Emmy Nominations Predictions

My Fearless, Somewhat Frightening 2015 Emmy Predictions

I have a bad feeling that Jane the Virgin is about to get royally screwed.

Emmy Nominations will be announced this Thursday at 11:30 am/EST, and my gut is telling me that the sublime freshman comedy — and its sterling ensemble led by Gina Rodriguez —will fall victim to the Academy’s long-held bias against The CW.

I really hope I am wrong.

I also fear that FX’s dramatic one-two punch of The Americans and Justified, as well as HBO’s immensely satisfying revival of The Comeback, will receive a grand total of zero nominations — despite Emmy’s decision to increase the Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series playing field from six to seven nominees.

But Thursday’s announcement is poised to feature some pleasant surprises, too. Among the expected highlights: Nods for such deserving fresh blood as Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson, Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor, How to Get Away with Murder‘s Viola Davis and Bloodline‘s Ben Mendelsohn.

Scroll down to review my fearless predictions in the major drama and comedy categories, and then hit the comments with your own Emmy forecast. And remember — these are predictions not endoresements. To get a sense of who I’d like to see nom’d on Thursday, click here to view TVLine’s Dream Emmy Nominations.

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange Is the New Black

Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Terrence Howard, Empire
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

The Big Bang Theory
Grace and Frankie
Modern Family
Silicon Valley

Lena Dunham, Girls
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Louis CK, Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
William H Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Martin Sheen, Grace and Frankie
Sam Waterston, Grace and Frankie

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. Angelo says:

    I think TJ is going to swipe one of the Supporting Actor in a Comedy spots, but other than that I think this is going to be pretty close to what we see.

  2. Mary Kate says:

    Hope the nominations are more like you’re dream nominees! Caitriona and Sam from Outlander need to be nominated for sure — incredible performances!!

  3. Knope says:

    Broad City really deserves Emmy nominations

  4. Jennifer says:

    I said this last year … there needs to be a split between cable and network. Cable (Netflix and other “non traditional” viewing ways) can get away with SO much more than network television. There is a lot of quality on network but it all seems to get pushed aside.

    And can someone PLEASE explain to me the appeal of Empire (other than Taraji – she’s great, missed on POI) and Jane the Virgin? I tried watching and just could not see what all the hype was about. Maybe I’m just old (43). And before you ask, yes, I like my Criminal Minds and NCIS. I also love Arrow, The Flash and AofS.

    • abz says:

      I used to share your opinion, but I’ve exposed myself to a WIDE range of television over the years and I’ve come to disagree. Network shows like The Good Wife, Person of Interest, and earlier season of Hannibal for example have shown that just because you’re on a network doesn’t mean you don’t have to try or that you can’t be creative and compete with the best of the best. If anything it demonstrates that network shows, while entertaining, just don’t try as hard sometimes OR lack creativity and quality writing.

      • johnhelvete says:

        I also think you have to add the network development process and their obsession with trying to appeal to all viewers, for a lot of the mediocre network dramas. It also amusing how people focus on the content of cable/streaming and what they can get away with, when I think the biggest advantage cable has over network is the ability to make episodes longer than 43 minutes.

      • DW says:

        Wow, that Alicia/Kalinda split screen sure freaked these folks at TVLine. Not including Juliana Margulies and Matt Czuchry here is really sort of pathetic.

        • bridyyc says:

          Czuchry has never been nominated so not including him isn’t a big shocker. His prison work in the first part of the season was ok, but not emmy worthy.

          Margulies’ work just wasn’t very strong this year. What outstanding work did she do?

          • abz says:

            I agree. At this point, despite his great work, Czuchry was probably never going to get a nomination. And despite criticisms on this past season, I think Margulies is still perfection when it comes to her acting. She’s constantly at the top of her game when playing Alicia each and every year. I think her best episode or the best episode of this past season for me was “Oppo Research”. She was great in it and it was one of the best episodes of the show, I think.

        • raffyx says:

          I agree as for Matt Czuchry. It really irkes me that the damn feud will likely end up hurting his chances to be nominated. He was really great and that was probably his last chance to be nominated for the show. It’s a shame.

    • Angelo says:

      Network can do everything Cable can do, but choose not to. That is their own doing.

  5. Al says:

    I hope your Best Drama Actress is right!! I just can’t see them nominating three African American women. ( which I would love though)

  6. rawley says:

    I hope you’re wrong about Best Drama. Game of Thrones should NOT be nominated for the abortion that was this season and The Americans SHOULD be nominated because it’s incredible.

  7. Al says:

    Please Emmy, Shake it up this year!!!
    No Downtown Abby. I still love Modern (so a nod not a win is ok). The awards need some new blood.

