Who will be recognized and who will get snubbed for the annual television awards
These are the questions facing the brave few taking a stab at predicting this year's Emmy nominees, which will be announced on Thursday morning. And it's no easy game. Nominations don't always follow ratings and buzz—as the Golden Globes do—or even critical favor, as with Crictics Choice Awards. Low-rated shows like Breaking Bad, Damages, and even 30 Rock are routinely acknowledged, while it took five seasons for the much-heralded performances of Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton to get recognized for Friday Night Lights. Critical favorites like The Wire and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were never nominated, but dreck like Entourage pops up year after year.
This year sophomore ratings hits like Modern Family, Glee, and The Good Wife all have potential to set nomination records, while freshman favorites like Boardwalk Empire and The Killing hope to break through. The Office's Steve Carell makes a final play at an Emmy win, and Mad Men's Jon Hamm hopes to finally score a trophy.
So after combing expert opinion, gauging critical buzz, and applying a little bit of gut feeling to the exercise, here are our predicted nominees for the 2011 Emmy Awards (with a little bit of advanced venting over surefire snubs, for good measure):