The Emmy Awards, taking place this Sunday, Sept. 20, always has its fair share of surprises, and this year won’t be any different. However, due to a monumental change in voting procedures that opened up voting to the general Television Academy membership—previously, only small panels of members voted in each category—all bets are off. With that in mind, here are my best predictions for who will take home the gold.


Outstanding Drama Series: 

“Better Call Saul,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “Homeland,” “House of

Cards,” “Mad Men,” “Orange is the New Black.”

This is one of the tougher categories of the night to call. The Emmys’ new voting

procedures seem to make “Game of Thrones” the one to beat, but a final hurrah for three-time winner “Mad Men” would be the sentimental choice. If there’s a major upset, look for the comeback season of Showtime’s “Homeland” to surprise.


Outstanding Comedy Series:

“Louie,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Silicon Valley,” “Transparent,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Veep.”

HBO’s hysterical “Veep” should have won easily last year, but the increasingly boring “Modern Family” beat it out. Let’s hope that the topicality of the former (see: Hillary Clinton) propels it to a victory. I can also see situations where either “Transparent” or “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” win.


Lead Actor, Drama:

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”; Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”; Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”; Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”; Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”; Live Schreiber, “Ray Donovan.”

Jon Hamm wins this or TV Hell breaks loose. Next.


Lead Actress, Drama:

Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”; Claire Danes, “Homeland”; Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”; Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”; Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”; Robin Wright, “House of Cards.”

People really like Viola Davis, but Cicely Tyson (playing Davis’s mother) shockingly lost the “Guest Actress” race last week; this makes me wonder if Taraji P. Henson (whose show is enormously popular) or Claire Danes can upset. This race would be much more interesting if Keri Russell (“The Americans”), Taylor Schilling (who gave a remarkable performance in the first episode in season two of “Orange is the New Black”) or Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”) had been nominated.


Lead Actor, Comedy:

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”; Louis C.K., “Louie”; Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”; Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”; Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”; William H. Macy,

“Shameless”; Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent.”

I will be shocked if Jeffrey Tambor, whose role as a transgender woman was widely acclaimed, loses this.


Lead Actress, Comedy:

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”; Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”;

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”; Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”; Lily

Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie.”

This is one of the strongest categories of the night. Dreyfus is incredible on “Veep” and has won for the past three years, but Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer are right on her tail. Lisa Kudrow deserves this, though.


Supporting Actor, Drama:

Will win: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones.”

Should win: Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline.”


Supporting Actress, Drama:

Will win: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men.”

Should win: Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones.”


Supporting Actor, Comedy:

Will win and should win: Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”


Supporting Actress, Comedy:

Will win: Allison Janney, “Mom.”

Should win: Anna Chlumsky, “Veep.”


Writing, Drama:

Will win: Matthew Weiner, “Person to Person,” “Mad Men.”

Should win: Joshua Brand, “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep,” “The Americans.”


Directing, Drama:

Will win: David Nutter, “Mother’s Mercy,” “Game of Thrones.”

Should win: Lesli Linka Glatter, “From A to B and Back Again,” “Homeland.”


Directing, Comedy:

Will win and should win: Armando Ianucci, “Testimony,” “Veep.”

Abrams is a member of 

the class of 2018.

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