Which TV Shows & Stars Will Win an Emmy in 2013? Our Predictions

It's a golden age for television, and the competition is fierce. But these are the stars we expect to shine brightest on Sunday

On Sunday night, when host Neil Patrick Harris high-kicks his way onto the stage (in a snazzy smoking jacket, no doubt), he'll be presiding over the 65th Emmy Awards (CBS, 8 p.m. ET). With so many high-quality shows on TV right now, the doling out of statuettes ought to be quite satisfying! Here are the nominees, and our predictions for who will win. 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Nominees: 30 RockThe Big Bang TheoryGirlsLouie, Modern Family, Veep

Our pick to win: Modern Family

Is Modern Family -- which has already won this award three times -- really better than Louie and Veep and the rest? Lots of critics (like, for instance, the ones at The Hollywood Reporter) say no. But it is funny, and its humor is broad enough to entertain many different types of Emmy voters (young/old, gay/straight, etc.). The departing 30 Rock was arguably a sharper show, and it would be nice to see it nab an Emmy on its way out. But Modern Family alone has the wide-ranging appeal that attracts golden statuettes. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jason Bateman, Arrested Development; Louis CK, Louie; Don Cheadle, House of Lies; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes; Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Our pick to win: Louis CK

Critics balked at Jon Cryer's win last year for Two and a Half Men, and many cried that Louis CK was more deserving. (He did take home two writing awards.) This year, there are some strong contenders in this category (like Alec Baldwin, who's having a moment right now, considering all the buzz around his new MSNBC show). But, as Vulture said, Louie CK deserves to win "for taking life as a curmudgeonly single-and-looking dad and making art of it."  

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Laura Dern, Enlightened; Lena Dunham, Girls; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Our pick to win: Amy Poehler

Will Poehler win? Maybe, maybe not. But she is the relentless ray of sunshine that has driven Parks and Recreation to ever-greater heights of humor with each passing season. And last year's continuation of her love story was simply charming. E! Online agrees.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory; Jane Lynch, Glee; Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Our pick to win: Anna Chlumsky

In this wide open race, Chumsky has as good a chance as any to be called to the podium. While Veep hasn't attracted nearly as many viewers as the comedy that showcases last year's winner, Bowen, those who have caught Chumsky's turn as an uptight chief of staff have loved her. (And that includes Hitfix.com.)  

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Adam Driver, Girls; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live; Tony Hale, Veep

Our pick to win: Adam Driver

Most critics, like Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter, expect one of the Modern Family actors to win. "But this belongs to Driver," he writes. "He's fearless and funny." 

Outstanding Drama Series

Nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, Mad Men

Our pick to win: Mad Men 

Homeland stole Mad Men's crown last year, and Breaking Bad and House of Cards are as critically beloved as ever. But Mad Men had a strong season -- a fact that even snarky Vulture admits. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Damian Lewis, Homeland; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Our pick to win: Kevin Spacey

This is a tough category full of solid contenders, but Spacey's turn as a corrupt congressman in House of Cards has every critic talking. "Spacey -- a two-time Oscar winner in a showy role -- may prove hard to resist," says the LA Times. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees: Connie Britton, Nashville; Claire Danes, Homeland; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey; Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men;, Kerry Washington, Scandal; Robin Wright, House of Cards

Our pick to win: Elisabeth Moss

Why Moss? Because she's deserved it for years now. Of course, Washington is also very talented, and E! Online points out that she could be the first ever African-American actress to win Best Lead Actress in the Emmy's 65-year history. So… that would also be a welcome turn of events.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad; Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey; Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones;, Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Morena Baccarin, Homeland; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Our pick to win: Anna Gunn

There are many worthy actresses in this category, most notably Hendricks. And though last year's winner, Smith, is hard to beat in any acting competition, anywhere, Gunn has emerged as the odds-on favorite to win this. "It's the embattled Mrs. White's turn to shine," says The Associated Press.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire; Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad; Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad; Jim Carter, Downton Abbey; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Our pick to win: Jonathan Banks 

Patankin had a strong, emotion-packed season on Homeland. But according to Hitfix, you just can't deny Banks this one. The site called Banks "the weary soul" of Breaking Bad, who offered up a "tour de force of stoicism."

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.

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