2013 Emmy Award Predictions from Experts & Users

  • Publish Date: September 19, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 6 user comments

Updated 9/22 at 11:51a: Predicted winners remain the same in all categories, except for Comedy-Writing (now a tie between two nominees).

This year's Emmy contenders

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This Sunday, Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast live coast-to-coast on CBS beginning at 8p ET / 5p PT. This year's top nominees include American Horror Story, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, while Netflix is looking to make history as the first streaming service to win a major award.

Which of these programs will take home Emmy gold on Sunday evening? To answer that question, we have tabulated the predictions of over 30 professional "experts"—including awards show followers, television writers, and critics—in 22 major award categories. This summer, we also asked our users to submit their own predictions, and results from their 3,100+ votes are also included below. We're hoping for a rebound from our users this year, after they correctly predicted just 8 of the 22 winners last year. (Experts, by the way, didn't do all that much better; as a group, they guessed correctly in fewer than half of the categories).

Experts included in our survey this year are: Jason Bailey (Flavorwire), Cory Barker (TV.com), Chuck Barney (Contra Costa Times), Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (TV Guide*), Hal Boedeker (Orlando Sentinel), Mark Dawidziak (The Plain Dealer), Eric Deggans (Tampa Bay Times), Lynn Elber (AP), Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter), Dan Fienberg (HitFix), Verne Gay (Newsday), Ed Gonzalez (Slant), AJ Hammer (Showbiz Tonight*), Bill Harris (Toronto Sun), Neal Justin (Star Tribune), Peter Knegt (Indiewire), Jason Lynch (The Daily Beast), Daniel Manu (Television Without Pity*), Melanie McFarland (IMDb*), Ryan McGee (Zap2it), Scott Meslow (The Week), Tim Molloy (The Wrap), Frazier Moore (AP), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Joanne Ostrow (Denver Post), Maggie Pehanick (PopSugar), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly*), Matt Roush (TV Guide*), Alan Sepinwall (HitFix), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Piya Sinha-Roy (Reuters*), Hank Stuever (Washington Post), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood*), Ken Tucker (formerly of Entertainment Weekly*), Kristi Turnquist (The Oregonian), and Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times*).

* Predictions made at goldderby.com as of September 19, 2013.
Note that some experts did not make predictions in every category. Click on any link above to view individual predictions.

Comedy nominees

Modern Family, of course, has won the top comedy award for the past three years, though users believe that FX's Louie—which is nominated for the first time—could pose a threat. As always, the experts can't agree on which of Modern Family's stars will be awarded this year, though nearly everyone believes that Julia Louis-Dreyfus will repeat as best actress winner.

Outstanding Comedy Series   Experts   Users
30 Rock
NBC
    3% bar   19% bar
The Big Bang Theory
CBS
    18% bar   15% bar
Girls
HBO
    3% bar   9% bar
Louie
FX
    5% bar   24% bar
Modern Family
ABC
Image   68% bar   27% bar
Veep
HBO
    3% bar   5% bar
 
Comedy Lead Actor   Experts   Users
Alec Baldwin
30 Rock
    19% bar   21% bar
Jason Bateman
Arrested Development
    3% bar   15% bar
Don Cheadle
House of Lies
    0%     4% bar
Louis C.K.
Louie
  51% bar   37% bar
Matt LeBlanc
Episodes
    0%     3% bar
Jim Parsons
The Big Bang Theory
    27% bar   20% bar
 
Comedy Lead Actress   Experts   Users
Laura Dern
Enlightened
    0%     7% bar
Lena Dunham
Girls
    0%     16% bar
Edie Falco
Nurse Jackie
    0%     4% bar
Tina Fey
30 Rock
  3% bar   28% bar
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Veep
  89% bar   24% bar
Amy Poehler
Parks and Recreation
    8% bar   21% bar
 
Comedy Supporting Actor   Experts   Users
Ty Burrell
Modern Family
  39% bar   35% bar
Adam Driver
Girls
    6% bar   9% bar
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Modern Family
    3% bar   13% bar
Ed O'Neill
Modern Family
  45% bar   16% bar
Bill Hader
Saturday Night Live
    3% bar   18% bar
Tony Hale
Veep
    3% bar   10% bar
 
Comedy Supporting Actress   Experts   Users
Mayim Bialik
The Big Bang Theory
    7% bar   17% bar
Julie Bowen
Modern Family
  43% bar   23% bar
Anna Chlumsky
Veep
    3% bar   6% bar
Jane Krakowski
30 Rock
    7% bar   19% bar
Jane Lynch
Glee
    0%     8% bar
Sofia Vergara
Modern Family
    40% bar   22% bar
Merritt Wever
Nurse Jackie
    0%     3% bar
 
