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“Glee”’s Jane Lynch will serve as host of this multi-hour ceremony, and with reality TV uber-producer Mark Burnett as EP, the broadcast promises to be livelier and more unpredictable than in previous years, though not as unbridled as his souped-up, F-word orgy on MTV, aka the VMAs (in other words, don’t expect Alec Baldwin to fly down from the rafters and put his butt in John Hamm’s face). Xfinity TV’s editors will also provide up-to-the-second commentary on a live chat that you’re invited to join. But enough overview. You’ve watched awards shows before, so you know the only questions that matter – outside of who will be in the bathroom when their name is called – are: Who will win? Who should win? And who do the fans want to win? Let’s answer those questions, including fan picks based on results from our Xfinity TV Facebook page.
Best Drama Series: Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Mad Men.
A category that illustrates the strength of scripted TV. With the exception of “Breaking Bad,” the best of TV is represented here. Any of these shows could win and it wouldn’t be a disappointment.
Who Will Win: “Mad Men”
Who Should Win: “Game of Thrones”
Facebook Fans Pick: “The Good Wife”
Best Comedy Series: Modern Family, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation.
Hipsters have a soft spot for “Parks and Recreation,” one of TV’s smartest comedies and an example of why networks should stick with some series when they start slow. This show found itself and blossomed. But the competition is stiff, especially from “Modern Family,” which will seems on its way to becoming a true classic.
Who Will Win: “Modern Family”
Who Should Win: “Modern Family”
Facebook Fans Pick: “Modern Family”
Drama Actress: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights and Mireille Enos, The Killing.
Hargitary was easily the favorite among our Facebook fans, and Mireille Enos was the choice of several critics showing off their edgy taste, natch, but Margulies is a prime time star deserving of the award.
Who Will Win: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Who Should Win: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Facebook Fans Pick: Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: SVU”
Comedy Actor: Steve Carell, The Office; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Louis C.K., Louie; Johnny Galecki, Big Bang Theory.
Last year if you wanted to be cool, you rooted for Jim Parsons. This year the kool kids are pointing to Louis C.K. Carell, who left “The Office,” is a sentimental pick, but no one is as important to their show as Baldwin is to “30 Rock.”
Who Will Win: Steve Carell, “The Office”
Who Should Win: Alec Baldwin,” 30 Rock”
Facebook Fans Pick: Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory”
Drama Actor: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Hugh Laurie, House; Timothy Olyphant, Justified.
Olyphant is just plain hot and could provide a nifty upset, but Hamm is the most likely to take this category, though Buscemi gave a riveting performance throughout “Boardwalk” while the multi-talented Laurie is over-the-top fun.
Who Will Win: Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Who Should Win: Either Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” or Hugh Laurie, “House”
Facebook Fans Pick: Hugh Laurie, “House”
Comedy Actress: Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation; Laura Linney, The Big C; Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope; Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly.
After her turn in “Bridesmaids,” McCarthy won a whole bunch of new fans- and deservedly so. And Plimpton is darn good, too. But it feels like Poehler’s turn. She plays it funny each with with intelligent understatement that gives her character dimension without losing any of the funny.
Who Will Win: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Who Should Win: Either Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” or Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly”
Facebook Fans Pick: Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Reality Competition: So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Project Runway.
Let’s face facts. “Idol” was in trouble, they recast the show, and they breathed new life, excitement and ratings into it. ‘Nuf said. Give Nigel the trophy.
Who Will Win: “American Idol”
Who Should Win: “American Idol”
Facebook Fans Pick: “Top Chef”