Emmys 2011: Analyzing the Best Drama Series Race — Including Our 6 Dream Nominees

This category might as well be called Outstanding cable Drama Series. Between the strong contenders on HBO (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones), AMC (Mad Men, The Killing, The Walking Dead) and FX (Justified, Sons of Anarchy), the broadcast networks will be lucky if they get one show in the running. If they do, that show will likely be the best of the bunch, CBS’ The Good Wife.

More Emmy Races In Review: Supporting Comedy ActorSupporting Comedy Actress | Lead Comedy Actor | Lead Comedy Actress | Outstanding Comedy Series | Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s Dream Nominees — then vote below for who you think are the six best. And check back Thursday for our preview of the Outstanding Lead Drama Actress race!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Richard says:

    Boardwalk empire was SOOOOO boring. Look, sometimes I think Mad Men is overrated, but it is an okay show.It can be interesting. But Boardwalk empire, it is the result of when some very credible minds wanted to do a project, but it wasnt something they would actually ever naturally do. Evrything on that show feels bland and forced. This show wouldnt even get the praise it does, except Winter, Scorsese, Wahlberg, Van Patten, and Buscemi are involved. And yes, I feel like I have seen the show before, but in much better forms, in different series. They just cobbled together stuff that worked and was in other credible series, such as The Sopranos (have not actually seen but have heard comparisons), The Wire, Breaking Bad, and a few more. But they spread it out. You think, “You havent actually seen The Sopranos, so you don’t know.” Yeah I guess not. But when I watched the first 2 and a half episodes, I noticed some rip-offs of The Wire and Breaking Bad, and things I believe I just cant quite put my finger on, before anybody else pointed it out to me. So i assume The sopranos was also ripped off. All these shows (and more) were ripped off. Maybe even Mad Men was ripped off a little. All these shows are ripped off.But its more subtley done. Thats why some people wouldnt agree with me. It is, but done in a much more boring way. And the problem is, some poeple will see this before they see Breaking Bad, or The wire. More people are likely to see it cause of scorsese, and Winter, and Buscemi, and Wahlberg. Oh well. And this will win all the emmys because they cant actually think for themselves, and will think this is what they are supposed to like. It will probably win cinematography, even next year, meaning Breaking Bad might not ever win which is sad, cause it has such interesting and unique and great cinematography. Oh well. You do have a couple people who are brave enough to admit that something went wrong with this show. Cause if you look at it, it should be a good show. Scorsese, Winter, Wahlberg, Van Patten, Buscemi, but it something just didn’t work. When more people just get to the point of boredom where they get angry that they have to keep watching so they can fit in or be judged by their elitist friends, tehy’ll finally admit they dont like it. But that will take a while. Patience, my friends. I know its hard now, but that day will come.

    PS. Mad Men won 3 years in a row for best drama series. Breaking bad didnt win once. But maybe next year Breaking Bad would win, except now they want to give praise to BE. Breaking bad hasnt ever been nominated for writing. Which is sad cause Vince Gilligan is just a genuis. It has twice for directing but lost to House (fine) and Dxter (fine) Buut unfortunately, Scorsese will probably direct more nest season, and just cause hes an oscar winning director, he will automatically win. Thats just people under that stupid impression that movies are somehow automatically better than tv.

    Justified, I haven’t really seen, but it is by the creator of the 2003-03 NBC series Boomtown, which is in the top 5 list of greatest series of all time, so I will be sure to watch the first season of Justified at some point. Also, some of the writers/directors of Justified worked on Boomtown such as Fred Golan, Fred Keller, Michael Watkins, Peter Werner, and Jon Avnet.

    Also Graham Yost wrote for WWII HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific (also directed an episode of Pacific). Also, other writers/directors of Boomtown worked on those two legendary miniseries. Boomtown is just sooo good. If you liked Justified, buy the first season of Boomtown on eBay and watch it in order! It only went one and a half seasons (season 2 was lame cause NBC they completely changed it up and messed it up due to ratings.)

    Yost wrote 5 episodes in season 1 and was also the executive producer/showrunner. Jon Avnet (director of Fried Green Tomatoes) was also an executive producer and directed 9 episodes. Yost and Avnet (especially together) are amazing. Other amazing writers who didnt work on Justified but are still amazing are Michelle Ashford, Chris Brancato, and Larry Andries. Ashford and Andries also wrote for the Pacific. It is really the one of the best shows. And when you watch it, give it five episodes. No that the first episode isnt good, its amazing. Its just, it might take a bit to kind of get hooked. First time i saw it i liked it, i didnt love it. But watching it again, in retrospect its just amazing. Watch Boomtown. Its so good.

    Im taliking more about the behind the scenes people, so here are some of the stars.