Comedy Writing   Experts   Users
30 Rock
"Hogcock!" by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock
  6% bar   6% bar
30 Rock
"Last Lunch" by Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield
  41% bar   28% bar
Episodes
"Episode 209" by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik
  0%     4% bar
Louie
"Daddy's Girlfriend (Pt. 1)" by Louis C.K. & Pamela Adlon
  41% bar   33% bar
The Office
"Finale" by Greg Daniels
  12% bar   29% bar
 
Comedy Directing   Experts   Users
30 Rock
"Hogcock!" and "Last Lunch" dir. by Beth McCarthy-Miller
  29% bar   22% bar
Girls
"On All Fours" dir. by Lena Dunham
  0%     16% bar
Glee
"Diva" dir. by Paris Barclay
  0%     5% bar
Louie
"New Year's Eve" dir. by Louis C.K.
  59% bar   34% bar
Modern Family
"Arrested" dir. by Gail Mancuso
  12% bar   23% bar

Drama nominees

Breaking Bad has never won the top drama award, but experts and users agree that the much-heralded show will finally collect the Emmy this year. (Note that the award would be for the first half of the show's final "season"—i.e., the eight episodes that aired last year). It is also a sign of the perceived drop in quality in Mad Men's most recent season that the four-time best drama winner received almost no support from users or experts. The one wildcard is Netflix newcomer House of Cards; while only a small group of experts believe that show can win the top drama award, they give its star Kevin Spacey a decent chance at a trophy.

Outstanding Drama Series   Experts   Users
Breaking Bad
AMC
  68% bar   55% bar
Downton Abbey
PBS
    0%     2% bar
Game of Thrones
HBO
    3% bar   20% bar
Homeland
Showtime
    13% bar   11% bar
House of Cards
Netflix
    13% bar   8% bar
Mad Men
AMC
    3% bar   3% bar
 
Drama Lead Actor   Experts   Users
Hugh Bonneville
Downton Abbey
    0%     2% bar
Bryan Cranston
Breaking Bad
  45% bar   63% bar
Jeff Daniels
The Newsroom
    0%     3% bar
Jon Hamm
Mad Men
    3% bar   7% bar
Damian Lewis
Homeland
    16% bar   8% bar
Kevin Spacey
House of Cards
    37% bar   18% bar
 
Drama Lead Actress   Experts   Users
Connie Britton
Nashville
    0%     2% bar
Claire Danes
Homeland
  63% bar   51% bar
Michelle Dockery
Downton Abbey
    0%     5% bar
Vera Farmiga
Bates Motel
    3% bar   9% bar
Elisabeth Moss
Mad Men
    5% bar   13% bar
Kerry Washington
Scandal
    29% bar   9% bar
Robin Wright
House of Cards
    0%     10% bar
 
Drama Supporting Actor   Experts   Users
Jonathan Banks
Breaking Bad
    10% bar   22% bar
Bobby Cannavale
Boardwalk Empire
    0%     4% bar
Jim Carter
Downton Abbey
    0%     2% bar
Peter Dinklage
Game of Thrones
    0%     25% bar
Mandy Patinkin
Homeland
    42% bar   14% bar
Aaron Paul
Breaking Bad
  48% bar   33% bar
 
Drama Supporting Actress   Experts   Users
Morena Baccarin
Homeland
    0%     5% bar
Christine Baranski
The Good Wife
    0%     3% bar
Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones
    0%     28% bar
Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad
  42% bar   33% bar
Christina Hendricks
Mad Men
    3% bar   11% bar
Maggie Smith
Downton Abbey
  55% bar   19% bar
 
Drama Writing   Experts   Users
Breaking Bad
"Dead Freight" by George Mastras
  24% bar   21% bar
Breaking Bad
"Say My Name" by Thomas Schnauz
  0%     29% bar
Downton Abbey
"Episode 4" by Julian Fellowes
  0%     4% bar
Game of Thrones
"The Rains Of Castamere" by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
  29% bar   31% bar
Homeland
"Q&A" by Henry Bromell
  47% bar   15% bar
 
Drama Directing   Experts   Users
Boardwalk Empire
"Margate Sands" dir. by Tim Van Patten
  0%     5% bar
Breaking Bad
"Gliding Over All" dir. by Michelle MacLaren
  12% bar   47% bar
Downton Abbey
"Episode 4" dir. by Jeremy Webb
  0%     6% bar
Homeland
"Q&A" dir. by Lesli Linka Glatter
  12% bar   18% bar
House of Cards
"Chapter 1" dir. by David Fincher
  76% bar   24% bar

Movie and miniseries nominees

HBO's Steven Soderbergh-directed Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra seemed like a sure Emmy winner when it debuted, and those feelings haven't subsided with time; Soderbergh himself seems a likely winner in the directing category as well, and star Michael Douglas is as close to a sure thing as there is in this year's Emmys.

