I (and most others) pretty much suck at predicting the Emmys, because rarely do they make sense. How anyone but Cicely Tyson won this year's dramatic guest actress statue, or how Martin Freeman could beat Matthew Bomer last year, is beyond my comprehension. So I never really take my predictions seriously, not like I do for the Oscars anyway.
Miniseries and Television Movie
Writing, Movie/Miniseries: Jane Anderson, Olive Kitteridge
Directing, Movie/Miniseries: Lisa Cholodenko, Olive Kitteridge
Supporting Actress, Movie/Miniseries: Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Supporting Actor, Movie/Miniseries: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Lead Actress, Movie/Miniseries: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Lead Actor, Movie/Miniseries: Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Television Movie: Bessie
Miniseries: Olive Kitteridge
I'm not going to pretend like I know what the hell the Television Academy will do in these categories (honestly, I'm still scratching my head over Kathy Bates winning last year over both Julia Roberts and Allison Tolman). So these are guesses. Olive Kitteridge was rapturously received by all, and it's already cleaned up at a host of other ceremonies, so when in doubt I went with the HBO mini. Freak Show is mostly disliked among fans of American Horror Story, so its enormous amount of nominations probably speaks more to a lack of eligible, prodigious projects than true quality; however, I can see Paulson winning for her dual performances as conjoined twins. Queen Latifah could upset McDormand for Bessie (and I wouldn't be shocked by a win for Mo'nique over Paulson, either). David Oyelowo has a good shot for winning lead for Nightingale, but I just personally feel like the overall strangeness of that film may turn voters off and push them to vote for a more traditional winner like Rylance. Oh, and I really hope that if American Crime gets anything, it's for John Ridley's brilliant pilot script.
Writing: Jill Soloway, Transparent ("Pilot")
Directing: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, The Last Man on Earth ("Alive in Tucson")
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, Mom
Supporting Actor: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lead Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lead Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Comedy Series: Veep
I think it would be ridiculous for Modern Family to win again, but you can never rule anything out. My heart wants to pick Transparent for almost everything, including best series, but I just don't know if it's the kind of show the Television Academy would fully embrace in that way. Instead I'm predicting Veep, which probably should have already had at least one of these awards already. I think Transparent has the best shot at winning for writing and actor, though I wouldn't rule out a win for directing as well (or series, if the voters are as progressive as I hope). For the first time in five years, Modern Family is not nominated for directing, so something new will win there; I went with the fun, unique pilot of The Last Man on Earth, but both Veep and Transparent have good episodes nominated (and Transparent's is the episode for which Bradley Whitford already won the Emmy for guest actor, so perhaps that's a sign of the episode's reception among voters). Regardless, I'm predicting and hoping for a Modern Family-less winners list in the major comedy categories.
Writing: Matthew Weiner, Mad Men ("Person to Person")
Directing: Steven Soderbergh, The Knick ("Method and Madness")
Supporting Actress: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Supporting Actor: Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Lead Actress: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Lead Actor: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Drama Series: Mad Men
Again, a lot of question marks in these categories. This is Mad Men's last year of eligibility, and the show hasn't won the top honor since 2011, so I expect them to get one last statue as a parting gift. Ditto to Hamm, who has nominated eight times now for the show but never won. Actress is a rat race between Davis and Taraji P. Henson, both of whom are critic and fan favorites, and Tatiana Maslany, who's had a huge fan campaign behind her for years now. Aduba could take home her second award for playing "Crazy Eyes," even though her win last win was in a completely different category (comedy guest), or Christina Hendricks could finally win for Mad Men after receiving six nominations. Or Lena Headey could come out on top for Game of Thrones. Speaking of, Game of Thrones has the possibility of winning in many more categories than I predicted: writing, directing, supporting actress, and series. But because of the intense backlash from a lot of this season's episodes, I went conservative with other nominees.
The Emmys air Sunday night, September 20, on Fox.