Last year, even more than usual, there were a lot of head-scratchers when the Emmys were handed out. Who expected the victors to include Jeff Daniels, Bobby Cannavale and Merritt Wever? (She sure didn’t. To quote her acceptance speech: “Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.”) It served as a reminder that at the Emmys, anything can happen.
Nevertheless, here are some fearless predictions about who will take home the gold on Monday evening at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Nominees: “The Big Bang Theory,” “Louie,” “Modern Family,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Silicon Valley,” “Veep.”
Will win: “Orange is the New Black.” “Orange”’s biggest problem is that many view it as a drama series. Still, it is incredibly well-liked, and if any show can break “Modern Family”’s streak, “Orange” can do it. Yet…
Could win: “Modern Family.” The show is going for five in a row (which would tie the record with “Frasier”), and it could very well do it with another great year. But as evidenced by fewer acting nominations this year, other shows are starting to hog the limelight.
Dark horse: “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s television’s most popular comedy; how could it be a surprise if voters consider it?
Nominees: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies,” Ricky Gervais, “Derek,” William H. Macy, “Shameless,” Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” Louis C.K., “Louie,” Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Will win: Parsons. Even though he’s already won three times, it will be tough to deny him. His performance makes the show.
Could win: Gervais. He won for “Extras,” so don’t underestimate him. Still, his Netflix show has none of the buzz that “Orange is the New Black” does.
Dark horse: Louis C.K. He’s polarizing, but his show is loved.
Nominees: Lena Dunham, “Girls,” Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly,” Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation,” Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”
Will win: Louis-Dreyfus. She’s won a total of four Emmys, two for “Veep.” Voters love her in the show, and over the years she’s sort of developed into a comedy icon. What “Seinfeld” curse?
Could win: Schilling. She’s great in “Orange,” but it’s generally more of a dramatic performance than a comedic one. Still, great is great.
Dark horse: It would be really boring if McCarthy won, but voters love her (she won for her show’s first year). It could happen.
Comedy Supporting Actor
Nominees: Fred Armisen, “Portlandia,” Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Ty Burrell, “Modern Family,” Adam Driver, “Girls,” Tony Hale, “Veep,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Will win: Braugher. He’s won before, but only in the drama category. His comedic chops have caught his peers off guard.
Could win: Hale. He won last year, and could easily make it two in a row.
Dark horse: Burrell. Many view him as the funniest actor on “Modern Family.” And that’s saying a lot.
Comedy Supporting Actress
Nominees: Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory,” Julie Bowen, “Modern Family,” Anna Chlumsky, “Veep,” Allison Janney, “Mom,” Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black,” Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Will win: Janney. She’s on a hot streak (she already won Drama Guest Actress this year for “Masters of Sex”) and her “Mom” performance was both funny and poignant – a cinch for Emmy voters.
Could win: Mulgrew. She’s the most respected performer on “Orange” and this is her first nomination in a long career. She could win. Easily.
Dark horse: Bialik. She’s seriously funny on “Big Bang.” Why not?
Outstanding Drama Series
Nominees: “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards,” “Mad Men,” “True Detective”
Will win: Even though the final episodes aired forever ago, “Bad” was so good that it will stick with Emmy voters forever.
Could win: “True Detective.” Its buzz is fresher than “Bad”’s and it turned into a big hit.
Dark horse: “Thrones.” The show has never won, and continued to surprise in a solid year.
Nominees: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,” Woody Harrelson, “True Detective,” Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective,” Jon Hamm, “Mad Men,” Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Will win: McConaughey. He won every movie award this year, including the Oscar, and voters are likely to ride the wave for his popular HBO series.
Could win: Cranston. The fact that he’s already won three Emmys for the part is a hindrance. But his performance in the show’s final season was perfection.
Dark horse: Daniels. Hey, it would be surprising, but he won last year.
Nominees: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife,” Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex,” Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey,” Kerry Washington, “Scandal,” Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Will win: Margulies. She had a great year on a show that probably deserved a Drama Series nomination, but didn’t get it. Voters will remember that. She’s won before, and her support over the years has been spotty (she missed out on a nomination two years ago). Eh, it shouldn’t matter.
Could win: Danes. She’s won two years in a row. Her problem is the show itself, which plunged in popularity in its third season.
Dark horse: Caplan. Emmy voters might think its hip to love “Sex.”
Drama Supporting Actor
Nominees: Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey,” Josh Charles, “The Good Wife,” Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones,” Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan,” Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Will win: Two-time winner Paul. He’ll ride the “Bad” wave.
Could win: Charles. His character went out with a bang, so to speak.
Dark horse: Voight. Emmys voters love him, and it wouldn’t be shocking at all to hear his name called.
Drama Supporting Actress
Nominees: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife,” Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men,” Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones,” Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey,” Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Will win: Gunn. Her final arc on the show was wrenching. Who could forget that image of her on her hands and knees, screaming for her baby?
Could win: Baranski. She’s never won for this role, and very well could.
Dark horse: Hendricks. No “Mad Men” actor has ever won, which is a shame. But her Joan Holloway had a strong year, so maybe this time it will be different.
We’ll find out who wins on NBC on Monday night.