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Emmys secret ballot: How will Hollywood vote?

We asked four industry insiders to reveal how they’ll vote for this year’s Emmy Awards on Sept. 20

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ILLUSTRATION by JONATHAN CASE for EW

EW talked to four anonymous TV insiders about how they’ll be voting for this year’s Emmys, set to air Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Here’s what they had to say.

The Esteemed Director 

This two-time Emmy winner has helmed some of the most critically acclaimed series on TV. He’s not too keen on this year’s Best Comedy nominees, though.

Outstanding Drama: “Homeland, by process of elimination. Saul should not have been there. Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Mad Men are good but overrated, and Orange is the New Black is just not really a drama in my book. That leaves me with Claire and her posse having a great season.”

Outstanding Comedy:Veep. Remember when comedies were judged by the funny? Veep is the funniest, with Modern Family second. Louie depresses me, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is inconsistent. Transparent? Culturally significant, but I don’t vote for sociological political reasons.”

Outstanding Actor, Drama: “Tough category. I’ll take Jon Hamm, please. He is long overdue.”

Outstanding Actress, Drama: “Viola Davis. She just knocks it out of the park, even when it doesn’t all make sense. You just can’t take your eyes off her.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy: “Anthony Anderson. I went with the Black-ish star because he made me laugh the most. I know Tambor will win, but the hair is really the only thing that made me chuckle.”

Outstanding Actress, Comedy: “Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but if I could have a second I would have gone with Lisa Kudrow. That girl is CRAZY.”

The Sitcom Writer

A repeat nominee who’s worked on some of NBC’s most beloved comedies, this scribe isn’t too thrilled with one (or more) of the acting categories.

Outstanding Comedy:Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is hilarious, but I’ve never met anyone who’s seen it. The two funniest shows on TV, Fresh Off the Boat and The Last Man on Earth, aren’t even nominated. So I’d give it to Parks and Recreation, because they’ll dedicate the win to Harris Wittels, and that would be incredibly moving.”

Outstanding Drama:Mad Men closed out its run with a cool episode, but hasn’t the world heard Matt Weiner talk about himself enough? I’d give it to Orange is the New Black and creator Jenji Kohan, because she has blue hair.”

Outstanding Actor, Drama: “Liev Scheiber’s performance only makes sense if we discover that Ray Donovan is a robot. I’d give it to either Jon Hamm for smiling during that Coke commercial, or Kevin Spacey for banging his fist on a desk.”

Outstanding Actress, Drama: “Tatiana Maslany’s performance in Orphan Black is a treasure. I’m just kidding, what’s Orphan Black? I’d give the award to Elizabeth Moss, the heart and soul of Mad Men since the start.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy: “Most of the nominees in this category are actually giving dramatic performances. They should give it to Will Forte. Hilarious.”

Outstanding Actress, Comedy: “Julia Louis-Dreyfus never hits a wrong note ever. Isn’t it time for this woman to finally be recognized for her work?”

The Actress

This Emmy-winning actress, who is seldom out of work for long because she’s in high demand, found it hard to pick winners in the actor categories because everyone gave incredible performances.

Outstanding Drama: Game of Thrones because it’s grand and epic filmmaking and they are due for a win.”

Outstanding Comedy:Silicon Valley because I love Mike Judge and I think it’s brilliant satire.”

Outstanding Actor, Drama: “Liev Schrieber because not only is he a friend, every performance he gives is powerful.”

Outstanding Actress, Drama: “Claire Danes, because her commitment to that role is always inspired.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy: “Jeffrey Tambor because his performance is an incredibly touching portrayal of someone transitioning.”

Outstanding Actress, Comedy: “Lily Tomlin because I’ve always loved her. I saw her one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe four times!

The Showrunner

This Emmy-nominated writer, who oversees a huge critical fave, would rather pick two winners in the Best Actress, Drama, category than be forced to choose.

Outstanding Drama: Mad Men. I think the last season did a great job of closing out the series. It was really surprising and had a cathartic inevitability that’s hard to achieve.”

Outstanding Comedy:Louie. That show captures the fear and the angst of growing older while raising kids, and the indignity and loneliness of modern life.”

Outstanding Actor, Drama:  “Jon Hamm. It’s been such an iconic performance, and he finished on an incredibly strong note. He really ran the gamut in that final season. I’m amazed he hasn’t won yet.”

Outstanding Actress, Drama: “This is hard. Viola Davis does such a grounded and nuanced interpretation of a messy, sexualized and incredibly conflicted character. But then with Tatiana Maslany I just think f—, no one else is doing that! She just blows me away. I can’t decide.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy: “Louis C.K. He is doing something incredibly unique. He’s so poignant and hilarious at the same time. That’s not easy to do.”

Outstanding Actress, Comedy: “Lisa Kudrow. She’s really fabulous in that role and can deliver heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. I don’t think anyone does that better.”

A version of this story appeared in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands now, or buy it here.

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