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Lifestyle

September 22, 2012

Emmy Awards 2012: Predicting TV's big winners

Behold the sad irony of the Emmy Awards telecast: It is designed to celebrate extraordinary TV shows, but it usually turns out to be dreadful, soul-killing television itself.

The good news this year is that we have a fresh and funny new host in Jimmy Kimmel. If he’s on his game, we expect to laugh like baboons.

Moreover, there’s an intriguing mix of exciting newcomers and established powerhouses among the nominees. Can “Downton Abbey” or “Homeland” break the “Mad Men” stranglehold on the best drama trophy?

Will the cult-favorite “Girls” prove to be a threat to “Modern Family’s” comedic dominance?

Of course, predicting what Emmy voters will do is often an exercise in head-scratching futility. Just when you think they’re stuck in rubber-stamp mode, they fall in love with something - or someone - all shiny and new.

Still, there’s no harm in trying. Here’s our breakdown of major categories, along with our totally wild guesses. Wager at your own risk.

Outstanding drama

The nominees : “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO); “Breaking Bad” (AMC); “Downton Abbey” (PBS); “Game of Thrones” (HBO); “Homeland” (Showtime); “Mad Men” (AMC).

The lowdown : A victory would give “Mad Men” a record fifth trophy in this category. Although the moody period drama produced another superlative season, I have a hunch that Emmy is restless and ready to go home with someone else. If I had a vote, it would go to “Breaking Bad,” which has yet to win despite its enduring brilliance, or “Homeland,” which was easily the year’s best new drama. But this seems to be the year of the Brits, so I’m thinking that the voters fall for the sumptuous costumed splendor of “Downton Abbey.”

Outstanding actress, drama

The nominees : Kathy Bates (”Harry’s Law,” NBC); Glenn Close (”Damages,” DirecTV); Claire Danes (”Homeland”); Michelle Dockery (”Downton Abbey”); Julianna Margulies (”The Good Wife,” CBS); Elisabeth Moss (”Mad Men”).

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