2012 Emmy Predictions and Proclamations

TV Lists

Tomorrow night, TV’s best and brightest (or at least those deemed worthy by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) will descend upon L.A.’s Nokia Theatre for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.

As has been typical in recent years, it’ll likely be a big night for cable series, with HBO favorites Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Veep all nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and not a single major network show nominated in the drama category. We’ve put together our predictions and proclamations on who will win, who should win and who got snubbed in all of the major categories below. Be sure to check back here tomorrow at 8 p.m., as we’ll be liveblogging the awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
30 Rock
Modern Family
The Big Bang Theory

Who Will Win: Modern Family will almost certainly continue to reign supreme. Only the freshman hits Veep and Girls might play spoilers. The rest of the veteran shows just don’t have the punch to take out this juggernaut.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Should Win: Girls is one of HBO’s first great comedies in quite some time and Lena Dunham’s show had the strongest debut season of any show this year. But odds are good that it won’t be her year.—Ross Bonaime

Who Got Snubbed: While I do agree with most people that Community deserved to get nominated finally, I’m more disappointed with the lack of Parks and Recreation and Louie, not only two of the best comedies on TV, but two of the flat-out best shows currently on television.—Ross Bonaime

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly

Who Will Win: HBO’s Veep would be nothing if it wasn’t for Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Vice-President Selina Meyer. Once again, Emmy loves Dreyfus, so she’s pretty much a lock.—Ross Bonaime

Dark Horse: I could see Emmy voters potentially abandoning perennial favorites to demonstrate they’re still “with it” and rewarding Lena Dunham for her work on Girls, one of the most talked-about debuts in recent memory. They may not be ready to pull the trigger on handing over Outstanding Comedy Series to the show just yet, so this could serve as a consolation prize of sorts.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Who Should Win: Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation. Since this is one of the show’s only nominations, and Poehler deserves it for the incredible third season, it would be great for P&R to receive at least some recognition.—Ross Bonaime

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Louis C.K., Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Who Will Win: Louis C.K. has created a fascinating show in Louie. While he is the show’s main director and writer, his performance, a take on himself, is equally as impressive and should get him the Emmy.—Ross Bonaime

Who Should Win: I’d be shocked if Louis C.K. came home empty-handed. After breaking David Lynch’s nomination record, it’s looking like it could be the year he steals the show. At this point the Academy knows about him whether or not they watch, and he deserves it. “Duckling,” which earned him his best actor and directing nominations, is a magnificent, genre-breaking piece of history.—Michelle Rafferty

Who Got Snubbed: It’s a little shocking that one of the best shows on TV, Community, got completely shut out of the acting categories, and Joel McHale deserves to be recognized for his work as Jeff Winger.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives

Who Will Win: Kristen Wiig is possibly one of the greatest female comedians to ever appear on Saturday Night Live, and her final season, and her emotional send-off dance with the rest of the cast deserves a win.—Ross Bonaime

Who Should Win: Who wouldn’t love to see Kristen Wiig win for her amazing career on Saturday Night Live? She has put in more effort than the rest of the nominees over the years and definitely deserves recognition.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Got Snubbed: While she never got the screen time she deserved, Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna on Girls was a true scene-stealer as her spazzy, accidental drug-using virgin.—Ross Bonaime

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Max Greenfield, New Girl

Who Will Win: It’s possible that the four Modern Family nominees will split the vote and we’ll see an upset here, but Ty Burrell seems like the slight favorite here. He has been nominated three times in this category, and he won last year for his role as Phil Dunphy.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Who Should Win: Max Greenfield for New Girl. This guy has paid his dues in the industry and his Schmidt was the year’s unexpected delight. The episode he submitted, “Control,” was jam-packed with comedy and un-sitcomy heart, thanks to a great performance by Greenfield.—Michelle Rafferty

Who Got Snubbed: How much time do you have? There’s Adam Driver for Girls, Adam Scott and Nick Offerman for Parks and Recreation, Jim Rash for Community, Tony Hale for Veep, but even though it’s another unlikely nominee, it’s hard not to love Charlie Day on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.—Ross Bonaime

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Mad Men
Game of Thrones

Who Will Win: Mad Men has been a truly unstoppable force in this category the past four years, taking home the top prize every season it aired, and season five was its strongest collection of episodes to date. That said, this could be the year Breaking Bad finally breaks the Mad Men streak, as Walter White and company turned in one of the best seasons of TV we’ve ever seen.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Who Should Win: Everyone loves Mad Men, but this past season of Breaking Bad was insanely good. In fact, Breaking Bad should probably just win everything it’s nominated for. It’s that good.—Ross Bonaime

Who Got Snubbed: While the nominations are very good in this category this year, the critically beloved The Good Wife is nowhere to be seen.—Ross Bonaime

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Juliana Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Claire Danes, Homeland
Glenn Close, Damages

Who Will Win: It’s plain and simple. If Claire Danes (Homeland) doesn’t win for her take on an obsessive, bipolar CIA officer, then the voters seriously don’t understand anything. She’s coming off of a Golden Globe win for a performance that was not only the best for a female, but the best bar none.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Should Win: Elisabeth Moss has always been spectacular on Mad Men, and now that she’s left the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Price, an Emmy would be great before she gets too far out of the picture.—Ross Bonaime

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Who Will Win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) hasn’t lost in this category since taking on the role of Walter White. Last year his absence opened up the door for Kyle Chandler’s performance in Friday Night Lights, which ended last season. It looks like the door is wide open for Cranston to recapture the Emmy, unless perennial second place Jon Hamm finally captures the elusive award for his Don Draper.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Should Win: I think it’s about time Jon Hamm gets recognized for his phenomenal work on Mad Men. Yes, Cranston is great and equally deserving, but c’mon Emmy! Spread the love around!—Bonnie Stiernberg

Who Got Snubbed: Even though the show was canceled, Jason Isaacs gave an exciting performance in the sadly forgotten Awake. The six nominees now are very good, but Isaacs is enough to throw in a seventh.—Ross Bonaime

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Who Will Win: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey is one of the show’s most hilarious characters, with her quips constantly some of the show’s highlights. Every other nominee should beware the Countess of Grantham.—Ross Bonaime

Who Should Win: It’s a toss-up between Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey). Hendricks has always been a favorite character on the 1960s drama, and last year she finally broke through with an incredible season after flying under the radar. We knew she was good, but not that good. And Dame Maggie Smith? How can you now love her in anything she’s in?—Adam Vitcavage

Who Got Snubbed: It’s an incredibly stacked category this year full of deserving nominees, but Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald is conspicuously absent.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Who Will Win: Most likely Giancarlo Esposito will take it for his Gus Fring, one the best and most complicated villains in TV history.—Michelle Rafferty

Who Should Win: Giancarlo Esposito’s explosive performance as Gus Fring was one for the ages. His supporting role sometimes surpassed Cranston’s Walter and matched it the rest of the way. Not only was Esposito a fan favorite, but he won universal acclaim for his role, giving him the double threat the Emmy voters surely can’t pass up.—Adam Vitcavage

Who Got Snubbed: I’ve long maintained that Vincent Kartheiser doesn’t get half the credit he deserves for his work on Mad Men, but with “Signal 30” last season, he turned in his best Pete Campbell performance to date.—Bonnie Stiernberg

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