Next up in my week of predicting the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards is Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series. On that note…
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Simon Baker (The Mentalist, CBS)
Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, HBO)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, AMC)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Showtime)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC)
Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)
Who Should Win: Bryan Cranston
Who Will Win: Gabriel Byrne
In Treatment is, no doubt, on Emmy’s radar given the accolades for Dianne Wiest (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama) and Glynn Turman (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama) last year. There is just something extremely satisfying about watching a show about the life of a psychotherapist and his clientele, and more than worthy Gabriel Byrne holds it all together like glue.
Elsewhere, amazing Bryan Cranston’s unexpected victory last season for Breaking Bad proves anything is possible in this category, but In Treatment is more complex. Even so, does anyone even remember Cranston as goofy Malcolm’s sitcom Dad? Simon Baker is on the biggest new scripted hit from last season, but The Mentalist is more of a generic entry. Michael C. Hall is no stranger to the ballot, but he has never won anything. Mad Men is more about the ensemble than the lead work of Jon Hamm. And Hugh Laurie is now on a show losing steam. What all that in mind, the best bet is the work of Gabriel Byrne on In Treatment.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Glenn Close (Damages, FX)
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters, ABC)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU, NBC)
Holly Hunter (Saving Grace, TNT)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, AMC)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, TNT)
Who Should Win: Kyra Sedgwick
Who Will Win: Glenn Close
Let’s be honest: Kyra Sedgwick deserves to win. She is long overdue, but the ton of star power in this category could once again overshadow her portrayal of unorthodox deputy police chief Brenda Johnson.
Sally Field, Mariska Hargitay and last year’s winner, Glenn Close, each have one Emmy statuette under their belts for this category, but Field and Hargitay are on dramas that have lost some creative juice. Saving Grace will conclude next spring, so Holly Hunter is losing time. And first-time nominee Elisabeth Moss, like Jon Hamm, could take a backseat to the others because of her large ensemble cast. Although sassy Hunter is a definite contender, Close is on a better show. Plus, Emmy is never shy rewarding past winners. Oscar may not love five-time nominee Close, but Emmy probably will.
Don’t forget to tune into CBS on Sunday, June 20 at 8 p.m. for the live telecast.
For everything TV, ratings news and all the trivia you can fit in a bag, go to www.mediaweek.com/programminginsider.