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Emmy Predictions: THR Experts Pick Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Tim Appelo and Stacey Wilson predict the shows and performers that will walk away with TV's biggest honor.

Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire"
Abbot Genser/HBO

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Boardwalk Empire. It only earned one nomination less than rival Mad Men (18 to 19), and it did over 700 percent better at the Creative Arts Emmys (7 wins out of 11 noms vs. one out of 12).
Who Should: Boardwalk Empire. Most pundits are rooting for Mad Men’s superb season, but Boardwalk has HBO mojo and major staying power. And the buzz on next season is it’s even bigger and brasher.

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Boardwalk Empire. There is no denying the momentum this lavish series has gained over the last year. It won the SAG ensemble award, the Globe (along with Buscemi for lead actor) and cleaned up at Creative Arts last weekend. We’ve been waiting for HBO to get back in the game and this is their year to unseat Mad Men.
Who Should: Friday Night Lights. No other series moved me as consistently for five years. For it to leave the Emmy conversation without a win is absolute crime.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Drama Showrunners
 

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Modern Family. Emmy history tends to repeat itself, and you can’t sneeze at 17 nominations for last year’s victor. Plus, the academy embarrassed itself by snubbing star Ed O’Neill last year, he got a SAG nom this time, and all six grownup castmembers got Emmy noms. A Modern Family loss would be the shocking upset of the year.
Who Should: Parks and Recreation. It’s the most improved comedy on TV, an awkward charmer, a sprightly new contender scampering between the feet of giant famous rivals.

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Modern Family. It’s that rare Emmy-bait series that’s still has something for everyone and it’s just at the start of its awards domination. Its competition it either too quirky (Big Bang) or too old (The Office) to really be a threat.
Who Should: Modern Family. For all the reasons above. Oh, and Ty Burrell is the funniest man on television.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Comedy Showrunners

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Laura Linney. Linney never loses an Emmy race, ever. Yes, it’s odd that dramatic acting keeps beating comic acting in the comedy category (Toni Collette 2009, Edie Falco 2010), but prestige prevails over all, Linney has more than anyone, and she really is pretty funny, even as a cancer patient.
Who Should: Amy Poehler. She’s funnier than Linney, she’s got comedy cred from SNL, she’s utterly lovable without being icky, and her crazy-on-flu-meds episode is funny even by Poehler standards.

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Laura Linney, The Big C. Call it The Edie Effect: Linney’s a near shoo-in for her work on Showtime’s cancer comedy, though not because she’s funny. She’s an Oscar nominee, Tony Winner and multiple Emmy winner. Voters cannot resist that kind of pedigree. And, she’s damn good.
Who Should: Amy Poehler, Parks & Rec. The SNL vet is the heart and soul of recharged series. She carries every moment of the show and balances a perfect platter of cute/funny/nerdy goods through every episode. She is the new Michael Scott, and it would a shame if she were shunned as blatantly.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Comedy Actresses
 

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Steve Carell, The Office. The academy snubbed him five times.  It’s his show.  Everybody’s sad to see the show go. What, are they going to snub him a sixth time? Jim Parsons could conceivably steal it as he did last year, but surprise nominee Johnny Galecki may split the Big Bang Theory vote. So bet on Carell.
Who Should: Steve Carell, already.

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Steve Carell, The Office. Comedy’s biggest snub ever will finally bank all that “awww” money and walk away with his first – and last possible – gold for The Office.
Who Should: Louis C.K., Louie. The longest shot ever, but did any other performance single-handedly help reinvent the genre? Ok, so he should really win for writing (for which he’s also nominated) but I’d be full of glee if he triumphed over Chris Colfer.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Comedy Actors
 

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire. You can’t argue with a Golden Globe, a SAG award, and a performance that packs more brooding power than Jon Hamm. Physically, Hamm could snap Buscemi like a pencil. But Buscemi could have him killed with one glance.
Who Should: Steve Buscemi. But if most pundits are right and Hamm’s brilliant emotional transformation this season wins, it won’t be a travesty.

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Steve Busecmi, Boardwalk Empire, for all the same reasons listed for Boardwalk Empire above.
Who Should: This is a tie: Jon Hamm and Kyle Chandler. Hamm has carried the show for four years and never won? Insane. Last season pushed his Don Draper over another edge and “The Suitcase,” his submitted ep, was 10 times as emotionally gripped as a whole season of Buscemi nuance. Chandler? Well, that’s another dream on my part.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Drama Actors

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Julianna Margulies. The star of TV’s top network drama got shafted by surprise winner Kyra Sedgwick last year. Not this year.
Who Should: Great as Margulies is, Elisabeth Moss should win for her triumphant, era-defining transformation from trodden-down wallflower to top dog with a bite (and still a warm heart under all that burning ambition).

Stacey Wilson
Who Will: Julianna Marguilies, The Good Wife. She was upset by Kyra Sedgwick’s shock win last year and the second season of Wife was only sharper and more twisty-turny.
Who Should: Mirielle Enos, The Killing. Sure, the show was uneven, but did any other actress suffer or stymie more? Her mysteriousness, angst and lack of sexuality of any type made her the first female male cop on TV. I didn’t love every episode, but Enos was flawless.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: Comedy Actresses
 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Jane Lynch. She’s not just the best Emmy host, she’s the best in any show. Glee is great, but it’s Lynch who keeps it news.
Who Should: Jane Lynch. Failure is not an option.
PHOTOS: David Strick 2011 Emmy Nominees
 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Margo Martindale. She’s actually the de facto costar of Justified, and as the down-home crime boss, she outshines the star, Timothy Olyphant, and all supporting rivals.
Who Should: Margo Martindale. One sip of her dramatic brew and you’re a goner.
VIDEO: Emmy Roundtable: TV Executives
 

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Walton Goggins. Alan Cumming is a comer on The Good Wife, Peter Dinklage rules Game of Thrones, but Goggins is deeper and better, and the academy knows it blew it by snubbing him on The Shield, and his time is now.
Who Should: Walton Goggins, though Dinklage wouldn’t break critics’ hearts if he stole it.
PHOTOS: Emmy Nominations 2011: Snubs and Shockers
 

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Tim Appelo
Who Will: Eric Stonestreet, or an actor to be named later from Modern Family. But bet on Stonestreet, who won last year and got a Globe nom this year.
Who Should: Anybody from Modern Family would do — Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill, even long-shot Jesse T. Ferguson. Jon Cryer may not deserve the Emmy, but he sure deserves a medal for courage under fire in a major snitstorm.

PHOTOS: Emmy 2011 Nominees

THR's Full Emmy 2011 Coverage