win this year is a pretty safe bet.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos

  • Lead Actor in a Drama Series 4 of 11
    lead drama actor


    — Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (Walter White)

    — Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey (Robert Crawley)

    — Damian Lewis, Homeland (Nicholas Brody)

    — Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Frank Underwood)

    — Jon Hamm, Mad Men (Don Draper)

    — Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (Will McAvoy)


    Should win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

    Good old Walter White only gets better and better, doesn't he? Bryan Cranston won Emmys for three consecutive years during the early seasons of Breaking Bad, but his work in the series' last season is even more deserving of accolades. But let's also not forget Jon Hamm, who is trying now for the SIXTH time to take home this prize. He is just as deserving, and I can pretty much guarantee a standing ovation from the audience if he finally gets awarded for his inimitable turn as Don Draper.


    Will win: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

    Cranston and Hamm both have pretty good chances of winning (especially Cranston), but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Kevin Spacey walks away with the Emmy. He's a two-time Oscar winner who gave a chilling and showy performance on House of Cards, and that kind of thing usually has voters drooling. Plus, the Academy will probably want to recognize the online series in some way, and Outstanding Lead Actor seems more likely to me than Outstanding Drama Series. We should also keep a keen eye on Damian Lewis. He picked up this award last year for Homeland, so another victory would be a safe, albeit boring, bet.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos

  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 5 of 11
    drama sup actress


    — Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (Skyer White)

    — Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (Violet Crawley)

    — Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones (Daenerys Targaryen)

    — Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (Diane Lockhart)

    — Morena Baccarin, Homeland (Jessica Brody)

    — Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (Joan Harris)


    Should win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

    Whether you love or hate Skyler White, you have to admit that Anna Gunn's work on Breaking Bad is incredible, and she was at her best during last season. Skyler is continuously trying to keep her children safe and cope with her feelings of hatred for her husband, and Gunn is downright heartbreaking. I would also be more than okay to see Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke take home the statuette entirely due to her epic "Dracarys" scene, but I think this year she should be happy just to be nominated.


    Will win: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

    There's been some popular negative reactions to Skyler White lately, and there's a chance that voters will misdirect that hostility onto Gunn and ignore her on their ballots. The sassy Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, however, continues to be a favorite amongst fans and the Academy alike, so I'm betting we'll see Maggie Smith walk away with an Emmy again this year.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos

  • Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 6 of 11
    drama sup actor


    — Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire (Gyp Rosetti)

    — Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad (Mike Ehrmantraut)

    — Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (Jesse Pinkman)

    — Jim Carter, Downton Abbey (Charles Carson)

    — Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (Tyrion Lannister)

    — Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (Saul Berenson)


    Should win: Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad

    For, me this category comes down to the supporting men of Breaking Bad: Jonathan Banks and Aaron Paul. They both are pretty darn close to perfection. However, I would be just so happy to see this award go to Banks, especially since this is his last chance. His portrayal of Mike Ehrmantraut is incessantly stoic in the most amazing way, complete with his gravelly voice and dead eyes. He definitely had an amazing season and totally deserves that trophy on his mantel.


    Will win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

    The Academy has given this award to Aaron Paul twice already, and I bet they are likely to do it again this year. And I'm okay with that. While I do love me some Mike Ehrmantraut, I love Jesse Pinkman just as much, and Paul is consistently compelling. Mandy Patinkin also has a chance of winning, especially if Breaking Bad fans end up splitting the votes between Banks and Paul. Peter Dinklage won last year, but the entire cast of Game of Thrones really stepped up last season, so his performance doesn't quite stand apart as much anymore.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos

  • Outstanding Comedy Series 7 of 11
    comedy series


    — The Big Bang Theory

    — Girls

    — Louie

    — Modern Family

    — 30 Rock

    — Veep


    Should win: Louie

    This is Louie's first year getting nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, and it's easy to see why, given the extremely positive critical reception of its most recent season. It definitely isn't the safe choice, but that's exactly why it should win — this category needs some major spicing up. Louie totally redefines everything we know about comedic television, and it would be nice to see that rewarded with some Emmy gold.


