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JUN
7
3 YEARS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Initial Emmy Projections

Can 'Homeland' stop the 'Mad Men' streak? Will Margulies hold off Danes? And is it finally Hamm's year or Cranston's yet again? THR's awards analyst offers his take.

Claire Danes in "Homeland"
Ronen Akerman/Showtime

Thank you for checking out my first forecast for the 64th annual Emmy Awards, which will be held Sept. 23 and celebrate the best primetime television programming that aired between June 1, 2011, and May 31, 2012. Nominations will be voted upon between June 11 and 28, the nominees will be announced July 19, and final ballots will be due on Aug. 31.

My category-by-category predictions of the nominees can be found by scrolling a bit further down this page. But first, I'd like to share a few thoughts.

As many of you know, my primary area of "expertise" is film awards, which I have projected and written about for many years. I have, however, been wading into TV awards more and more in recent years (I'm a charter, voting member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association) and decided to tackle it head-on this year. To that end, I have screened every episode of every season of most of this year's top contenders for series and acting awards (and most of the eligible TV movies and miniseries, as well). I have read a great deal about their origins, histories and the people who work on them, many of whom I also have interviewed and/or am scheduled to interview in the coming weeks. And I have closely studied their histories with various awards groups -- especially, of course, the Emmys.

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My frank conclusion is that the Emmys are, for several reasons, considerably harder to forecast than the Oscars:

1. They are not preceded by months of festivals and awards shows that offer clues about the way that voters might be thinking.

The only noteworthy awards shows that precede the Emmys are the Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are voted upon and bestowed more than a half-year before Emmy voting even begins and therefore don't even consider many shows and performances that are released after they take place but before the Emmys eligibility deadline, plus a few critics groups honors like the TV Critics' Choice Awards, which, in its second year, is too new to be regarded as a reliable predictor of Emmy outcomes.

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2. They ask voters to compare apples and oranges.

At least for the time being, shows that air on the traditional broadcast networks and premium cable networks such as HBO, Showtime and Starz still compete against each other in the same categories. This, to me, is crazy, since they are made with totally different aims and air in totally different ways. Broadcast shows must be conservative enough to be appropriate for viewing by people of all ages; pay-cable shows, being part of a subscription service, can use just about any words or images they'd like. Broadcast shows, in order to make money, have to be regularly interrupted by commercials; premium cable shows do not. And, most notably, broadcast shows are expected to churn out many more episodes per season (i.e. 22 for CBS's The Good Wife) than cable shows (i.e. 12 for Showtime's Homeland). This is not to imply that one is inherently less challenging than or preferable to the other; just that they couldn't be more different.

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3. They ask voters to consider shows in a way in which they are rarely watched anymore.

After the nominees are announced, Emmy voters receive DVDs featuring two episodes of each nominated series (randomly picked from six that networks must submit in advance in order to be eligible for consideration) and a single episode featuring each nominated performance (as selected by the networks that aired them and/or the individuals featured in them). Voters are then asked to pick a winner based on the quality of the submitted episode(s). But does one episode or even two truly offer an accurate representation of the quality of a performance or show? Isn't the magic of many performances and shows the way that they develop over the course of a full season, like one long production? That is, at least, the way in which people at home are increasingly watching them, whether via DVR, VOD or DVD. While I understand that it's unrealistic to expect voters to watch every episode of every eligible series, it still strikes me as grossly unfair that a performance or show that was the last of six to make the cut for a nomination can still beat the other five. It certainly makes predicting winners that much harder.

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Anyway, I could go on, but I'll stop bloviating for now. The point is, I've tried to consider all of the above while formulating the below. I look forward to reading your thoughts about my picks -- as well as anything that you believe to be an error or omission -- in the comments section.

Here is my Emmy forecast, with other award wins in orange, nominations in purple and pending nominations in purple italics (see key at end for details):

* * *

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Front-runners
Mad Men (AMC) BTJA, TCA
Homeland (Fox) HFPA, BTJA, TCA
Breaking Bad (AMC) SAG,BTJA, TCA, IPA
Game of Thrones (HBO) HFPA, SAG, BTJA, TCA
The Good Wife (CBS) SAG, BTJA
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) SAG, HFPA, IPA
Possibilities
Downton Abbey (PBS) HFPA (miniseries), BTJA, TCA (miniseries), IPA (miniseries)
House (Fox)
Dexter (Showtime)
SAG
Boss (Starz) HFPA
Justified (FX) IPA, TCA
Damages (DirecTV)
Luck (HBO)
True Blood (HBO)
The Killing (AMC)
Shameless (Showtime)
Sons of Anarchy (FX)
IPA
The Closer (TNT)
Long Shots
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Treme (HBO) IPA
Rescue Me (FX)
Southland (TNT)
Magic City (Starz)
Parenthood (NBC)
White Collar (USA)
Suits (USA)
Necessary Roughness (USA)
Fringe (FOX)

