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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: The Good Wife

Early forecast of SAG Awards: Best TV drama series ensemble

October 14, 2010 |  3:48 pm

Buscmei Boardwalk Empire It looks like only one new show -- "Boardwalk Empire" -- is likely to make it into the drama series ensemble race at the SAG Awards. That is the word from our TV gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven). They agree that the new HBO series will contend against "Dexter," "The Good Wife" and reigning two-time champ "Mad Men." For the fifth slot, Rob gives the edge to "The Closer" while Boomer opts for "True Blood."

Below, Boomer breaks down the race for us, according to front-runners, possible contenders and long shots. TV shows nominated last year are marked on the list below with an asterisk (*)

"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"The Closer" *
"Dexter" *
"The Good Wife" *
"In Treatment"
"Mad Men" *
"True Blood" *

"Friday Night Lights"
"Sons of Anarchy"

(Long Shots)
"Detroit 187"
"The Event"
"Grey's Anatomy"
"Rescue Me"

Photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO.

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Early forecast of Golden Globes: Best TV drama series

October 5, 2010 | 11:08 am

Now that the fall TV shows have begun to play out, we have a better idea of which ones may be serious contenders at the next big batch of awards: Golden Globes. I asked our gurus, Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria, (AwardsHeaven) to pipe in with their early handicapping.

Boomer responded first with his breakdown. Below is how he sizes up the contest for TV drama series. Rob offered his slight edit: "I would move 'Damages' up to front-runners, add 'No Ordinary Family' to possibles."

Surprisingly, that means "Boardwalk Empire" is the only new show they list as a front-runner to be nominated. Normally, the Globes make a special point to spotlight hot new series, but the recent batch of new shows is getting a largely cool reception.

TV shows nominated last year are marked on the list below with an asterisk (*). "Mad Men" has won this category for the past three years, just as it did at the Emmys.

Mad Men Golden Globes

"Big Love" *
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"Dexter"  *
"The Good Wife"
"House" *
"In Treatment"
"Mad Men" *
"True Blood" *

"Blue Bloods"
"The Closer"
"Detroit 187"
"The Event"
"Friday Night Lights"
"Hawaii 5-0"
"Sons of Anarchy"

Photo: Charlie Hofheimer and Elisabeth Moss prove that "Mad Men" has remained hot this season. Credit: AMC

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'Mad Men' and Bryan Cranston three-peat at Emmys while Kyra Sedgwick finally wins

August 29, 2010 | 10:57 pm

Emmys Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad Emmy Awards While both the drama series "Mad Men" and lead actor Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") won Emmys for the third consecutive year, Kyra Sedgwick defied the odds and finally prevailed with her fifth consecutive lead actress bid for "The Closer." She was expected to lose this year to Julianna Margulies, star of the freshman hit "The Good Wife." Rather, it was Archie Panjabi who flew the flag for that show at the Emmy Awards, winning in the supporting actress category, something none of our pundits foresaw.

They didn't do much better on the supporting actor side, with only two of them predicting that win by Aaron Paul on his second bid for "Breaking Bad." The rest of us were predicting one of the previous "Lost" champs — Michael Emerson or Terry O'Quinn to win again. We had forgotten our Emmy history. Unlike the other acting races, you have to go all the way back to 1995-96 to find the most recent repeat champ in this category: Ray Walston ("Picket Fences").

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, who won the writing award on his own for the first year of the series, shared it again this year (with Erin Levy) as he had last year (with Kater Gordon). And in a nice Emmy moment, Steve Shill accepted his directing prize for the seaon finale of "Dexter" from John Lithgow, who had won an Emmy this year for guesting on that show.

Photo: Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" onstage at 62nd annual Emmy Awards. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.

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Emmy prediction smackdown: Experts forecast who'll win

August 26, 2010 |  1:39 pm

Here's a roundup of Emmy Award predictions from the best pundits on the planet: Mike Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly), Kristin dos Santos (E! Online), Maggie Furlong (AOL TV Squad), Joseph Kapsch (Zap2It), Steve Pond (The Odds, The Wrap), Matt Roush (TV Guide) plus the Gold Derby/The Envelope team of Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria and me. Read category-per-category analysis here.