    Donnie Wahlberg (The Sixth Sense, Band of Brothers, Blue Bloods) Neal MCDonough (Band of Brothers, Walking Tall) Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump) And Gary Basaraba (Fried Green Tomatoees, Brooklyn South). Possibly the Best Cast and crew in the world. One of the best tv series of all time.

    It gooes

    1. Breaking Bad

    2. Boomtown

    3. Malcolm in the Middle (seasons 3-6, 2nd half of 7)

    4. The Wire.

    5. Law & Order (1990-93)

    Boomtown really was fantastic.Boardwalk Empire wouldnt have got all the praise if the names werent attached. it was a boring show. and yeah, i dont love mad men. its okay. ive only seen the first few episodes. believe me, it is overrated. Definitely not better than Breaking Bad or The Wire or Dexter. havent seen the shield but i want to. It looks interesting. But yes, Boardwalk Empire was sooooo boring, and there have only been a few brave souls out there who are willing to admit that despite the fact that they are “supposed to like it” they just didnt. and all those people just describe it as very boring. Some say it makes them feel stupid. No, your not stupid. When another show that isnt pretentious, or doesnt have all those names attached, your willing to admit you dont like it without feeling stupid. I think more people would be willing to give thier honest opinions if they werent judged by their elitist friends. If more people were able too, Breaking bad would have won the emmys at least once. Cant complain as much about that anymore, though, cause in its third year, Breaking bad finally started to get all the attention it deserves. There are some people who really thought it would win. It made a few # 1 shows from some people who are considered to be serious critics, including entertainment weekly. Also made # 1 a few other places. Which is good, cause in its first season, it seemed that nobody on the planet seemed to know it existed Although, I still feel that sometimes Vince Gilligan is overlooked, even though he is possible the greatest writer/director/executive producer and or showrunner who has ever lived. Yes, i would proabbly even say better than David Simon from the wire, or Graham Yost from Boomtown. People always talk about Cranston, who yes, is amazing, and who Gilliagn himself has admitted he brings a lot to the show, and I would say more than any actor ever has before, and is possibly the greatest actor who ever lived, for Malcolm in the Middle and this, but sometimes Gilligans name is kind of left out. Also, BB didnt get on writing nominee this year. It is the best writing on television. Sad.

    • Chris says:

      @Richard. Nobody is brave enough to admit Boardwalk Empire is boring because they simply don’t believe that. Maybe it’s hard for you to understand it, but there are some people out there who really love the show. It’s plain and simple: A question of taste. People’s tastes differ from others. That’s how the world works. I for one, think it’s an amazing series. Really love it. Hope it gets some serious recognition at the Emmys, cuz it truly deserves.

  2. Manon says:


  3. Raz says:

    Absolutely Fringe!! It already scored a CCTA nomination…let’s hope it will lead to an Emmy nomination!
    Check out this awesome video created to support Fringe at the CCTAs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeWwaA2r2js

  4. scsj says:

    This season of Dexter was totally outstanding. My favorite since season two. As far as I’m concerned, it should win just for Masuka’s “autoerotic mummification” scene. :P

  5. Chris says:

    Funny how people who don’t like Boardwalk Empire and don’t understand others who do enjoy it and viceversa. I really don’t understand the anti-Boardwalk Empire vibe myself. It’s easily one of the best series made in the last decade. It has a great sense of authenticity to it, a sharp script and such a talented cast, that every show would envy. I sincerely hope Boardwalk will take home a few Emmy statues as it well deserves. I hope it wins the top prize so it shuts up everybody’s mouth who says it’s boring. NO, FOR THE LAST TIME: IT’S ANYTHING BUT BORING! I’ve seen it’s first season twice and would love to see it again! Some people just don’t know the meaning of an outstanding series anymore!

  6. Amali says:

    Law & Order SVU is the best show is a series that tells the reality of people’s lives, is a strong and impressive series with the pair of talented actors Meloni and Mariska.
    Chris and Mariska have an awesome and amazing chemistry that is rare to find, they were leading the series where he arrived. They are the best
    Congratulations on the great talent of you and thank you for this wonderful series

  7. Ellen says:

    #1 Friday night lights. Best show ever and deserving of a nomination! #2 The good wife
    #3 Mad man

  8. J.P. says:

    That’s right! FRINGE has the highest percentage! Easily one of the best shows on television right now — at least the best on network T.V. It’s biggest competition will be the cable shows. I think it deserves the following nominations, and hopefully wins; Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actress for Anna Torv (come on, she played FOUR DIFFERENT ROLES in one season!), and Outstanding Actor for John Noble (I hope I don’t even have to explain that. It has to happen.)

  9. C. says:

    Where the heck is NCIS?! you’d think the most watched show on television would get SOMETHING. I mean come on with ratings like theirs they deserve every freakin award. The majority of these shows I’ve never even heard of let alone watch. White Collar and Blue Bloods are good shows but they can’t even come close to NCIS. I don’t know why I even bother to watch the Emmys since most of the shows worth watching don’t even get nominated.