Emmys ’11 Predictions: Outstanding Drama Series

Senior Television Writer
09.15.11 25 Comments

The 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards are on Sunday, and it’s the final time for Fienberg and I to discuss whom we think should and will win(*) some of the major categories. For our last entry, it’s time to look at the nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series.

(*) As always, we remind you we do not have impressive track records at prognostication. Place your wagers (or, preferably not) accordingly.

“Boardwalk Empire”


“Friday Night Lights”

“Game of Thrones”

“The Good Wife”

“Mad Men”

Should win

Alan’s pick: No “Breaking Bad” this year, but it’s a very deep field nonetheless. “Friday Night Lights” went out very strong, “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire” had terrific debut seasons and “The Good Wife” continued to prove you can do cable-style moral complexity on a broadcast network. (On the other hand, “Dexter” keeps being nominated out of inertia, as opposed to a show genuinely at the top of its game like “Justified.”) Still, even though it’s predictable to say it, the most deserving show in the field is “Mad Men,” which blew Don Draper’s life to pieces and presented some of its most memorable episodes dealing with the wreckage and then rebirth.

Dan’s pick: “Mad Men” was No. 1 on my Best of 2010 list, so it’s gonna be my personal preference for Emmy glory. I don’t especially care that it’s “boring” for “Mad Men” to win every year, because if “Mad Men” deserves to win, “Mad Men” deserves to win. In this case, though, it’s not like there isn’t competition. “Friday Night Lights” had a splendid fifth and final season. “Boardwalk Empire” made my Top 10 list for last year and “Game of Thrones” is going to make my Top 10 list this year. Would I prefer to see “Justified” in this group over “Dexter” and “The Good Wife”? Sure. But no matter what permutation of field you put in there, I’m gonna favor “Mad Men.”

Will win

Alan’s pick: Until presented overwhelming evidence otherwise, I’m going to assume “Mad Men” will win this every year it’s on the air. It’s too much the perfect Emmy storm: nostalgia for the older voters, cutting-edge drama for the younger ones, excellence for everyone.

Dan’s pick: The overwhelming evidence Alan seeks is all in the corner of “Boardwalk Empire” and it includes the Golden Globe win, the Screen Actors Guild ensemble win, the seven Creative Arts Emmys, the inevitable win for Martin Scorsese and the collective might of the HBO Emmy team, which hasn’t had a drama this strong to push in years. “Boardwalk Empire” wins.

What do you think?

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