Emmy Awards predictions news

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Glee" — Dos Santos
"Modern Family" — Ausiello, Beachum, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"Nurse Jackie"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Pond, Roush
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") — Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")

Lea Michele ("Glee") — Dos Santos
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine")
Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation")
Tina Fey ("30 Rock")
Toni Collette ("United States of Tara") — Furlong

Chris Colfer ("Glee") — Kapsch, O'Neil
Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother")
Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family")
Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family") — Beachum, Dos Santos, Licuria, Pond
Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") — Ausiello, Furlong, Roush
Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men")

Jane Lynch ("Glee") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Julie Bowen ("Modern Family")
Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family")
Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live")
Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock")
Holland Taylor ("Two and a Half Men")

"Breaking Bad" — Dos Santos
"The Good Wife"
"Lost" — Furlong
"Mad Men" — Ausiello, Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
"True Blood"

Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") — Ausiello, Furlong
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") — Beachum, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") — Dos Santos
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Matthew Fox ("Lost")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")

Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights")
Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") — Ausiello, Beachum, Dos Santos, Furlong, Kapsch, Licuria, O'Neil, Pond, Roush
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit")
January Jones ("Mad Men")

Continue reading »

My fearless, peerless, 100% perfect Emmy Award predictions

August 25, 2010 |  6:12 pm

Emmy Q

My boldest Emmy predictions: "The Amazing Race" and "The Daily Show" juggernauts will finally end. After winning best reality/competition show and best variety series for seven years in a row, they will lose to "American Idol" and "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien." The reason: "Idol" and "Tonight Show" picked shrewd episodes to give to Emmy judges. "Idol" entered the two-hour season finale that included the heart-felt bye-bye to Simon Cowell, and Conan O'Brien entered his sad farewell to the "Tonight Show."

COMEDY SERIES: "Modern Family"
VARIETY SERIES: "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"
TV MOVIE: "Temple Grandin"
MINI-SERIES: "The Pacific"
DRAMA LEAD ACTOR: Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
DRAMA LEAD ACTRESS: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
DRAMA WRITING: "Mad Men" ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")
DRAMA DIRECTING: "Lost" ("The End")
COMEDY LEAD ACTOR: Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
COMEDY WRITING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
COMEDY DIRECTING: "Glee" ("Pilot")
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTOR: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
TV MOVIE/MINI-SERIES LEAD ACTRESS: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"

Continue reading »

Can 'Mad Men' make it three in a row at the Emmys?

August 23, 2010 |  4:14 pm

Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) agree that "Mad Men" will win best drama series at the Emmy Awards for the third year in a row. If this series set in the 1960s prevails, it would equal the achievement of "The Defenders," which owned this award for three years from 1962. The Brit hit "Upstairs Downstairs" won three times in the 1970s (1974, 1975, 1977) while "Hill Street Blues" collared this award a record four consecutive times beginning in 1981. "The West Wing" matched that streak starting in 2000. And "L.A. Law" received a winning verdict four times (1987, 1989-1991) over its eight seasons.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2008 DRAMA SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "Dexter"
3. "Lost"
4. "The Good Wife"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: The only truly dead candidate in this race is "True Blood", which has no other major nominations and very little support to win such a big award. While "Breaking Bad" certainly has passionate supporters and has an outside shot at winning, I just don't think it can possibly get around the even bigger support for its other four competitors.

Now that takes us to some very serious discussions about four shows that could easily win for drama series, depending on which voters make up this panel and what they are seeking. If they want a traditional legal drama with great acting, writing and lots of polish, they will vote for "The Good Wife." If they are looking for possibly the best fantasy/character-driven drama of the past decade, plus one that probably had the highest degree of difficulty in finishing off six seasons of expectations, they might give another Emmy to "Lost." If they want to reward one of the most buzzed shows of the season, complete with two powerhouse performances by John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall, the voters will go for "Dexter."

