Lead Actor, Drama
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey"
Damian Lewis, "Homeland"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
A couple of new faces join the usual suspects this year: Daniels is superb as "The Newsroom's" cantankerous lead anchor, and Spacey brings serious acting cred to Netflix as scheming congressman Frank Underwood. Bonneville is fine on "Downton," but doesn't have a meaty enough role to compete here. Lewis won last year, and his work in Season 2's stark two-person episode "Q&A" was mesmerizing. Cranston has won three times, and only gets better as Walter White gets worse. Hamm is always a bridesmaid, going 0-for-5 so far, but with "Mad Men" ending next year, he needs to get an Emmy at some point for bringing Don Draper to life… right?
Should Win: We're not crazy about "The Newsroom" as a whole, but we are crazy about Daniels' performance.
Will Win: Move over, Sgt. Brody; Cranston is the one who knocks in this category.
Lead Actress. Drama
Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel"
Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey"
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Connie Britton, "Nashville"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
There must have been a tie here, because seven ladies managed to cram into this category. But only one can win, and that's Claire Danes. Her Carrie Mathison is a twitchy force of nature, and she's swept just about every award available so far. It's a shame Moss has to compete with her, because her work as Peggy Olson is top-notch as well. Farmiga is a surprise, but she and Freddie Highmore do make a great (and creepy) mother-son duo on "Bates." Wright is fantastic as a not-so-loyal politician's wife on "Cards," and it's nice to see Kerry Washington in the mix for her work as "Scandal's" Olivia Pope. Dockery deserves her nod, but "Downton's" stuffiness works against her. And we love Connie Britton, but "Nashville" doesn't feel Emmy-worthy.
Should Win: Peggy Olson is number one in our hearts; in fact, we want to see Moss win for both this and her miniseries "Top of the Lake."
Will Win: Don't mess with Carrie; Danes is unstoppable right now.