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JUL
22
3 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Emmy Projections for the Lead Acting Categories (Drama)

Can Matthew McConaughey become the second male actor to score an Oscar and Emmy in the same year? Can newbie nominee Lizzy Caplan pull off an upset win over veterans? THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg predicts who's leading the pack.

True Detective McConaughey Still - H 2014
HBO
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in "True Detective"

This story first appeared in the July 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

The following are THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg's overviews of -- and early projections for -- the drama category's lead acting Emmys.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

BRYAN CRANSTON
Breaking Bad (AMC)
He's scored three wins for his now iconic Walter White. This is his last chance to tie Dennis Franz's four-win record.

JEFF DANIELS
The Newsroom (HBO)
Last year's shock winner was just as good this year, but his show isn't getting better and won't be back after season three.

JON HAMM
Mad Men (AMC)
Nominated all seven years he's played Don Draper, he still awaits his first win. He may have a better shot next year for Men's final bow.

PHOTOS Emmy Awards 2014: The Nominees

WOODY HARRELSON
True Detective (HBO)
Unfortunately for the eight-time nominee and one-time winner (25 years ago, for Cheers), he's up against his True Detective co-star.

KEVIN SPACEY
House of Cards (Netflix)
The two-time Oscar winner may have had a better chance last year when his series was brand new -- but with 13 noms, it's still a hot commodity.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY Likely winner!
True Detective (HBO)
Voters love movie stars, and this recent Oscar winner's nominated show is the year's coolest new entry. George C. Scott is the only male ever to bag an acting Emmy and Oscar in the same year -- for now.

PHOTOS 'The Good Wife,' Tatiana Maslany and 18 More of the Biggest Emmy Snubs

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

LIZZY CAPLAN
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
She's the category's only first-time nominee and could be a spoiler -- but voters' snub of her series and co-star Michael Sheen is a concern.

CLAIRE DANES
Homeland (Showtime)
The two-in-a-row winner was great as usual in Homeland's third season, but many feel the snubbed drama has lost its edge.

MICHELLE DOCKERY
Downton Abbey (PBS)
One of two women whose show also scored a nom, the three-time nominee from across the pond is up against performers with more episodes and grit.

STORY Emmy Nominations: The Complete List

JULIANNA MARGULIES
The Good Wife (CBS)
The Emmy winner bagged a 10th nom for Wife's best season. However, her show's failure to score a series nomination could be a bad omen for her prospects.

KERRY WASHINGTON
Scandal (ABC)
The two-time nominee -- the first black female lead on a network drama since 1974 -- is a big star, but she couldn't win last year, when her show had a stronger season, so it's hard to see her winning this year.

ROBIN WRIGHT Likely winner!
House of Cards (Netflix)
The 2014 Golden Globe winner landed a second Emmy nom for her complex, Lady Macbeth-like Claire Underwood, and her series also is nominated.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg