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This Week in Black Television - 64th Primetime Emmy Awards: Who Will Win?

by Curtis Caesar John
September 21, 2012 10:26 AM
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This Sunday September 23 is the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and the competition this year is pretty fierce but also pretty devoid of Black faces, a shame really as The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has expanded the amount of nominees in recent years.  Still, while we focus on Black television we’re TV lovers here period so from the actual list (I made some predictions months ago right before the noms were released - I’ll pare down who I think will take the trophy this year from the major categories (and others I just dig) with some emphasis on the ones with Black faces like Don Cheadle.  PLEASE share with me who you think will win in the comments section following my picks.  I’ll also be live tweeting during the Awards so follow me at @MediaManWatch and share Emmy musings along with me. 

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences -- 64th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory • CBS

Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO

Girls • HBO •

Modern Family • ABC

30 Rock • NBC

Veep • HBO

I was overly hopeful thinking Community would’ve made this list, but the bigger shame is that Parks and Recreation didn’t (knowing the ATAS they’ll put it on there once it gets corny) any of these are pretty deserving (yes, in many ways even Girls) but it should be a split between Curb and Veep, the former having a great resurgence and the latter being a fantastic newcomer. Emmy doesn’t tend to have much imagination when it comes to comedy though, so expect Modern Family to win. 

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Girls - Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath

Mike & Molly - Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn

New Girl - Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day

Nurse Jackie - Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton

Parks And Recreation - Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope

30 Rock - Tina Fey as Liz Lemon

Veep - Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer

Emmy is obsessed with Nurse Jackie and Edie Falco. Personally, I don’t get the hype and she shouldn’t have nominated over Christina Applegate in Up All Night.  Now that I’ve huffed over that, this is one of the hardest races on the blocks. 

Going back to most of my thoughts two months ago (I had most of these right):

Amy Poehler should win. She had an outstanding year on Parks as she ran for the head of city council and had to deal with even more weirdo personalities, not even counting her own staff, in the town of Pawnee.  I do think Zoey Deschanel will be tough competition though.  Julia Louis-Dreyfuss will win though. As vice-president Selina Meyer under the direction of creator Armando Iannuci of Steve Coogan’s British TV show “Knowing Me, Knowing Your With Alan Partridge” and the movie In The Loop fame, this will most likely be a slam dunk. It’s Louis-Dreyfuss at her best, which is saying a lot. Plus, Emmy loves her!

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory - Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper

Curb Your Enthusiasm - Larry David as Himself

House Of Lies - Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan

Louie - Louis C.K. as Louie

30 Rock - Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy

Two And A Half Men - Jon Cryer as Alan Harper

I had this list 100% right! (Please cheer for me, it’s the only one I was that solid on).  That said, let’s keep my original instincts on this that Larry David will take home the trophy. The Hollywood Performer thinks that Don Cheadle will take it.  As I said months ago, I’d LOVE to see Don Cheadle take it. Maybe next year?

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory - Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler

Desperate Housewives - Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey

Modern Family - Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy

Modern Family - Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett

Nurse Jackie - Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow

Saturday Night Live - Kristen Wiig as various characters

Why is it called the Primetime Emmy Awards and SNL cast members are nominated?  So dumb.  Anyway, I hope they don’t go with the emotional awardee like they did with the noms for the recently deceases Joosten or with Wiig leaving SNL (which shouldn’t be there!!!).  I feel Emmy will surprise us and give Blossom  Mayim Bialik the win. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Modern Family - Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett

Modern Family - Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett

Modern Family - Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy

Modern Family - Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker

New Girl - Max Greenfield as Schmidt

Saturday Night Live - Bill Hader as various characters

I won’t rant again about SNL, though it’s still shameful they got a nom over Nick Offerman on Parks and Recreation.  Another difficult category, it’ll probably be Stonestreet but I’d love to see Ed O’Neill take home the trophy – he was especially good as the Pritchett patriarch this year.   But, Ty Burrell will win. 

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

Glee - Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Shannon Beiste

Saturday Night Live - Maya Rudolph, Host

Saturday Night Live - Melissa McCarthy, Host

30 Rock - Elizabeth Banks as Avery Jessup

30 Rock - Margaret Cho as Kim Jong-il

Two And A Half Men - Kathy Bates as Charlie Harper

Elizabeth Banks has been teriffic as Jack Donaghey’s wife Avery for the past two seasons of 30 Rock, and I love the fact that her second husband Kim Jong-Il (watch the show) played by the Margaret Cho was also nominated.  Still, I’m loving Banks for this – she should’ve been nominated before anyway!  Kathy Bates is the favorite though. 

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm - Michael J. Fox as Himself

Modern Family - Greg Kinnear as Tad

Nurse Jackie - Bobby Cannavale as Dr. Mike Cruz

Saturday Night Live - Jimmy Fallon, Host

30 Rock - Will Arnett as Devon Banks

30 Rock - Jon Hamm as Abner and David Brinkley

Kinnear was creepy as Tad (as is anyone named Tad) on that fantastic episode of Modern Family. Everyone here is deserving.  But, the most deserving is Michael J. Fox and he’ll win here AND/OR for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series. 

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Community • Remedial Chaos Theory • NBC - Written by Chris McKenna

Girls • Pilot • HBO - Written by Lena Dunham

Louie • Pregnant • FX Networks - Written by Louis C.K.

Parks And Recreation • Win, Lose, Or Draw • NBC - Written by Michael Schur

Parks And Recreation • The Debate - Written by Amy Poehler

My favorite category of the Emmy Awards, with the drama writing nod right ahead of it (no offense to our actors here).  The ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’ episode of Community was one of the Top 5 moments in television all year.  No exaggeration.  But I feel Lena Dunham will win this and represent an entire generation with it. 

Outstanding Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire • HBO

Breaking Bad • AMC

Downton Abbey • PBS

Game Of Thrones •

Homeland • Showtime

Mad Men • AMC

In my original account I did not account for Downton now being regarded as a regular series instead of a mini-series, and I’m not the only one who was shocked it now was. It’s a good show, I’m a fan, but that last episode was too TV convienent. 

Either way, I contend that Breaking Bad should win. I’m a Mad Men fanatic, but with Don Draper not being as cool as he was in past seasons (Don smiling that often became unnerving to me), I just can’t see it winning. Ah well, Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo.  That said, everyone is thinking Homeland will take home the Emmy.  They may be correct.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Damages - Glenn Close as Patty Hewes

Downton Abbey - Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley

The Good Wife - Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick

Harry's Law - Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn

Homeland - Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison

Mad Men - Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson

This is Claire Danes’ award to lose.  My So Called Life fans’ll be running down the isles (though probably not listening to Jared Leto’s music on their iPods)!

Kathy Bates shouldn’t have even been nominated for the atrocious and thankfully canceled Harry’s Law (though I did like Christopher McDonald on there).  That personally offends me. 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire - Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson

Breaking Bad - Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Dexter - Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan

Downton Abbey - Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham

Homeland - Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody

Mad Men - Jon Hamm as Don Draper

I seem to be the only who thinks it possible that Bryan Cranston might lose.  Of course I thought Kelsey Grammar would get nominated for BOSS, so what do I know?  I’m gonna go wild card on this and say Hugh Bonneville takes it, though I’m rooting for my man Walter White to blow up this category (you loving my tounge-in-cheek references yet?). 

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad - Anna Gunn as Skyler White

Downton Abbey - Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Downton Abbey - Joanne Froggatt as Anna

The Good Wife - Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma

The Good Wife - Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart

Mad Men - Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris

Another controversial category.  How do you decide this?!?  Once again, stick with the original instinct: Christina Hendricks.  As Joan Holloway (yes, if you missed it she’s Holloway again) she was actually in less episodes than usual but made more of an impact. Her scenes had weight, real gravitas, and she brought it in an emotional and physical way. Hendricks deserves this, but the competition is fierce as Archie Panjabi had a similar year. 

