By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 18, 2012 at 1:16PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah, "The Dark Knight Rises", blah blah blah. Friday might be the day that many movie-watchers have been waiting for for four years, but tomorrow sees one of the biggest points of the year for watchers of the small screen; namely, the announcement of the Emmy nominations.
Yes, with the TV season having wrapped up a few months back (have a look at our favorite shows of the year here), it's time for the Oscars of the cathode ray to have their say. And like the Oscars, it's a maddening affair -- perhaps even more so, thanks to the way that actors and series can embed themselves as favorites and keep being nominated, and winning, long past their prime.
That said, there's reason for optimism, particularly given the golden state of TV these days: "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" keep picking up the gold, and top quality shows like "Game Of Thrones," "Parks & Recreation" and "Louie" are starting to make inroads, even if they're often beaten out by more popular shows like "Modern Family" and "The Big Bang Theory." We've had our say on the great performances that won't be nominated, but now, ahead of the announcement tomorrow morning, you can find our full predictions for the nods (at least for the major categories in the comedy, drama and TV movies & miniseries categories -- we don't really care about the reality shows...) below. And come back tomorrow to find out who the Emmys actually pick out: we'll have them up not long after they're revealed, at 5:35 AM PST.
The TV Movies & Miniseries
Jessica Lange - "American Horror Story"
Sarah Paulson - "Game Change"
Gillian Anderson - "Great Expectations"
Mare Winningham - "Hatfield & McCoys"
Judy Davis - "Page Eight"
If we were a nominee and our name didn't rhyme with 'Schmessica Schmange,' we pretty much wouldn't bother showing up for this one. "American Horror Story" might not be classic Emmy fare, but the chance to honor someone like Lange is too good for them to pass up. If anyone was to slip out, it might be Paulson or Winningham; look for Lange's co-star Frances Conroy, or possibly Lara Pulver from "Sherlock," to slip in instead.
Best Supporting Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Denis O'Hare - "American Horror Story"
Ed Harris - "Game Change"
David Strathairn - "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Michael Gambon - "Page Eight"
Martin Freeman - "Sherlock"
This one's a touch more open, but is pretty much Harris's to lose for his portrayal of John McCain. If there's a spoiler, it could be Martin Freeman, but we think it's probably a long-shot. O'Hare or Gambon might fail to make the cut, with Ralph Fiennes, also for "Page Eight," Ray Winstone for "Great Expectations" or one of the "Hatfield & McCoy" cast -- Powers Booth or Tom Berenger, most likely -- hovering on the outside.
Connie Britton - "American Horror Story"
Julianne Moore - "Game Change"
Nicole Kidman - "Hemingway And Gellhorn"
Emily Watson - "Appropriate Adult"
Rachel Weisz - "Page Eight"
A tough category here, and one with a line-up that the Oscars wouldn't be ashamed of. It should be a two-way battle between Moore and Kidman (and Moore likely has the edge, due to the impersonation aspect of her Sarah Palin), but Watson could theoretically upset, even if few saw the original broadcast of "Appropriate Adult." Britton and Weisz are a little more borderline: it's possible that Emma Thompson and Patricia Clarkson could sneak in for "The Song Of Lunch" and "Five" respectively.
Best Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Woody Harrelson - "Game Change"
Kevin Costner - "Hatfields & McCoys"
Clive Owen - "Hemingway And Gellhorn"
Bill Nighy - "Page Eight"
Benedict Cumberbatch - "Sherlock"
A particularly tough category here, arguably the hardest of any category. "Sherlock" was shut out last year, but its growing cult should see Cumberbatch make it in, while Bill Nighy has a good chance too. Kevin Costner should get in, but is unlikely to win, with Clive Owen and Woody Harrelson likely battling for the trophy (our money's on Owen, for now). Don't count out Idris Elba (one of the turns we picked out), while Dominic West has two potentials, in "The Hour" and "Appropriate Adult," but may end up splitting his vote as a result.
"American Horror Story"
"Hatfields And McCoys
"Hemingway And Gellhorn"
As ever, the star-laden HBO movies lead the pack here, while ratings hits "American Horror Story" and "Hatfields & McCoys" should join them, although neither are absolute locks. "Downton Abbey" having graduated to series, we think "Sherlock" (which could upset for the win) and the terrific "Great Expectations" will make up the rest, but don't count out "The Hour" or "Appropriate Adult" either.