TV.com Editors' Picks: Who We Think Should Win at the 2011 Emmy Awards

Listen, we don't know who's actually going to walk away with a little gold man holding a whatever it is he's holding when the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards go down this Sunday in a secret bunker in Hollywood. But that doesn't mean we can't talk about who should win.

We locked ourselves in a cage conference room to fight respectfully debate our picks for all the main categories, then put the spotlight on whoever yelled the loudest to defend his or her choice. Have a look-see, then let us know who you think should take home some new hardware this weekend.


Playing along at home? Put your picks into writing with our handy printable ballot.




Best Drama Series


And the nominees are...
Boardwalk Empire Friday Night Lights Game of Thrones
The Good Wife Mad Men Dexter

Game of Thrones

Spotlight: Game of Thrones

Many viewers who hadn't found the time to trudge through George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy novel series approached HBO's Game of Thrones with some hesitation. How would the network handle such dense genre material? As it turns out, shockingly well! Game of Thrones' first season moved at a breakneck pace (as compared to, say, Boardwalk Empire' slower clip) while still offering the exceptional character moments that make HBO series great. Oh, sure, Mad Men is solid, but Game of Thrones deserves recognition for elevating its genre and expanding television’s scope. It’s not TV: It’s Westeros. —Louis Peitzman

Our individual picks:

Jen: Game of Thrones Lily: Friday Night Lights Louis: Game of Thrones
Price: Friday Night Lights Seth: Mad Men Tim: Game of Thrones
Killian: Game of Thrones Walter: Game of Thrones




Best Comedy Series


And the nominees are...
30 Rock Modern Family The Big Bang Theory
Parks and Recreation Glee The Office

Parks and Recreation NBC

Spotlight: Parks and Recreation

Comedy isn't easy. That's why the average television lineup is basically an elephant graveyard of unfunny programs. On paper, there's no good reason why Parks and Recreation should have worked—it's a spiritual spin-off of an Americanized remake of a thirteen-episode British mockumentary. Fronted by Amy Poehler's endearingly naive Leslie Knope, Parks and Rec consistently marries sophisticated comments on governmental cynicism with ludicrous, broad humor that rarely feels cheap or negative. The best part is that this show manages to make you laugh your ass off while essentially being about characters who are really just trying to help people. —Price Peterson

Our individual picks:

Jen: Parks and Recreation Lily: Parks and Recreation Louis: Parks and Recreation
Price: Parks and Recreation Seth: Modern Family Tim: Modern Family
Killian: Glee Walter: Parks and Recreation




Best Actor in a Drama Series


And the nominees are...
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men Timothy Olyphant, Justified Hugh Laurie, House

Timothy Olyphant Justified

Spotlight: Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens on Justified

I probably shouldn't be voting based on how good an actor looks in a hat, but Timothy Olyphant IS Raylan Givens, the cornerstone of the our latest "Best Drama on TV" discussion. In Season 2, Olyphant really opened up Raylan, giving us many more looks than just "badass Marshal." It was a big leap for the show, and a huge step for Olyphant in the role he was born to play. This nomination is... Justified! He probably won't take home the Emmy, but a win would be a ride off into the sunset for this future A-lister. —Tim Surette

Our individual picks

Jen: Kyle Chandler Lily: Steve Buscemi Louis: Timothy Olyphant
Price: Kyle Chandler Seth: Timothy Olyphant Tim: Timothy Olyphant
Killian: Michael C. Hall Walter: Timothy Olyphant




Best Actress in a Drama Series


Kathy Bates, Harry's Law Mireille Enos, The Killing Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Julianna Margulies, Good Wife Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Connie Britton Friday Night Lights

Spotlight: Connie Britton as Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights

Honestly, is there any TV mom you would rather have as your own than Connie Britton's Tami Taylor? No other character on TV manages to maintain her integrity and her sexy like the former principal of Dillon High. Connie's ease and chemistry with co-star Kyle Chandler and their heartfelt portrait of a working marriage deserves serious recognition. Plus, after five incredible seasons of Friday Night Lights, Connie Britton has developed a character of such depth and warmth and complexity that I'd follow her to Philadelphia any day. Connie has earned this win like no other actress nominated. —Lily Sparks

