Although they are often controversial, the Emmys continue to be an event that is looked forward to by stars and fans alike. This year’s telecast, which is scheduled to take place at 8:00 p.m. EDT, September 16th on the Fox Network, promises to be lots of fun with a surprise of two thrown in for excitement.
While Emmy once again slighted some of television’s best actors and actresses and overlooked some of the fan’s favorite programs, there is no denying that it will recognize some of television’s very best. Hosted this year by Ryan Seacrest, from American Idol, everyone wonders if Emmy will finally give the ratings superstar its much deserved award. Let’s take a look at that, and other categories, that may or may not shock this year’s Emmy viewers.
The nominees for outstanding actor in a comedy series once again features some old favorites in Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Steve Carrel (The Office), and Charlie Sheen (Two And A Half Men), but it also offers newbies in Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Ricky Gervais (Entourage).
Shalhoub holds the hearts of a lot of Emmy voters and fans while Carrel is an acquired taste that seems to be quickly growing. Sheen isn’t really of the same caliber as either of those comic masters and isn’t likely to take home the statue. Gervais could surprise everyone but it is doubtful. I think this year’s winner will likely be Alec Baldwin. He’s surprised virtually everyone with his tour de force performance.
SHOULD WIN:Tony Shalhoub. There is just something about Monk that makes you root for him and his portrayer.
WILL WIN: Alec Baldwin. He was surprisingly good in a little show that could (and did).
There is a solid list of actors up for outstanding actor in a drama series. The only repeats from last year are Keifer Sutherland (24) and Denis Leary (Rescue Me). New nominees include Hugh Laurie (House), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), and James Spader (Boston Legal).
Spader continues to shine as one of television’s most eccentric lawyers, but he’s up against heavy hitters in Laurie (House), Sutherland (24), and Gandolfini (The Sopranos). I don’t think he stands a chance this year. Even the enormously popular Leary (Rescue Me) probably can’t best that trio. I think Gandolfini will win the nostalgia vote.
SHOULD WIN:Hugh Laurie. His outstanding work has been mysteriously panned the last couple of years. He’s clearly deserving of this award.
WILL WIN:James Gandolfini. It was, after all, his swan song year. Emmy voters are suckers for that situation.
There are also some new blood in the outstanding lead actress category this year. Returning favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures Of Old Christine) goes head to head with perennially popular Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) as well as the charming America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and underdog Tina Fey (30 Rock).
Huffman is well respected among her peers and it’s possible that Louis-Dreyfus could surprise everyone and take home the Emmy. While Fey is delightfully funny in her own right, I just don’t think she can stand up against the popularity and charm of Ferrera. I think TV’s Ugly Betty is going to turn into a swan and take home this year’s honors.
SHOULD WIN:Felicity Huffman. This year was chock full of drama and comedy for her character and she never missed a beat.
WILL WIN:America Ferrera. Everyone loves this show and this actress and there is no denying that she is a major talent.
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) and Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) lead the nominees for outstanding actress in a drama series, having also received nods in 2006. Other actress hopefuls with a huge fan base include Edie Falco (The Sopranos) and Patricia Arquette (Medium). New nominees include Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters) and Minnie Driver (The Riches).
This year wasn’t Hargitay’s strongest and a lot of people missed the amazing performances given by Driver. Arquette continues to deliver steady and sure performances but was bumped around to different nights and times this year, making it hard to view her outstanding work. Field could surprise everyone and win this category but I suspect she’ll stand a better chance in 2008. I think this award comes down to Sedgwick and Falco. Although Sedgwick deserves the win, I think Falco will take it home since this was her swan song year.
SHOULD WIN:Kyra Sedgwick. She just gets better and better in her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson. She portrays a woman that most women can connect with and she also commands the screen whenever she is in a scene.
WILL WIN:Edie Falco. Again, I think the voters will give away the trophy to the actress in her swan song year. I don’t like it, but I think that is going to happen.
There were new nominees in the outstanding supporting actor category as well. It is the first nod received by Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), and Rainn Wilson (The Office.) Returning favorites Jeremy Piven (Entourage) and Jon Cryer (Two And A Half Men) are definitely getting a run for their money.
Both Dillon and Harris have been long overlooked for their outstanding acting chops and Rainn Wilson had a great year as well. I personally don’t get the Cryer nomination but then I’ve never quite understood him as an actor. I think the award this year will come down to Piven and Dillon, assuming that they don’t manage to cancel each other out. Something in the air just says it is Piven’s turn to win.
SHOULD WIN:Jeremy Piven. He’s been overlooked far too long.
WILL WIN:Jeremy Piven. I think it is just his year.
