The Emmys Report: The Drama Series Race
The Emmys Report: The Drama Series Race
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The ballots are out, the race is on, and soon we will know which lucky shows and actors will be nominated for this year's Emmy Awards.  This year the main categories have been expanded to six nominees due to the increasing volume of shows produced.  The official Emmy ballot for Outstanding Drama Series lists 76 eligible shows, but that includes everything from last year's winner, Mad Men, to "no chance in Hell: submissions like The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

So who is actually in the hunt?  Last year proved that cable networks have finally broken through as it was the first time a cable network other than HBO scored a nomination in this category.

Here I'll break down the 15 strongest candidates to earn a nomination.  In keeping with the cable theme, only five of the shows on this list come from a major network.

Battlestar Galactica; It's the final season and the last chance for Emmy voters to recognize this brilliant sci-fi show, though the odds aren't good.

Big Love: HBO dramas typically dominate the Emmys, but Big Love has never broken through.  Will this finally be the year the Emmys fall for it?

Boston Legal: Au unusual past nominee, Boston Legal has the highest pedigree of any cast on TV, and in its final season, it's likely that voters will give it one last parting gift.

Breaking Bad: An under-appreciated gem, last year Bryan Cranston surprised a lot of people by winning for Lead Actor, and the second season was even better than the first.

Damages: Last year Damages was huge, picking up a ton of major nominations and wins.  Season 2 added some Oscar-winning stars and kept the steam rolling for another great season likely to be nominated.

Dexter: Jimmy Smits added a lot to the show's third season, but was last year's nomination a coincidence or a sign that the Emmy voters have completely embraced this lovable serial killer?

Grey's Anatomy: This show always makes a splash at the Emmys, usually for the wrong reasons like Katherine Heigl withdrawing last year.  But it still has a good shot, unless Emmy voters are sick and tired of all the drama.

House: A show that keeps getting better, House is a sure-bet for another nomination this year.

In Treatment: This show might receive more recognition for its actors, but the series itself could be HBO's new frontrunner.

Lost: Everyone was talking about the greatness of season 5, and after a few years without a nomination, Lost looks to be on steady ground once again with voters.

Mad Men: Last year's winner may not have been as great the second time around, but it still has a high pedigree.

Rescue Me: It's a rough blend of comedy and intense drama, so voters might shy away from its absurdity, but underneath it's a gripping drama about surviving in a post-9/11 world.

The Shield: In its final season, The Shield earned more critical acclaim than any other show last year.  Will that be enough to finally earn it the respect it deserves?

True Blood
: Alan Ball has a good track record at the Emmys with Six Feet Under, but vampires are a lot different than corpses, so it's hard to tell if voters will respond to this strange world.

24: Jack was back and season 7 restored some faith with interesting discussions on torture and great supporting performances by Jon Voigt and Cherry Jones.

My Predictions:
Boston Legal
Mad Men
The Shield

My Wishlist:
Battlestar Galactica
Breaking Bad
Rescue Me
The Shield

For your enjoyment, here is a quick list of all 76 potential nominees.

Army Wives
Battlestar Galactica
The Beast
Big Love
Boston Legal
Breaking Bad
Brothers & Sisters
Burn Notice
The Cleaner
The Closer
Cold Case
Criminal Minds
CSI: New York
Dirty Sexy Money
Eleventh Hour
Eli Stone
Friday Night Lights
Ghost Whisperer
Gossip Girl
Grey's Anatomy
Harper's Island
In Plain Sight
In Treatment
Kyle XY
The L Word
Law & Order
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Legend of the Seeker
Lie to Me
Life on Mars
Lincoln Heights
Mad Men
The Mentalist
#1 Ladies Detective Agency
One Tree Hill
Prison Break
Private Practice
Raising the Bar
Rescue Me
Samurai Girl
Saving Grace
Secret Life of the American Teenager
The Shield
Sons of Anarchy
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
True Blood
Trust Me
The Tudors
The Unit
The Unusuals
Without a Trace

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of FX)