Because there are three major contenders waiting in the wings, my Emmy history book (in my head) indicates that there are just too many options to unseat a two-time winner like "Mad Men." While some of us found the third season a little slow at times, the best episodes (which were all submitted to the judges), were some of the finest hours of this past television season. Generally, a show has to take a big dip in quality OR have just one alternative for voters to rally around in order to unseat a great champ like "Mad Men."  I think Matt Weiner and company win their third in a row and should be congratulated for another wonderful season.

Matthew Weiner Emmys 2009 DRAMA SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
1. "Mad Men"
2. "The Good Wife"
3. "Dexter"
4. "Lost"
5. "Breaking Bad"
6. "True Blood"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: Having now watched all of the episodes submitted by the six series in contention, three things are quite clear to me. Firstly, "True Blood" will not win this category and the producers should be happy with the nomination and invite to the party. Secondly, the producers, networks and studios behind the episode submission choices for "Dexter," "Lost" and "Breaking Bad" were very smart and did in fact pick the best of what they had to offer. All three shows will be competitive and could easily sneak over the line for the win depending on the combination of episodes that each voter viewed during the voting period.

Dexter had what I consider to be its best season so far, and voters who receive its season finale in their reel will be hard-pressed not to be tempted to vote for it. "Lost" is a TV icon that finally finished its run amid an earthquake of hype. Some didn’t love the finale as much as they would have liked, but I can’t find anyone who doesn’t recognize how audacious and ambitious it was, much like the show as a whole. My suspicion, however, is that some of the episodes might alienate viewers who aren’t very familiar with the show’s plotlines. "Breaking Bad" was in my opinion the most satisfying drama series on the air last season. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk ripped it up like no other cast did, and the show went to places that I never thought it would. Just mesmerizing. It is certainly a dark horse. Maybe too dark, though?

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Emmy battle over best drama actress: Julianna Margulies vs. Kyra Sedgwick

August 23, 2010 |  9:02 am

Chris "Boomer" Beachum, Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) and I agree that Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") will win the Emmy for best drama actress, but we're not confident. Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") submitted the best sample episode to judges. Usually, that decides who wins. Sedgwick has something else going for her. After four defeats so far, she's long overdue to triumph. So this contest is a squeaker — really too close to call. But since we're pundits we have to call it anyway. Watch how we squirm with nervousness in our webcam smackdown.

1. Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" ("Threesome")
2. Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" ("Maternal Instincts")
3. Glenn Close, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")
4. Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" ("After the Fall")
5. Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" ("Perverted")
6. January Jones, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: January Jones has never been better than in Season 3 of "Mad Men" and is a deserving nominee, but I couldn't help but feel that she was a little out of her league here. Opposite Jon Hamm in this pivotal episode, I think she came across a little wooden and more reactionary rather than being the highlight/standout of the episode (aka Jon Hamm himself). Against the caliber of some of these other actresses, I think Jones brings up the rear in this category.

Mariska Hargitay also does not do anything that I would call particularly Emmy-worthy in her episode. She is good. In fact, she is always good, but I can't see "winner" in this one. Sorry. I think her nomination is the reward.

Julianna margulies Kyra Sedgwick Emmys news

Connie Britton has some excellent material in her episode, but she suffers from not having as much impact as is often necessary. Her acting style is natural, almost underplayed in most respects, and while she has some brilliant writing to showcase her charm and wit (even defiance), the lack of "fireworks" disadvantages her. But I really like her alot, and think she is one of the best actresses on TV right now, and definitely deserving of an Emmy sometime soon.

Glenn Close is Glenn Close. Enough said. That she has a mediocre episode without anything remotely Emmy-worthy harms her chances at a three-peat. But I've learned over the years to never count out Glenn Close. She is all-powerful. And she has two scenes in particular -- one in the flash-forward car accident, and one opposite Lily Tomlin, that are really impressive.