Revenge (ABC)
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
The Walking Dead (AMC)
Blue Bloods (CBS)
Scandal (ABC)
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz)

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Front-runners
Modern Family (ABC) HFPA, SAG, BTJA, TCA, IPA
30 Rock (NBC) SAG
Parks and Recreation (NBC) BTJA, TCA
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) SAG, TCA
Veep (HBO)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Possibilities
Louie (FX) TCA, IPA
New Girl (Fox) HFPA, BTJA
Glee (Fox) HFPA, SAG
Girls (HBO) BTJA
The Office (NBC) SAG
Community (NBC) BTJA, TCA, IPA
Enlightened (HBO) HFPA
Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Life's Too Short (HBO)
Long Shots
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) IPA
The Big C (Showtime) IPA
Mike & Molly (CBS)
Happy Endings (ABC)
Raising Hope (Fox)
Hung (HBO)
Eastbound & Down (HBO)
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC)
Californication (Showtime)
Weeds (Showtime)

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) HFPA, SAG, BTJA, TCA, IPA
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) BTJA, TCA
Damian Lewis (Homeland) HFPA, BTJA
Kelsey Grammer (Boss) HFPA, BTJA
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) SAG, HFPA, IPA
Hugh Laurie (House)
Possibilities
Timothy Olyphant (Justified) BTJA, IPA
Michael C. Hall (Dexter) SAG
Dustin Hoffman (Luck)
Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) HFPA
Kiefer Sutherland (Touch)
Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) BTJA
William H. Macy (Shameless) IPA
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) HFPA (miniseries), IPA (miniseries)
Long Shots
Patrick J. Adams (Suits) SAG
Matt Bomer (White Collar)
Simon Baker (The Mentalist)
Stephen Moyer (True Blood)
Wendell Pierce (Treme)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Magic City)
Liam McIntyre (Spartacus: Vengeance)
Peter Krause (Parenthood)

BEST ACTOR (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) BTJA, TCA
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) SAG, HFPA
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) BTJA
Louie C.K. (Louie) IPA, BTJA, TCA
Don Cheadle (House of Lies) BTJA
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) SAG
Possibilities
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) HFPA
Warwick Davis (Life's Too Short)
Will Arnett (Up All Night)

Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Joel McHale (Community)
BTJA, IPA
Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) BTJA
Long Shots
Thomas Jane (Hung) HFPA
Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) IPA
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down)
Ed Helms (The Office)

David Duchovny (Californication) HFPA
James Roday (Psych)
Elijah Wood (Wilfred) IPA
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) IPA

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Claire Danes (Homeland) HFPA, BTJA, TCA, IPA
Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) HFPA, SAG, BTJA, IPA
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) BTJA
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Glenn Close (Damages) SAG
Mireille Enos (The Killing) HFPA, IPA
Possibilities
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) SAG
Kathy Bates (Harry's Law) SAG
Jessica Pare (Mad Men)
Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) BTJA, IPA
Emmy Rossum (Shameless) BTJA
Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) BTJA
Callie Thorne (Necessary Roughness) HFPA
Debra Messing (Smash)
Long Shots
Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) HFPA (miniseries), IPA (miniseries)
Anna Paquin (True Blood)
Anna Torv (Fringe)
Emily VanCamp (Revenge)
Madeleine Stowe (Revenge) HFPA
Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time)
Eve Myles (Torchwood)
IPA
Khandi Alexander (Treme)

BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep) BTJA, TCA
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) HFPA, BTJA, IPA, TCA
Tina Fey (30 Rock) HFPA, SAG
Laura Dern (Enlightened) HFPA
Zooey Deschanel (The New Girl) HFPA, BTJA, IPA
Lena Dunham (Girls) BTJA, TCA
Possibilities
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) IPA
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) SAG
Laura Linney (The Big C) HFPA, IPA
Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope) IPA, HFPA, BTJA
Lea Michele (Glee)
Christina Applegate (Up All Night)
Long Shots
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23)
Kat Dennings (Two Broke Girls)
Ashley Rickards (Awkward) BTJA
Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) IPA
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) HFPA, IPA, BTJA, TCA
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) BTJA
John Slattery (Mad Men) BTJA
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) BTJA
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Josh Charles (The Good Wife)