Outstanding Movie or Miniseries   Experts   Users
American Horror Story: Asylum
FX
    0%     31% bar
Behind the Candelabra
HBO
  97% bar   44% bar
The Bible
History
    0%     7% bar
Phil Spector
HBO
    0%     4% bar
Political Animals
USA
    0%     3% bar
Top of the Lake
Sundance
    3% bar   12% bar
 
Movie / Miniseries Lead Actor   Experts   Users
Benedict Cumberbatch
Parade's End
    0%     19% bar
Matt Damon
Behind the Candelabra
    0%     18% bar
Michael Douglas
Behind the Candelabra
  100% bar   46% bar
Toby Jones
The Girl
    0%     2% bar
Al Pacino
Phil Spector
    0%     14% bar
 
Movie / Miniseries Lead Actress   Experts   Users
Jessica Lange
American Horror Story: Asylum
  46% bar   39% bar
Laura Linney
The Big C: Hereafter
    4% bar   9% bar
Helen Mirren
Phil Spector
    0%     17% bar
Elisabeth Moss
Top of the Lake
    42% bar   26% bar
Sigourney Weaver
Political Animals
    8% bar   9% bar
 
Movie / Miniseries Supporting Actor   Experts   Users
Scott Bakula
Behind the Candelabra
    0%     19% bar
James Cromwell
American Horror Story: Asylum
  63% bar   24% bar
John Benjamin Hickey
The Big C: Hereafter
    5% bar   5% bar
Peter Mullan
Top of the Lake
    16% bar   16% bar
Zachary Quinto
American Horror Story: Asylum
  16% bar   36% bar
 
Movie / Miniseries Supporting Actress   Experts   Users
Ellen Burstyn
Political Animals
    26% bar   21% bar
Sarah Paulson
American Horror Story: Asylum
  68% bar   49% bar
Charlotte Rampling
Restless
    0%     9% bar
Imelda Staunton
The Girl
    0%     13% bar
Alfre Woodard
Steel Magnolias
    5% bar   8% bar
 
Movie / Miniseries Directing   Experts   Users
Behind the Candelabra
dir. by Steven Soderbergh
    93% bar   61% bar
The Girl
dir. by Julian Jarrold
    0%     5% bar
Phil Spector
dir. by David Mamet
    0%     10% bar
Ring of Fire
dir. by Allison Anders
    0%     6% bar
Top of the Lake
dir. by Jane Campion and Garth Davis
  7% bar   17% bar

Other shows

These are typically two of the least competitive races the Emmys have to offer. The Daily Show is shooting for its 11th consecutive win, while The Amazing Race has been a winner in nine out of the past 10 years.

Outstanding Reality Competition   Experts   Users
The Amazing Race
CBS
  96% bar   44% bar
Dancing with the Stars
ABC
    0%     7% bar
Project Runway
Lifetime
    0%     6% bar
So You Think You Can Dance
Fox
    0%     6% bar
Top Chef
Bravo
    0%     14% bar
The Voice
NBC
    4% bar   23% bar
 
Outstanding Variety Series   Experts   Users
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central
    14% bar   18% bar
The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart
Comedy Central
  73% bar   41% bar
Jimmy Kimmel Live
ABC
    5% bar   11% bar
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
NBC
    5% bar   11% bar
Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
    0%     4% bar
Saturday Night Live
NBC
    5% bar   16% bar

After the ceremony

On Monday morning after the Emmy telecast, we'll reveal which experts and users were the most accurate in their predictions. We'll also sample the responses from TV critics to this year's broadcast.

Comments (6)

  • shayanmehdi  

    wow. Love it.... Amazing

  • Soapert  

    There is nothing special about Modern Family it doesn't deserve any awards.

  • PStakhiv  

    Dexter, season 7 should be the nominee for an outstanding drama! Homeland & Game Of Thrones had great seasons

  • pescetarian  

    Homeland has got nothing on Breaking Bad... Bryan Cranston WFT.

  • PigsSantaBacon  

    @LamontRaymond If the voters have not actually watched everything that is nominated, that is completely embarrassing.

  • LamontRaymond  

    I certainly hope the experts and Metacritc users are wrong on the best movie/miniseries. Behind the Candelabra is boring as sin. And Top of the Lake is incredibly good. I think this is simply a matter of not enough voters having Sundance Channel vs. the previous acting experience of the case of Behind. If you haven't seen it, Top of the Lake (and Rectify, incidentally) are must-sees.

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