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My 2014 Emmy Nominations Wishlist: Drama

Can 'Hannibal' make it on the nomination list?
Can 'Hannibal' make it on the nomination list?

The 2014 Emmy ballot list has been out for a while now. In anticipation for what names and favorite series will be announced on Thursday morning on July 10th it makes perfect TV fan sense to assemble a near and dear wish list of their favorites. Before the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences does their thing, we’ll do ours. It’s time to remember the best in drama we’ve been presented with this year. Click here for my comedy category picks! Here is my dream wishlist for the drama categories:

Outstanding Drama Series:

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Breaking Bad
  • Scandal
  • Parenthood
  • Mad Men
  • Masters of Sex

One can be sure to see Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to return to this year’s list of nominations. Expect a much anticipated first-time appearance of HBO’s dark detective series, True Detective. It is much deserving. Also very deserving is another nomination for HBO’s underrated Boardwalk Empire after its fourth (and best) season. House of Cards has pretty high hopes in receiving a nomination, but especially worthy of a nomination is The Good Wife for its stunning fifth season. Hannibal is the most underrated drama series on television and it is unlikely to get a nomination because of its genre, but certainly deserves it.

Parenthood should have had at least three nominations by now and Mad Men has a chance at showing up on the list again; however, I don’t find myself too confident in it this season. It may be replaced by the Showtime hit, Masters of Sex but some might argue it doesn’t have the buzz for an Emmy nomination. I’d disagree. Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy don’t really stand much of a chance at getting nominated, but they are near and dear to my heart and both have had hard-hitting seasons this year.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:

  • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
  • Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans
  • Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
  • Woody Harrelson, True Detective
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel
  • Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal

Steve Buscemi pulls another great season in Boardwalk Empire, not as great as last season, but still a stellar performance nonetheless. Bryan Cranston will make a return and is likely to win it again, but he’ll have some stiff competition with True Detective’s Matthew McConaughey and most likely Kevin Spacey of House of Cards. Matthew Rhys continues to impress on The Americans and is probably somewhat of a dark horse here, but certainly deserves at least a nomination. Michael Sheen is appealing and vulnerable in Masters of Sex and it would be great to see his work recognized.

Jeff Daniels is consistent, which may get him another nomination. Much like his co-star, Woody Harrelson may receive a worthy nomination and Jon Hamm will almost certainly be nominated again (and not win or raise an eyebrow). Freddie Highmore is finally given some material to work with in this past season of Bates Motel that highlights his skill. And Mads Mikkelsen does for the series Hannibal what Cranston does for Breaking Bad, but don’t count on a nomination…

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

  • Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Mireille Enos, The Killing
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards
  • Keri Russell, The Americans
  • Kerry Washington, Scandal
  • Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
  • Diane Kruger, The Bridge
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Gabrielle Union, Being Mary Jane
  • Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy

Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black might get a nomination this year, but after being criminally snubbed last year, most aren’t counting on the Academy to forget their snobbery towards genre series. Lizzy Caplan of Masters of Sex will make a first-time appearance on the nominations list in this category and everyone is expecting Claire Danes, Elisabeth Moss and last year’s winner, Robin Wright to make much deserved returns. Mireille Enos of The Killing deserves a return to the list as well.

Others that may make returns are Julianna Margulies, Kerry Washington, Vera Farmiga and Katey Sagal. New additions should or could include lead actress of The Americans, Keri Russell and Diane Kruger of The Bridge, who surprised in the freshman FX drama. It’s a longshot, but Gabrielle Union has lively charm and charisma in Being Mary Jane.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:

  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Jeff Perry, Scandal
  • Thomas Sadoski, The Newsroom
  • Peter Sarsgaard, The Killing
  • Jeffery Wright, Boardwalk Empire
  • Stephen Graham, Boardwalk Empire
  • Charles Dance, Game of Thrones
  • Josh Charles, The Good Wife
  • Dylan O’Brien, Teen Wolf

Dinklage is a shoe-in after what I would call his best season in Game of Thrones yet. Everyone is sure to be awaiting for his name to be called. Last year’s winner, Aaron Paul will too make a return to the nominations list. Jeffery Wright is the scene-stealing villain in Boardwalk Empire’s fourth and best season and it would be a shame to leave him out of the list. Jeff Perry continues to get better and better with each season of Scandal and Thomas Sadoski is at his best in the second season of The Newsroom. Peter Sarsgaard is chilling to watch in The Killing.

