Something exciting is happening in television. Years of bad soap operas and lackluster performances have given way to a slew of captivating dramas, genuinely hilarious sitcoms and unique leading ladies and men.
In 2014, American television giant HBO is once again dominating the Emmy’s, with 99 different nomination, and for good reason. It’s almost singlehandedly responsible for the rebirth of television thanks to shows like Game of Thrones (19 nominations), True Detective, Boardwalk Empire and Girls.
CBS is next in line with 47 nods, followed closely by NBC with 46.
The awards, hosted by late night talkshow star Seth Meyers, are also expected to pay tribute to late two-time Emmy winner Robin Williams. It will be the first big Hollywood event since his passing and executive producer Don Mischer has assured fans he will not go unmentioned.
“Plans for the In Memoriam segment are in discussion,” Mr Mischer told People after his death. “While we are all still coming to terms with this week’s tragic news, we are working to give Robin Williams the proper and meaningful remembrance he so well deserves.”
But who, and what, else will be feted on the big night? Here are our predictions for the actors and shows who will walk away with a winged woman statuette.
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
What will win: Breaking Bad. The drama has a league of loyal fans and no one can deny it ended its five-season run with a bang. Critical and popular acclaim make it a strong contender.
What should win: True Detective. HBO made an unusual decision to enter the show in the drama category rather than the miniseries section. The move may confuse voters and viewers, although this unique show is utterly captivating.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Orange Is the New Black
What will win: Orange is the New Black is the hot favourite to dethrone Modern Family after its four-year winning streak. The Netflix original series about a female prison has a sassy script, powerhouse acting performances and industry buzz to give it a boost.
What should win: Veep. An underdog in the category, this show is downright hilarious. Brilliantly written and acted by the hilarious Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the political sitcom should get a shout-out at the very least.
Lead actress in a drama series
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards
Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Masters of Sex
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife
Who will win: Wright as the wife of a scheming Democrat is cool, calculated perfection.
Who should win: Caplan has amassed so much critical acclaim as a forward-thinking single mother in the 1950s you’d think she’d be a shoo-in. However, Masters of Sex doesn’t yet have the huge profile it deserves. Regardless, Caplan’s performance is an exemplar of period acting.
Lead actor in a drama series
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood in House of Cards
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in The Newsroom
Matthew McConaughey as Rustin Cohle in True Detective
Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart in True Detective
Who will win: It’s a Wild West showdown between Cranston and McConaughey. Breaking Bad fans could decide to exert their sentimentality on the voting front, or McConaughey’s star turn could be too strong to ignore.
Who should win: McConaughey. Sorry Walt, you’ve had your moment.
Lead Actor in a Comedy
Louis C.K. as Louie Louie
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan in House of Lies
Ricky Gervais as Derek in Derek
Matt LeBlanc as himself in Episodes
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher in Shameless
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory
Who will win: In what will most likely be a shameless popularity contest, The Big Bang Theory’s million-plus fan base will carry Jim Parsons to his fourth win.
Who should win: While there are no true standouts this year, Louis C.K. put in a valiant effort in his eponymous series. Writing, directing and starring as a hopeless divorced dad, he adds some edge to the comedy category.
Lead Actress in a Comedy
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath in Girls
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn in Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knop in Parks & Recreation
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman in Orange is the New Black
Who will win: Louis-Dreyfus – she’s note-perfect as neurotic US Vice President Selina Myer.
Who should win: Louis-Dreyfus. Enough said.