All that said, it’s hard to beat out Maggie Smith, who has us all in stitches whenever she appears on screen.  She barely even has to utter a line – her acting is all in her face – but always has the best dialogue on the show. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad - Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman

Breaing Bad - Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring

Downton Abbey - Brendan Coyle as John Bates

Downton Abbey - Jim Carter as Mr. Carson

Game Of Thrones - Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Mad Men - Jared Harris as Lane Pryce

While I have to take back not nominating Aaron Paul on my previous list I’m still thoroughly annoyed that John Slattery from Mad Men was not nominated.  I was literally spellbound for days.  My own drama out of the way, I’ve never hidden my love and utter respect for Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring – and neither has most of America. He’s my undisputed champ to win this.

If one of the Downton people wins over him I’m putting my foot through the television.  Nominate them to win next year, I’d love to see Mr. Carson accept the award then.   Free Bates!

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

The Good Wife - Martha Plimpton as Patti Nyholm

Grey's Anatomy - Loretta Devine as Adele Webber

Harry's Law - Jean Smart as D.A. Roseanna Remmick

Mad Men - Julia Ormond as Marie Calvet

Shameless - Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson

Smash - Uma Thurman as Rebecca Duvall

In all fairness I haven’t seen Joan Cusack on Shameless but I got half of these noms right, showing how much of a TV geek I am.  This is tough so I’m gonna say it’s a tie between the enchangting Julia Ormand and firebrand Martha Plimpton in their respective guest roles. 

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad - Mark Margolis as Tio Salamanca

The Good Wife - Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney

The Good Wife - Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning

Justified - Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett

Mad Men - Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg

Parenthood - Jason Ritter as Mark Cyr

Mark Margolis hasn’t uttered a word (well, only in flashbacks) on Breaking Bad and yet his character has endured for multiple seasons.  Good as he is, I would give it to Michael J. Fox. What a sneaky pr!@k he is on The Good Wife!

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire • To The Lost - Tim Van Patten

Breaking Bad • Face Off - Vince Gilligan

Downton Abbey • Episode 7 - Brian Percival

Homeland – Pilot - Michael Cuesta

Mad Men • The Other Woman - Phil Abraham

I contend that the ‘Far Away Places’ episode of Mad Men should’ve been nominated but it is nominated for writing, which works as well.  Homeland will probably win this one.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Downton Abbey • Episode 7 • PBS

Homeland • Pilot • Showtime

Mad Men • The Other Woman • AMC

Mad Men • Commissions And Fees • AMC

Mad Men • Far Away Places • AMC

It’s difficult for me to say this, but I think Episode 7 of Downton Abbey will win.  It was to me the best episode of their fantastic season. All of the nominated Mad Men episodes are clearly the best of their season too. This one is a nail-biter. 

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story • FX Networks

Game Change • HBO

Hatfields & McCoys • HISTORY

Hemingway & Gellhorn • HBO

Luther • BBC America

Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece) • PBS

I’ve been a huge fan of the Sherlock re-imaginging since day 1 (okay, since it came out on DVD – I don’t get BBC America!).  This nominated edition of it, the first episode of the second season, was better than most movies I’ve seen in the theater all year.  But I think the epic that was Hatfields & McCoys will win over it, and Kevin Costner will win the Lead Actor Emmy for this role of 'Devil' Anse Hatfield in miniseries, as well as Tom Berenger as his evil relative Jim Vance.  And both insanely deserve to win. 

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

Game Change - Jay Roach, Director

Hatfields & McCoys - Kevin Reynolds, Director

Hemingway & Gellhorn - Philip Kaufman, Director

Luther - Sam Miller, Director

Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece) - Paul McGuigan, Director

If I had it my way this would be Sherlock for the win but Jay Roach will take it, and good for him for directing that fantastic HBO movie.

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  • Kevin | September 24, 2012 11:18 PMReply

    A better question to ask should've been: Which programs made by people of color will win? Answers anyone?

  • BluTopaz | September 24, 2012 1:54 PMReply

    @ CARLI--As with any other profession, actors like the praise of the highest awards. Giancarlo has been in the biz for about 30 years and just now becoming a household name because of BB, I am sure HE would like a golden statue at some point. I have been watching him since Fresh. Plus, I want to see him in either leading roles in great shows/movies from now on, or another supporting one where he's running ish. Revolution looks weak to me.

    @ DARNELL: I saw Ms. Smith years ago when she did a one woman play based on the riots in Crown Heights. For some reason I was not impressed, but it was so long ago I really can't remember why. I think because she did not really lose herself in each character imo, if that makes any sense. But she has done a lot of other stuff i haven't seen, and is well respected.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | September 24, 2012 11:54 AMReply

    My girl Claire Danes and Damian Lewis took home the Emmy!!Snoopy Dance!!!

  • BluTopaz | September 22, 2012 9:53 AMReply

    Well I'm biased since Breaking Bad is the only one of these shows I have seen. And it's a tough call between Aaron Paul and Giancarlo. But I'll go with Giancarlo, for helping create one of the most memorable villains in recent history. Even in the above screenshot, it's like his face is smiling except his eyes. A very subtle yet powerful performance, I will be disappointed if he does not win.

  • Curtis Caesar John | September 24, 2012 12:37 PM

    Yeah Carli, the ongoing work is more important but getting that acknowledgement for back-breaking and intense work that you put out can be important as well. As good as everyone on that show is, he made them even better.

  • Darnell | September 24, 2012 11:01 AM

    @Blutopaz, I kinda-sorta thought she was but I'd never seen her name mentioned on this site. Have you had a change to see her on stage? Btw, I didn't get a chance to see the awards, but I guess your boy lost - huh? I guess I am asking to really ask the question... what the heck is Carli talking about :-)

  • Carli | September 24, 2012 10:27 AM

    @BLUTOPAZ-- And what exactly will that change? There are plenty of folks with awards, wh are sitting at home, who don't get half the work Esposito gets. As long as he's working, that's all that matters.

  • BluTopaz | September 24, 2012 10:05 AM

    Bummed for Giancarlo :-( This man deserves a major industry award STAT. And Darnell- Anna Deavere Smith is a Black (i think biracial) actress/playwright. She's a veteran on the NY theater scene.

  • Curtis Caesar John | September 23, 2012 5:54 PM

    Darnell, I wouldn't say that "I can't stand" Nurse Jackie, I just don't get the hype. It's a good show, just overrated. But to echo BluTopaz' comments, with Breaking Bad is no overrating - it's just flat out fantastic. I'm just looking forward to the 2nd half of season 5 since EVERY EPISODE in the first half was of the highest calibre.

  • Darnell | September 22, 2012 6:17 PM

    Be forewarned, Nurse Jackie is a mess. Before I started watching I asked my duaghter why would I want to watch anything about a skanky drug addicted nurse. But for some strange reason Edie Falco's character made me care about her and Falco is a seasoned actress. Now somebody gotta tell me. There's another woman on the show who also gets my attention (actually the whole cast is good) but her name is Anna Deavere Smith. Is she a person of color?

  • BluTopaz | September 22, 2012 11:06 AM

    I guarantee you will be hooked on BB from the first 10 minutes of the first episode, it's not one of those slow burn shows you have to warm up to. I think Bryan Cranston has won every year the show has been on, the relationship between him and Aaron Paul's characters is so compelling. And WARNING: DO NOT READ ANY REVIEWS--not because they are negative, but many fans like to reveal spoilers. I have wanted to check out Nurse Jackie also, I think it's on Netflix now. I've only seen the poster for Boss and it looks very good. I think Kelsey Grammar is the only staunch Republican I will watch-lol

  • Darnell | September 22, 2012 10:18 AM

    Blutopaz, I'm with you, I've only seen BOSS and Nurse Jackie. Since Kelsey Grammar (who I thought did a wonderful job) didn't even get nominated, I'm dying to see those who did. And although my man Curtis can't stand Nurse Jackie and Edie Falco, I get Jackie Peyton and I go out of my way to catch Nurse Jackie. In fact, after being turned on to the show by my daughter, it was the only reason I signed up for Showtime. So again, I have to check out the rest of Curtis's favorites to see what I've been missing. Breaking Bad huh? Huuuuuuum...

