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Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

March 22, 2010 | 10:45 am

Last year, the Emmys expanded the list of nominees for best comedy and drama series to six or seven contenders. Six were planned, but one more could be accommodated if the seventh-ranked contender was extremely close in the vote tally. Thus both categories ended up with seven nominees.

The next batch of nominees won't be unveiled until mid-July, but our fearless experts Robert "Rob L" Licuria ( and Chris "Boomer" Beachum are already sticking out thin, trembling necks. Last week, they forecasted the comedy lineup. Below, they get serious and tackle drama.

Playing conservative, they plan for six nominees in the category. Boomer and Rob agree on four drama series: "Breaking Bad," "Damages," "Dexter" and "Mad Men." Then Boomer opts for "The Good Wife" and "Lost" as his other two predix; Rob chooses "House M.D." and "Big Love." Read their explanations below.

Emmys Big Love Mad Men Breaking Bad Dexter TV news

"Breaking Bad"
"The Good Wife"
"Mad Men"

"Big Love"
"The Mentalist"
"True Blood"
BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: All seven drama series contenders return from last season, but the Emmy category is set up to most likely have only six nominees.  Right off the bat, one of those shows is squeezed out due to math. Two-time winner "Mad Men" should not only be the favorite again, but I don't think any other program has come close to the overall quality of its most recent season (it would be easy right now to say it will deservedly win the category again).

This season of "Dexter" was its most acclaimed yet, so it should be back in this race easily. The final season of "Lost" is as good as expected and should claim a slot in this category. Following those three shows, I can make a case for and against all of the returning nominees from last year. After a slow start but a much better job in recent weeks, I can certainly see "Damages" back in this category. The latest season of "Breaking Bad" hasn't even aired yet, but previews and early buzz indicated it will be as good as ever. It would certainly not be a surprise if "House" continued its run as a perennial nominee in this category, but many have complained about the quality of the current season. The same can be said of "Big Love."

I think the other remaining slot will go to the best new drama with both outstanding reviews and amazing ratings -- "The Good Wife."  Its star, Julianna Margulies, has already won the Golden Globe and SAG Award, so she should be the favorite to win her category.

Two other HBO series ("True Blood" and David Simon's "Treme") could figure prominently in this race, so several of these shows aren't completely safe.

"Big Love"
"Breaking Bad"
"Mad Men"

"The Good Wife"
"True Blood"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: When deciding on which shows are out in front for Emmy's top drama series category this early in the game, I look at past nominees, buzz and ratings, and the choices made by the two primary "Emmy precursors": the Golden Globe Awards and the SAG Awards.

All seven of the series nominated last year for best drama series are back in the hunt: Big Love," "Breaking Bad," "Damages," "Dexter," "House," "Lost" and "Mad Men."

"Dexter," "Mad Men" and "True Blood" made it into the top categories at this year's SAG Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Also making the cut for best drama series according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. were Emmy fave "House" and nominee last year "Big Love." The SAG ensemble race also included the hottest new drama of the season, "The Good Wife," and SAG perennial "The Closer."

That's 10 dramas in the running, with "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood," "The Mentalist" and three shows from the FX stable ("Rescue Me," "Sons of Anarchy" and "Justified") also in with a chance, bringing that pool to 16 drama series with a realistic shot.

"Big Love" has steadily become a hit for HBO and has started to make inroads on the awards scene. I expect it to be nominated, with the caveat that its recently concluded season was not as well received as seasons past. As for "Breaking Bad," we expect the quality to continue, but it has yet to commence airing on AMC. However, while a definite thumbs-up might be hard to give at this stage, I expect it to be nominated again this year.

"Dexter" had an excellent fourth season, ably assisted by the inclusion of John Lithgow to the cast. It will make a return appearance, along with the front-runner and most likely winner, "Mad Men." I also expect perennial fave "House" to sneak in (again), and am counting on voters also handing a third straight nomination to "Damages."

