If TV.com Ran the Emmys: Our Dream Nominees for Outstanding Drama Series

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jun 24, 2014

The 2014 Emmy nominations ballots were due on Friday, which means it's time to decide whose names we'd like to hear called on Thursday, July 10 when the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences announces the shows and actors who're officially in the running for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

I asked some of my fellow TV.com staffers to join me in choosing our dream nominees, and after hours of internal debates and monologues that would make even Scrubs' JD tell us to shut up already, we've boldly narrowed down our picks—and as you'll see at the bottom of this page, we're prepared to defend them, too!

We've already conquered nine of the 10 major categories, revealing our selections for Supporting Actress in a ComedySupporting Actor in a ComedyLead Actress in a ComedyLead Actor in a Comedy, Outstanding Comedy SeriesSupporting Actress in a DramaSupporting Actor in a DramaLead Actress in a Drama, and Lead Actor in a Drama. Today, we're bringing it home with our picks for Outstanding Drama Series.

Editors' Note: You may notice that some of our nominees don't match up with the official Emmy ballots. That's not a mistake; we've taken a few liberties because we're only "dreaming" about the 10 "major" categories, and we didn't want to leave out deserving shows or performers based simply on their submission strategies and our coverage plans. You may see shows from the miniseries category on our lists.


WHY BREAKING BAD: Well duh, the final season of one of the best television series in the history of the boob tube was obviously going to make this list. But the mere act of bringing a great television series to an end doesn't automatically make something worthy of an automatic nod. Fortunately, Breaking Bad faded to black with one of its best seasons ever, as Walter White's story came to a violent, glorious conclusion that left just enough open to interpretation while also providing definitive closure. The show's incredible cast was at the top of its game, the crew provided flawless technical expertise (all of a sudden TV directors are becoming household names), and the story kept us guessing until the very end. If Breaking Bad doesn't win, I'm jumping out a window. — Tim Surette

WHY MASTERS OF SEX: Masters of Sex could've been a disaster. A pay cable show about sex researchers who ultimately mix business with pleasure? That's a logline that screams schlocky, not subtlety. Yet, thanks to a never-ending stream of great performances (starting at the very top with Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan), tremendous writing from Michelle Ashford, and a wonderful handle on its tone and time period, Masters of Sex ended up being one of the best shows of 2013. Sure, the typical pay cable directives meant that the show presented a whole lotta nudity and simulated sex, some of it very tongue-in-cheek, but Masters did a, well, masterful job of exploring sex, biology, intimacy, and more in a very serious manner. Move over Homeland and don't get your hopes up Ray Donovan, this is Showtime's prestige drama.  — Cory Barker

What shows would YOU nominate for Outstanding Drama Series?

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  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 08, 2014

    The Good Wife
    Game of Thrones
    Breaking Bad
    Orphan Black
    House of Cards
    Boardwalk Empire

    HM: The Americans, Sons of Anarchy, The Fall, Fargo,The Killing,Banshee

    Not a fan of True Detectives.

  • Ca3naki Jul 07, 2014

    Game of Thrones, the Americans!!!

  • numberonecubsfa Jun 27, 2014

    That any of you left True Detective off your lists is a joke

  • angelayang501 Jun 25, 2014

    The Americans needs more recognition for its amazing amazing work honestly

  • hurtlocker10 Jun 25, 2014

    Good Wife

  • CharmedOneP391 Jun 25, 2014

    Orphan Black and Banshe definitely have my vote. Game of Thrones had an excellent season. Breaking Bad seems like it's been off the air forever now.

  • tnetennba Jun 25, 2014

    I can't believe that so many have included The Returned. I think it was the second worst show of the year, surpassed only by the worst show of all time, Hemlock Grove.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 08, 2014

    I agree The Returned after the first two episodes were quite average. Hemlock Grove is really one of the worst before the Leftovers came around.

  • tnetennba Jul 08, 2014

    I have only seen one episode of The Leftovers. It was pretty dull. I don't even get what the show is supposed to be about. That weirdo cult was certainly inadequately explained. But so far it looks like the show is just going to be weird and pointless, not truly awful.

  • Larrystrawberry Jun 27, 2014

    i haven't watched hemlock grove yet but worst show?Really?

  • tnetennba Jun 27, 2014

    Really. I elaborated a bit in this post. I apologize for how the post is formatted. I didn't write it that way. I put blank lines between paragraphs, but they got removed when I submitted the post.