Our personal picks:

Jen: Connie Britton Lily: Connie Britton Louis: Julianna Margulies
Price: Connie Britton Seth: Elisabeth Moss Tim: Connie Britton
Killian: Connie Britton Walter: Connie Britton




Best Actor in a Comedy Series


And the nominees are...
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock Steve Carell, The Office Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie Matt LeBlanc, Episodes Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Steve Carrell The Office

Spotlight: Steve Carrell as Michael Scott on The Office

This is Steve Carell’s sixth and final Emmy nomination for his work as Michael Scott on The Office, and would be his first win. (By comparison, Jeremy Piven has won three for Entourage. There’s something wrong with that math.) And never have Carell’s amazing strengths as an actor—playing a broad, comic buffoon who can emotionally disarm you when you’re least expecting it—been more on display than in this, his swan song season. Carell has done what every actor dreams of: He’s created a character who will long outlive him. There is no one more deserving. —Seth Abramovitch

Our individual picks:

Jen: Steve Carell Lily: Steve Carell Louis: Louis C.K.
Price: Louis C.K. Seth: Steve Carell Tim: Louis C.K.
Killian: Louis C.K. Walter: Louis C.K.




Best Actress in a Comedy Series


And the nominees are...
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Laura Linney, The Big C Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope

Amy Poehler Parks and Recretion

Spotlight: Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation

Just as Parks and Recreation has evolved from cute sitcom to must-see TV, its hero Leslie Knope has come into her own. A lot of that is because of the writers, but with Poehler in the role, Leslie is both absurd and relatable, maddeningly frustrating but always sympathetic. Poehler’s timing is masterful, which helps her shine both in quieter moments and in broader ones. Perhaps the best Season 3 example of the latter comes from "Flu Season," which saw Leslie escaping from the hospital while high on flu medication. —Louis Peitzman

Our individual picks:

Jen: Tina Fey Lily: Amy Poehler Louis: Amy Poehler
Price: Amy Poehler Seth: Edie Falco Tim: Melissa McCarthy
Killian: Amy Poehler Walter: Amy Poehler




Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series


And the nominees are...
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Josh Charles, The Good Wife Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified John Slattery, Mad Men Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

John Slattery Mad Men

Spotlight: John Slattery as Roger Sterling on Mad Men

Jon Hamm’s Don Draper may get most of the attention, but it’s really John Slattery’s Roger Sterling who best encapsulates the Mad Men ethos. Season 4 gave us a humbled Roger, if that’s at all possible—on the one hand crushed by the loss of the all-important Lucky Strike account, on the other finally prepared to admit how deeply in love with Joan Holloway he really was. Selling it all is Slattery’s pitch-perfect performance. This is his fourth Emmy nomination for the part. Give the guy something to put in his memoirs, already. —Seth Abramovitch

Our individual picks

Jen: Peter Dinklage Lily: John Slattery Louis: Peter Dinklage
Price: Peter Dinklage Seth: John Slattery Tim: Peter Dinklage
Killian: Walton Goggins Walter: Peter Dinklage




Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series


And the nominees are...
Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife Margo Martindale, Justified
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Michelle Forbes, The Killing Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Margo Martindale Justified

Spotlight: Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett on Justified

Margo Martindale may be the newcomer in this category for her performance as the moonshine-swiggin' villain in Season 2 of Justified, but I think everyone else is playing for second place. Martindale turned Mags into a pitbull with a Southern drawl, layering charm over ruthlessness to create a hillbilly mom who left viewers feeling compassion and fear. At no time was this more evident than during her stirring town hall speech in "The Spoil." I could listen to her say "Toxic Trash!" over and over. —Tim Surette

Our personal picks:

Jen: Margo Martindale Lily: Michelle Forbes Louis: Archie Panjabi
Price: Michelle Forbes Seth: Margo Martindale Tim: Margo Martindale
Killian: Michelle Forbes Walter: Margo Martindale




Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


And the nominees are...
Chris Colfer, Glee Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Ty Burrell Modern Family

