Best Drama Will Win: Mad Men
Other dramas equal it in quality and power, so given the choice, the classy gloss of Mad Men gives it an edge among Emmy voters.
Should win: I’d give it to Friday Night Lights — a great final season for a great, under-rewarded show.
Lead Actor, Drama Will Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Matthew Weiner built the season around ”Who is Don Draper?” and in so doing, gave Hamm a great showcase that he took full advantage of.
Should win: Hamm deserves it, but so does Kyle Chandler; given it’s FNL‘s last, muffled hurrah, I wish Chandler would triumph.
Lead Actress, Drama Will Win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
The toughest major-category race to call; Elisabeth Moss and, yes, Kathy Bates could nab this. I’ll go with Margulies, though.
Should win: Given her body of work in Mad Men, Moss deserves to squeak ahead of Margulies.
Supporting Actor, Drama Will Win: John Slattery, Mad Men
Simple: He keeps getting nominated, he keeps giving a terrific performance. I think this is his year.
Should win: I love Slattery’s performance, but Walton Goggins is pretty amazing, in Justified and, previously, in The Shield.
Supporting Actress, Drama Will Win: Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
The stand-out woman in a male-dominated series, MacDonald ought to benefit from voters’ desires to give Boardwalk at least one major award.
Should win: Margo Martindale — her guest role in Justified was a career high for her.
Best Comedy Will Win: Modern Family
You may say other shows were funnier this particular season, but the good will and continued quality that this series generates was at full power; a win here is like a vote for the entire ensemble.
Should win: For consistency, intensity and density of laughs, Parks and Recreation should inch past Family.
Lead Actor, Comedy Will Win: Steve Carell, The Office
It’s the it-was-his-final-season vote. Carrell deserves an Emmy, for sure, but this having been his swan song also helps with sentiment toward him.
Should win: In my dreams: Louis C.K.
Lead Actress, Comedy Will Win: Laura Linney, The Big C
Linney radiates such pluckiness and humor in the Face of Tragedy (a.k.a., a fatal illness) that she should take the spot (and the win) that last year’s winner Toni Collette had on Showtime.
Should win: Amy Poehler is so good in Parks and Recreation, she could win in the comedy AND drama categories.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Will Win: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
He hasn’t won for this show yet, his episodes this season were very strong indeed, and he’s a super-nice guy: Just hand it over already!
Should win: Only Ty Burrell comes close; I’d still give it to O’Neill, though.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Will Win: Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
It’s Betty White: Hand it over already!
Should win: Julie Bowen, of course!
Reality Competition Will Win: American Idol
The series has been around long enough to finally be a respectable alternative to perennial winner Amazing Race, and the new judges are another excuse to reward this singing contest.
Should win: Amazing Race — it’s still the best of these kinds of competition shows.
Best TV Movie/Miniseries Will Win: Mildred Pierce
Voters cannot resist HBO’s glossy, Oscar-starrer, and Kate Winslet is indeed good.
Should win: But Downton Abbey is the year’s best miniseries, better written than the Pierce adaptation.
Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actor Will Win: Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Expect Fishburne to pull off a surprise win for the relatively little-noticed Thurgood biopic.
Should win: William Hurt gave a soulful performance in the midst of big-business havoc in Too Big To Fail.
Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actress Will Win: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Always bet on the Oscar winner who stars in a romantic TV-movie.
Should win: Diane Lane was wonderful as Pat Loud in the underrated Cinema Verite.
Best TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor Will Win: James Woods, Too Big To Fail
Woods’ enjoyably hammy performance should give Too Big to Fail its biggest victory.
Should win: Guy Pearce. His supporting role in Pierce was the most subtle element in that miniseries.
Best TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress Will Win: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
And Should Win: Maggie Smith stole the show in Downton Abbey; she deserves the win.