A week from today, television’s best will be in the spotlight as the fabulous Retta hosts the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards. I was incredibly pleased with the nominees chosen by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA); I feel like they’re a strong representation of what has been an outstanding year for television.
As is usually the case in the world of television awards, who I’d like to see win is often different from who I think will win—although that isn’t always the case. My predictions for these awards will include both the actor or show I feel is most deserving and the one I think the critics will most likely honor. However, I know practically nothing about the nominees in the “Mini-Series or TV Movie” categories, so I’m just going to pick who I think will actually win those after doing some intense research (aka going on Google for a couple of hours to read reviews from critics I trust).
Without further ado, here are my predictions!
BEST COMEDY SERIES
• The Big Bang Theory – CBS
• Louie – FX
• The Middle – ABC
• New Girl – FOX
• Parks and Recreation – NBC
• Veep – HBO
Should Win: As much as I love Parks and Rec, New Girl was both the funniest and most emotionally honest comedy on television this year.
Will Win: Louie is loved by critics and fans alike, and I don’t see it losing to any network comedy. Veep is the only show I could see giving it a run for its money as far as awards go.
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Don Cheadle (House of Lies) – Showtime
• Louis C.K. (Louie) – FX
• Jake Johnson (New Girl) – FOX
• Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) – ABC
Should Win: Jake Johnson was one of the best actors on television this year in any genre. Whether he was dancing to Taylor Swift, delivering an emotional eulogy for his father, or kissing Jess “like a man” on more than one occasion, Nick Miller surprised me as a viewer every week, and thanks to Johnson’s charming, hilarious, and surprisingly sexy screen presence, it was always a pleasant surprise.
Will Win: Louis C.K. is hilarious, and he’s a critical darling. While this category is stocked with some great names (Adam Scott’s inclusion makes me especially thrilled), no one’s beating him.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Laura Dern (Enlightened) – HBO
• Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) – FOX
• Lena Dunham (Girls) – HBO
• Sutton Foster (Bunheads) – ABC Family
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) – HBO
• Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: I’ve been burned with this prediction many times before, but I think it’s finally Amy Poehler’s time to win. Parks and Rec is loved by so many critics, and it wouldn’t be anywhere near as entertaining without Poehler’s sunny and smart presence at the center of it. This was a big year for Leslie Knope—she became a city councilwoman, got engaged, and got married—and Poehler made us laugh, cry, and smile along with this character through all of it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Max Greenfield (New Girl) – FOX
• Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Alex Karpovsky (Girls) – HBO
• Adam Pally (Happy Endings) – ABC
• Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Danny Pudi (Community) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: There’s no character on TV right now like Schmidt, and I really think critics are going to find some way to reward New Girl for its excellent sophomore season. These two factors should combine to give Max Greenfield some well-deserved love from the BTJA. Greenfield’s talent for playing the world’s most lovable douchebag has made him a critical darling even when the rest of the cast was struggling to gain recognition. While I think he had less to do this season than last season, his unique combination of quirky overconfidence and genuine vulnerability were still put to excellent use.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
• Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory) – ABC
• Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) – ABC
• Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Eden Sher (The Middle) – ABC
• Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) – ABC
Should Win: Sarah Hyland has always been an underappreciated force to be reckoned with on Modern Family, and I’m so happy to see her getting the recognition she deserves.
Will Win: It wouldn’t be a TV award show without The Big Bang Theory winning something, so my money’s on the charming Kaley Cuoco to take home the show’s obligatory award.
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Melissa Leo (Louie) – FX
• David Lynch (Louie) – FX
• Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Patton Oswalt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Molly Shannon (Enlightened) – HBO
• Patrick Wilson (Girls) – HBO
Should Win/Will Win: Molly Shannon is always a treat whenever she shows up onscreen—and I think most critics would agree with me. ‘
BEST DRAMA SERIES
• The Americans – FX
• Breaking Bad – AMC
• Downton Abbey – PBS
• Game of Thrones – HBO
• The Good Wife – CBS
• Homeland – Showtime
Should Win: Game of Thrones is the definition of “event TV.” It’s the kind of show made for discussion, analysis, and impassioned criticism. This season has been a whirlwind of great performances, memorable moments, and fascinating adaptation choices.
Will Win: Critics and audiences love Breaking Bad, and I think the BTJA will be even more likely to reward it knowing that it’s going into its final season—and knowing that contenders like The Good Wife and Homeland weren’t at their strongest this season.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
• Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) – AMC
• Damian Lewis (Homeland) – Showtime
• Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) – AMC
• Timothy Olyphant (Justified) – FX
• Matthew Rhys (The Americans) – FX
• Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) – Netflix
Should Win/Will Win: Bryan Cranston has been at the top of his game (and at the top of critics’ list of best actors on TV) for a while now, and I don’t see any signs of him slowing down now.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
• Claire Danes (Homeland) – Showtime
• Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) – A&E
• Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) – CBS
• Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) – BBC America
• Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) – AMC
• Keri Russell (The Americans) – FX
Should Win/Will Win: Even though critics seemed to get somewhat disenchanted with Homeland as this season went on, none of them seemed to lose respect for the work Claire Danes is doing. She’s still the actress most people reference first when talking about the brilliant work women have done on television this year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
• Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) – AMC
• Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) – HBO
• Michael Cudlitz (Southland) – TNT
• Noah Emmerich (The Americans) – FX
• Walton Goggins (Justified) – FX
• Corey Stoll (House of Cards) – Netflix
Should Win/Will Win: Jaime Lannister once famously said, “There are no men like me.” The same can be said for the work Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has done on Game of Thrones this season. His complete lack of vanity and dedication to getting every nuance of Jaime’s character arc just right are things I respect and I think critics respect as well. His confession scene with Brienne about the truth behind his “Kingslayer” reputation was the single greatest acting moment I saw on any screen this year—big or small.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
• Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) – Showtime
• Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) – HBO
• Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) – AMC
• Regina King (Southland) – TNT
• Monica Potter (Parenthood) – NBC
• Abigail Spencer (Rectify) – Sundance
Should Win/Will Win: Regina King is such a strong actress, and I think the BTJA might be the ones to give her and Southland the recognition it deserves (especially after giving Lucy Liu an award for her guest role last season).
