While dishing the Emmy race for best drama series, Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (Awards Heaven) and I discuss how different the voting system is compared with that of the acting categories. Understanding the process is essential to making an intelligent prediction.
Every year, about 300 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences serve as judges of best drama or comedy series. They're asked to watch two sample episodes of the six nominees, and the question we pundits must ask is this: Do they really watch all 12 before checking off their ballots? (To see a full list of episode submissions, click here.)
We know that voters do watch all of the episodes when judging the acting races. Upsets happen in those categories all the time, and they're usually triggered by powerhouse episode submissions by the likes of Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") or Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"). But that's different. Only actors can judge fellow actors. They take their "craft" very seriously, which means they make a point of watching all episodes. However, judges only have to watch one episode per nominee in the acting races.
Asking voters to judge two episodes in the series contests may be too much. If so, upsets are probably far less likely because results reflect popular industry sentiment. If that's true, then which shows are ahead this year to win best drama and comedy series? Personally, I believe the battle over best drama series is among "Mad Men," "Lost" and "Dexter," and the comedy contest is a three-way race among "Modern Family," "30 Rock" and "Glee." Am I wrong to dismiss the hopes of "Breaking Bad" and "Nurse Jackie"?
After viewing this webcam, also see our discussions of these Emmy races: best supporting drama actor, supporting drama actress, supporting comedy actor, supporting comedy actress, the guest acting categories and best reality host.
Photo credit: AMC