Possibilities
Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age)
Walton Goggins (Justified)
IPA
Neal McDonough (Justified) BTJA
Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire)
John Noble (Fringe) BTJA
Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire)
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
Joel Kinnaman (The Killing)

Long Shots
Jared Harris (Mad Men)
Danny Huston (Magic City)
Robert Carlyle (Once Upon a Time)
Michael Cudlitz (Southland)
Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy) IPA
Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
Billy Campbell (The Killing)
Brent Sexton (The Killing)
Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire)
Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) HFPA (nonsupporting), SAG (nonsupporting)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family) SAG (nonsupporting), BTJA, IPA
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) IPA
Ed O'Neill (Modern Family)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Max Greenfield (New Girl) BTJA
Possibilities
Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) BTJA
Tony Hale (Veep)
Chris Colfer (Glee)
James Spader (The Office)
Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Danny DeVito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Long Shots
Damon Wayans, Jr. (Happy Endings) BTJA
Danny Pudi (Community) BTJA
Jim Rash (Community) BTJA
Donald Glover (Community) IPA
Tracy Morgan (30 Rock)
Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) HFPA, IPA
Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire) HFPA, BTJA, IPA
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) BTJA
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) BTJA
Rose Byrne (Damages)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)

Possibilities
Morena Baccarin (Homeland)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) BTJA
Michelle Forbes (The Killing) IPA
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Regina King (Southland) BTJA
Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) BTJA
Sharon Gless (Burn Notice)
Megan Hilty (Smash)
Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire)
Long Shots
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)
Katharine McPhee (Smash)
Anjelica Huston (Smash)
Connie Nielsen (Boss)
January Jones (Mad Men)
Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire)
Lucy Lawless (Spartacus: Vengeance)
Hannah Ware (Boss)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Julie Bowen (Modern Family) SAG (nonsupporting), BTJA
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) HFPA, SAG (nonsupporting), IPA
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope)
Betty White (Hot in Cleveland)
SAG (nonsupporting)
Possibilities
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Jemima Kirke (Girls)
Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) IPA
Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory) BTJA
Diane Ladd (Enlightened)
Eden Sher (The Middle)
BTJA
Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) BTJA
Long Shots
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Diane Ladd (Enlightened)
Gillian Jacobs (Community) BTJA
Alison Brie (Community) BTJA
Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) IPA
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation)
Allison Williams (Girls)

BEST GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife)
Dylan Baker (Damages)
BTJA
Robert Morse (Mad Men)
Andre Braugher (Law & Order: SVU)
Alfred Molina (Harry's Law)
Matthew Perry (The Good Wife)

Possibilities
Paul McCrane (Harry's Law)
Jere Burns (Justified)
BTJA
John Goodman (Damages)
Edward James Olmos (Dexter)
Beau Bridges (White Collar)
Fred Willard (The Closer)

Long Shots
T.R. Knight (Law & Order: SVU)
Chris Messina (Damages)
Enrico Colantoni (Person of Interest)
Henry Ian Cusick (Fringe)
Jeremy Davies (Justified)
Mykelti Williamson (Justified)

BEST GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Front-runners
Louise Fletcher (Shameless)
Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy)
BTJA
Jean Smart (Harry's Law)
Alfre Woodard (Grey's Anatomy)
Joan Cusack (Shameless)
Chloe Sevigny (Law & Order: SVU)

Possibilities
Carrie Preston (The Good Wife) BTJA
Bernadette Peters (Smash)
Chloe Webb (Shameless)
BTJA
Liza Weil (Scandal)
Long Shots
Lucy Liu (Southland) BTJA
Anika Noni Rose (Law & Order: SVU)
Uma Thurman (Smash)

BEST GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Michael J. Fox (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Alan Alda (The Big C)
Don Rickles (Hot in Cleveland)
Will Arnett (30 Rock)
Jimmy Fallon (Saturday Night Live)
Bobby Cannavale (Modern Family)
BTJA
Possibilities
Justin Long (New Girl) BTJA
Paul Rudd (Parks and Recreation) BTJA
Matt Bomer (Glee)
Henry Winkler (Up All Night)
Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live)
Hugh Dancy (The Big C)
Long Shots
Ricky Gervais (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Fred Willard (Raising Hope)
Peter Scolari (Girls)
BTJA
Greg Kinnear (Modern Family)
Benjamin Bratt (Modern Family)
Carl Reiner (Parks and Recreation)
Johnny Depp (Life's Too Short)