Spotlight: Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family

Modern Family's second season was comedically elevated thanks to Phil Dun–I mean, Ty Burrell. Not that Phil wouldn't be a hilarious character without Ty's seamlessly improvised asides and phenomenal timing, but let's give credit where credit is due in the form of a shiny golden statuette. And with a major role across from Jennifer Garner in the hot new film Butter making the rounds at festivals, Mr. Burrell should seriously consider clearing some space on his mantle. —Lily Sparks

Our individual picks

Jen: Ty Burrell Lily: Ty Burrell Louis: Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Price: Ty Burrell Seth: Ty Burrell Tim: Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Killian: Ty Burrell Walter: Ty Burrell




Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


And the nominees are...
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family Jane Lynch, Glee Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Julie Bowen, Modern Family Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Kristen Wiig Saturday Night Live

Spotlight: Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Quick question: In what universe is Kristen Wiig merely a supporting player on SNL? Ensemble or not, this lady is the current undisputed star of Saturday Night Live, the Phil Hartman of 2011, basically. Whether it's her spot-on impersonations of Suze Orman, Nancy Pelosi or Kathie Lee Gifford or it's her menagerie of bizarre women, like Can't-Contain-Her-Excitement Sue, Malformed Lawrence Welk backup singer Dooneese or her incredible improvised performances as Kat (of Garth & Kat), Kristen Wiig is the most versatile, effortlessly hilarious performer at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. With the recent success of Bridesmaids it's unclear how many more seasons SNL will get out of her, so we should start giving Kristen Wiig awards now. All of the awards, starting with this one. – Price Peterson

Our personal picks:

Jen: Kristen Wiig Lily: Jane Lynch Louis: Julie Bowen
Price: Kristen Wiig Seth: Julie Bowen Tim: Sofia Vergara
Killian: Sofia Vergara Walter: Jane Krakowski



Who among the nominated shows and actors do you think should take home an Emmy this weekend?



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+ Please Enjoy This Printable Ballot For All Your Emmy Party Needs

Comments (51)
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Its safe to say that the 'Editors' picks were not worth putting money on. Got almost all of them wrong.
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Replace Glee with Community. Do these people (Emmy Awards) even watch TV?
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Any actors/actresses from the shows Games of thrones and Dexter :D
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lol Parks and Recreation???? It's the worst comedy ever on tv. The Big Bang Theory = the best comedy.
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Julianna Marguilles and Archie Panjabi both deserve to win hardly. Same for Alan Cumming. Truth is I'd be happy if even ONE of them won, preferably Julianna. She nailed her role for 2 seasons and was GREAT in each episode. Best drama should be TGW but that will never happen so I hope for a surprise win for Dexter.
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I have seen maybe one off all the shows listed above. The big Bang Theory. I have watched

one episode of most of them but I guess I just don't get it. Maybe I am not sophisticated enough. A lot of them are on HBO and I don't subscribe.
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From these nominations, only Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones are on HBO (and they only have 3 nominations in 2 categories).



But I can also understand your point. I watch A LOT of TV shows, but I watch only 4 of the 12 TV shows with nominations in Drama categories. But maybe that just means I need to watch more drama series, heh.
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You're not alone. Many are "critics shows", not "ordinary people" shows.
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If "ordinary people" can't follow a sophisticated storyline, than that is a mistake in the writing. Great television, or story telling in general, is a marriage of simplicity and complexity. If an average viewer can't follow the show, and they have been with it since the pilot, that does not speak for the viewer as an individual, it speaks for the writer, who doesn't really know what he or she is doing. Lost comes to mind...
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ok, yes, Peter Dinklage I agree... but where is Anna Torv and John Noble.

I'm getting tired of this Emmy crap...

