The Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday, and it’s always a fun game to try to predict the nominees. Some years, predicting the nominees is actually easier than predicting the winners.  The academy tends to have an eclectic taste, so we’ll see what happens. Let’s run down the categories. First the likely nominees, then the less likely nominees.

Best comedy series – likely nominees:

’30 Rock’

‘Parks & Recreation’


‘Modern Family’

‘The Big Bang Theory’

‘New Girl’

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Dark horses:

‘The Office’






Best Comedy Series Actor – likely nominees:

Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’

Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Louie C.K., ‘Louie’

Johnny Galecki, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Jon Cryer, ‘Two and a Half Men’


Dark horses:

Don Cheadle, ‘House of Lies’

Matthew Morrison, ‘Glee’

Joel McHale, ‘Community

Adam Scott, ‘Parks  and Recreation’


Best Comedy Series Actress – likely nominees:

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’

Zooey Deschanel, ‘New Girl’

Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Veep’

Laura Dern, ‘Enlightened’

Dark horses:

Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’

Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’

Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’

Lena Dunham, ‘Girls’

Lea Michele, ‘Glee’


Best Comedy Series Supporting Actor – likely nominees:

Ed O’Neill, ‘Modern Family’

Ty Burrell, ‘Modern Family’

Eric Stonestreet, ‘Modern Family’

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family’

Max Greenfield, ‘New Girl’

Nick Offerman, ‘Parks and Recreation’

Dark horses:

Neil Patrick Harris, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Chris Colfer, ‘Glee’

Jeremy Piven, ‘Entourage’

Aziz Ansari, ‘Parks and Recreation’


Best Comedy Supporting Actress – likely nominees:

Julie Bowen, ‘Modern Family’

Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’

Betty White, ‘Hot in Cleveland’

Kristin Wiig, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Cloris Leachman, ‘Raising Hope’

Jane Krakowski, ’30 Rock’

Dark horses:

Jane Lynch, ‘Glee’

Cheryl Hines, ‘Suburgatory’

Kathryn Joosten, ‘Desperate Housewives’

Mayim Bialik, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Kristen Bell, ‘House of Lies’


Best Drama Series – likely nominees:

‘Mad Men’


‘Game of Thrones’

‘Breaking Bad’

‘Downton Abbey’

‘The Good Wife’

Dark horses:

‘Boardwalk Empire’



‘The Walking Dead’

‘Sons of Anarchy’


Best Drama Series Actor – likely nominees:

Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’

Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’

Damian Lewis, ‘Homeland’

Kelsey Grammer, ‘Boss’

Hugh Laurie, ‘House’

Steve Buscemi, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Dark horses:

Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’

Dustin Hoffman, ‘Luck’

Hugh Bonneville, ‘Downton Abbey’

Timothy Olpyphant, ‘Justified’


Best Drama Series Actress – likely nominees:

Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’

Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’

Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’

Elizabeth McGovern, ‘Downton Abbey’

Glenn Close, ‘Damages’

Michelle Dockery, ‘Downton Abbey’

Dark horses:

Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Kyra Sedgwick, ‘The Closer’

Kathy Bates, ‘Harry’s Law’

Debra Messing, ‘Smash’

Jessica Pare, ‘Mad Men’


Best Drama Series Supporting Actor – likely nominees:

Peter Dinklage, ‘Game of Thrones’

Aaron Paul, ‘Breaking Bad’

Giancarlo Esposito, ‘Breaking Bad’

Alan Cumming, ‘The Good Wife’

John Slattery, ‘Mad Men’

Jared Harris, ‘Mad Men’

Dark horses:

Mandy Patinkin, ‘Homeland’

Walton Goggins, ‘Justified’

Josh Charles, ‘The Good Wife’

Nick Nolte, ‘Luck’

Andre Braugher, ‘Men of a Certain Age’


Best Drama Series Supporting Actress – likely nominees:

Maggie Smith, ‘Downton Abbey’

Christina Hendricks, ‘Mad Men’

Christine Baranski, ‘The Good Wife’

Archi Panjabi, ‘The Good Wife’

Anna Gunn, ‘Breaking Bad’

Anjelica Huston, ‘Smash’

Dark horses:

Kelly MacDonald, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Sandra Oh, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Rose Byrne, ‘Damages’

Chandra Wilson, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Morena Baccarin, ‘Homeland’