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JUL
9
3 WKS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Final Projections for Thursday's Emmy Nominations

THR's awards analyst projects a big morning for perennials such as "Breaking Bad" and "Veep" and newbies including "True Detective" and "Orange Is the New Black."

True Detective Harrelson McConaughey Finale Still - H 2014
Lacey Terrell/HBO

In anticipation of Thursday morning's Emmy nominations, I'd like to share a few thoughtsand then some predictions.

Emmy nominations are considerably harder to forecast than Oscar nominations. Why? For several reasons ...

1) They come out of nowhere. There are not months of festivals, awards shows and promotional events leading up to them, as there are with the Oscars. The Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards recognize TV categories, but they do so a half-year before the TV Academy (meaning that many episodes and even seasons are not considered by the former but are by the latter), with which they have very little demographic overlap anyway. And the TV Critics' Choice Awards and TCA Awards both occur closer to the Emmy nominations announcement, but they are determined by critics, not TV-makers.

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2) They are chosen by a massive and mixed group. Whereas the film Academy is comprised of roughly 6,000 members, who each belong to one of 17 branches, the TV Academy is comprised of roughly 15,000 people, many of whom have only loose connections to the industry. The size and diversity of the membership, on top of the paucity of other award shows through which those members express their preferences prior to the Emmy nominationsunlike Oscar voters, who tend to belong to guilds that announce nominees and winners for their own awards ceremonies before the Academy'smakes it virtually impossible to figure out how they're leaning.

3) They are the product of an impossible task. Nobodynot even the most diligent TV Academy membercan see all of the shows and individuals eligible for awards consideration, or even come close. And yet they vote. For this reason, high-profile shows tend to be highlighted and then recognized year after year. But, every once in a while, the members, en masse, gravitate toward and champion newcomers and/or underdogs and/or shows that have already been canceled.

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So I guess what I'm saying is that what follows are purely my best "educated" guesses, based on my personal screenings of as many of the most buzzed-about shows as I could see (and, as someone who takes seriously my membership in the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, I saw many); my conversations with fellow journalists/TV buffs who have made similar efforts; and my familiarity with the TV Academy's historical preferences; and my attendance and observations at a number of the TV Academy's 2014 member events.

I look forward to reading your thoughts and predictions in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

* * *

BEST SERIES (DRAMA)
Projected Nominees
Breaking Bad (AMC)
True Detective (HBO)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Mad Men (AMC)
House of Cards (Netflix)

Major Threats

The Americans (FX)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Homeland (Showtime)
Scandal (ABC)

Possibilities
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
The Walking Dead (AMC)
The Blacklist (CBS)
Ray Donovan (Showtime)
The Newsroom (HBO)

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Woody Harrelson (True Detective)
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
James Spader (The Blacklist)

Major Threats
Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex)
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)

Possibilities
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)
Demian Bichir (The Bridge)
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)
Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)

Major Threats
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
Connie Britton (Nashville)

Possibilities
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)
Megan Boone (The Blacklist)
Mireille Enos (The Killing)
Diane Kruger (The Bridge)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)

Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire)
Major Threats
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Jim Carter (Downtown Abbey)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Noah Emmerich (The Americans)
Walton Goggins (Justified)

Possibilities
Tony Goldwyn (Scandal)
Sam Waterston (The Newsroom)
Peter Sarsgaard (The Killing)
Michael Kelly (House of Cards)
Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Bellamy Young (Scandal)
Michelle Monaghan (True Detective)

Major Threats
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad)
Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Monica Potter (Parenthood)

Possibilities
Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter)
Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy)
Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead)
Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)

BEST GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Robert Morse (Mad Men)
Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex)
Nathan Lane (The Good Wife)
Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal)
Paul Giamatti (Downton Abbey)
Harry Hamlin (Mad Men)

Major Threats
Joe Morton (Scandal)
Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)
Dylan Baker (The Good Wife)
Eddie Izzard (Hannibal)
Hamish Linklater (The Newsroom)

Possibilities
Ray Romano (Parenthood)
James Woods (Ray Donovan)
Elliott Gould (Ray Donovan)
Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy)
Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards)

BEST GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Allison Janney (Masters of Sex)
Jane Fonda (The Newsroom)
Carrie Preston (The Good Wife)
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones)
Lisa Kudrow (Scandal)
Margo Martindale (The Americans)

Major Threats
Shirley MacLaine (Downton Abbey)
Patricia Arquette (Boardwalk Empire)
Marcia Gay Harden (The Newsroom)
Dianne Wiest (The Blacklist)
Julianne Nicholson (Masters of Sex)

Possibilities
Kate Burton (Scandal)
Kate Mara (House of Cards)
Jane Alexander (The Blacklist)
Debbie Allen (Grey's Anatomy)
Charlotte Rampling (Dexter)

BEST SERIES (COMEDY)
Projected Nominees
Modern Family (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Veep (HBO)
Louie (FX)
Silicon Valley (HBO)

Major Threats
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Girls (HBO)
The Mindy Project (Fox)
Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

Possibilities
Shameless (Showtime)
Hello Ladies (HBO)
Broad City (Comedy Central)
Glee (Fox)
New Girl (Fox)

BEST ACTOR (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Robin Williams (The Crazy Ones)

Major Threats
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley)
Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

Possibilities
Chris Messina (The Mindy Project)
Jonathan Groff (Looking)
Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)
Joel McHale (Community)
Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree)

BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Anna Faris (Mom)

Major Threats
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Emmy Rossum (Shameless)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Wendy McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs)
Laurie Metcalf (Getting On)

Possibilities
Ilana Glazer (Broad City)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly)
Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
Patricia Heaton (The Middle)
Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Tony Hale (Veep)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Ed O'Neill (Modern Family)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Major Threats
Adam Driver (Girls)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
George Segal (The Goldbergs)
Christopher Evan Welch (Silicon Valley)

Possibilities
Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory)
Jason Biggs (Orange Is the New Black)
Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation)
Keith David (Enlisted)
Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Allison Janney (Mom)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is the New Black)

Major Threats
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Margo Martindale (The Millers)
Laura Prepon (Orange Is the New Black)
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (The Big Bang Theory)
Jane Lynch (Glee)

Possibilities
Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Alison Brie (Community)
Allison Williams (Girls)
Jemima Kirke (Girls)

BEST GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory)
James Earl Jones (The Big Bang Theory)
Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live)
Louis C.K. (Saturday Night Live)
Brad Garrett (The Crazy Ones)
Carl Reiner (Two and a Half Men)

Major Threats
Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black)
John Lithgow (How I Met Your Mother)
Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live)
Nathan Lane (Modern Family)
Stephen Merchant (Modern Family)

Possibilities
Andrew Rannells (Girls)
Bill Hader (The Mindy Project)
Walton Goggins (Community)
Scott Bakula (Looking)
Prince (New Girl)

BEST GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black)
Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live)
Ellen Burstyn (Louie)
Joan Cusack (Shameless)
Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)

Major Threats
June Squibb (Girls)
Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black)
Kathy Bates (Mike and Molly)
Susan Sarandon (Mike and Molly)
Sarah Baker (Louie)

Possibilities
Jane Krakowski (Modern Family)
Julie White (Nurse Jackie)
Elizabeth Banks (Modern Family)
Kristin Chenoweth (Glee)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Glee)

BEST TV MINI-SERIES
Projected Nominees
Fargo (FX)
American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
Luther (BBC America)
Dancing on the Edge (Starz)
The White Queen (Starz)

Major Threats
The Hollow Crown (PBS)
Bonnie and Clyde (History/Lifetime)
Treme (HBO)
Hostages (CBS)

Possibilities
Rosemary's Baby (NBC)
Mob City (TNT)
Klondike (Discovery)
Fleeing the Man Who Would Be Bond (BBC America)

BEST TV MOVIE
Projected Nominees
The Normal Heart (HBO)
The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
Killing Kennedy (National Geographic)
Return to Zero (Lifetime)

Major Threats
Burton and Taylor (BBC America)
Flowers in the Attic (Lifetime)
A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC America)

Possibilities
Clear History (HBO)
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (Lifetime)
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (HBO)
Anna Nicole (Lifetime)

BEST ACTOR (TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)
Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge)
Idris Elba (Luther)
Martin Freeman (Fargo)

Major Threats
Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
Christopher Plummer (Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight)
Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
Tom Hiddleston (The Hollow Crown)
Ben Whishaw (The Hollow Crown)

Possibilities
Paul Adelstein (Return to Zero)
Nick Nolte (Trials of Cate McCall)
Dylan McDermott (Hostages)
Emile Hirsch (Bonnie and Clyde)
Dominic West (Burton and Taylor)

BEST ACTRESS (TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Cicely Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
Helena Bonham Carter (Burton and Taylor)
Whoopi Goldberg (A Day Late and a Dollar Short)
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Coven)
Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen)

Major Threats
Minnie Driver (Return to Zero)
Toni Collette (Hostages)
Zoe Saldana (Rosemary's Baby)
Mary-Louise Parker (Christmas in Conway)
Christina Ricci (Lizzie Borden Took an Ax)

Possibilities
Kiernan Shipka (Flowers in the Attic)
Carrie Underwood (The Sound of Music)
Holliday Grainger (Bonnie and Clyde)
Gina Gershon (House of Versace)
Agnes Bruckner (Anna Nicole)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart)
Martin Freeman (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart)
John Goodman (Dancing on the Edge)
Colin Hanks (Fargo)
Alfred Molina (Return to Zero)

Major Threats
Frank Langella (Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight)
Blair Underwood (The Trip to Bountiful)
Martin Landau (Anna Nicole)
Gregory Itzin (Mob City)
William Hurt (Bonnie and Clyde)

Possibilities
Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart)
Taylor Kitsch (The Normal Heart)
David Morse (Treme)
James Cromwell (The Trials of Cate McCall)
Danny Huston (American Horror Story: Coven)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES)
Projected Nominees
Julia Roberts (The Normal Heart)
Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Coven)
Allison Tolman (Fargo)
Jacqueline Bisset (Dancing on the Edge)
Angela Bassett (American Horror Story: Coven)
Ellen Burstyn (Flowers in the Attic)

Major Threats
Kathy Baker (Return to Zero)
Janet McTeer (The White Queen)
Vanessa Williams (The Trip to Bountiful)
Holly Hunter (Bonnie and Clyde)
Kate Walsh (Fargo)

Possibilities
Audra McDonald (The Sound of Music)
Ruth Wilson (Luther)
Amanda Abbington (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
Connie Nielsen (Return to Zero)
Carole Bouqet (Rosemary's Baby)

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg