It’s time to predict this year’s Emmy nominees – never an easy task.  Emmy voters are unpredictable; they tend to hold onto old favorites, but sometimes nominate newbies and throw in wild card nominees as well.

This was a good year for TV – particularly old favorites like ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Modern Family’ but also new fare like ‘Raising Hope’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire.’

Here are predictions for this year’s nominees in the major series categories.  I likely won’t be right on the money, but if I can get four out of every six in each category, I’ll be happy.  It can be a tough guessing game.

Nominations will be announced tomorrow morning.


Comedy Series


‘Modern Family’


’30 Rock’

‘The Office’

‘The Big Bang Theory’

‘Parks and Recreation’



‘The Middle’

‘Raising Hope’

‘Hot in Cleveland’

‘How I Met Your Mother’

Competitive category.  ‘Modern Family’ is sure to repeat.  Sure bets are ’30 Rock’ and ‘Glee.’  ‘The Office’ is vulnerable, but propelled by Steve Carell’s final performance.  ‘The Big Bang Theory’ might just make it this time.


Comedy Actor


Steve Carell, ‘The Office’

Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’

Matthew Morrison, ‘Glee’

Joel McHale, ‘Community’

Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’


Rob Lowe, ‘Parks and Recreation’

David Duchovny, ‘Californication’

Louis CK, ‘Louie’

This is Steve Carell’s to lose.  He’s almost sure to be joined by Jim Parsons (last year’s winner) and Alec Baldwin (a two-time winner).  Who joins them is more up in the air, although last year’s nominee Matthew Morrison is a good bet, as is Joel McHale, who is announcing this year’s Emmy nominations with Melissa McCarthy.


Comedy Actress


Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’

Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’

Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’

Lea Michelle, ‘Glee’


Toni Collette, ‘The United States of Tara’

Patricia Heaton, ‘The Middle’

Courtney Cox, ‘Cougar Town’

Kaley Cuoco, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’

Note to all competitors: Laura Linney has never lost an Emmy.  She’s three for three.  She’s won for two TV movies and a guest arc on ‘Frasier.’  Raves for her performance in ‘The Big C’ make her the strongest candidate here.  The shakiest are Martha Plimpton, so good on ‘Raising Hope,’ and Lea Michelle on the dimming ‘Glee.’

Comedy Supporting Actor


Eric Stonestreet, ‘Modern Family’

Ed O’Neill, ‘Modern Family’

Ty Burrell, ‘Modern Family’

Nick Offerman, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Chris Colfer, ‘Glee’

Neil Patrick Harris, ‘How I Met Your Mother’


Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family’

Jon Cryer, ‘Two and a Half Men’

Mike O’Malley, ‘Glee’

Aziz Ansari, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Rainn Wilson, ‘The Office’

Clearly, this category was made for ‘Modern Family.’  I would not be shocked to see four men from that show on this list, but it is a crowded category.  Chris Colfer is a sure bet, and Neil Patrick Harris is an Emmy perennial.   The wild card is Nick Offerman, who may be head-butted by past winner Jon Cryer, although he’s vulnerable thanks to Charlie Sheen’s nasty torpedo media tour of doom.  On the other hand, he might get a sympathy vote for putting up with Sheen’s antics for years.

Comedy Supporting Actress


Betty White, ‘Hot in Cleveland’

Jane Lynch, ‘Glee’

Julie Bowen, ‘Modern Family’

Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’

Kristen Wiig, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Amy Ryan, ‘The Office’


Jane Krakowski, ’30 Rock’

Holland Taylor, ‘Two and a Half Men’

Busy Phillips, ‘Cougar Town’

Jenna Fischer, ‘The Office’

Wendie Malick, ‘Hot in Cleveland’

Jane Lynch, last year’s winner, is a good bet, as is Betty White, who took home the Comedy Actress SAG award earlier this year.  The ‘Modern Family’ women are almost sure to be nominated.  That leaves two spots.  With ‘Bridesmaids’ the comedy film success of the year, Kristen Wiig seems a likely nominee, and it’s possible the underrated Amy Ryan of ‘The Office’ may be nominated for her guest arc.  If not, past nominee Jane Krakowski would fit the bill, or an underdog like Wendie Malick, a scene stealer on ‘Hot in Cleveland.’


