Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015 Emmy Predictions

emmysI’m going to try to predict this year’s Emmy awards “scientifically” using four basic rules. Two of the rules are Positive, one is Negative, and one is what I guess you could call Neutral or Preferential. There’s also a fifth rule that’s not yet proven. These predictions are based on things I’ve observed about the Emmys from long before I started this Blog and even before I had the Internet.

So what are these rules? They’re actually pretty simple:

Rule 1: Winners win….until you know, they don’t.
The Emmys are unique among entertainment awards shows in that the same show or people can win year after year. The equivalent at the Oscars would be for last year’s Best Picture winner to win again this year. It doesn’t happen at the Tonys, the Grammys or the Oscars, just the Emmys and any other awards show that touches on TV. And the Emmys tend to give awards to previous season’s winners.

Rule 2: The “Hot New Thing” can overturn previous season’s winners, but it’s the academy that decide what the hot new thing is.
Funny thing about the TV awards. The people who choose the nominees and who vote for the winners don’t actually watch a hell of a lot of TV. TV critics (the pros) watch a lot of TV but the people at the TV academy are too busy working making TV shows to actually watch TV shows on a regular basis. What they know about what’s hot and what’s not is generally based on ratings and buzz and whatever  they decide is “quality” TV this year.

Rule 3: Premium cable trumps basic cable which trumps broadcast TV.
And by premium cable I mean HBO. This year HBO had 40 nominations, while Showtime had nine and Cinemax (!) had one. Those 40 nominations for HBO were greater than ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC combined although when you factor PBS into the mix it is greater. We don’t know yet were streaming video factors into this except to say that while they get more nominations than The CW, Amazon and Netflix have had very limited success.

Rule 4: Fantasy and Science Fiction don’t win… unless they come from HBO.
In fact Fantasy and Science Fiction shows almost never get nominations unless they’re on HBO. Battlestar Galactica may have been one of the best shows on all of TV during its run but never earned a Primetime Emmy nomination. Creative Arts Emmys sure, but not Emmy’s from Writing, Directing or Acting, let alone Outstanding Drama Series which are the categories being awarded on Sunday.

Let’s take a look at the series and acting categories and apply the rules. I’ll put the rule number that applies to the person or show beside their name.

Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy
  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, FOX (2)
  • Titus Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix (2)
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC (1)
  • Adam Driver, Girls, HBO (3)
  • Tony Hale, Veep, HBO (1, 3)
  • Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele, Comedy Central
 Based on this I think it will come down to a battle between the only two actors who have won before, with the edge going to Tony Hale of Veep, who was upset in the voting last year.

Outstanding Supporting Actress Comedy
  • Mayim Bialik, Big Bang Theory, CBS
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC (1)
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO (3)
  • Gaby Hoffman, Transparent, Amazon (2)
  • Allison Janney, Mom, CBS (1)
  • Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix (2)
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live, NBC
  • Niecy Nash, Getting On, HBO (3)
 This looks tighter than it probably is. I think that Allison Janney will probably win her second straight Emmy because Bowen’s position as a previous winner goes back three years.I’m not sure how “hot” and “new” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Transparent are. Plus, the fact is that Janney’s role is really closer to being a Lead Actress role, and that always get the attention of the Academy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor Drama
  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul, AMC (2)
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
  • Alan Cumming, The Good Wife, CBS
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO (1,3,4)
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards, Netflix
  • Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline, Netflix
I think it comes down to Peter Dinklage and Jonathon Banks. This is another weird one. Dinklage is the only actor to win for a Science Fiction-Fantasy show in years, because it was on HBO (and he is an amazing actor), but Jonathon Banks has been nominated in the past for playing this character and yet he is playing the character in a “Hot New show.” I think give this category to Jonathon Banks.

Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama
  • Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black, Netflix
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO (3, 4)
  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey, PBS
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones, HBO (3, 4)
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC
This is a tough category because the rules really don’t apply. To be sure you have two actresses form an HBO show, but it’s a Fantasy series. None of the actors have won in this category in the last five Emmy shows although four of the six were nominated last year and two of the six were nominated each of the past five Emmys (Baransky and Hendricks). So we have to revert to the WAG Techniques (Wild Ass Guess). As much as I would like to see Christina Hendricks win, because I don’t think she’s ever likely to get a role as good as Joan Harris for a long long time, I am going to put my metaphorical money on Uzo Aduba.

