Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland House of Cards Mad Men Orange Is the New Black
PREDICTION: The buzz around most of these dramas is just barely lukewarm, and while Better Call Saul would be a great first-season pick, it’s likely Mad Men will take home the award as a parting gift.
PICK: I am forever in favor of Orange Is the New Black, no matter what genre it’s categorized as.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul Kyle Chandler, Bloodline Kevin Spacey, House of Cards Jon Hamm, Mad Men Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
PREDICTION: Jon Hamm, finally?! Right? That’s the only way this could possibly go, especially because I’m hoping he sticks to comedy from here on out, which would make this his last year to win lead actor in a drama, ever.
PICK: Sure, Jon Hamm. (But I would also take Kyle Chandler, not because I particularly enjoyed Bloodline, but because he is always fantastic and I love seeing him on stage.)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Taraji P. Henson, Empire Claire Danes, Homeland Robin Wright, House of Cards Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
PREDICTION: The Emmys could just go full Mad Men commemoration and award Elisabeth Moss, which wouldn’t be surprising (or bad). The only other way I can see this going is Taraji P. Henson winning for Empire; she’s a fiery newcomer with an amazing performance to back up all the necessary hype.
PICK: Taraji P. Henson is definitely my personal pick, but I would also love it if Viola Davis or Tatiana Maslany won. Maslany has deserved it for a while, but I suspect the hard-won nomination will be as much recognition as she gets this year. Davis would be a great win, too, though she too seems more likely to have a shot next year.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline Jim Carter, Downton Abbey Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Alan Cumming, The Good Wife Michael Kelly, House of Cards
PREDICTION: Jonathan Banks. He’s done stellar work on Better Call Saul (and also Breaking Bad, which he never won for) and had the most memorable performance of all these actors.
PICK: Banks, definitely.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Joanne Froggatt, Downtown Abbey Lena Headey, Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
PREDICTION: I’ll let Flavorwire’s Thrones expert Alison Herman explain: “Lena Headey‘s performance throughout the series has been remarkable, adding depth and tragedy to a character who came dangerously close to a wicked witch type in the earlier books. Season 5, however, offered her a true showcase in Cersei Lannister’s literal walk of shame, allowing Headey to devolve from her typical haughtiness to total degradation in the span of ten nearly wordless minutes (although she left the nudity to a body double). It’s her best shot at Emmy recognition yet, even in a field as crowded as this one.”
PICK: There is nothing I want more than to see Uzo Aduba recognized for her stellar, heartbreaking, and damn near transcendent work on Orange Is the New Black.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Louie Modern Family Parks and Recreation Silicon Valley Transparent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Veep
PREDICTION: Basically everything about Transparent screams “Emmy winner,” huh? And for good reason — the debut season was practically flawless: poignant and funny all at once, and truly something special and standout in the television landscape.
PICK: I really loved this season of Louie, and Veep was also wonderful, but I wouldn’t be upset about Transparent‘s win, either.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish Louis C.K., Louie Don Cheadle, House of Lies Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth Matt LeBlanc, Episodes William H. Macy, Shameless Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
PREDICTION: Whitford already won, Transparent will likely win, so yep: Jeffrey Tambor. He’s always been a fine actor, and he successfully toned down his comic sensibilities to give an elegant, beautiful performance in Transparent.
PICK: Anthony Anderson in Black-ish has been great; though I would’ve nominated anyone else in the Johnson family over him, it’d still be a fun win! That said: I am actually gunning 100% for Will Forte, who elevated The Last Man on Earth to a level of quality I didn’t think was possible, and who completely commanded the screen in the pilot episode.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is always a safe prediction, and she always deserves it, so maybe she’ll get her fourth in a row! The other safe prediction is Amy Schumer, who is definitely the trendy pick (and also definitely deserves it).
PICK: Ignoring my hatred that both Tracee Ellis Ross and Constance Wu were snubbed, I’d be fine if either Amy won.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Adam Driver, Girls Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele Ty Burrell, Modern Family Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tony Hale, Veep
PREDICTION: I can’t seen Adam Driver winning this, and though Tony Hale is great, I can’t see him on that podium either. And please, no Ty Burrell again. If Kimmy Schmidt gets any awards this night, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it was for Tituss Burgess. But really, I’m predicting Andre Braugher.
PICK: I adore Braugher and will have no complaints if he takes it home, but Keegan-Michael Key deserves this award tenfold.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Niecy Nash, Getting On Julie Bowen, Modern Family Allison Janney, Mom Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Anna Chlumsky, Veep
PREDICTION: Gaby Hoffmann could easily win for her performance in Transparent, but the Emmys also love Allison Janney. I could see it going either way.
PICK: Niecy Nash, now and forever.