  • Darnell | September 21, 2012 10:48 PMReply

    Curtis, you're probably tired of me fawning over you, but man, if I could give an award for THE BEST... the most engaged... the most exciting and entertaining writer at Shadow and Act, you would be nominated and you would WIN! Now if I had to name the other nominees I would include... ah... wait, I better not do that *lol* (for several reasons). I mean, aside from getting on the wrong side of the excellent contributors here at S&A, I'd have to break it down into categories like the best at writing comedic lines, drama (race baiting & Tyler baiting), interviews, TV & movie reviews, etc. Then I'd have to have a category for the type of writer (guest writers, weekly writer, staff member, regular or part-time contributor, etc). But man, YOU ARE the TV geek of the year! And I am loving it. Your posts are so unpretentious, yet professional and thoroughly well written. It's like we're sitting in a room kickin' it; eating buffalo wings and throwing down a few cold ones while watching two 60 inch flat screen tv's. And your posts always inspire me to watch something I would have never considered. Thanks man, I'm off to surf my Netflix and my cable provider's VOD. You have turned me out :-)

  • Darnell | September 23, 2012 9:44 PM

    *LOL* at your 60 inch flat screen remark. I mean, you can definitely use a new TV b/c there's a few things I failed to mention. See, that man cave we were sipping kool-aid and watching tv in, was at your house. And since I've told y'all that I've lived a criminal's life, some of that blood still runs in me. So, cutting to the chase... when you were out, I sent a couple of my boys by your spot to jack you for both of those 60 inch flat screens tv. *LMBAO* Now, you're still the TV Geek of the year, so your check and 20% off coupon is in the mail. Go buy another tv so we can keep the posts coming! Sidebar: In respect to you having to write very seriously on a daily basis, I thought that was the case b/c your writing style was not that of someone who writes as a hobby. It was too succinct and grammatically correct for someone whose writing was not part of their money earning gig. May I ask, what do you write? If it's none of my damn business, I certainly understand. Just tell me to get out of your kool-aid and I'll still love what you do - just the same :-). That reminds me, before I forget, I agree, the rest of the S&A regular and guest writers also put a lot of honest effort into their pieces. It's just that I enjoy some more than others. Hey, it's all fair b/c some can't even stand to read my name, let alone what I have to say :-(

  • Curtis Caesar John | September 23, 2012 6:09 PM

    I appreciate the love Darnell, thank you. I make an effort to present this info to you all in a relaxed yet professional manner. I have to write very seriously on a mostly daily basis so this column affords me an opportunity to share my views in a succinct and yes, fun, manner. My fellow S&A regular and guest writers also put a lot of honest effort into their pieces though. The great thing about this 'site is all the different perspectives from the writers and commentors like yourself that are presented so non-monolithically. That said, I accept my TV Geek of the Year Award so feel free to send me that 60-inch flat screen - I can definitely use a new TV!

  • D.C. Kirkwood | September 21, 2012 8:03 PMReply

    Im team Homeland all the way. Claire Danes is captivating and so is Damian Lewis. The chemistry of the whole cast is great and the writing is excellent. Just great TV. IMO

  • beemooree | September 21, 2012 3:25 PMReply

    It seems like the academy of motion picture arts and sciences acknowledge us more than the tv academy

  • Curtis Caedar John | September 23, 2012 6:00 PM

    I don't know about that Beemooree. Keep in mind AMPAS loves awarding us for bu**sh*t film roles, but you are correct in that we usually at least get nominated. They seem about equally wac to me. Thing is, the television Academy has opportunties to make it up to us in subsequent years giving the serialized nature of TV, they just don't care. The fact that the majority of the cast from The Wire, Treme, Lincoln Heights, and other shows with majority of Black casts have been shunned in the recent past is unforgivable. The only thing I'm glad about is that they never nominated Mr. Brown for an Emmy, though their heads are shaped the same.

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