With the Emmy nominations just nine days away, I figure it’s time I complete the existing predictions that I had set forward. Here’s part two of my Emmy nomination predictions, covering the dramatic acting categories. Next Wednesday, I hope to finalize everything with series nominations and some discussion on Guest Actor/Actress as well.
[NOTE: Each category will feature a “Dark Horse” selection that, while it might well be wrong, needs to be made for the sake of my sanity. When the nominations are announced, I am going to give myself meaningless kudos should any of them come to fruition]
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos)
I don’t watch the Sopranos, but I know better than to bet against a past winner who submitted a strong episode, according to viewers. His name alone is likely to get him into the nominees, and he stands to benefit from the Sopranos hype building from its finale.
William Shatner (Boston Legal)
With fellow thesp (Look at me, going all Variety) Candice Bergen not submitting, and with James Spader shut out last year, a lot of Boston Legal’s hopes lie on Shatner. His celebrity and strong performance as Denny Crane should be enough to get him a nomination, and maybe even his second win in the category.
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
This is a tough prediction to make, if only because O’Quinn hasn’t been nominated since the show’s first season for anything. However, unlike castmate Naveen Andrews who could also take this spot, I believe that Locke played an integral role this season and has a baity episode featuring substantial acting both on and off island. Plus, if voters liked the reveal of Locke’s wheelchair, they might want to know how he got into it.
Henry Ian Cusick (Lost)
Admittedly, I am betting on some Lost domination here, but I really stand by this particular decision. Nominated for a Guest Actor Emmy last year, I think that Cusick could pull a Shatner (Who won for a guest role on The Practice before moving to Boston Legal) and break into this category after being added as a series regular this past season. His episode is confusing, but his grounded and powerful performance therein can’t be ignored.
[Dark Horse] Jack Coleman (Heroes)
All the hype seems to be around Masi Oka (Hiro), but Jack Coleman deserves the real kudos for his grounded and well-developed portrayal of Noah Bennet. This is a character introduced as the epitome of “The Man” trying to bring down heroes, but he turned into an empathetic character gradually thanks to Coleman’s subtle work. He might not have the name recognition or the cool superpowers, but he is the best actor the show has and I hope Emmy voters see that.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)
This category cannot exist without Elizabeth Mitchell in it. As Juliet on Lost, she has brought emotion and resonance to a character we didn’t know a season earlier, and has integrated into the show’s ensemble in a big way. Her two powerhouse episodes, “Not in Portland” and “One of Us” show such range and power that it is hard to believe Emmy voters will ignore her.
Aida Turturro (The Sopranos)
Consider this my bandwagon selection: I don’t even know what character Turturro plays, but she’s the most popular pick in Supporting Actress for the series. And since I expect it to be recognized in all categories, I think she’ll be making the cut.
Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)
The most decorated of the show’s supporting players, Oh is the most likely to benefit from the popular vote portion of the proceedings. She’s made a name for herself playing Christina, and this season saw her garner some dramatic storylines and she never quite fell by the wayside like some others did.
Katherine Heigl OR Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
These two operate on opposite ends of the spectrum. Heigl saw a Golden Globe nod earlier this year, while her co-stars did not, but Izzie was an insufferable bitch this season. Meanwhile, Wilson’s Bailey was as good as ever, but she’s been recognized before (She won a SAG award this year) and Bailey was marginalized this season. I think only one of them makes it in…my money’s on Heigl, but I’m still featuring both.
[Dark Horse] Patricia Wettig (Brothers & Sisters)
With the series lacking in love from the ATAS in the series category, I think that Emmy darling Patricia Wettig might have trouble making herself known. However, I find her to be a highlight of the series as the adulteress Holly Harper, and I think she deserves recognition for keeping the role grounded amongst what can only be described as soap opera trappings.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)
It’s the show’s last season, and he’s as hyped as ever: Gandolfini is a complete lock.
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Even as the show fell apart, Sutherland never stopped being a strong performer for the series. It’s possible he could be snubbed if the series gets a lot of negative feedback, but I think his pedigree and his win last year will certainly keep him around. Plus, in a single episode, 24 never looks that bad.
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Even if his show isn’t highly rated, Michael C. Hall’s role of Dexter Morgan has been the most talked about all year. Playing a vigilante serial killer with a normal life isn’t easy, and could go completely out of control in the wrong hands. It’s the best casting of the season, and Hall lives up to it each and every episode.
Hugh Laurie (House)
For some inexplicable reason, Hugh Laurie got left off this list last year. Let’s hope this changes, because even if he’s one-note it’s a damn fine note. House is basically his show, and the idea that he shouldn’t be recognized for carrying it is ludicrous.
[Dark Horse] Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
While other actors could easily take this spot (James Spader, for one), I think that Kyle Chandler deserves recognition for some very subtle and very strong work on Friday Night Lights. The show asks him to be a loving father, a sarcastic husband and a stern coach week in and week out, and he always manages to make it work. That is a diverse performance, and one that he deserves an Emmy nomination for.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Edie Falco (The Sopranos)
Combined with being snubbed last year, and with this being the show’s final season, no actress is as secure as Falco is in this race.
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
There’s a lot of talk about both Field and Calista Flockhart making it into this race, and I disagree for one main reason: I think Field is amazing in the series and Flockhart is merely average unless elevated by Field. If they both make it, that’s great: but Field is the one that delivers, in my books, the best performance of the two. And I think voters will notice that.
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Much like Michael C. Hall, except with bigger ratings and a Golden Globe to show for herself, Sedgwick has been the big story over the past few years with her performance in TNT’s hit drama. It’s about time that Emmy showed her some love, and I think it will certainly start with a nomination.
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
While last year saw neither of the past year’s winners in leading roles get nominated again, I think that Hargitay won’t continue that trend. While she may be outgunned by someone like Flockhart, I think she built enough of a name for herself to overcome a lack of freshness in her character.
[Dark Horse] Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
I hate to put all FNL candidates as Dark Horses, but it’s inevitable: while Britton gave an awesome performance as wife, mother and guidance counselor Tami Taylor, so few people saw the show that her breaking through seems less likely. I can hope that the critics’ voice was heard and that she will be recognized, and I think she can, but I remain doubtful.
[How well will I do? Well, we’ll find out on July 19th when the Emmy Nominees are announced.]