Sunday 8:00 PM on CBS

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.




PLEAD YOUR CASE

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?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/20/2015

Season 67 : Episode 1

53 Comments
Comments (53)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
The Good Wife
Game of Thrones
Breaking Bad
Orphan Black
House of Cards
Boardwalk Empire
Shameless

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

Not a fan of True Detectives.
Reply
Flag
Game of Thrones, the Americans!!!
Reply
Flag
That any of you left True Detective off your lists is a joke
1
Reply
Flag
The Americans needs more recognition for its amazing amazing work honestly
3
Reply
Flag
Good Wife
1
Reply
Flag
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.
Reply
Flag
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.
Reply
Flag
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.
Reply
Flag
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.
Reply
Flag
i haven't watched hemlock grove yet but worst show?Really?
Reply
Flag
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.

More +
Reply
Flag
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!)


More+
1
Reply
Flag
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
Reply
Flag
- 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.
Reply
Flag
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?
Reply
Flag
obviously noel should've justified putting the killing on his list.
Reply
Flag
After just finishing the second season I definitly go with Orphan Black and who doesn´t have it on it´s list hasn´t either watched it or should go and continuing to keep up with the Kardashians!!!
And to pick five more I choose the rest of my favorites this year:
Banshee, True Detective, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Fargo of course
Reply
Flag
I've only seen 5 of the ones you guys picked. I really have been meaning to watch the others, but. . .
Reply
Flag
Drama Series -
Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
Hannibal
Mad Men
Teen Wolf
True Detective
Reply
Flag
The drama category is a two way battle between True Detective and Breaking Bad. Nothing else, as an entire show, comes close.
Reply
Flag
The Returned
The Americans
True Detective
The Killing
The Good Wife
Masters of Sex

And they are all in the ballots up there!
Reply
Flag
The only two I truly care about are Orphan Black and Hannibal. Of course, I also would prefer to live in a world where bat-shit crazy is a qualification so that Sleepy Hollow could be added to the list. :)
Reply
Flag
Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, The Americans, Fargo.
Reply
Flag
Orphan Black, Breaking Bad, The Returned, Banshee, The Blacklist, Chicago Fire.
Reply
Flag
True Detective, the winner.
1
Reply
Flag
True Detective, Justified, Hannibal, Game of Thrones and The Good Wife
Reply
Flag
Breaking Bad
Fargo
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
The Returned
True Detective
Reply
Flag
-Breaking Bad

-Game of Thrones

-The Americans

-Boardwalk Empire

-Masters of Sex

The sixth spot is a little bit difficult for me to fill. I'm guessing the Emmys are gonna nominate either House of Cards or True Detective, or maybe even both (technically speaking, there can be seven nominees in the drama categories). I would also love to see Hannibal in the race along with other great shows that deserve some recognition for their work.
1
Reply
Flag
Boardwalk Empire season four was good !
1
Reply
Flag
Yes. From beginning to end its best season. In past seasons where some of the b and c stories fall apart - they all held up this year. Even Gilian Darmody had a great story that finally worked. Its set up nicely for the final season.
Reply
Flag
Breaking Bad
True Detective
Game of Thrones
Fargo
Hannibal
The Americans
Reply
Flag
1- True Detective
2- The Americans
3- Orphan Black
4- The Returned
5- Game of Thrones /House of cards/The good wife
Reply
Flag
Fargo
Game of Thrones
Orange is the New Black (I don't consider it as a comedy even though it has its moments)
Breaking Bad
Hannibal
True Detective
1
Reply
Flag
I want to say Fargo, but it's a limited run series/miniseries/anthology series - so it's listed in the mini series category. I didn't think this through when I picked Martin Freeman for Best Actor in a Drama Series. For this reason only I"m leaving it off my list. (And I did check the actual ballot and Martin Freeman and Fargo are definitely on the mini series list)

Also how is Orange is the New Black considered a comedy?!?! I get that there's a lot of dark humor, but this surprised me. Maybe it could be counted for both and opted for Comedy because there wouldn't be as much competition?

