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2013 Emmy Nomination Preview & Predictions: Lead Actor in a Drama Series

With the Emmy nominations coming up on July 18, I am posting predictions and analysis of each of the top categories.  Each post consists of predictions and analysis for one category.

Here are my predictions and analysis for:
Back in 2011, a lot of awards prognosticators had Buscemi pegged as the winner of this category after wins at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.  He ended up losing to Bryan Cranston.  Regardless, he got nominated again in 2012 despite fading buzz for the show.  Now in its third season, Boardwalk Empire is probably going to get even less nominations this year but Buscemi is such a beloved actor in the industry that I really can’t see them dropping him.  Maybe next year, but not now.


Perhaps one of the greatest performances in the history of television, Bryan Cranston as Walter White has reached such a high level of appreciation that there’s no way they would possibly drop him.  The Emmys were actually the first organization to award Cranston, in the show’s very first season, and continued to do so for the next two.  Though he didn’t have his absolute best year, he is always a frontrunner to win and will definitely get a nomination.


I’m not the biggest fan of The Newsroom but Daniels’ performance as an egomaniacal broadcaster that still wants to do the right thing is definitely a highlight.  He toes the line between unlikable prick and lovable oaf, and does so with the finesse of a real pro.  Assuming the voters go for The Newsroom, which I have a funny feeling they will, they will definitely check Daniels’ name at the very least and possibly give him a win if he submits the speech-heavy pilot episode.

JON HAMM as Don Draper in MAD MEN

It still breaks my heart that Hamm hasn’t won this category yet.  The voters have had so many opportunities to award him and yet they keep skipping him over.  I have a feeling he’ll be another statistic of an actor who gets nominated every/almost every season but never wins (see: Steve Carell, Hugh Laurie, Martin Sheen).  But the fact of the matter is, if he couldn’t win for the season 4 episode “The Suitcase”, in 2011, a year when Cranston wasn’t even in the running, he’ll never win.  He still has a fighting chance this year but I highly, highly doubt it will happen.

DAMIAN LEWIS as Nicholas Brody in HOMELAND

Last year’s winner, the only actor to ever beat Cranston in this category, has a good shot of beating him again this year.  Lewis had an excellent second season performance-wise, even if the show went a little off the rails near the end.  Should he submit the episode “Q&A”, in which Carrie (Claire Danes) interrogates him, he will almost definitely take home another trophy.  And I can’t say it wouldn’t be deserved, despite the many strong contenders in this category.

KEVIN SPACEY as Rep. Francis Underwood in HOUSE OF CARDS

A two-time Oscar winner, Spacey is absolutely beloved in the industry as a consummate pro.  His work in House of Cards is hammy as hell but he has such a commanding force with anyone he shares the screen with that I can easily see voters falling head over heels in love with his performance.  If House of Cards surprises with a lot of nominations this year I think Spacey could easily be considered the frontrunner in this category, even over Lewis and Cranston.

I’m leaving out two nominees from last year, one a constant nominee and the other a newcomer.  First, I’m leaving out Michael C. Hall from Dexter because I think interest has definitely waned on the show overall.  There are so many other contenders that voters will likely be excited about voting for that I have a feeling he’ll just miss out on getting his sixth straight nomination.  In the best days of Dexter, Hall deserved to win this category but it seems as though it wasn’t meant to be.  I’m taking out Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey, who got nominated last year due to huge reception for the show, but I don’t think his performance is as strong as any of these other contenders to possibly get in again.  He’s barely a lead as it is.  As for other contenders, Matthew Rhys from The Americans could definitely get in if they really love the show, and I could easily see him bumping out Daniels or Buscemi if that’s the case.  He may still be too unknown, though.  If they go overboard with movie star love I could see them nominated Kevin Bacon from The Following, but that show had such a divided reception that I doubt they would.  Though stranger things have happened.
Next time on 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions:
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
The 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 18.
Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.

Also, read my predictions and analysis of other categories:


One comment on “2013 Emmy Nomination Preview & Predictions: Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Hugh Dancy of Hannibal and Aden Young of Rectify are both fantastic and should both be nominated (The Newsroom and House of Cards shouldn't get any nominations, with the possible exception of Corey Stoll). Watch Hannibal (it got great reviews, in case you don't believe me: http://www.avclub.com/articles/aperitif,96075/ ) and Rectify. For the winner, I'm thinking Cranston, Dancy, Young or Lewis.

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