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Predicting the Emmys -- Take Three
August 27, 2010  | By Ed Martin
 
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Should win: Mad Men
Will win: Mad Men

Nothing sucks the excitement out of the Emmys faster than for the same show (or performer) to win year after year after year, but there's no getting past the fact that AMC's endlessly engaging period piece is among that handful of shows in the history of the medium that simply gets better with age.

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While even the best shows begin to ripen and rot by their third or fourth season, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner isn't afraid to make major changes to his narrative structure each year, with consistently spectacular results.

As much as I support Mad Men, AMC's other red-hot drama, Breaking Bad, may be the winner here, because it delivered two of the three best individual hours of television drama during the Emmy eligibility period, the episodes titled "One Minute" and "Fly." (The other top hour was "The Son," an emotionally dismantling episode of Friday Night Lights that towered above all else.)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Should win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Will win: Michael C. Hall, Dexter

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If Michael C. Hall is ever to receive an Emmy for his work on Dexter, it will happen this Sunday, because he's coming off wins at the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Hall excitingly stepped up opposite a bone-chilling turn by the incomparable John Lithgow as the latest serial killer to invade his character's domain. But my own choice would be Jon Hamm, who, like fellow nominees Hall and Hugh Laurie, is seriously overdue for recognition here. And then there's Bryan Cranston, as much a potential three-peat winner as Mad Men. It's not his fault that he's so fine in the role of a lifetime.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Should win: Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer; Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Will win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

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If anyone is going to block the formidable Glenn Close of Damages from a third consecutive win, it's Good Wife star Julianna Margulies, like Michael C. Hall already a Golden Globe and SAG winner for her work during the nomination period. She's certainly deserving of the honor, but I've been waiting forever for Kyra Sedgwick to take home an Emmy for her uniquely entertaining work on The Closer, and for Connie Britton to simply be nominated for her luminous portrayal of a small town working wife and mother on Friday Night Lights, so I'm standing by them.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Should win: Modern Family
Will win: Glee

ABC's sensational freshman hit Modern Family really does deserve this award, on account of it being the funniest and most sophisticated comedy series on television during the Emmy qualification period and all. But I just spent four weeks in Los Angeles and it was my observation that one can't walk into an entertainment industry event or hit a Hollywood hot spot without running into someone who over-the-moon adores Glee, so I have to assume that the momentum in the industry is so huge there is no way this show won't win.

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Plus, it was just honored as Program of the Year and Outstanding New Program by the Television Critics Association, and you can't beat that! I certainly have nothing against Glee, but I'll be thrilled if I'm proven wrong.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Should win: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Will win: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, or Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Tony Shalhoub already has three Emmys for his work on Monk, while Alec Baldwin has two for 30 Rock, making them obvious Academy favorites. And since they were both as strong as ever last season, I see no reason why one of them won't win again this year.

Baldwin has the industry momentum, coming off two consecutive wins (and because the tiring 30 Rock still remains an industry darling), but Shalhoub gave a powerful performance during the two-part Monk series finale, so I'm calling this one a toss-up. As always, Jim Parsons was way funnier than either of them, but he has never been honored by the Academy, so I'm not holding out much hope.

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Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Should win: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Will win: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

I'd say Showtime can look forward to a win in this category, because if Toni Collette doesn't take home a second consecutive award for her performance in the outrageously demanding role of a woman with multiple personalities on United States of Tara, then Edie Falco ought to get it for her portrayal of a hopelessly harried wife, mother, nurse, mistress and drug addict. I'm going with Falco, because with her work on Nurse Jackie, she has done something I didn't think possible -- she has shoved aside all memories of her career-defining role as Carmela Soprano.

 
 
 
 
 
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