That being said my picks are:
Game of Thrones
Breaking Bad
Sherlock
Vikings
Justified
The Bridge
Reply
Flag
No love for Sleepy Hollow?
Reply
Flag
Staff
Always and forever in my heart.
1
Reply
Flag
True Detective
Rectify
The Returned
Newsroom
Penny Dreadful
Reply
Flag
True Detective,
Fargo,
Game of Thrones,
Masters of Sex,
Hannibal,
Orphan Black.
Honourable mentions go to Banshee and Teen Wolf.

For me the Winner is... True Detective
Reply
Flag
ok. Now tell me how we can choose only 6 candidates?!
But whining aside, I'd say
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Game of thrones
True detective
The Americans
+ a sixth

Note that Fargo is candidate as miniseries.

also, while I appreciate the work of Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris, I wouldn't say that as a series Orphan Black is nomination-worthy, when the drama field is so stuffed of good things.
Reply
Flag
Breaking Bad and Fargo better dominate the main categories.
Reply
Flag
My picks for outstanding drama series are:

1. Breaking Bad
2. Game of Thrones
3. Hannibal
4. Fargo
5. True Detective
6. Utopia

Honorable mentions: House of Cards, Sherlock, Luther, Person of Interest, Penny Dreadful, Rectify, The Fall, Masters of Sex, Banshee, Vikings, Bates Motel, The Killing and Orphan Black.

Reply
Flag
1. Breaking Bad- I have never been a huge fan of this show but the final season definitely deserves it
2. Hannibal- the second season of this show was phenomenal and the finale was in the same league as Ozymandias
3. True Detective- a great new show for this year with two great leads
4. House of Cards- the first season was good but this season was even better with another great performance from Kevin Spacey
5. Game of Thrones- 4 seasons in and it is still as strong as it was with this season being the most consistent in quality compared to the others
6. Fargo- again another great new show, very quirky and funny but with a great story and performances, would have it in the miniseries category though competing with Luther and Sherlock
2
Reply
Flag
Fargo is considered a miniseries, and True Detective should be considered a miniseries. If I leave them out, I end up with this list.

1. Breaking Bad
2. Game of Thrones
3. The Americans
4. Person of interest
5. Hannibal
6. Masters of sex

If I consider Fargo and True Detective as well, Fargo definitely makes the cut. I'd put it at number 4. Not so sure about True Detective. It's great in many ways, but I don't find it as enjoyable as POI or even Hannibal. So I'm actually going to just leave it off.

BB and GoT are far ahead of the others. The Americans and Fargo are far ahead of number 5, which would be Person of interest. Person of interest is very uneven, but still a good distance ahead of the next show on the list.
1
Reply
Flag
Game of Thrones
True Detective
Orphan Black
Utopia
Breaking Bad
In The Flesh (don't know if it's still regarded as a mini-series afters season 2?)

Reply
Flag
The Americans, Justified, Masters of Sex, True Detective and Les Revenants (The Returned).
Reply
Flag
The Americans, The Good Wife, Orphan Black, Masters of Sex.
Reply
Flag
Game of Thrones
The Killing
House of Cards
Orphan Black
True Detective
Suits
Reply
Flag
- Breaking Bad

- House Of Cards

- The Good Wife

- Homeland

- Hannibal

- Orphan Black
Reply
Flag
Fargo
True Detective
Orphan Black
Hannibal
The Killing
Game of Thrones
Reply
Flag
Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
Fargo
True Detective
Hannibal
Americans
Reply
Flag
Breaking Bad- AMC
True Detective- HBO
Game of Thrones- HBO
Hannibal- NBC
Fargo- FX
Mad Men- AMC
1
Reply
Flag
Game of Thrones, True Detective, Breaking Bad, Person of Interest, Hannibal.
Reply
Flag
Banshee
Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
Hannibal
Orphan Black
True Detective
1
Reply
Flag
Follow this Show
Members
713