At least they gave one to Katey Sagal... but I want Anna Torv and John Noble to get both an Emmy.
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Unfortunately, the science-fiction genre and its actors have always been stonewalled by the Emmy awards..
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AMEN. It is a crime that John Noble has never even been nominated.
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Peter Dinklage from Game Of Thrones should win. He was fantastic as Tyrion Lannister.
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I wish Nina Dobrev would have gotten a nomination. She's such a great actress.
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I hope Game of Thrones, Justified, and Parks and Recreation (Well, actually, Community should get everything Parks is nominated for) wins everything they're nominated for, but my guess it's another year of Modern Family, Glee, and Mad Men taking everything in their way, despite not really deserving to.
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I just hope that Glee doesn't get a thing !
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My choices for Best Comedy Series are Modern Family, Big Bang Theory and The Office. I can't choose just one. It's too hard for me. I agree with you guys on Ty Burrell for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. He's a great actor and so hilarious. I also agree on Steve Carell for Best Actor in a Comedy. Steve is an amazing actor. He is so versatile
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I'd like to see Mariska Hargitay and Jane Lynch win awards this year. I think Game of Thrones will do well too.
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Add a comment...Best Drama Series: Game of Thrones

Best Comedy Series: Glee

Best Actor in a Drama Series: Timothy Olyphant

Best Actress in a Drama Series: Kathy Bates

Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Matt LeBlanc

Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Edie Falco

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Walton Goggins

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Margo Martindale
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Best Drama Series: Friday Night Lights or Game of Thrones

Best Comedy Series: Parks and Recreation

Best Actor in a Drama Series: Kyle Chandler

Best Actress in a Drama Series: Connie Britton

Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Louis C. K.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Amy Poehler

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Walton Goggins

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Margo Martindale

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Ty Burrell

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kirsten Wiig

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Game of Thrones for best drama series. That show was epic!!
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When looking at the nominees for Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series, it seems quite apparent to me that Modern Family will win Best Comedy Series. It also speaks for the nomination categories themselves; because of the format of Modern Family, none of these amazing comedic actors will receive a Best Actor reward. That's a shame. Modern Family has nominees for FIVE of their characters, that's EVERY major adult actor on the show! Modern Family will win best comedy series.
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Game of Thrones blew my mind.. I hope they win
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I'd list my picks here, but I would just be repeating- I agree with every one of Tim's picks!
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I'll just be very sad if FNL, in its final year, STILL never wins an Emmy. That would be almost as tragic as Buffy the Vampire Slayer never picking up more than a single nomination, much less a much-deserved win (I mean, really, there was absolutely nothing better on television at the time [and maybe ever] than Buffy's fifth season, and if you think otherwise, you're just wrong).
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I thought SMG's best acting was season 6 but the 5th season's story was really good, too. I think 4 was the best season because it was witty and it showed each character developing on their own and the ending was awesome.
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I dunno--I rewatch "The Body" and I think, "HOW did she never get even a nod for this?" And with gems like "Fool For Love," "No Place Like Home," and "The Gift," it's hard to top.



But to each his own. At least we can agree that it was snubbed to the max during its amazing run.
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So far, I do not see why any of this selected winners shouldn't go all the way, needless to say that these are great picks. I especially like the inclusion of Steve Carell, I think his time has come.
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wtf man...you gay or something?? okay we get it...you like Modern Family, but i think you made a big mistake by not promoting Raising Hope at best comedy series!!

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You are aware that they're choosing from among the nominees, right? And you're also aware that the tv.com staff didn't pick the nominees, right? So, they didn't really make a mistake--if Raising Hope deserves recognition, the error comes from those that selected the nominees.



But maybe you know that and I'm misinterpreting your post, and if that's the case, I apologize.
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It will be a crime if Margo Martindale as Megs and Walton Goggins both from Justified dont win.They were both stellar!!!!!!
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drama: Mad Men, hands down

comedy: should be Louie or Commnunity. From the rest: P&R

actor in drama: Laurie and Hall should have at least one already. Same for Chandler. But Hamm was easily the best this year. Olyphant and Buscemi will have their time in the future. I can't imagine that someone who've seen The Suitcase would give it to someone else but Hamm.

actress in drama: Britton/Moss

supporting actor in drama: Dinklage or Goggins. I'll go with Goggins, cuz he should have at least 2 already for The Shield.
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I think best actress in a drama series should go to Mariska Hargitay, she is amazing.
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I agree with nearly all the choices except two. Peter Dinklage should absolutely get the Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Drama. He made Game of Thrones 50% better than it would have been without him.



Secondly, I really think that Kyle Chandler deserves the win. That guy is just plain awesome in that role and a win for him would feel like a win of Friday Night Lights as a show.



