On Sunday night, when host Neil Patrick Harris high-kicks his way onto the stage (in a snazzy smoking jacket, no doubt), he'll be presiding over the 65th Emmy Awards (CBS, 8 p.m. ET). With so many high-quality shows on TV right now, the doling out of statuettes ought to be quite satisfying! Here are the nominees, and our predictions for who will win.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Nominees: 30 Rock , The Big Bang Theory , Girls , Louie, Modern Family, Veep
Our pick to win: Modern Family
Is Modern Family -- which has already won this award three times -- really better than Louie and Veep and the rest? Lots of critics (like, for instance, the ones at The Hollywood Reporter) say no. But it is funny, and its humor is broad enough to entertain many different types of Emmy voters (young/old, gay/straight, etc.). The departing 30 Rock was arguably a sharper show, and it would be nice to see it nab an Emmy on its way out. But Modern Family alone has the wide-ranging appeal that attracts golden statuettes.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jason Bateman, Arrested Development ; Louis CK, Louie; Don Cheadle, House of Lies; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes; Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Our pick to win: Louis CK
Critics balked at Jon Cryer's win last year for Two and a Half Men, and many cried that Louis CK was more deserving. (He did take home two writing awards.) This year, there are some strong contenders in this category (like Alec Baldwin, who's having a moment right now, considering all the buzz around his new MSNBC show). But, as Vulture said, Louie CK deserves to win "for taking life as a curmudgeonly single-and-looking dad and making art of it."
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Laura Dern, Enlightened; Lena Dunham, Girls; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Our pick to win: Amy Poehler
Will Poehler win? Maybe, maybe not. But she is the relentless ray of sunshine that has driven Parks and Recreation to ever-greater heights of humor with each passing season. And last year's continuation of her love story was simply charming. E! Online agrees.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory; Jane Lynch, Glee; Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Our pick to win: Anna Chlumsky
In this wide open race, Chumsky has as good a chance as any to be called to the podium. While Veep hasn't attracted nearly as many viewers as the comedy that showcases last year's winner, Bowen, those who have caught Chumsky's turn as an uptight chief of staff have loved her. (And that includes Hitfix.com.)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Adam Driver, Girls; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family ; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family ; Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live; Tony Hale, Veep
Our pick to win: Adam Driver
Most critics, like Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter, expect one of the Modern Family actors to win. "But this belongs to Driver," he writes. "He's fearless and funny."
Outstanding Drama Series
Nominees: Breaking Bad , Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones , Homeland, House of Cards , Mad Men
Our pick to win: Mad Men
Homeland stole Mad Men's crown last year, and Breaking Bad and House of Cards are as critically beloved as ever. But Mad Men had a strong season -- a fact that even snarky Vulture admits.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Damian Lewis, Homeland; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Our pick to win: Kevin Spacey
This is a tough category full of solid contenders, but Spacey's turn as a corrupt congressman in House of Cards has every critic talking. "Spacey -- a two-time Oscar winner in a showy role -- may prove hard to resist," says the LA Times.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees: Connie Britton, Nashville; Claire Danes, Homeland; Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey; Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men;, Kerry Washington, Scandal ; Robin Wright, House of Cards
Our pick to win: Elisabeth Moss
Why Moss? Because she's deserved it for years now. Of course, Washington is also very talented, and E! Online points out that she could be the first ever African-American actress to win Best Lead Actress in the Emmy's 65-year history. So… that would also be a welcome turn of events.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad; Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey; Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones;, Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Morena Baccarin, Homeland; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Our pick to win: Anna Gunn
There are many worthy actresses in this category, most notably Hendricks. And though last year's winner, Smith, is hard to beat in any acting competition, anywhere, Gunn has emerged as the odds-on favorite to win this. "It's the embattled Mrs. White's turn to shine," says The Associated Press.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire; Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad; Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad; Jim Carter, Downton Abbey; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Our pick to win: Jonathan Banks
Patankin had a strong, emotion-packed season on Homeland. But according to Hitfix, you just can't deny Banks this one. The site called Banks "the weary soul" of Breaking Bad, who offered up a "tour de force of stoicism."
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.You Would Also Like