Emmys: 9 Races That Could Make History

Mad Men Compelling Storyline - H 2014
Justina Mintz/AMC

Mad Men Compelling Storyline - H 2014

McConaughey eyes a milestone, while Jon Hamm could be the biggest loser.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

1. If Mad Men's Jon Hamm fails to take home a lead actor trophy for the seventh straight year, he will be the most-nominated actor in that category without a win.

2. If Kerry Washington is honored for her role as fixer Olivia Pope on ABC's Scandal, she will be the first black actress to win for a lead drama series role -- and she will have done so in a year when an unprecedented number of black actors (11) earned nominations.

3. If Matthew McConaughey wins the lead drama actor Emmy for his portrayal of philosophizing cop Rust Cohle on HBO's True Detective, he will be only the second male to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year (the first was George C. Scott in 1971). Actresses Liza Minnelli (1973), Helen Hunt (1998) and Helen Mirren (2007) have achieved the milestone as well.

4. If Bruno Mars nabs a trophy for his Super Bowl performance, it will not only be his first Emmy but, coupled with his Grammy Award this year, will bring him halfway to an EGOT.

5. If ABC's four-time winner Modern Family is able to squelch its competition for the fifth year in a row, it will tie NBC's Frasier for the most consecutive wins in the comedy category. (Modern Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd also was a producer on the long-running Cheers spinoff.)

6. If Hamm or Christina Hendricks win in their categories, it will be the first time Mad Men scores an acting Emmy after more than 30 noms.

7. Jodie Foster is the first female directing nominee for a one-hour comedy contender for the Orange Is the New Black episode "Lesbian Request Denied." Foster also is among an unprecedented number of Oscar winners competing at the Emmys this year, including Fargo's Billy Bob Thornton, House of Cards' Kevin Spacey and Ellen Burstyn for Flowers in the Attic.

8. If Kristen Wiig can pull off a victory for playing Cynthia Morehouse on IFC's miniseries The Spoils of Babylon, it will mark the first time an (intentionally) funny performance prevailed in the typically serious miniseries category.

9. If Netflix's Orange Is the New Black wins for best comedy series, it will be only the second one-hour show to do so. The other was Fox's Ally McBeal in 1999.