2010 Emmy Predictions: Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series

In case you didn’t know (because I sure as heck didn’t until I saw something the latest Entertainment Weekly), the Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sunday, August 29 on NBC. In the glow of some great nominations and not too many ridiculous slights (I’m resigned to the fact that Sons of Anarchy won’t get its due), the whole thing kind of sneaked up on us, didn’t it? Thankfully, I have enough time to spew out a bunch of predictions before the actual ceremony airs. I’ll be discussing one category a day all week, covering who I think will win and who I think should win.

On to the final and most prestigious individual awards!

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees:

  • Hugh Laurie, House
  • Matthew Fox, Lost
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter

What won’t happen: This is another one of those categories where any winner would be a worthy one, as each of these gentleman turned in fantastic performances In that sense, there is an outside chance that anyone of these guys win the award, but off the top, it is fairly easy to narrow the field to four. Kyle Chandler has been deserving of a nomination since the beginning of Friday Night Lights, and it’s wonderful he’s finally been recognized. But to wish for anything more than that is simply stupid, so he’s unfortunately out. Moreover, Matthew Fox is also a first-time and much-deserving nominee who would have better luck (with this being Lost‘s final season and all) if the category wasn’t oh so stacked.

What could happen: With the powerhouse group of Laurie, Cranston, Hamm and Hall, anything can happen. Hugh Laurie has been sadly shut out from victory and is submitting his finest work on House to-date. Bryan Cranston is a two-time champ looking for victory number three and although his co-star Aaron Paul carried more weight in season three, Breaking Bad‘s star is one of the best around. Jon Hamm has unfortunately gone up against Cranston the last two years and thus not walked away with any hardware either and is also turning in a fine episode. Finally, Michael C. Hall is riding a wave of victories from other award shows and public sentiment due to his battle with cancer. It is really unclear which way the voters are going, but in any case, there is not a wrong choice.

What should happen: If I had a vote, I think I’d give it to Hugh Laurie. “Broken” is all about him and is probably the biggest and even best episode in House history. Combine that with the fact that he’s never pulled out a victory while Hall and Hamm will have other opportunities in the future to win.

What will happen: My gut tells me that this award comes down to Cranston and Hall. It’s hard to dethrone a two-time winner who now has more public support and eyes on his performance than he did during the first two victory years, but this feels like Michael C. Hall’s year.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees:

  • Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • January Jones, Mad Men
  • Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

What won’t happen: Just like her on-screen husband, it’s wonderful that Connie Britton has finally been given the respect she deserves. But also just like her on-screen husband, Britton’s accomplishments won’t go past that. She’s out. I don’t feel too strongly about January Jones’ chances either, even though season three was more about her character than any other from Mad Men. I think she is out, too.

What could happen: Mariska Hargitay has won this award before, is always nominated and thus somewhat of a threat to win. Same goes for Kyra Sedgwick, though she feels more like a Golden Globes favorite than an Emmys favorite (despite the constant nominations). Glenn Close is yet another two-time winner looking for the third victory, and was as great as always on this past season of Damages.

What should happen: Like Michael C. Hall, Julianna Marguilies has been walking away with awards for her performance on The Good Wife left and rightfully so. I love Glenn Close as much as the next guy, but she has enough hardware.

What will happen: Marguilies has this one wrapped up, me thinks.

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