Outstanding Lead Actor Comedy
  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish, ABC (2)
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime (3)
  • Louis C.K., Louie, FX (3)
  • Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth, Fox (2)
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime (3)
  • William H. Macy, Shameless, Showtime (3)
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent, Amazon (2)
Will Forte and Anthony Anderson are on “Hot New Shows” but I would question just how “Hot” or they really are. Jeffrey Tambor benefits from being on one of the most talked about shows of the 2014-15 season, and the fact that the guy who won four of the past five years, Jim Parsons, wasn’t nominated this time around. Tambor’s my pick here…. unless voters write in Parson’s name.

Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime (1,3)
  • Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback, HBO (3)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO (1,3)
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC
  • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central (2)
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie, Netflix
I’d be shocked if Julia Louis Dreyfus doesn’t take this one. She’s won the past three seasons which, coincidentally, is as long as her show has been on the air. She’s on premium cable, and while Amy Schumer has undeniable talent and has been setting the comedy world on fire, I just don’t think she can beat Dreyfus.

Outstanding Lead Actor Drama
  • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline, Netflix
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO (1, 3)
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul, AMC (2)
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan, Showtime (3)
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix
My heart wants to say John Hamm will get his turn now that Bryan Cranston has departed the scene, but the rules are against him. While I realize that Jeff Daniels scored a huge upset over Cranston two years ago by beating him in this category, and is on an HBO show, I’ll give this one to Bob Odenkirk for playing an old Breaking Bad supporting character elevated to the lead on the “Hot New” Better Call Saul.

Outstanding Lead Actress Drama
  • Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime (1, 3) 
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder, ABC (2)
  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire, Fox (2)
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black, BBC America (4)
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix
Two of the hottest new shows of the year face off in this category where the seemingly perpetual winner, Julianna Margulies, wasn’t nominated this time. Claire Danes is a two time winner so she’s a definite prospect, but there are those who think her show has slipped into absurdity. I personally think it comes down to Viola Davis vs. Taraji P. Henson. I’m going to reluctantly come down on the side of Viola Davis (reluctantly because I really don’t like the character or the show) simply because from what I’ve seen Taraji P. Henson’s character, Cookie Lyon, seems to be way over the top. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if Henson won either.

Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Louie, FX
  • Modern Family, ABC (1)
  • Parks and Recreation, NBC
  • Silicon Valley, HBO (3)
  • Transparent, Amazon (2)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix
  • Veep, HBO (3)
In the past five years Modern Family has won this category five times. It’s probably the safe call to say that it will make it six in a row, but all streaks have to come to an end eventually (don’t they?) and I can definitely see Transparent knocking he wheels off of the Modern Family juggernaut, because I think it’s time.

Outstanding Drama Series
  • Better Call Saul, AMC (2)
  • Downton Abbey, PBS
  • Game of Thrones, HBO (3, 4)
  • Homeland, Showtime (1, 3)
  • House of Cards, Netflix
  • Mad Men, AMC (1)
  • Orange Is the New Black, Netflix
Breaking Bad not being on the list opens things up a lot. Homeland and Mad Men have both won in this category in the past but neither show was at its best this past season and the same can be said of non-winner House of Cards. Game of Thrones has the “Fantasy” label attached. That leaves us with Downton Abbey, Orange Is the New Black, and Better Call Saul. Because Better Call Saul wins the “Hot New Show” description, and I’m not sure the TV Academy has quite wrapped its collective heads around Netflix, I’ll make that my choice in this category.

The 67th Annual Emmy Awards will be seen Sunday, September 20 on FOX. Watch this space to see how well I and the “rules” I came up with do.

Update: The rules had a .600 Batting Average which is really rather good, although I will have to tinker with them more for next year. Details to follow.

1 comment:

Rick Robinson said...

and no mention of Olive Kitteridge. Tsk.