Kyra Sedgwick officially has the best episode of the bunch. Range, impact, screen time. All winners. Some of her scenes with the dying teenage boy are absolutely perfect. Plus, she is likeable, popular in the industry, and well overdue.

But I have Julianna Margulies in the top spot because I think that her episode is enough for her to scrape across the line. She has been criticized for being too subtle, but I think she does enough to evoke the pain, humiliation and confusion of the jilted wife of the philandering politician husband. The subtlety isn't a bad thing. It's just that Emmy voters love their fireworks. It doesn't hurt that she is the star of the biggest new network show of the season and a nominee for best drama series.

1. Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" ("Threesome")
2. Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" ("Maternal Instincts")
3. Glenn Close, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")
4. January Jones, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" ("Perverted")
6. Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" ("After the Fall")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: First of all, I want to thank the voters for getting rid of some major stars (Sally Field and Holly Hunter) who could no longer be justified with nominations based on their most recent seasons. I wish they had done the same with Mariska Hargitay, who continues to essentially receive one showcase episode each year, but whose show has had a major downfall in quality in the last few years. I don't think she really has a shot this time to win.

Continue reading »

Dueling Emmy predictions: Mike versus Tom

August 13, 2010 |  1:25 pm
Emmy logo sparkle-1

Entertainment Weekly's Mike Ausiello and I mostly agree on who'll win Emmys in the top series races Aug. 29. However, there are significant differences in our rankings per category, and there is drastic disagreement over how we size up the contest for best comedy actor. I've got Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") in first place, Mike's got him in last!

Note: My predix are still a bit tentative. I haven't seen a few of the episodes submitted to Emmy judges by nominees as examples of their best work. When I finish up that viewing in a few days, I may make a few changes. Mike may want to make a few last-minute switcheroos too? Meantime, thank you, Mike, for piping in.


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. "Mad Men" "Mad Men"
2. "Breaking Bad" "Lost"

"The Good Wife"

4. "Dexter" "The Good Wife"
5. "Lost"

"Breaking Bad"

6. "True Blood" "True Blood"


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
2. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"


Hugh Laurie, "House"

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
4. Matthew Fox, "Lost"

Hugh Laurie, "House"

5. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

Matthew Fox, "Lost"

6. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
2. Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"

Glenn Close, "Damages"

Glenn Close, "Damages"

4. January Jones, "Mad Men" Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
5. Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"

6. Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" January Jones, "Mad Men"


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. "Modern Family" "Modern Family"
2. "Glee" "Glee"

"30 Rock"

"30 Rock"

4. "The Office" "Nurse Jackie"
5. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

"Curb Your Enthusiasm"

6. "Nurse Jackie" "The Office"


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
2. Steve Carell, "The Office" Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
4. Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
5. Matthew Morrison, "Glee"

Steve Carell, "The Office"

6. Tony Shalhoub, "Monk" Matthew Morrison, "Glee"


Mike Ausiello

Tom O'Neil

1. Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
2. Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation" Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Lea Michele, "Glee"
4. Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

5. Lea Michele, "Glee"

Amy Poehler, "Parks & Recreation"

6. Julie Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine" Julie Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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Pssst! Here's how much Emmy nominee$ earn

August 13, 2010 |  9:02 am

As Emmy contenders slug it out to win fake gold statuettes, TV Guide just tattled on how much real gold they earn from their tube jobs. Poor Hugh Laurie has lost his four Emmy bouts in the past, but isn't indigent. His hefty consolation prize: $400,000 for starring in each episode of "House M.D." Here are the salaries of other Emmy nominees on the TV Guide list. Sums are per episode unless otherwise indicated.

Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men news-3

Hugh Laurie, "House M.D." - $400,000
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" - $100,000

Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" -  $395,000
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" - $350,000
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" - $175,000

Steve Carell, "The Office" - $297,000
Matthew Morrison, "Glee" - $30,000
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" - $40,000

Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" - $175,000

Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" - $50,000
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" - $550,000

Jane Lynch, "Glee" - $50,000

David Letterman, "The Late Show" - $28 million per year
Conan O'Brien, "The Conan O'Brien Show" - $10 million per year

Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol" - $15 million per year

Photo: WireImage

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Inside track: Emmy acting races for drama series

August 7, 2010 | 12:35 pm

If you don't receive the Los Angeles Times' print edition, you don't see The Envelope's print supplements covering the Emmy derby. Here's a bit of what you're missing — Gold Derby's rundown of the acting races among drama series.

Remember: The Emmy is different from the Oscar, Grammy and Tony, which are decided by popular ballot. It's a juried award. Teams of 50 to 200 actors choose the winner of each performance category after viewing DVDs of sample series episodes or full TV movies and miniseries. When trying to predict the winners, you must know the episodes, which are cited next to programs' titles on the lists below.

Hugh Laurie House M.D

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")

SPOTLIGHT: Two-time winner Cranston faces serious challenges from Hall, who recently won the Golden Globe and SAG Award, and Chandler, who gives an explosive performance in his episode fuming at his football team, "If you don't want to be here, get out of my house!" Having the longest episodes may benefit Fox, who entered the "Lost" finale, and Laurie, who undergoes Vicodin detox in a two-hour "House" special.

January Jones, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" ("After the Fall")
Glenn Close, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" ("Perverted")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" ("Threesome")
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" ("Maternal Instincts")

SPOTLIGHT: Close has won for the last two years, but beware: Margulies is an awards darling. She won an Emmy for "ER" (1995) and recently romped at the Golden Globes and SAG for "The Good Wife." Her Emmy episode submission is strong, featuring a quiet crying scene when faced with rumors of her husband's infidelity.

Continue reading »

Emmy predix: Sharon Gless versus Christina Hendricks in supporting actress contest

August 5, 2010 |  7:58 am

Just as they disagree over who will prevail in the supporting drama actor race, our Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (Awards Heaven) differ on which woman will win the equivalent award. Boomer is buzzed about the return of two-time lead actress champ Sharon Gless ("Cagney & Lacey," 1986, 1987) to the derby while Rob prefers the chances of Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"). However, both place another Emmy winner -- Christine Baranski ("The Good Wife") -- in the second position.

Their commentary on this contest is below. Rob and Boomer have already analyzed guest drama actor, guest drama actress, guest comedy actor and guest comedy actress. And the three of us have weighed in on the top drama series and comedy series races as well as best TV movie, best reality/competition show and best reality show host.

1. Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice" ("Devil You Know")
2. Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" ("Bang")
3. Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" ("Love Among the Ruins")
4. Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" ("Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency")
5. Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife" ("Hi")
6. Rose Byrne, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Look back over the years, and you'll find two trends for this category. Voters like emotional performances with anger, fear, crying and/or overwrought emoting (a lot!!), and they usually like veteran actresses (Cherry Jones, Blythe Danner, Allison Janney, Stockard Channing, Tyne Daly, etc.). There is only one lady this year with an emotional performance (Sharon Gless), and she just happens to be a longtime Emmy favorite with multiple wins. I am as surprised as anyone that I am making this prediction for a popcorn action show like "Burn Notice," but follow the facts and not your heart to come to the same conclusion.

Christine Baranski is very solid in her episode but has no real emotional work, not even in the courtroom scenes, which normally win over voters due to the passionate speeches given. If voters want to reward consistency over time, they will select Elisabeth Moss for her great work on "Mad Men." Her character has gone from a meek, lowly secretary to a copywriter with more power at work and in her love life in just a few short yet pivotal years. Her chosen episode showcases some of that change but doesn't have a single "wow" moment.

Everybody seems to be jumping on the Christina Hendricks bandwagon, but I just don't buy it for an actual Emmy win yet. Her sexpot image will probably work against her with voters who will not give her credit for the fine acting she exhibits. I would love to see her recognized for this performance, though. Archie Panjabi is one of the strong points of her show, but I found nothing memorable on her episode to make me want to vote for her. Rose Byrne wins the prize for one of this year's worst episode selections. She barely has anything to do in it.

1. Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" ("Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency")
2. Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" ("Bang")
3. Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" ("Love Among the Ruins")
4. Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife" ("Hi")
5. Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice" ("Devil You Know")
6. Rose Byrne, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: I am puzzled as to why Rose Byrne chose this episode, the third-season premiere. Perhaps she doesn't want to win an Emmy, or maybe she doesn't care all that much, because she is given very little at all to do in the episode, and when she is on screen, I liken her performance to something akin to comatose. Very disappointing, especially when she could have been really competitive with an episode from later on in the season (like "All That Crap About Your Family," for instance).

Sharon Gless is one of the Emmy veterans who pops up every so often for a show that is not usually on the Emmy radar. Having been close to a nomination before (Gless made the top 10 "run-off" a few years ago), this nomination was not a total shock but more of a welcome surprise. And to back up the affection that the academy has for her, the episode she has chosen really does showcase her character as best as possible and puts her in this race as a spoiler to her competition from more fancied Emmy-friendly shows.

Archie Panjabi is one of the breakthrough stars of the past TV season and one of my favorite characters on TV at the moment. I was a little concerned about what episode she would choose, because, although her character, Kalinda Sharma, makes an impact in every scene in which she appears, there is no real stand-out episode that Panjabi has to really knock the socks off voters. "Hi" was probably as best as she was going to find (although I would've picked the season finale, "Running").

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Emmy poll: Will 'Mad Men,' 'Lost,' 'Dexter' or 'The Good Wife' win best drama series?

July 27, 2010 |  1:10 pm

Just because "Mad Men" won best drama series for the last two years doesn't mean Emmy voters will be tired of it this year and chose one of its three closest rivals: "Dexter," "Lost" or "The Good Wife." Repeats are as common at the Emmys as they are on TV. "The West Wing" won this race four years in a row (2000-2003) and, over on the comedy side, "Frasier" holds the record for a series (drama or comedy) prevailing the most times: five (1994-1998).

Mad Men Dexter The Good Wife Lost TV news

"Mad Men" has some strong advantages. For starters, it has the same big plus that "The West Wing" and "Frasier" had going for them: snob appeal. It's a high-brow show that's handsomely styled. Second, timing. The fourth season just debuted the same week that ballots go to TV academy members to pick winners.

Oh, yeah, and that new season is being cheered by TV critics. USA Today says "Mad Men" is still cool. Entertainment Weekly suggests that the AMC series may be off to a great season. The L.A. Times asserts: "'Mad Men' continues to be one of the most beautiful and smartly written shows in the room." The New York Times says the program forces viewers to look back aghast and enthralled at the lost America of the 1960s.

But "The Good Wife" is a hefty rival. If you believe in the apples-and-oranges award theory, you must take its kudos hopes seriously. "The Good Wife" is the only orange (traditional TV broadcast series) in this Emmy apple basket. Being broadcast-channel shows help "The Good Wife" and "Lost" because most of the 14,000 members of the TV academy work in that industry and no doubt they'd like to root for their own. "Lost" could benefit from sentiment. It already proved itself to be a winner of best drama series (2005), and now voters may want to give the daredevil, breakthrough series a farewell hug, like they gave to "The Sopranos" (2007).

If Emmy voting was conducted early this year, "Dexter" -- the coolest show of 2009-2010 -- probably would've won. It had a most daring, brilliant, bone-chilling season, but its last episodes aired months ago. Out of sight, out of mind?

Sorry, fans of "Breaking Bad" and "True Blood." I don't think either show has a shot. "Breaking Bad," though brilliant too, is a painful show to watch and not enough viewers (and TV academy members) are tuning in. In terms of "True Blood," it's miraculous the series got nominated, defying the curse against TV shows starring the undead that haunted the never-nommed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."


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Photos: "Mad Men" (AMC), "Dexter" (Showtime), "The Good Wife" (CBS), "Lost" (ABC)

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