Sure, a few of the major categories are cakewalks – ‘Glee’s Jane Lynch has ridonkulous momentum going into the Supporting Actress/Comedy race, and there’s no real argument to be made for ‘The Amazing Race‘ ceding the Outstanding Reality Show/Competition title this time around, after seven consecutive wins.
But other categories offer real barnburners where two or even three nominees have a great chance at grabbing gold. So allow some leeway as we at Fancast present our picks to claim an Emmy this weekend.
LEAD ACTRESS – DRAMA: Of course it’s glorious to see Connie Britton (‘Friday Night Lights’) in the mix, and lord knows Glenn Close (‘Damages’) is a formidable force of acting. CBS’ ‘The Good Wife,’ however, is riding a massive wave of buzz, one that we think will carry Julianna Margulies to the podium. Other nominees: Mariska Hargitay (‘SVU’), Kyra Sedgwick (‘The Closer’) and January Jones (‘Mad Men’).
LEAD ACTOR – DRAMA: This one’s a real horse race. We challenge you to make a case for any of the nominees – Jon Hamm (‘Mad Men’), Bryan Cranston (‘Breaking Bad’), Kyle Chandler (‘Friday Night Lights’), Hugh Laurie (‘House’) and Michael C. Hall (‘Dexter’) included – not winning. Matthew Fox, though, knocked our socks off during ‘Lost’s final season, especially during the closing church and jungle scenes. The heart of the Island wasn’t some glowy cave; it was Jack’s journey.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – DRAMA: ‘The Good Wife’ has a pair of strong contenders in Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski, and Elisabeth Moss always compels as ‘Mad Men’s Peggy. But it’s another ‘Mad’ woman, Christina Hendricks, that we expect to see take the prize. Other nominees: Sharon Gless (‘Burn Notice’) and Rose Byrne (‘Damages’).
SUPPORTING ACTOR – DRAMA: Just as Locke and Ben battled to be Island boss, ‘Lost’ actors Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson emerge as the primary players in this category. Perhaps only because we’re a bit afraid of a Smokey scorned, we give the edge to O’Quinn. Other nominees: John Slattery (‘Mad Men’), Aaron Paul (‘Breaking Bad’), Martin Short (‘Damages’) and Andre Braugher (‘Men Of A Certain Age’).
LEAD ACTOR – COMEDY: ’30 Rock’er Alec Baldwin could threepeat, sure, but this is truly ‘Big Bang Theory’ lead Jim Parsons’ race to lose. Other nominees: Matthew Morrison (‘Glee’), Steve Carell (‘The Office’) and Tony Shalhoub (‘Monk’).
LEAD ACTRESS – COMEDY: This one’s pretty clear-cut as well. With Tina Fey hampered by an “off’ ’30 Rock’ season, Edie Falco (‘Nurse Jackie’) is our pick to pull ahead of the pack. (That said, we’re secretly also rooting for Julia Louis-Dreyfus of CBS’ unceremoniously axed ‘Old Christine,’ because that would be one delicious acceptance speech!) Other nominees: Lea Michele (‘Glee’), Amy Poehler (‘Parks & Rec’) and Toni Collette (‘United States Of Tara’).
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – COMEDY: You think cheerleading is hard? Try beating out ‘Glee’s Jane Lynch for this award – especially since ‘Modern Family’s marvelous Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara likely split the votes for ABC’s freshman hit. Other nominees: Kristen Wiig (‘SNL’), Jane Krakowski (’30 Rock’) and Holland Taylor (‘Two And A Half Men’).
SUPPORTING ACTOR – COMEDY: Speaking of ABC’s beloved ‘Family,’ of its three equally worthy nominees in this category – Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell – we’re giving our nod to the latter (if only because Phil promised to let us play with his iPad if we did). Other nominees: Neil Patrick Harris (‘HIMYM’), Chris Colfer (‘Glee’) and Jon Cryer (‘Two And A Half Men’).
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW – COMPETITION: With ‘Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains’ remarkably snubbed, ‘The Amazing Race’ should have no problem besting ‘Project Runway,’ ‘Top Chef,’ ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and ‘American Idol.’
REALITY HOST: What’s more grueling, enduring jungle critters and heat, or spray tans and bloated results shows? Coming off one of ‘Survivor’s best cycles ever, Jeff Probst should coast to the podium – and in fact he did, at the Aug. 21 Creative Arts Emmys ceremony. (See? We know what we’re doing here.)
OUTSTANDING DRAMA: The first polling of the Fancast staff literally spread the vote equally across four of the six nominees. ‘Mad Men’ had a near-spotless Season 3, ‘Breaking Bad’ is some brave and badass TV, and ‘Good Wife’ has been feeling so much love. In what might be our most controversial pick, we foresee ‘Lost’ – uneven final season and all – getting recognized for its groundbreaking contribution to the medium.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY: We wrap things up here with our only tie. ‘Modern Family’ was at first blush the easy pick, seeing as its writers and stellar cast successfully reinvented the dysfunctional family comedy by serving equal helpings of humor and heart. But there’s no denying the Herculean effort the triple-threat ‘Glee’ peeps tackle on a weekly basis. Regardless of whose name Emmy beckons, there’s one indisputable winner here: the TV enthusiast.
Enough from us; tell us in Comments who you think will grab gold!
Also, come to Fancast on Sunday night to live chat with editors Tracy Phillips, Julie Zied and Carrie Borzillo during the telecast, and Follow @MattMitovich on Twitter for scoop from the red carpet and press room.