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Awards Season

2012 Emmy Nominee Predictions

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2012 Emmy Nominee Predictions
The nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, honoring the best in television, will be announced on July 19. It should be an interesting day for “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman, who is announcing the nominations with “Scandal” star Kerry Washington and will likely at long last land a nomination for his role as sleep-fighting, bacon-loving Ron Swanson on the NBC comedy. While there is no perfect science to Emmy predictions, here’s my educated guesses as to who will be flooded with congratulatory calls that morning.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Hugh Laurie, “House”
Timothy Olyphant, “Justified”

Though he was ineligible last year, three-time winner Bryan Cranston is back this year for “Breaking Bad” and a lock for a nomination, if not the win. Last year’s winner, Kyle Chandler is out of the running, so expect the remaining slots to go to veterans of this category: Steve Buscemi for “Boardwalk Empire,” Michael C. Hall for “Dexter,” Jon Hamm for “Mad Men,” Hugh Laurie for “House,” and Timothy Olyphant for “Justified.” There is one actor who might spoil the party, and that’s the fantastic Damien Lewis for his work as a soldier turned terrorist (or is he?) on “Homeland.” And don’t underestimate the love for Dustin Hoffman, who was terrific on the underrated HBO drama “Luck.”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad”
Walton Goggins, “Justified”
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
John Slattery, “Mad Men”

Like Cranston, previous winner Aaron Paul was ineligible last year for “Breaking Bad” but you can expect him back in the running this year, alongside his co-star, and likely winner, Giancarlo Esposito. The always-reliable John Slattery should score his fifth consecutive nod for “Mad Men,” and might have a shot of finally winning were it not for Esposito’s breathtaking season as drug lord Gus Fring. I suspect last year’s winner, Peter Dinklage, will land another nod for “Game of Thrones,” alongside previous nominee Walton Goggins for “Justified.” But the return of “Breaking Bad” means that probably only one of the guys nominated last year for “The Good Wife”—Josh Charles and Alan Cumming—will return to the category this year. My money’s on Cumming. Possible spoilers: Michael Pitt for “Boardwalk Empire” and Mandy Patinkin on “Homeland.”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

Glenn Close, “Damages”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Julianne Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Elizabeth McGovern, “Downton Abbey”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Jessica Pare, “Mad Men”

Jessica Pare took a huge risk placing herself in the lead category for “Mad Men,” but I still think she’ll land a nomination alongside her co-star Elisabeth Moss. Previous winners Glenn Close for “Damages” and Julianna Margulies for “The Good Wife” are locks, as is Claire Danes for the first season of “Homeland.” The final slot is harder to predict, but I think the “Downton Abbey” love will elevate Elizabeth McGovern over potential nominees Kyra Sedgwick from “The Closer” and Mirelle Enos of “The Killing.”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Kelly MacDonald, “Boardwalk Empire”
Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

With “Downton Abbey” moving out of the miniseries category, Maggie Smith should land a nomination. And it’s finally time for Emmy to recognize the amazing work Anna Gunn has been doing on “Breaking Bad” for the last four seasons. Beyond that, the category should be rounded out by women from last year’s ballot: Christine Barnaski and Archie Panjabi of “The Good Wife,” Christina Hendricks from “Mad Men,” and Kelly MacDonald of “Boardwalk Empire.” Sorry to January Jones who, even after stepping down from lead to supporting, didn’t have much to do on “Mad Men” this season. And despite the belief of some, I don’t see “Smash” snagging a slot for Angelica Huston or Megan Hilty amidst this competition.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Louis CK, “Louie”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory”
Joel McHale, “Community”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

With two of last year’s nominees out of the running—Matt LeBlanc for “Episodes” and Steve Carell of “The Office”—expect the deserving Joel McHale to finally slip in for “Community.” The other slot will likely go to Larry David for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the rest of the category will be filled by last year’s nominees Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,” Louis CK of “Louie,” and Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons of ‘The Big Bang Theory.”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Max Greenfield, “The New Girl”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family”
Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation”
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”

Can this finally be the year Nick Offerman lands a nomination for “Parks and Recreation”? Probably, since Jon Cryer has moved himself up to lead for “Two and a Half Men.” Also expect “The New Girl” breakout Max Greenfield to sneak in. And the rest of the spots will go to the “Modern Family” guys—Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, and Eric Stonestreet—who have dominated this category two years in a row. Wouldn’t rule out Danny Pudi on “Community” and Neil Patrick Harris might sneak in for “How I Met Your Mother,” as could Simon Helberg for “The Big Bang Theory,” but it’s unlikely.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:

Zooey Deschanel, “The New Girl”
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly”
Martha Plimpton, “Raising Hope”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Expect the following repeats from last year: Tina Fey for “30 Rock,” Melissa McCarthy for “Mike and Molly,” Martha Plimpton for “Raising Hope” and Amy Poehler for “Parks and Recreation.” The rest will be filled with freshman series: Zooey Deschanel for “The New Girl,” and Lena Dunham for “Girls”—love it or hate it, people can’t stop talking about that show. But Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep” is hovering right around the fringes, and there could be a possible spoiler from Laura Dern for “Enlightened” and Laura Linney for “The Big C.”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Brie, “Community”
Cloris Leachman, “Raising Hope”
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”
Kristen Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

This is the most difficult category to predict, but I’m hoping/betting Allison Brie sneaks in for “Community” to join previous nominees Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara of “Modern Family,” Betty White for “Hot in Cleveland” and Kristen Wiig for her final season of “Saturday Night Live.” Cloris Leachman moved from guest star to supporting player for “Raising Hope,” and should also get a nod. Don’t be surprised to see Jane Krakowski of “30 Rock” or Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation” slip in.

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