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2013 Emmys: Who should win vs. who will win

By Jennifer Vineyard, Special to CNN
September 20, 2013 -- Updated 2210 GMT (0610 HKT)
The nominees for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced by Aaron Paul and Neil Patrick Harris on Thursday, July 18. And the nominees are ... The nominees for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced by Aaron Paul and Neil Patrick Harris on Thursday, July 18. And the nominees are ...
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2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
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2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
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2013 Emmy nominations
2013 Emmy nominations
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2013 Emmy nominations
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • How will "Breaking Bad" fare as it wraps up its final season?
  • Can "Modern Family" maintain its comedy streak?
  • Will stand-up comic Louis C.K. nab an Emmy this year?
  • Pals Tina Fey and Amy Poelher are both nominated -- will either win?

(CNN) -- With the Emmy Awards this weekend, it's time for the predictions.

Who will defend their crown? Who will take home a statuette for the first time? Who should win? And who will win?

Here are our prognostications. Tell us yours in the comments section below.

Outstanding drama series

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Although "Mad Men" has the most victories in the drama series category and "Game of Thrones" leads with 16 nominations, neither of these two shows is a sure thing. ("Mad Men" was shut out last year, and if the Creative Arts Emmys this year are any indication, "Game of Thrones" won't sweep).

The real race is between defending champion "Homeland," which won last year for its freshman season, and "Breaking Bad," which has better odds to triumph given that the critically acclaimed show's fifth season is its last.

As a four-time nominee, voters might feel like giving "Bad" a hug goodbye, so the show will likely win.

Photos: 'Breaking Bad's' most memorable scenes

But as far as creative ambition and strength of storytelling, the epic "Game of Thrones" pulls off the bigger feat and should win. (Unfortunately, historically Emmy voters tend not to favor fantasy shows, save for "Lost" before its supernatural elements became prominent).

Outstanding comedy series

A sentimental choice might also rule the comedy series category.

Just as "Breaking Bad" is the favorite to win the drama race in its last season, so could "30 Rock" take the comedy crown.

If Facebook could predict the Emmy winners ...

However, "30 Rock" has won three times (2007, 2008 and 2009), so it doesn't provide the same element of righting a wrong to give it one last Emmy, and the show has been shut out ever since "Modern Family" stole its winning streak.

Last season of "Modern Family," however, wasn't a laugh riot, and voter fatigue could be an issue here -- how many times can this show continue to win? A newcomer to the ballot, "Louie" has a singular vision and has influenced other shows in its category (i.e. "Girls"), which might help break the comedy category from the ensemble-oriented tunnel vision.

Unlike "Girls," "Louie" doesn't have a backlash problem -- and the show has nods for writing, directing, acting and editing, a total package.

"Modern Family" might win again, "30 Rock" might even get some love, but "Louie" should score.

Photos: What we'll miss most from '30 Rock'

Outstanding TV movie/miniseries

"Game Change" was a clear favorite in the TV movie/miniseries category last year, and this year, it's Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra," starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover, Scott Thorson, with 15 nominations.

Photos: 'Behind the Candelabra'

"Candelabra" will dominate, but would it be crazy if "American Horror Story: Asylum" took the prize? With 17 nominations and the most out-there topics -- Nazi experiments, demonic possessions, alien abductions and serial killers -- the show still managed to be as poignant as it was camp. No easy feat.

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

Of course, all of these shows depend on the strength of their actors.

Stand-up comics, however, rarely win acting Emmys, but this might be the year that changes that trend, if Louis C.K. can take home an award. (He looks poised to do so, after his recent win at the Critics' Choice Television Awards and Television Critics Association Awards).

Coming up on his heels are last year's winner, Don Cheadle, for "House of Lies," crowd favorite Jim Parsons for "Big Bang Theory," Alec Baldwin, who took home the Emmy in 2008 and 2009 but is on his last chance for "30 Rock," and Jason Bateman, the sole nominee from "Arrested Development."

Cheadle didn't submit a showcase episode, so there's room for an upset here. Louis C.K. can and should win.

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

As for comedy actresses, Tina Fey, Edie Falco and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have all won Emmys for their respective roles on "30 Rock," "Nurse Jackie" and "Veep."

Fey might get the sentimental vote for being the show's creator and the show having its last season, but it's also time for her pal Amy Poehler to get a win for "Parks and Recreation." (And if either one wins, they could do a speech together! Hilarity would ensue.)

Outstanding leads in a drama series

In the Emmy race for drama actor and actress, "Homeland" hopes for a repeat of its sweep.

This year, Claire Danes is the only former Emmy winner in her field, which includes Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), Michelle Dockery ("Downton Abbey"), Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel"), Kerry Washington ("Scandal") and Robin Wright ("House of Cards").

While Danes has the more flamboyant role, she has a rival in Washington, who is also a favorite and might become the first African-American actress to win best actress in this category.

Kerry Washington: Emmys 'it girl'

But previous Oscar nominee Farmiga should win. As the mother of a teenage Norman Bates, she plays a role that is at turns neurotic, obsessive and sympathetic, creating a character who might be even more dangerous in some ways than her serial killer son. (Though Moss would be shut out -- again -- she's really more deserving for best actress for her movie/miniseries "Top of the Lake," even if Jessica Lange is the favorite in that category).

Bryan Cranston: Emmys man of the moment

Meanwhile, Bryan Cranston lost out to Damian Lewis last year, but Cranston is the favorite to win this year, what with the series finale of "Breaking Bad" airing just a week after the Emmys.

If Cranston wins, this would be his fourth Emmy, and he would tie with "NYPD Blue" star Dennis Franz for most wins in this category.

Even though his competition includes two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey for "House of Cards" and always-a-nominee, never-a-winner Jon Hamm for "Mad Men," Cranston will and should win.

Say his name, Emmy voters!

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