Emmy voters like to play favorites.
It’s really just that simple. From “Frasier” to “The West Wing,” once Emmy voters find something they like it’s extremely hard for them to change their minds. Tonight voters are once again expected to stick to their favorites as many believe they simple won’t be able pass up a chance to make TV history.
Starting in 2008, every year AMC’s “Mad Men” has claimed the top prize for Best Drama. Like clockwork series creator Matthew Weiner and his cast storm the stage and collect their prize. While in the beginning critics and audiences were thrilled to see new blood rewarded, eventually a feeling of déjà vu began to set in.
The problem is every year “Mad Men” turns in one extremely solid episode that for sixty minutes completely captures the collective attention of the overall TV watching public. It’s very hard NOT to reward that type of feat. In fact should “Mad Men” win this year (for the fifth straight time) it will break a three way tie with “Hill Street Blues” and “The West Wing” for most consecutive wins by a drama series. (Editor’s note: “L.A. Law” also has four drama wins but they were split across five seasons.)
This year though many critics have said they didn’t feel this season had a “Suitcase” or “Shut The Door, Have A Seat” type moment that defined the season. Conversely many have argued the combination of Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss’ performances in “The Other Women” or the heartbreaking death of a major character in “Commissions and Fees” were right in line with the show’s other “big moment” milestones.
The question then becomes if “Mad Men’s” fifth season isn’t strong enough to win, which of the five other series should take home the prize. According to the awards experts at Gold Derby.com, it’s an even split between network sibling “Breaking Bad” and breakout international hit “Downton Abbey.”
“Bad” is already expected to pick up wins for lead Bryan Cranston and supporting standout Giancarlo Esposito, so a series win (for what many have called its strongest season ever) would not be shocking. On the other hand “Downton” is coming off a win for Best Mini-Series and the momentum it had entering last season is expected to carry over to its new drama classification.
On the comedy side “Modern Family,” is looking to run its streak to three consecutive wins, which would be two shy of the record for most consecutive comedy series wins held by NBC’s “Frasier.” Unlike “Mad Men” though, which has surprisingly never won an acting Emmy, “Family” has won three and is expected to add to that haul tonight.
“Family’s” biggest competition will come from HBO’s upstart “Girls,” which has the potential to pull off an upset in the vein of “Sex & The City“ or “Ally McBeal,” which coincidentally is the show responsible for ending “Frasier’s” run.
The twist to all this is that while winning ever year has its advantages, the sad truth is once the streak is over, so is the Emmy love. Very rarely has a series that has won consecutive times ever get rewarded the top prize again during their remaining seasons. Then again it’s hard to imagine that fate happening to a show like “Mad Men” or “Modern Family,” as while streaks are made to broken, so are bad habits. With these voters though, it just takes a little longer than one would hope!
The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air tonight on ABC with host Jimmy Kimmel.
So what’s your take New York? Who are your favorites? Are the critics right with their predictions? Hit the comments and let us know. Remember to also subscribe to this column for all the latest information about both the launch of the 2012-2013 TV season and tonight’s Emmy Awards.
2012 Emmy Week Coverage
-Comedy contenders (9/17)
-Drama contenders (9/18)
-Reality contenders (9/19)
-Mini-Series/Made For TV Movie contenders (9/20)
-A look at “Downton Abbey” (9/21)
-Expert Roundup (9/23)