    Note that what I'm saying after "I'm going to explain what happened at the end" is a major spoiler for the end of the season. It explains how the main characters deal with the main problem of the season. So you may want to stop reading when you get to that point. If you continue, you should also read othsmallsuplost's reply, because he added a detail that I had missed that makes the scene even more absurd than I realized at the time.

    I'm convinced that this part of the story (I like to call it "the bacon grease incident") is the dumbest thing ever to be put on TV. Nothing under the dome even comes close. I'm absolutely fascinated by the fact that someone wrote that, and someone directed other people acting out the scene. What went through their minds? I would love to know.

    If you want to watch the bacon grease incident, you have to watch the last two episodes. I actually recommend that you do that, because it will guarantee that you will win every "the dumbest thing I ever saw" discussion for the rest of your life.

  • Whedonrules Jun 25, 2014

    This season there was a lot of good but I think these the best:

    1. 'The Americans' 'Homeland' was never this good.
    2. 'Orphan Black' - Cause they all deserve to be invited to the party and because this (meaningless) trophy should guarantee a third season. Its so good and it takes so many people and one amazing actress (plus great costars that are just as impressive remembering which Maslany they are working with. Its too smart for these imbeciles to recognize it and that's a shame.
    3. 'Masters of Sex' - To get this show on the air with the right 2 actors in the leads with such ease. Writers telling so many great stories for so many great characters with material that scared the hell out of most. Two character actors with resumes as long as the phone book in what now a days they call 'Guest Stars' in Beau Bridges and Alison Janney. Period dramas can find it difficult making it very long - hope this one bucks the norm and the writing holds up.
    4. 'Continuum' - This show is one of the best dramas on television unfortunately its a time travel science fiction drama so you can't take it seriously right?? Absolutely not. Science fiction dramas often try to explore topical issues and this one is doing it effortlessly and its still engrossing 3 seasons in because of the writing and the cast filled largely with awesome Canadian character actors that we see everywhere. Its writers and the actors that inhabit the characters are making something brilliant for smart kids. It is one of the six best programs of the year. Its lead Rachel Nichols left Hollywood for Canada for this part and the tv viewing public is better off for it. SyFy doesn't deserve much credit for anything except for its partnership on this show (and the other made in Canada products 'Lost Girl' and 'Bitten')
    5. 'Boardwalk Empire' - For every season of this show that has parts of the season that just don't work - it all worked this season and as it prepares to bring this fictional story of Enoch Thompson to a close it did so with an excellent season aided largely in part by a great part for a Broadway legend, Jeffrey Wright, to give life to.
    6. 'Banshee' - Its one of the boldest dramas making television in a way few companies are trying. They shoot this show, as they call it, 'Banshee' style. All grounded by writers who know the story they are telling and paying to tell it as all are producers. Its the first show that makes 'Cinemax' a real player. It is the best cast show on television - every actor transformed and perfect for their roles. Doing the state of North Carolina and television something to be proud of. Its unlike anything else and is capable of being as great as anything being done on television. We are watching it completely engrossed for 20 superb episodes - you want an easy show to marathon? It never stays long on the DVR, it has an international cast but we're getting the tax money in the US!. Is the most fun 'big story happens when bad people descend on small town' drama because of everything that goes into it. It looks better than most shows on television shooting a lot outside in natural light on hand held cameras. Its very close to a perfect show. 'BANSHEEEEEEEE' Season 2: Episode 5 'The Truth About Unicorns' was one of the best episodes of television produced this season. Shot when he weather was perfect buoyed by the performances of its two fearless leads. A great guest star made his untimely exit as well. For everyone that says oh 'Banshee' that's show is just sex or that's just more violent crap (Same criticisms given for years to Steven DeKnight's 'Spartacus') Make them watch this episode. This show deserves to be invited to the party. How good looking would that table be?

    HM: 'Reign'. 'Fargo', 'Sons of Anarchy' (they killed Clay and Tara and Walton Goggins returned!)

  • WindUpRobot Jun 25, 2014

    maybe last season's continuum, but this season was sort of messy and scattered. didn't really take off until episode 9 or so when brad showed up

  • TheBam711 Jun 25, 2014

    - Breaking Bad
    - The Americans
    - Hannibal
    - Masters of Sex
    - Orphan Black
    - Game of Thrones

    I'd put True Detective and Fargo in the mini-series category.

  • stanking Jun 25, 2014

    I don't get the "Plead Your Case" portion of this article. Of all the nominees, you give special time to one that everyone picked and one that only Cory picked. Why those two?

  • WindUpRobot Jun 25, 2014

    obviously noel should've justified putting the killing on his list.

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