    • Erik Bentsen says:

      Downtown Abby?? Is this the ghetto version of Dear Abby?? I agree that Downton Abbey was not at its best this season so the auto-nom is not justified.

  8. My favorite show always gets screwed. Even when Breen Frazier has his mind set on an Emmy nomination or win, as far as I know it hasn’t happened yet. If it has, I’ll take back my statement.

  9. Jon88 says:

    EDT, not EST.

  10. Alex says:

    Love Empire as a guilty pleasure but is it really Emmy worth?!?? It feelso more in line with Scandal/Murder.

  11. Ken says:

    I think Empire is totally overrated. If anything the more enjoyable and fun How to Get Away With Murder should get a nomination over Empire.

    • Erik Bentsen says:

      No. It’s (HTGAWM) never held my attention but I see it may appeal to some. But Empire is stronger, just not my taste simply because of the ‘music’ involved….

  12. abz says:

    I really hope your predictions, particularly for the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category (one of the main categories I care about), are wrong. Take out Robin Wright, Taylor Schilling, Kerry Washington (really?), and Claire Danes.
    To me, the list should be:
    – Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) – Seriously she HAS to be nominated. Emmys, you SUCK if you don’t nominate her!!!!!!
    – Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
    – Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)
    – Taraji P. Henson (Empire)
    – Viola Davis (HTGAWM)
    – Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)

  13. T says:

    I doubt Empire or OITNB will be nominated. It will all be straight laced drama. Maybe The Americans and Homeland. Maybe ‘The Affair’. I doubt Empire will get anything. And how the fudge is OITNB a drama and Shameless isn’t? WTF? Stupid Emmys.

  14. Erik Bentsen says:

    I’m tired of personal assessments supposedly making for ‘valid’ consideration. For every one of the ‘votes’ above, it’s purely personal. I agree with some of the shows/actors being worthy, but don’t try to tell me you’d agree with all my preferences because you plainly wouldn’t, so why should I agree with yours??

  15. Margo says:

    Are my eyes deceiving me? No Tatiana Maslany for for Best Actress?! Taylor Schilling, Claire Danes, and Robin Wright…replace any one of them with Tatiana for sure! How she has never been Emmy nominated…is actually…beyond…me. And Michael…you KNOW she deserves a nod :P

  16. Dave says:

    No unbreakeble kimmy Schmidt? C’mon! At least in the dream-nominations they deserve a spot!!

    • amy says:

      Yeah, that surprises me. It seems to be on every other Emmy nomination prediction list, I don’t know why it’s not on this one.

  17. Sharon Taylor says:

    I cannot believe you would not nominate the two main male actors of Outlander. If not both, then at least one of them. Sam Heughan was amazing, the pain he had to go through still makes me cry. Tobias Menzes was also amazing as the cause of the pain.

  18. David says:

    The academy really has to recognize Bates Motel in the Drama categories for their best season yet. In Comedy, I too am hoping that both Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin get nods for Grace & Frankie. But Martin Sheen sure doesn’t deserve a nod (much too stiff in this role). But Sam Waterson sure does.

  19. Rogers Jr. says:

    – Jane the Virgin will be on the list instead of Grace and Frankie
    – The Affair will be on the list instead of Better Call Saul or Empire
    – Dominic West will be on the list instead of Kyle Chandler
    – The Middle will be featured instead of Silicon Valley
    – Taraji is gonna own this night

  20. Jooshua says:

    You don’t think ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ will get a nod? That’s disappointing. I hope it’s not true!! That show is top notch comedy.

  21. Anna says:

    I think you picked the wrong Kerry. Kerry Washington for last season of Scandal? Nope, not deserved. Try replacing with Keri Russell for the Americans.

  22. Brian says:

    I really hope The Affair gets nominated for series, actor, and actress.

  23. Too bad VIKINGS is never considered.

  24. Ron says:

    I love Transparent, but I really struggle with the fact that it keeps getting nominated and wins in comedy categories. Just because it is 30 minutes instead of 60, a comedy it does not make. Sure, there are moments that are funny. But I honestly think I laugh more at Game of Thrones than Transparent. I know the Emmys made OITNB go back to the drama category this year, but I think that show, too, is more comedic than Transparent. But I suppose we’ll keep having this debate until the Emmys make a Dramedy category.

    • abz says:

      Agreed. Besides Jeffrey Tambor’s great performance, it also really isn’t that good of a show in my opinion and the majority of the characters are unlikable (i.e. all of his children)

    • Spence says:

      As someone who recently just binged all three seasons of OITNB in the past few weeks, I have to say that o feel overall it’s more of a drama. Yes, there are some hilarious moments on it, but overall I feel it’s perfectly placed in drama category. What isn’t perfectly placed? Taylor Schilling nominated for best actress! Maybe I just hate Piper so much but man I feel she doesn’t deserve it. Uzo Aduba and Natasha Lyonne and Laverne Cox yes, Taylor Schilling… No thanks

  25. Luli says:

    Tatiana Maslany NEEDS an emmy nod. She deserves it.

