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.
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.
Guest actor in a Drama Will Win: Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
As Margulies’ wily courtroom opponent, Fox was devilishly good.
Should win: I’d stick with Fox, all the way.
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.
Guest actress in a Drama Will Win: Joan Cusack, Shameless
Here’s how excellent I think Cusack was: I don’t even like Shameless in general, but believe her performance deserves the prize.
Should win: Cusack; she’s just that good.
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!
Guest actor in a Comedy Will Win: Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Timberlake’s boundless pizzazz, plus the cheerfulness he exudes in tackling new sketch roles and reprising old ones, make him one of the most charming SNL hosts ever.
Should win: Timberlake
Guest actress in a Comedy Will Win: Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee
Paltrow was Glee‘s best surprise this season: It was by no means a sure thing that she’d fit into this ensemble, but her drolly sexy Holly Holiday was an exceedingly clever performance.
Should win: Paltrow
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.
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 Reality Series Will Win: Deadliest Catch
And Should Win: Deadliest Catch; its time has come, with its most emotional season.
Reality Host Will Win: Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Idol may win over Amazing Race, but when it comes to hosting, I’d say it’s Keoghan, his sunny smile even in the hottest or coldest part of the globe, that merits an Emmy.
Should win: My heart says Cat Deeley.