The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out tonight, during a ceremony airing on NBC and hosted by Glee star (and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy nominee) Jane Lynch. Just in time for the show, then, I’ve put together a list of my predictions for who will win, as well as my hopes for some upset winners.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
- Julie Bowen, Modern Family
- Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
- Jane Lynch, Glee
- Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
- Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
- Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Lynch won last year, and although Glee now works much better without Sue Sylvester, Emmy inertia can’t be underestimated. However, it would be nice to see a win for Vergara, who was consistently great in what I thought was an uneven second season overall for Modern Family. Plus, it would mean a win for one of the few nominated actors/actresses of color.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
- Michelle Forbes, The Killing
- Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
- Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
- Margo Martindale, Justified
- Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
I hate to admit it, but I still haven’t watched Justified. That doesn’t mean I can’t predict a win for Martindale, though, since everything I’ve read about her performance this season indicates that the nomination was the hard part, and the Emmy is now hers to lose. Panjabi has a good chance, too, though, since she won last year for her terrific work on Good Wife, and Hendricks would also be more than deserving.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
- Ty Burrell, Modern Family
- Chris Colfer, Glee
- Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
- Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
- Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Emmy clearly loves Modern Family, nominating every adult regular this year, even though it meant stuffing this category with four actors from the same show. That could mean some vote splitting and a win for Colfer (who would deserve it) or Cryer (who probably wouldn’t), but I’m going to say the MF love is great enough that one of the four will win it. My money is on O’Neill, who wasn’t even nominated last year, and will get a trophy tonight to make up for it.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
- Josh Charles, The Good Wife
- Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
- Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
- Walton Goggins, Justified
- John Slattery, Mad Men
This is a strong category, and pretty much any one of these actors would deserve the prize. I’m going to predict a win for Dinklage as Emmy’s way of recognizing the grand achievement Game of Thrones, since Boardwalk Empire has HBO’s more prominent support and will likely keep GoT out of play in the bigger categories. His portrayal of Tyrion Lannister was appropriately humorous, but Dinklage also layered in emotion and depth to a part he was made to play.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
- Tina Fey, 30 Rock
- Laura Linney, The Big C
- Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
- Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
- Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
In my mind, Poehler is far and away the most deserving nominee in this field. As Leslie Knope, she grounds Parks and Rec and is, frankly, hilarious. But Linney is a film actress doing strong work on a Showtime series, and even if it’s a comedy in name only, she should expect to walk away with the award tonight.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
- Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
- Mireille Enos, The Killing
- Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
- Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
- Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Margulies was the favorite last year, and then Kyra Sedgwick swooped in for the win. This year, Sedgwick wasn’t even nominated, so Margulies should be able to take home the gold (and if she does, she’ll deserve it). Of course, Moss was also incredible in Mad Men this season, going head-to-head with Jon Hamm in “The Suitcase.” But I’d really love to see Britton win for her work on the final season of FNL, as a recognition of five amazing seasons as Tami Taylor.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
- Steve Carell, The Office
- Louis C.K., Louie
- Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
- Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
- Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Baldwin is always great as Jack Donaghy, but he has several wins under his belt at this point. Louis C.K. has shown his acting ability on the terrific Louie, but a lot of the achievement there is also due to his writing, directing, editing, etc. No, after seven seasons as the world’s best boss, Carell deserves this one — and not just as a career achievement award. He was given strong material throughout the farewell arc, and Carell nailed it consistently, marrying the sweet with the silly and making us realize how much we’re really going to miss Michael Scott.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
- Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
- Michael C. Hall, Dexter
- Jon Hamm, Mad Men
- Hugh Laurie, House
- Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Once again, any one of these actors would deserve the Emmy, and now that Bryan Cranston is out of contention for the year, they all have a shot. But my prediction is that, after winning Outstanding Drama Series three years in a row, Mad Men will finally add an acting award to its mantle. Jon Hamm has given Don Draper the deep, necessary layering since day one, but last season he let the facade crumble, only to build it right back up again, and his submission episode (“The Suitcase”) was a masterclass in acting. My personal pick, though, would be Chandler, as a recognition of his five years of work as the greatest high school football coach of all time.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Last year, it was a toss-up between Modern Family and Glee, and Modern Family ended up winning. This year, Glee was all over the place, and with six acting nominations for the Family cast, it seems like a pretty safe bet that the ABC sitcom will repeat. It’s a shame, though, since Parks and Recreation is, by far, a better show, and deserves some high-profile recognition here.
Outstanding Drama Series
Matt Weiner’s period drama is an Emmy juggernaut, and even HBO’s flashy Martin Scorsese-backed Boardwalk Empire won’t stand in its way for the biggest prize of the night (though if there were a series to unseat the incumbent winner, it’s Boardwalk). Pretty much anything, perhaps Dexter, would be deserving of the prize, and it would be great to see Friday Night Lights go out on top, but it’s hard to imagine a year that Mad Men is eligible and doesn’t win.
Do you agree with my predictions? And, regardless, who do you think should win when the names are announced tonight? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!