Instant Emmy Predictions: Who Should Win? Who Will Win?

AMC, FX, Netflix, NBC

The ink is still drying on this year's Emmy nominations, but we're already looking ahead to which TV shows and actors will actually take home a trophy in September. We know it's early, but we're breaking down the biggest categories and telling you who should win the Emmy and (more importantly) who will win it.

Drama Series

"Breaking Bad" (AMC)
"Downton Abbey" (PBS)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Homeland" (Showtime)
"House of Cards" (Netflix)
"Mad Men" (AMC)

This category is a real horserace: All six nominees have a legit shot at winning, and a few worthy contenders ("Boardwalk Empire," "The Walking Dead") didn't even make the cut. "Downton" is an awards-show staple, even though Season 3 was a serious downer. "Thrones" had maybe its strongest season yet (the Red Wedding!), and "Breaking Bad" is always a powerhouse. "Mad Men" has won four Drama Series trophies, but went home empty-handed last year. "Homeland" won that one, but a lot of critics were turned off by this season's outlandish plot twists. And "House of Cards" is the newbie on the block, making history with the first major Emmy nominations for a TV show distributed online.

Should Win: "Mad Men." Even with all the great new competition out there, it's still the best show on television.

Will Win: It's anybody's guess, but we're going to predict a shocker and say "House of Cards" will win here and put streaming content on the map for good.

[Related: Why the Emmys Need to Expand the Best Drama Series Category]

Comedy Series

"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
"Girls" (HBO)
"Louie" (FX)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"30 Rock" (NBC)
"Veep" (HBO)

"Modern Family" is the 800-pound gorilla in this category, having won the past three years in a row, and there's no reason to think they won't make it four-for-four. But there are a few upstarts nipping at their heels: "Big Bang" is TV's top-rated comedy and starting to get more Emmy love, and the genre-defying "Louie" scored its first Comedy Series nod this year. The bloom is off the rose a bit for "Girls," but "Veep" is surging with an even stronger sophomore season. And you can't count out "30 Rock," an Emmys veteran taking a victory lap for its final season.

Should Win: "Louie" is barely a comedy, but it's definitely a work of genius, and the strongest contender here.

Will Win: Upset alert! We see "Modern Family's" winning streak finally getting snapped by sentimental favorite "30 Rock."


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