Drama Series


‘Mad Men’

‘Boardwalk Empire’

‘Game of Thrones’

‘The Good Wife’


‘True Blood’


‘Friday Night Lights’

‘The Killing’




‘Mad Men’ had one of its best seasons yet and is a sure nominee, if not winner.  I’d be shocked if ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ did not join it.  ‘Game of Thrones’ is not necessarily Emmy bait, but it’s got a good shot.  ‘The Killing’ might ride AMC’s wave, as well.  Could ‘Friday Night Lights’ finally join the party for its final season?


Drama Actor


Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’

Steve Buscemi, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’

Kyle Chandler, ‘Friday Night Lights’

Hugh Laurie, ‘House’

William H. Macy, ‘Shameless’


Timothy Olyphant, ‘Justified’

Sean Bean, ‘Game of Thrones’

Simon Baker, ‘The Mentalist’

Jon Hamm’s performance in ‘The Suitcase’ episode of ‘Mad Men’ might just win him that elusive Emmy.  But Steve Buscemi has won other prizes, and Michael C. Hall has never won.  Dark horses include Timothy Olyphant, never nominated for ‘Justified’ and Sean Bean for ‘Game of Thrones.’


Drama Actress


Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’

Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’

Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’

Katey Sagal, ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Connie Britton, ‘Friday Night Lights’

Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’


Melissa Leo, ‘Treme’

Anna Paquin, ‘True Blood’

January Jones, ‘Mad Men’

Anna Torv, ‘Fringe’

Last year, Julianna Margulies lost to Kyra Sedgwick, so this may be her year.  But she’ll have to compete against Elisabeth Moss, who is sure to submit ‘The Suitcase’ episode of ‘Mad Men’ that was one of the year’s highlights. Katey Sagal is a dark horse, but she’s a critical favorite and recently won a Golden Globe for her role on ‘Sons of Anarchy.’  Other potential spoilers include Melissa Leo and Anna Paquin.


Drama Supporting Actor


John Slattery, ‘Mad Men’

John Noble, ‘Fringe’

Andrew Braugher, ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Jared Harris, ‘Mad Men’

Peter Dinklage, ‘Game of Thrones’

Alan Cumming, ‘The Good Wife’


Michael Pitt, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Michael Shannon, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Peter Noth, ‘The Good Wife’

This is a tough one.  John Noble has always been heralded for ‘Fringe’ but has never been nominated.  Could this be his year?  And what about Jared Harris, whose more prominent role on ‘Mad Men’ proved captivating?  Alan Cumming is likely to move up from Guest Actor into this category this year for ‘The Good Wife.’  Will Andre Braugher repeat, or be replaced by newcomer Michael Pitt?

Drama Supporting Actress


Archie Panchabi, ‘The Good Wife’

Christina Hendricks, ‘Mad Men’

Kelly MacDonald, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Debra Winger, ‘In Treatment’

Kiernan Shipka, ‘Mad Men’

Margo Martindale, ‘Justified’


Christine Baranski, ‘The Good Wife’

Sandra Oh, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Chandra Wilson, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Michelle Forbes, ‘The Killing’

Amy Ryan, ‘In Treatment’

Another tough one.  Sure things: Last year’s winner Archie Panchabi and Christina Hendricks.  If January Jones had submitted herself in this category, she might be included, but she’s contending for Best Actress.  That leaves Kiernan Shipka, who plays her daughter on ‘Mad Men’ and impressed everybody.  Or, there’s critical favorite Margo Martindale and Oscar nominee Debra Winger. Tough choice.