2010 Emmy Predictions: Can The Good Wife Beat Mad Men?

On the morning of the Emmy nominations, Lost executive producer/co-creator Damon Lindelof excitedly learned his show had been nominated for Outstanding Drama series. He went to check out his Twitter feed only to read this entry:

"If outstanding means destroying a six-year series with one lame episode, then you guys are a shoo-in."

Lindelof knows there's plenty of fan -- and perhaps Emmy -- backlash after his show's controversial ending. And he's felt the sting of mad love for Mad Men, which is looking to grab its third Outstanding Drama Emmy.

When Lindelof accepted the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama for Lost in July, he took the opportunity to joke about being shut out of the Emmys by Matthew Weiner's cable phenomenon.

"It's been a while since we've been able to give an acceptance speech," Lindelof said. "Is Matthew Weiner here tonight?"

Weiner might not have snagged a TCA award this season, but chances are good he'll be up giving an acceptance speech at the 2010 Emmy Awards. And this year looks good for freshman series that have bumped long-time favorites out of the top categories.

Outstanding Drama Series:

Nominees:

Breaking Bad

Dexter

The Good Wife

Lost

Mad Men

True Blood

And the winner is: Mad Men. While TV critics made the unprecedented decision this year to award a tie to Lost and Breaking Bad in the TCA drama category award, there's little doubt that Emmy voters will go for the sophisticated Mad Men for a three peat.

Potential Upset Winner: The Good Wife. In a category that has been dominated by cable, Emmy voters might want to reward a solid network drama.

Last Year's Winner: Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama

Nominees:

Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Glenn Close, Damages

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

January Jones, Mad Men

And the winner is: Julianna Margulies, who hands down is the favorite to take home the gold trophy. Her performance was universally embraced by critics and it gives the Emmy voters a chance at rewarding a broadcast network drama.

Potential Upset Winner: Kyra Sedgwick had a strong season on The Closer, and with Glenn Close already an Emmy winner there's little competition from the other nominees.

Last year's winner: Glenn Close, Damages

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama

Nominees:

Sharon Gless, Burn Notice

Rose Byrne, Damages

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

And the winner is: Sharon Gless, who has a solid reputation among long-time Emmy voters. She won Emmys for her role on Cagney & Lacey and although Burn Notice is known as a lightweight drama, Gless' performances have been stellar.

Potential Upset Winner: Christina Hendricks had a great year on Mad Men and deserves to be rewarded for it. But with votes split between Hendricks and Moss, it might be a difficult win to pull off.

Last year's winner: Cherry Jones, 24

Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama

Nominees:

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights

Hugh Laurie, House

Matthew Fox, Lost

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

And the winner is: Michael C. Hall had one of his best years, and he also battled cancer. You can't overlook the emotional pull of a talented actor who has overcome a personal hurdle combined with a twisty, Emmy-worthy performance.

Potential Upset Winner: Bryan Cranston had another amazing season as his character switched gears to become a person with an even darker side slithering through what appears to be a decent human being.

Last Year's Winner: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama

Nominees:

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Martin Short, Damages

Terry O'Quinn, Lost

Michael Emerson, Lost

John Slattery, Mad Men

Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

And the winner is: Aaron Paul gave a nuanced performance as the conflicted drug dealer who draws the line at using kids in his line of work. Breaking Bad deserves some wins, and with a split vote for the great Lost performances and Andre Braugher in a series that gained little attention, Paul seems to have this one.

Potential Upset Winner: O'Quinn has done a remarkable job this season as two vastly different characters. Emerson took home gold last time, so perhaps Emmy voters will be inclined to send their votes O'Quinn's way.

Last Year's Winner: Michael Emerson, Lost

Outstanding Comedy Series:

Nominees:

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Glee

Modern Family

Nurse Jackie

The Office

30 Rock

And the winner is: Modern Family by a mile. This hilarious comedy revitalized the genre this season with excellent execution by a list of actors dominating the supporting actor categories.

Potential Upset Winner: There's still a love affair going on between voters and the insider comedy 30 Rock, and you don't want to easily dismiss Glee after it proved what most voters feel in their hearts: a musical series can work on television if executed correctly.

Last year's winner: 30 Rock

Outstanding Lead Actress, Comedy

Nominees:

Lea Michele, Glee

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Tina Fey 30 Rock

Toni Collette, United States of Tara

And the winner is: Tina Fey, who had a true comedy performance in a field that has more emphasis on the drama than the comedy. She was a front-runner last year, which gives her the edge this season.

Potential Upset Winner: Edie Falco was nothing short of amazing this season on Nurse Jackie, but there are still plenty of people out there questioning this role, and this series, as a comedy. It's more dark and disturbing than belly-laugh inducing. But that didn't stop voters from voting for last year's winner.

Last year's winner: Toni Collette, United States of Tara

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy

Nominees:

Jane Lynch, Glee

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men

And the winner is: Put your cash on the favorite frontrunner Jane Lynch. There's no way she's going to get edged out as the winner in this category.

Potential Upset Winner: There's really no one even close to catching Lynch, although Julie Bowen has a strong following for her exceptional comedy series Modern Family.

Last year's winner: Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies

Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy

Nominees:

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Matthew Morrison, Glee

Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Steve Carell, The Office

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

And the winner is: Jim Parsons, who has consistently turned in memorable comic turns as the irritating, and irresistible self-absorbed nerd Sheldon Cooper.

Potential Upset Winner: Alec Baldwin still bringing it home with his spot-on portrait of a network honcho, and voters can't seem to resist an established comic star playing a character they all know too well.

Last year's winner: Alec Baldwin

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy

Nominees:

Chris Colfer, Glee

Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Ty Burrell Modern Family

And the winner is: Eric Stonestreet, although Ty Burrell might also be able to snag the spot given both have the strongest performances in this category. Wouldn't a tie be nice?

Potential Upset Winner: Chris Colfer would be the youngest winner in this category, but his performance blends drama, comedy and a show tune -- and it will be tough for Emmy voters to pass on that combo.

Last year's winner: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men