Btw, if you like Kyle Chandler and Quantum Leap check out the show Early Edition. I've been getting them on Netflix and it is really amazing that shows as good as these are floating around out there without me ever having heard of them before.
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Give all the trophies to Peter Dinklage.
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FNL forever!
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for the last time, Nurse jackie-Edie Falco are not in the comedic genre! They take away from more deserving people and shows! I mean, how ofetn to you start laighing out loud when watching this depressing show????
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I agree with Burrell for supporting (though I wouldn't be upset if Ed O'Neill won) but Jim Parsons should win it again. Just because it was Carrell's last season doesn't mean he should necessarily get it. (I don't watch The Office, and if he does win, I really hope it is because the voters truly think he is the best.) That said, no other actor could ever play Sheldon as well as Parsons does.
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I agree, nobody else could play Sheldon. Jim Parsons is awesome. I watch both Big Bang Theory and The Office. Nobody else could play Michael Scott either. Steve Carell was nominated 5 other times and no won. That is mind boggling, to me.
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It's always a difficult choice to pick the favourites. I don't agree with all of your picks, but overall they were still a good selection.
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I sincerely hope this is the year that Michael C. Hall will be recognized, although I doubt it. I also am hoping for Ty Burrell in the supporting actor - comedy, category. Other than that I, I'd be happy with a win for 'The Good Wife'.
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How dare you put the spotlight on John Slattery for best supporting actor.. There should be no name other than Peter Dinklage.
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I have nothing to say to the Emmys this year after they completely overlooked John Noble.
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I'm a huge fan of Mad Men, and John Slattery truly is the epitomization of the distinctive 60's male-oriented philosophy, yet I can't help wanting another to lift the golden statuette. I have read all of George R. R. Martin brilliant works, and in my opinion, never has an actor been more perfectly suited to wondrously bring ink and paper to life than Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. His brilliantly acted, clever repartee surpasses all superlatives, and if he is indeed victorious, I sincerely hope to hear another of his piercing quips in his acceptance speech.
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epitomization!
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Drama: Game of Thrones (if Justified were nominated, I would have chose that).

Comedy: Modern Family (if Community were nominated, I would have chose that).

Actor in Drama Series: Timothy Olyphant (should win, but probably wont).

Actor in Comedy: Steve Carrell (fact that it was his final season will sway votes).

Supporting Actor, Drama: Peter Dinklage (he was awesome).

Supporting Actress, Drama: Margs Martindale (she was awesome).

Supporting Actor, Com.: Ty Burrell (funniest of a funny ensemble).

Supporting Actress, Com.: Tossup (except Betty White).
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Drama: Breaking Bad (It's so good, it wins without a nomination)

Comedy: Community (same reason)



It really blows that my 2 favorite shows aren't nominated. Oh well..... Go Rarks and Rec!
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Generally, I'd agree with you. Unfortunately, Breaking Bad wasn't on TV for over a year. Hard to be nominated for a particular year if you weren't really airing during the time. Sucks about Community, though.
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Drama: Mad Men

Comedy: Parks and Rec

Actor in Drama Series: Jon Hamm

Actress in Drama Series: Connie Britton

Actor in Comedy: Steve Carrell

Actress in Comedy: Amy Poehler

Supporting Actor, Drama: John Slattery

Supporting Actress, Drama: Christina Hendricks

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Ty Burrell

Supporting Actress, Comedy: Julie Bowen
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Justified not even nominated for Best Drama? Also Sons of Anarchy, the best show on tv. Although an emmy might hurt its rep lol. Hope Timothy Olyphant wins. Although Michael C. Hall is long overdue for an emmy. So I hope either of them takes it. All the other nominations really are from shows I don't watch. Especially the comedies. Love Kristen Wiig though, she's hilarious.
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Staff
Drama: Friday Night Lights (Breaking Bad can't be considered).

Comedy: Who Cares?

Actor in Drama Series: Kyle Chandler

Actress in Drama Series: Connie Britton

Actor in Comedy: No One is deserving.

Actress in Comedy: No One is deserving.

Supporting Actor, Drama: Peter Dinklage (love that lil guy)

Supporting Actress, Drama: Kelly MacDonald

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Al Bundy

Supporting Actress, Comedy: Jane Lynch
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