William Shatner (Boston Legal) and Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) are nominated again this year but they are up against some formidable opponents in newbies T.R. Night (Grey’s Anatomy), Masi Oka (Heroes), Michael Emerson (Lost), and Terry O’Quinn (Lost).
There is no denying that Shatner’s portrayal of the oddball Denny Crane is outstanding. However, he really didn’t show anything new this year to warrant special attention. The same case could be made for perennial favorite Imperioli.
While T.R. Night absolutely deserved the nomination for his wonderful work, I don’t think this his year to win. That is also true of O’Quinn. He’s a marvelous actor who should have won long before now.
I think this year’s battle will be between Oka and Emerson. In reality, it should be a toss up. Both of these actors did groundbreaking work. However, I think Oka might take home the statue simply because of the scheduling snafu that Lost created this past year. It made it difficult to everyone to have the opportunity to see just how brilliant Emerson’s portrayal was. That could cost him a much-deserved win.
SHOULD WIN:Michael Emerson. His portrayal of the leader of “the others” was bone chillingly brilliant.
WILL WIN:Masi Oka. That’s not a bad thing, by any means. This actor is outstanding in his own right.
Jaime Pressley (My Name is Earl) and Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds) get their second nod in a row in the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series category. Long overdue Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) and Holland Taylor (Two And A Half Men) join in as do Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Conchata Ferrell (Two And A Half Men).
Everybody loves Pressley so she could take home the statue but Williams shouldn’t be counted out of the running. Taylor has done brilliant comedy for more years than I can count and certainly deserves the nomination, if not the win. I have to say that both Fischer and Ferrell were surprise nominations for me. I’ll leave it at that. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I think this just might be the year for Perkins to get the recognition she has so long deserved.
SHOULD WIN:Elizabeth Perkins. She’s a highly underrated actress. She just makes it look too easy.
WILL WIN:Jaime Pressley. For some reason the voters just love her and I’ll admit, so do I
Grey’s Anatomy hit the jackpot with three outstanding supporting actress in a drama series nods with Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson, and Sandra Oh. Both Wilson and Oh have been nominated before but this was Heigl’s first nod. The Sopranos also did well with two nominees in Aida Turturro and Lorraine Bracco. Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) also got a well-deserved nod.
It is possible that the multiple nominees could cancel each other out and make way for Griffiths to take home the prize. However, this was definitely a banner year for Oh’s character and she deserves the Emmy. Still, chances are good that she’ll have to wait as voters give yet another award to The Sopranos for its final year.
SHOULD WIN:Sandra Oh. She played every emotion under the sun with utter brilliance this past year.
WILL WIN:Lorraine Bracco. I think it will be yet another win for The Sopranos in their final year.
The Office and Two And A Half Men are back-to-back repeat nominees while Entourage, 30 Rock, and Ugly Betty get their first nominations. I have to say that I don’t get the nomination of Two And A Half Men but the others were obviously well deserved. I think this could be a battle between The Office and Ugly Betty and, for me, it’s too close to call.
SHOULD WIN:Either Ugly Betty or The Office would be excellent choices.
WILL WIN:I haven’t got a clue. I think this one may be too close to call.
Grey’s Anatomy and House repeat back-to-back nominations along with perennial favorite The Sopranos, ratings juggernaut Heroes and quirky Boston Legal.
I don’t think that Boston Legal stands a chance against its competition. Grey’s Anatomy’s immense popularity might actually cost it the win. That could also happen to Heroes as well. While House is certainly deserving, it might not have a broad enough fan base to land the trophy. I think the statue will go to The Sopranos in recognition of several years of outstanding work.
SHOULD WIN:Heroes. This show is something that fans have come to expect; something new, inventive, and different. The ensemble cast is outstanding. The writing is first rate and the direction is spot on.
WILL WIN:The Sopranos. This was the show’s last year and I don’t think voters will let it pass without recognition.
Nominees for the outstanding reality program in 2007 could offer a surprise. Perennial favorite, The Amazing Race is back along with fan favorites American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Project Runway, and Top Chef.
The Amazing Race is the show to beat but I don’t think this is the year for American Idol to accomplish that feat. While Top Chef is undeniably entertaining, it isn’t likely to best its strong competition either. Project Runway could finally walk away with the gold but then so could Dancing With The Stars.
SHOULD WIN:Project Runway. This inventive little show is amazing and deserves recognition.
WILL WIN:Amazing Race. I don’t know why, but the voters seem to love this one.
Those are my predictions for 2007. I welcome your thoughts and comments as well. Also check out my article on those actors, actresses and and shows that were overlooked.
See you at the Emmys!