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
• Jim Beaver (Justified) – FX
• Jane Fonda (The Newsroom) – HBO
• Martha Plimpton (The Good Wife) – CBS
• Carrie Preston (The Good Wife) – CBS
• Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) – HBO
• Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy) – FX
Should Win: Carrie Preston has always been a highlight in every episode of The Good Wife that she appears in. Her unique charm makes her unlike anyone else on TV, and an award for her would be a way to recognize all of the fantastic actors that make appearances on The Good Wife every season.
Will Win: Diana Rigg’s role on Game of Thrones is a role made for these kinds of awards. She’s an established actress playing a part that allows her to be both a powerful matriarch and a snarky schemer. The Queen of Thorns was a character I enjoyed but wasn’t too invested in as I read the novels, but Rigg made her an unforgettable part of the Game of Thrones ensemble this season.
BEST REALITY SERIES
• Duck Dynasty – A&E
• The Moment – USA
• Pawn Stars – History Channel
• Push Girls – Sundance
• Small Town Security – AMC
• Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan – BBC America
Should Win/Will Win: Duck Dynasty is a pop culture phenomenon right now. Everyone I know who watches it has fallen in love with it. and I think that kind of passionate following and popularity will earn it some kudos from the BTJA.
BEST REALITY SERIES – COMPETITION
• Chopped – Food Network
• Face Off – Syfy
• Shark Tank – ABC
• So You Think You Can Dance – FOX
• Survivor – CBS
• The Voice – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: While I will always adore SYTYCD, condensing the show into a once-per-week format made it less entertaining for me than it used to be. However, The Voice keeps getting stronger, with a phenomenal panel of judges, a great audition format, and truly talented contestants.
BEST REALITY HOST
• Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars) – ABC
• Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance) – FOX
• Gordon Ramsay (Hell’s Kitchen/Masterchef) – FOX
• RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race) – Logo
• Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) – FOX
• Kurt Warner (The Moment) – USA
Should Win: I will always be a sucker for Cat Deeley’s adorable mixture of total fangirl and doting mother. Her reactions to each dance are almost as entertaining as some of the routines, and her natural kindness always shines through. She’s the host I would most want next to me if I were getting eliminated from a reality show.
Will Win: Tom Bergeron is the king of live TV hosts. His ability to keep a show moving, react to unexpected situations, and provide levity when a moment gets tense is unparalleled. The man oozes charisma, and his one-liners are often the best thing about DWTS.
BEST TALK SHOW
• Conan – TBS
• The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – Comedy Central
• The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Warner Brothers Television Distribution
• Jimmy Kimmel Live! – ABC
• Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – NBC
• Marie – Hallmark Channel
Should Win/Will Win: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is creative, hilarious, and always entertaining. There’s a reason Fallon is taking over for Jay Leno next year: His enthusiasm, energy, and rapport with his guests are the best in the business.
BEST ANIMATED SERIES
• Adventure Time – Cartoon Network
• Archer – FX
• Phineas and Ferb – Disney Channel
• Regular Show – Cartoon Network
• The Simpsons – FOX
• Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Cartoon Network
Should Win/Will Win: I don’t really watch any animated series, but people whose opinions I trust are very high on Adventure Time, so I have a good feeling about its chances.
BEST MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
• American Horror Story: Asylum – FX
• Behind the Candelabra – HBO
• The Crimson Petal and the White – Encore
• The Hour – BBC America
• Political Animals – USA
• Top of the Lake – Sundance
Will Win: Top of the Lake
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
• Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta) – Lifetime
• Romola Garai (The Hour) – BBC America
• Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End) – HBO
• Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum) – FX
• Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake) – Sundance
• Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals) – USA
Will Win: Elisabeth Moss
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
• James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum) – FX
• Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake) – Sundance
• Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum) – FX
• Sebastian Stan (Political Animals) – USA
• David Wenham (Top of the Lake) – Sundance
• Thomas M. Wright (Top of the Lake) – Sundance
Will Win: Zachary Quinto
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
• Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals) – USA
• Sienna Miller (The Girl) – HBO
• Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum) – FX
• Lily Rabe (American Horror Story: Asylum) – FX
• Imelda Staunton (The Girl) – HBO
• Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias) – Lifetime
Will Win: Alfre Woodard
Do you like my picks, or am I even crazier than usual with some of my selections? And what are your predictions for the Critics’ Choice Awards?