2012 Emmy Drama Predictions: Who Will Win?
2012 Emmy Drama Predictions: Who Will Win?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Now that everyone has had a day to study the oddly diverse 2012 Emmy Award nominations, it's time to look to Sunday, September 23. Who will win?

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On the Drama side, there's so much greatness that it almost doesn't matter who wins. All six nominees for Outstanding Drama Series are huge critical successes and they all have at least nine Emmy nominations this year. In fact, in all categories, there are only a handful of nominees I wouldn't want to see win.

But the real challenge is whether the voters will repeat the past or look to the future. Mad Men has four wins in a row. Bryan Cranston already has three Emmys. The other three acting categories have two past winners each. This is certainly going to be a "too close to call" situation for many of the categories, and that much competition could split the vote and let in some big dark horses.

What's clear is that there's a huge divide in dramatic television. The six shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series comprise 80 percent of all nominees in these five categories and they make up ALL of the nominees in the Writing and Directing categories.

Here are my predictions for the Drama categories at the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Will Win: Mad Men or Breaking Bad. This is truly a 50/50 coin flip. On the one hand, Mad Men could win its fifth straight Emmy for Drama Series (which no show has ever done). But if voters want something new, Breaking Bad's fourth season was easily its best yet and the fact that the fifth season is on right now puts it fresh in voters' minds. Both are equally deserving and equally likely to win.

Biggest Threat: Downton Abbey. While the two AMC giants are duking it out, this PBS period piece could sneak in. It's clearly beloved and won the Miniseries Emmy last year, so it could steal away a victory.

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Will Win: Bryan Cranston or Jon Hamm. This is the exact same scenario as Drama Series, only reversed. Cranston has won three times, but he's so insanely great (especially in the latest season where he "won") that you can't fault the Academy if they give him a fourth trophy (tying NYPD Blue's Dennis Franz for the most in this category). But on the other hand, Hamm is equally amazing and has gone 0/4. There's no way Don Draper can be ignored again, is there?

Biggest Threat: Damian Lewis. If the two AMC men split the vote, Homeland's hero/terrorist might sneak in.

Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Will Win: Claire Danes. She was absolutely amazing in the first season of Homeland, a total revelation and the single best performance on all of television, male or female, lead or supporting. From the moment this show ended, this award was hers to lose.

Biggest Threat: No One. Seriously, I'm THAT certain of Danes winning that I'm not even picking a dark horse.

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey

Will Win: Giancarlo Esposito. Gus Fring was the best character on all of television last season and that will probably carry him to a victory. Plus, dying helps in the supporting categories, just ask Justified's Margo Martindale.

Biggest Threat: Peter Dinklage. He won last year and he had an even larger role in season 2, complete with an epic speech leading his men into battle.

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Will Win: Maggie Smith. Everybody loves Maggie Smith. She's the breakout star of this PBS series and easily won the Miniseries.TV Movie Emmy last year.

Biggest Threat: Christina Hendricks. Joan literally whored herself out for her career this season and that was a huge, dramatic moment for her. A big episode like that could make her the first actor from Mad Men to ever win an Emmy.

Who do you think will win the Emmys in the Drama categories?

(Image courtesy of ABC)