    Will win: Modern Family

    Does Modern Family deserve a fourth consecutive win? No. The show is not getting any better with age, but I'm afraid it's probably not ready to be upstaged just yet. Girls and Louie are better shows, but they aren't as cut and dry as Modern Family. They both fall in that middle ground between comedy and drama, and that might cause them to get shunned by the more conventional voters. I'm hoping those traditionalists will get sentimental and vote for 30 Rock over Modern Family, which would be a fitting tribute to the Emmy veteran's final season.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia

  • Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 8 of 11
    lead comedy actress


    — Laura Dern, Enlightened (Amy Jellicoe)

    — Lena Dunham, Girls (Hannah Horvath)

    — Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (Jackie Peyton)

    — Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (Leslie Knope)

    — Tina Fey, 30 Rock (Liz Lemon)

    — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (Selina Meyer)


    Should win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

    There's pretty much no chance that Amy Poehler is going to win, but UGH. I just want her to win an award already! Yes, I'm unhealthily obsessed with Parks and Recreation, but she is objectively pitch-perfect as Leslie Knope. Having said that, I love how amazing all the nominees in this category are every single year, and they honestly all deserve to win. Girl. Power.


    Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus is officially TV comedy royalty. She is the most nominated actress in Emmy history and is the only woman to win an award for her work on three different shows. And this most recent season of Veep reminded the entire world just how talented she is. The Academy is guaranteed to take note. There's a slight chance that Lena Dunham's revolutionary work on Girls or Tina Fey's farewell season of 30 Rock could get recognized, but I'd say Louis-Dreyfus probably has this one in the bag.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia

  • Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 9 of 11
    lead comedy actor


    — Jason Bateman, Arrested Development (Michael Bluth)

    — Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (Dr. Sheldon Cooper)

    — Matt LeBlanc, Episodes (Matt LeBlanc)

    — Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Marty Kaan)

    — Louis C.K., Louie (Louie)

    — Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (Jack Donaghy)


    Should win: Louis C.K., Louie

    Louis C.K. has this creepy-meets-sweet edge to his performances that has seriously breathed fresh life into the world of comedy. The third and most recent season of Louie has brought the show its best critical reviews to date, so this might finally be C.K.'s year.  


    Will win: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

    If Louis C.K. doesn't win (which I actually think he has a good chance of doing), we can expect Alec Baldwin to snag the statuette. During 30 Rock's run, Baldwin turned Jack Donaghy into a comedy icon, and the Academy should and will want to pay tribute to that. I'm still peeved at their failure to give Steve Carell this award during his final season on The Office back in 2011 (can you believe he NEVER won an Emmy?), so this is their chance to make it up to me. Jim Parsons is also an Emmy darling and could potentially sneak in for a win ... but let's just hope that doesn't happen.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia

  • Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series 10 of 11
    comedy sup actress


    — Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler)

    — Jane Lynch, Glee (Sue Sylvester)

    — Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (Gloria Delgado-Pritchett)

    — Julie Bowen, Modern Family (Claire Dunphy)

    — Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie (Zoey Barkow)

    — Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock (Jenna Maroney)

    — Anna Chlumsky, Veep (Amy Brookheimer)


    Should win: Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

    Jane Krakowski was consistently awesome as diva Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock, and a victory for her would be a wonderful tribute to the actress and the show's final season. Krakowski has been nominated for this role three times in the past ... will voters finally wise up?


    Will win: Julie Bowen, Modern Family

    There's no denying the appeal Julie Bowen has with critics. This would be Bowen's third consecutive win, which might turn off some voters, but she should still have enough sway to pull through one more time. There's also a solid chance for her Modern Family co-star, Sofia Vergara, to snag her first trophy. Either way, Modern Family is this category's frontrunner.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos 

  • Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 11 of 11
    comedy sup actor


    — Adam Driver, Girls (Adam Sackler)

    — Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (Mitchell Pritchett)

    — Ed O'Neill, Modern Family (Jay Pritchett)

    — Ty Burrell, Modern Family (Phil Dunphy)

    — Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live (Various)

    — Tony Hale, Veep (Gary Walsh)


    Should win: Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

    Pretty much any win from a non-Modern Family man would be a pleasant surprise, and Adam Driver, Bill Hader, and Tony Hale are a particularly talented bunch. But could anything be more wonderful than Bill Hader walking away with the award? His SNL star has been on an upward trajectory for years now (let's face it, he's been one of the few consistently funny things about that show lately), and his last season as a cast member in particular should be awarded. Also, Stefon.


    Will win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

    For four years now, there have been at least three Modern Family actors nominated for this category at each ceremony, so suffice it to say that the Academy is obsessed. We can pretty much guarantee that the show will pull in a fourth consecutive Supporting Actor win, and while I would prefer the trophy to go to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, my money's on Ty Burrell. He had some strong moments during this past season of Modern Family, particularly in the season finale.


    Photo credit: Wikipedia, PR Photos


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