    • ewgynyu says:

      I am totally agreed with you ! I am watching these day the last episodes of the season and everytime I see Elena, Alison, Cosima and Sara, I can’t believe there are the same person, she is amazing!

  26. Nigel says:

    No Lisa Kudrow for Comedy Actress? Give her another take! Give her another take! Also, sad not to see Homeland in Drama Series after a stellar return to form. Oh and will the Emmys ignore The Mindy Project and its cast? *Yes. But I won’t like it.

  27. Tharcy says:

    For me, the hardest category is deffo Outstanding Actress in a Drama. That said, another two possible players are Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife). In a perfect world Keri Russel (The Americans) would be nominated too but I don’t think that will happen.

  28. Nora Dominick says:

    I’m hoping for some Outlander love either for the show or Sam and Cait! Also would still love some Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany love even though this season wasn’t her best work if we take all of these seasons into account.

  29. Laurie says:

    No Outlander love?

  30. Gayle says:

    Don’t see any for Sons of Anarchy?!

  31. Kris says:

    What about Titus Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt??!!

  32. S says:

    I love Grace and Frankie, so I hope to see them honored on Thursday. I really hope overlooked performers like Jeff Perry (Scandal), Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, and James Spader hear their names called as well.

  33. Twift says:

    Seriously, if THE AMERICANS is ignored THIRD time by Emmys even after this powerhouse of a season, clearly something is so very wrong with the ones picking the nominees!

    Meanwhile Tatiana Maslany (and her amazing sestra/alteregos) better get a nod too! Girl makes cloning believable without bringing the CGI to viewer’s mind!!

  34. peegee says:

    Thank goodness no Sophia V from Modern Family

  35. EJ says:

    I’d replace Kate McKinnon, Julie Bowen or Mayim Bialik with Merritt Wever for Nurse Jackie.

  36. kmw says:

    Those are pretty good but I think Kerry Washington will be left off that lead actress list

  37. Gail says:

    Some love for Justified is NEEDED. I love Sam Elliot & totally see him getting the Emmy for guest but the other guests and MAIN actors as well as the show itself deserve recognition

  38. MyExBFF says:

    please, no Lena Dunham. And it’s not that she’s a one-trick pony (she is)…I so dislike her I actively avoid things she’s in. She’s terrible. I truly do not get her appeal.

  39. Karen says:

    Isn’t it time to once again make the Emmys about broadcast TV and another awards show (previously called the Cables Ace Awards) for cable shows? It’s unfair to pit broadcast vs. cable, as the budgets, casting, and censorship rules are so disparate.

  40. Nikki says:

    What’s sad is that these will probably be spot on and the nominees are always the same and the same people win year after year. I wish there was an Emmy rule enforced where last year’s winner would be ineligible for a nomination of the same role/show. This way new people who deserve the nomination and recognition would get a fair shot

  41. N says:

    Sue from The Middle! (Eden)

  42. Terri says:

    No Sam Heughan from Outlander? The academy should just hand him the Emmy right now. His performance in the last 2 episodes of the season were heartbreaking. Caitriona Balfe deserves a nomination as well. IMO, it would be a travesty if both Sam & Caitriona as well as the show don’t even get nominated. But Sam Heughan is the definite winner in my opinion.

  43. schu says:

    It will be a total shame if The Americans, Broad City, and Kimmy Schmidt all get overlooked. I’d love to include Parenthood to this list as well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath after Monica Potter was robbed of her golden globe two years ago, forever a Braverman through and through!

  44. Dude says:

    Gina Rodriguez! She doesn’t just deserve a nom, she deserves to win!

  45. Lisa Lawrence says:

    Did you watch ANY episodes of Outlander from Starz? I’m thinking you must not have because there were some emmy award performances in what seems to me one of the best dramas on television.

  46. Lori says:

    Outlander should be nominated for best drama, as well as best actor and actress. Amazing show.

  47. Annie says:

    For the most part I agree with the list. I don’t know if Lisa Kudrow should be nominated, but this season’s the Comeback showed that she is an amazing actress. I’m not sure why she has received bigger roles.

  48. Other Matt says:

    No nominations for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit? Its produced by Tina Fey!

  49. SubtleOne says:

    What about the seriously underrated Jensen Ackles? He’s a CW actor who has never been nominated.

  50. Kelly says:

    Still praying for Jane the Virgin!