2011 Emmy predictions

Outstanding Drama Series
An extremely strong category this year, I’m expecting this to be a showdown between critical favorites “Boardwalk Empire” and “Mad Men.” “The Good Wife” has some strong support, but I doubt it’ll be enough to topple those two. I would love to see “Friday Night Lights” take home the gold for its outstanding final season, but I don’t think it has much of a chance. Nor do the great “Game of Thrones” and the tired “Dexter.”

Should Win: “Friday Night Lights”

Will Win: “Mad Men”

Outstanding Comedy Series
I’m almost certain this award will go to last year’s victor, “Modern Family,” considering virtually every actor from that show was nominated this year. But it would be unwise to discount three-time winner “30 Rock,” which rebounded from last year’s lackluster season. “Glee” has mostly worn out its welcome and “The Office” isn’t aging particularly well. My heart lies with the wonderful, under-watched “Parks and Recreation,” but I fear it doesn’t have much of a shot, nor does “The Big Bang Theory.”

Should Win: “Parks and Recreation”

Will Win: “Modern Family”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
With Bryan Cranston out of the running, I predict that “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm will finally take home his long-deserved Emmy. “Boardwalk Empire’s” Steve Buscemi still has a chance, though, and I would be ecstatic to see Kyle Chandler receive his due for “Friday Night Lights.” Hugh Laurie’s (“House”) Emmy success has probably run its course. Timothy Olyphant (“Justified”) and Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) will likely be overshadowed by the more prestigious nominees.

Should Win: Jon Hamm

Will Win: Jon Hamm

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Please let Connie Britton win this award. Her heartfelt performance as Tami Taylor has carried “Friday Night Lights” for five years. Of course, I wouldn’t be outraged to see a win for the outstanding Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”). Unfortunately, Kathy Bates, star of the wretched “Harry’s Law,” may be the favorite here. Julianna Marguiles (“The Good Wife”) also has a very good chance at winning and Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) could be a dark horse. Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: SVU”) is just here to fill the category.

Should Win: Connie Britton

Will Win: Kathy Bates

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis C.K.
(“Louie”) and Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) were wonderful this year, but Steve Carell was even better in his farewell season of “The Office.” Last year’s winner, Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), has quite a few fans, but I think he’ll go home empty handed. As will Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”) and Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory”).

Should Win: Steve Carell

Will Win: Steve Carell

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
I haven’t heard much about Melissa McCarthy (“Mike and Molly”) and Martha Plimpton’s (“Raising Hope”) performances, which I’ll take as a sign that they haven’t garnered as much buzz as the other nominees. The always fantastic Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) and, my personal pick, Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), will suffer when compared to the more nuanced, dramatic performances from Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”) and frontrunner Laura Linney (“The Big C”).

Should Win: Amy Poehler

Will Win: Laura Linney

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees: Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age”), Josh Charles (“The Good Wife”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Walton Goggins (“Justified”), John Slattery (“Mad Men”)

Should Win: Peter Dinklage

Will Win: John Slattery

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees: Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”), Michelle Forbes (“The Killing”), Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”), Margo Martindale (“Justified”), Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”)

Should Win: Christina Hendricks

Will Win: Kelly Macdonald

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Chris Colfer (“Glee”), Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”), Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”)

Should Win: Ty Burrell

Will Win: Chris Colfer

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”), Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”), Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”), Betty White (“Hot in Cleveland”), Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”)

Should Win: Sofia Vergara

Will Win: Jane Lynch