Another Boardwalk Empire supporting actor that impresses is Stephen Graham, portraying Al Capone. Game of Thrones gave Charles Dance more to do this season and he proved himself very, very worthy. The Good Wife’s Josh Charles is a season highlight and the same can be said for Dylan O’Brien of Teen Wolf, who is the most surprising, showing great versatility.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Bellamy Young, Scandal
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Melissa McBride, The Walking Dead
  • Gretchen Mol, Boardwalk Empire
  • Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Taraji P. Henson, Person of Interest
  • Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Erika Christensen, Parenthood
  • Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

Anna Gunn won last year and is the only sure nomination I can predict for this category. Her work in the last season of Breaking Bad is something to behold for sure. Sandra Oh’s final season of Grey’s Anatomy could and certainly should get her at least a nomination, as she is given a stellar exit! Bellamy Young shines in the third season of Scandal and is in my opinion one of the three season MVPs. Gretchen Mol isn’t given the credit she’s deserved and she continues to be a splendor in the fourth season of Boardwalk Empire. The same can be said for Lena Headey of Game of Thrones. Lastly, Melissa McBride shines when she is finally given something to do on The Walking Dead.

Taraji P. Henson had a great last season on Person of Interest, but I doubt she’ll receive a nomination. Kiernan Shipka continues to grow into an excellent young actress on Mad Men and the same can be said for Maisie Williams as she continues to be a crowd-pleasing favorite on Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, Christine Baranski continues to be a favorite of the Academy’s and is almost certain to make a return. Erika Christensen gave her best performance this past season on Parenthood, but when is the last time the series got any awards recognition.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series:

  • Joe Morton, Scandal
  • Pedro Pascal, Game of Thrones
  • Robert Morse, Mad Men
  • Brian Geragthy, Boardwalk Empire
  • Michael Pitt, Hannibal
  • Jeremy Davies, Hannibal
  • Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
  • Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
  • Ben Feldman, Mad Men
  • Isaiah Washington, Grey’s Anatomy

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:

  • Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
  • Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
  • Kate Burton, Scandal
  • Debbie Allen, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
  • Patricia Arquette, Boardwalk Empire
  • Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
  • Gillian Anderson, Hannibal
  • Marcia Gay Harden, The Newsroom
  • Charlotte Rampling, Dexter

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series:

  • Neil Marshall, Game of Thrones “The Watchers on the Wall”
  • David Slade, Hannibal “Mizumono”
  • Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire “Farewell Daddy Blues”
  • Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective “Who Goes There”
  • Romeo Tirone, True Blood “Life Matters”
  • Tom Verica, Scandal “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”
  • Rosemary Rodriguez, The Good Wife “The Decision Tree”
  • Matthew Weiner, Mad Men “Waterloo”

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series:

  • Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad “Ozymandias”
  • Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective “The Long Bright Dark”
  • Howard Korder, Boardwalk Empire “Erlkonig”
  • Jonathan Igla & Matthew Weiner, Mad Men “A Day’s Work”
  • David Benioff & Daniel Weiss, Game of Thrones “The Children”
  • Robert King & Michelle King, The Good Wife “The Last Call”
  • Stacy McKee, Grey’s Anatomy “Do You Know”
  • Steve Lightfoot& Bryan Fuller, Hannibal “Mizumono”
  • Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom “News Night With Will McAvoy”

What drama series or actor/actress do you think will be nominated this year? Find out for sure when the Emmy nominations are announced live from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre, on July 10th!

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© Patrick Broadnax 2014

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