That's six nominees, all relatively safe bets at this point. If the category is going to expand to seven (as it did last year), then it is going to be a very heated contest between "True Blood" (which many expected to be nominated last year) and "The Good Wife."


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Photo credits: "Big Love" (HBO), "The Good Wife" (CBS), "House M.D." (Fox), "Lost" (ABC)

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Agree on Matt Bomer, great actor and not hard on the eyes!!

I believe that White Collar (USA) should have been considered, and specifically Matt Bomer who created the best new character on TV thsi past year.

As a long time House viewer and fan I have to say that this season should NOT be nominated. It was truly awful. Of course last season was also underwhelming and it was nominated. I hope that was the last gift Emmy gives to this show.

I would rather it regain a good deal of its former story-telling glory before it is considered again.

Here's to MM, BB, Dexter, TGW, Lost & Damages and if fate quirks, Sons of Anarchy or FNL or Rescue Me.

LOST deserves to win this.

It's the most ambitious, cleverly scripted and directed TV show in history. To let a story slowly and carefully unfold over 6 seasons is a testament to the true genious of the writers.

Like Friends, and Cheers and Sopranos, LOST is one of the greatest shows ever prodiced.. it will certianly be a shame if it doesnt win.

Mad Men is a really good show, but frankly I'm sick of it winning so many awards! I'm hoping for an upset this year maybe from Dexter or Treme?

I'm with you, Sarah - unfortunately, FNL will never win an Emmy; we'll have to be satisfied with our 5 seasons.:D

if they don't nominate AND GIVE THE EMMY to 'Lost', it will be a true shame.

LOST for the win. The best series ever must take the trophy.

How can "Sons of Anarchy" not be in consideration? Compare the 8 episode worst season of "Big Love" and the boring 3rd season of "Mad Men" to the gripping 13 episode tour de force that was "Sons of Anarchy". There wasn't a single wasted episode. As far as character development, plot, acting, and guest stars "Sons" was far superior to both. Its also got the best cast on television. You could also make a strong argument for any of the following to be nominated for acting honors - Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, Charlie Hunnam, Dayton Callies, and Adam Arkin. Kurt Sutter's show deserves to be considered among the best currently airing. Katey Sagal pulled the Bryan Cranston and made everyone realize that the former sitcom mother was even better at Drama. And "House"? Come on, "House" is the same procedural it's always been.

Where is the love for "Sons"?

I knew it, they aren't giving any consideration to White Collar! It has been the best show on TV the last few months, by far. Being on USA network obviously hurts its chances. Yes they have honored shows on AMC, but to say that basic cable as a whole is getting respect is just not true yet.

LOST will most certainly get a nomination, and I suspect it will win the Emmy for Best Drama outright. While it may not be the highest quality show on the air ("Mad Men"), it is certainly the most daring and enthralling. Depending on how season 6 pans out, the show may very well win the award in a similar fashion to how "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It will be a tribute to the series as a whole, not just the individual season.

Dexter and True Blood had amazing seasons that had people clinging to their seats and talking at the watercooler right down to their couldn't miss showdown finales. Mad Men quality is still there - though not as good as last year. Those three series should be locks. True Blood with Emmy is iffy however.

Continuing on my last post, is this just another oversight by Rob? He had Lost in his predictions at his Awards Heaven site.

No Lost, Rob? Not even any commentary?

The best drama, by far, is "Friday Night Lights" but - like "The Wire" - is sadly ignored.

Breaking Bad should definantly win this. and hopefully lost will get a nomination.

If Parenthood and Treme are in here, then we're obviously including 2010 premieres. So what about Justified?--that seems like an excellent series so far!

What about "SouthLand"!?!?!? At least Michael Cudlitz for an emmy. He's pretty damn good on the show.

I really with that Brothers and Sisters as well as the superb Castle get consideration. Castle is by far the best written, acted and most entertaining shows on the air.



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