Photo Credit: Courtesy of Showtime, NBC, Fox
Bright and early tomorrow morning, at 5:40 a.m. PST, Kerry Washington of ABC's new drama Scandal and Nick Offerman of NBC's Parks and Recreation will announce this year's Primetime Emmy nominees. Though the actual ceremony (on ABC, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting) doesn't take place until Sunday, Sept. 23, the predictions and speculation start…well, right about now.
Which shows should get the big nods for outstanding comedy series and outstanding drama series? Who has earned a rightful place among the best actor and actress nominations? Here are the most probable contenders:
-Outstanding Comedy Series
Last year's nominees: The Big Bang Theory, Glee, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Modern Family (which has won for the last two years).
This year's nominees? Any of those could make the cut again, and some new contenders might include HBO's Girls and Fox's New Girl. Also, despite its low ratings, NBC's Community might join the pack, since it already won the Television Critics Association (TCA) Award for best comedy.
-Outstanding Drama Series
Last year's nominees: Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, and Mad Men (which has won for the last four years in a row).
This year's nominees? Friday Night Lights is no longer in the game, but all those others have a good shot at getting a nod again. Thing is, though, this year has seen a lot of great drama. AMC's Breaking Bad certainly deserves a nod, and how could Emmy leave out Showtime's Homeland, which has already picked up a Golden Globe for best television series and several TCA nominations? And would Emmy dare snub Downton Abbey? This is going to be one tough category, especially since Mad Men offered up yet another exceptional season.
-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Last year's nominees: Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Laura Linney, Martha Plimpton, Amy Poehler and Melissa McCarthy (who won last year for Mike and Molly).
This year's nominees? Any of them could make the cut once again. New possibilities to the category could be New Girl's Zooey Deschanel, Enlightened's Laura Dern, or that Emmy darling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Veep.
Last year's nominees: Steve Carell, Matt LeBlanc, Johnny Galecki, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K. and Jim Parsons (who has won the last two years running).
This year's nominees? Steve Carell's not on The Office anymore, and Matt LeBlanc's show, Episodes, wasn't on last year. But Larry David could join the race this year; he's already been nominated four times for Curb Your Enthusiasm in the past. And now that you-know-who has bailed the Two and a Half Men ship, Jon Cryer might move up to lead actor position.
Last year's nominees: Steve Buscemi, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Hugh Laurie, Timothy Olyphant and Kyle Chandler (who won last year for Friday Night Lights).
This year's nominees? Kyle Chandler's out, but Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will probably be back in the running, and some other guys might hear their names called, too -- like Kelsey Grammer for Boss or Damian Lewis for Homeland.
Last year's nominees: Kathy Bates, Mireille Enos, Mariska Hargitay, Elisabeth Moss, Connie Britton, and Julianna Margulies (who won last year).
This year's nominees? Connie Britton's out, but Claire Danes seems likely to join this group for Homeland. And maybe, possibly, Madeleine Stowe for Revenge?