BEST GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY)
Front-runners
Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live)
Ellen Barkin (Modern Family)
Blythe Danner (Up All Night)
Patricia Clarkson (Parks and Recreation)
Elaine Stritch (30 Rock)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)

Possibilities
Ana Gasteyer (Curb Your Enthusiam)
Cynthia Nixon (The Big C)
Whoopi Goldberg (Glee)
Chloe Moretz (30 Rock)
Doris Roberts (Hot in Cleveland)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Judy Greer (Two and a Half Men)
Robin Wright (Enlightened)

Long Shots
Dot-Marie Jones (Glee)
Megan Mullally (Up All Night)
Lily Tomlin (Eastbound & Down)
Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live)
Kathy Bates (Two and a Half Men)
Mary Steenburgen (30 Rock)
Kathryn Hahn (Parks & Recreation)
BTJA
Becky Ann Baker (Girls) BTJA

BEST MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Front-runners
Game Change (HBO) BTJA
American Horror Story (FX) BTJA
Page Eight (PBS) BTJA, IPA
The Hour (BBC America) HFPA, BTJA
Appropriate Adult (Sundance)
Hatfields & McCoys (History )
Possibilities
Great Expectations (PBS)
Luther (BBC America) BTJA
Sherlock (PBS) BTJA
Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
The Song of Lunch (PBS)
Birdsong (AMC)
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (CBS)
Titanic (ABC)
Five (Lifetime)
Moby Dick (Encore)
Treasure Island (Syfy)
Firelight (ABC)
Long Shots
Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story (Lifetime)
Drew Peterson: Untouchable (Lifetime)
Of Two Minds (Lifetime)
Have a Little Faith (ABC)
Certain Prey (USA)
Bag of Bones (A&E)
Case Histories (PBS)
The Take (Encore)
A Smile as Big as the Moon (ABC)
The Space Between (USA)
Innocent (TNT)
Neverland (SyFy)

BEST ACTOR (MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES)
Front-runners
Idris Elba (Luther) HFPA, BTJA, IPA
Bill Nighy (Page Eight) HFPA, BTJA, IPA
Woody Harrelson (Game Change) BTJA
Kevin Costner (Hatfields & McCoys) BTJA
Dominic West (The Hour) HFPA, BTJA
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) BTJA
Possibilities
Clive Owen (Hemingway & Gellhorn)
Ray Winstone (Great Expectations)
Ralph Fiennes (Page Eight)
Jason Isaacs (Case Histories)
IPA
Alan Rickman (The Song of Lunch)
Long Shots
Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story)
Martin Freeman (Sherlock)
Ed Harris (Game Change)
Douglas Booth (Great Expectations)
Eddie Izzard (Treasure Island)

BEST ACTRESS (MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES)
Front-runners
Julianne Moore (Game Change) BTJA
Nicole Kidman (Hemingway & Gellhorn)
Emily Watson (Appropriate Adult) HFPA, SAG, BTJA
Patricia Clarkson (Five) BTJA
Romola Garai (The Hour) HFPA
Rachel Weisz (Page Eight) IPA
Possibilities
Connie Britton (American Horror Story)
Laura Pulver (Sherlock)
BTJA
Ruth Wilson (Luther)
Long Shots
Emma Thompson (The Song of Lunch)
Ashley Judd (Missing)
Melissa Leo (The Space Between)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES)
Front-runners
Ed Harris (Game Change)
David Strathairn (Hemingway & Gellhorn)
Michael Gambon (Page Eight)
Martin Landau (Have a Little Faith)
Denis O'Hare (American Horror Story)
Powers Boothe (Hatfields & McCoys)

Possibilities
Tom Berenger (Hatfields & McCoys)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES)
Front-runners
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story) SAG (drama), HFPA (supporting), BTJA, TCA
Judy Davis (Page Eight)
Sarah Paulson (Game Change)
Gillian Anderson (Great Expectations)
BTJA
Mare Winningham (Hatfields & McCoys)
Frances Conroy (American Horror Story)

* * *

KEY

Purple Italics = still-pending nomination; Purple = nomination; Orange = win

IPA = 16th Satellite Awards, which were presented by the International Press Academy on Dec. 181.

HFPA = 69th Golden Globe Awards, which were presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Jan. 15.

SAG = 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards, which were presented by the Screen Actors Guild on Jan. 29.

BTJA = Second TV Critics' Choice Awards, which will be presented by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association on June 18.

TCA = 28th Television Critics Association Awards, which will be presented by the Television Critics Association on July 28.