2009 Emmy Predictions

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2009 Emmy Predictions

I've been watching a lot of television in preparation for the Paste Fall Guide to Good TV, coming this October. My TV overdose continues Sunday night when I'll be watching the Emmys. But before Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage, here are my 2009 Emmy Predictions.


Outstanding Drama Series

The Nominees:

Big Love, HBO 
Breaking Bad, AMC
Damages, FX
Dexter, Showtime
House, Fox
Lost, ABC
Mad Men, AMC

Who will win: Mad Men
Despite a relatively small following on AMC, those who've discovered this wickedly fun time capsule from the bourbon-in-the-afternoon early '60s will enjoy seeing it get its second Emmy.

Who should win: Dexter
I love Mad Men, but I'm addicted to Dexter. There's nothing that stirs serious self-reflection like finding myself pulling for a serial killer. As Lila once said, staring into Dexter's eyes is like staring into a mirror. Except I'm a little more disturbed at what I see than she was.

Dark Horse: Breaking Bad
I'm still catching up on Weeds and The Wire before I bring another drug dealer into my living room, but I'm well aware I'm missing something special.


Outstanding Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Entourage, HBO 
Family Guy, Fox
Flight of the Conchords, HBO
How I Met Your Mother, CBS
The Office, NBC
30 Rock, NBC
Weeds, Showtime

Who will win: 30 Rock

Who should win: 30 Rock
the considerable competition. Tina Fey brings home the third trophy in a row.

Dark Horse: Weeds
Mary Louise-Parker could propel the show to its first Emmy win.


Best Actor, Drama

The Nominees:

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House, Fox
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment, HBO 
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
Simon Baker, The Mentalist, CBS

Who will win: Hugh Laurie
Dr. House took a turn for the dark and—we shudder to even think it—vulnerable this season, and saved a show that was falling apart around him.

Who should win: Bryan Cranston
Cranston makes it hard to remember he was Malcom's dad. Can he upset the field two years in a row?

Dark Horse: Gabriel Byrne
We always thought the best Sopranos scenes happened in the psychiatrist's office. Apparently HBO did too.


Best Actress, Drama

The Nominees:

Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters, ABC
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer, TNT
Glenn Close, Damages, FX
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NBC
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace, TNT

Who will win: Kyra Sedgwick
Sedgwick is the star the ensemble cast orbits around, and the New Yorker's syrupy Southern charm will be hard to resist, though either Field and Close could prevail.

Who should win: Elizabeth Moss
Zoey Bartlet is all grown up. Moss' turn as the lonely, determined Peggy Olson is the most intriguing character on a show full of them.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

The Nominees:

Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal, ABC
Michael Emerson, Lost, ABC
William Hurt, Damages, FX
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
William Shatner, Boston Legal, ABC
John Slattery, Mad Men, AMC

Who will win: William Hurt
Damages racked up too many nominations not to get an occasional win.

Who should win: Michael Emerson
His character keeps getting creepier and more interesting. His wife Carrie Preston deserved a nomination for her work on True Blood, too.

Dark Horse: John Slattery
He's much more comfortable in his own skin now that he's not even pretending to have any scruples.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

The Nominees:

Rose Byrne, Damages, FX
Hope Davis, In Treatment, HBO 
Cherry Jones, 24, Fox
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment, HBO 
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy, ABC

Who will win: Sandra Oh
I haven't seen more than a few episodes of most of these shows, but Sandra Oh left the biggest impression.

Who should win: Hope Davis
In Treatment is high on my "to watch" list, and Hope Davis has been solid in everything she's touched.

Dark Horse: Diane Wiest


Best Actor, Comedy

The Nominees:

Jim Parsons, The Big Band Theory, CBS
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords, HBO
Tony Shalhoub, Monk, USA
Steve Carell, The Office, NBC
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men, CBS

Who will win: Alec Baldwin
There's no reason to think he won't repeat this year.

Who should win: Alec Baldwin
Baldwin only became more fun to watch as Jack's hopelessly romantic side came to light.

Dark Horse: Jemaine Clement
The Kiwi gets bonus points as the show's co-creator.


Best Actress, Comedy

The Nominees:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine, CBS
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?, ABC
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program, Comedy Central
Tina Fey, 30 Rock, NBC
Toni Collette, United States of Tara, Showtime
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds, Showtime

Who will win: Tina Fey
Paste assistant editor Rachael Maddux makes a convincing argument in our October TV issue that the alterna-girl of '90s television is all grown up and producing TGS.

Who should win: Toni Collette
OK, maybe it's not a fair fight since she plays multiple-personalities, but she's convincing with them all.

Dark Horse: Mary-Louise Parker
Why we love Mary-Louise.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men, CBS
Kevin Dillon, Entourage, HBO 
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother, CBS
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock, NBC
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock, NBC
Rainn Wilson, The Office, NBC

Who will win: Neil Patrick Harris
It's his night. We're just watching it.

Who should win: Tracy Morgan
But he wouldn't be the same without Jack McBrayer.

Dark Horse: Kevin Dillon
"Drama" could win comedy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

The Nominees:

Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies, ABC
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds, Showtime
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Vanessa L. Williams, Ugly Betty, ABC

Who will win: Amy Poehler
She's a superb Weekend Update anchor. Too bad she couldn't carry Parks and Recreation.

Who should win: Kristen Wiig
The best thing that SNL has going right now.

Dark Horse: Kristin Chenoweth
Pushing Daisies is now pushing daisies, but it left a great impression on critics while it lasted.


Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series

The Nominees:

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Late Show with David Letterman, CBS
Real Time with Bill Maher, HBO 
Saturday Night Live, NBC

Who will win: The Daily Show
For the 7th time in a row

Who should win: The Daily Show
If it was Stephen Colbert vs. Jon Stewart, it might be time to give the nod to Colbert, but Stewart continues to surround himself with phenomenal talent (like John Oliver).

Dark Horse: Saturday Night Live
It could be the beneficiary of low expectations and potent political humor.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Nominees:

The Amazing Race, CBS
American Idol, Fox
Dancing with the Stars, ABC
Project Runway, Bravo
Top Chef, Bravo

Who will win: Dancing with the Stars
Idol's hopes lie with Ellen in 2011. Amazing Race's run will end at six trophies. Dancing pulls off the upset.

Who should win: Top Chef
But it won't.

Dark Horse: Project Runway
Runway has been nominated five years in a row, and could finally take some hardware home.

Other picks

Special Class Animated Program
To be honest, we don't know what special class these shows are in, but I do love me some Phineas and Ferb. Five Reasons Why Phineas And Ferb Is The Best Kids Show on TV.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie:
PBS has half the nominees in this category. HBO has two. And the other belongs to Fox's Jack Bauer? Our money is on Ian McKellen as King Lear.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie:
Someone may soon win an award for a performance as Coco Chanel, but it's not going to be Shirley MacLaine. This is a fight between Grey Gardensstars Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, and we pick Lange.

Outstanding Host for a Reality Show:
When we recover from learning that Ryan Seacrest was nominated, we'll give this one to Jeff Probst.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special:
So much funny here, but we're pulling for Ricky Gervais.

Check back for a Live Blog of the 2009 Emmy Awards Sunday night.