With all the excellent hour-long dramas on television this past season, there were bound to be too many worthy actors and actresses and not enough nomination slots. That's great for us fans because it means the quality of talent and program was high, but bad for all the talented, snubbed stars of your favorite dramas. Here's a look at who made the cut, who I think will win, who I think should win, and a special salute to those who missed the cut. Be sure to leave a comment with your predictions and thoughts.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Spader - Boston Legal
Ian McShane - Deadwood
Hugh Laurie - House
Hank Azaria - Huff
Kiefer Sutherland - 24
WHO WILL WIN: This is one of the (if not the) toughest categories to predict this year. First time nominee Hugh Laurie is absolutely perfect as Dr. House, but the Academy will probably view his nomination as enough recognition this year. After all, House just began its second season and it is packing an even larger punch in the ratings than last season. In other words, the show is most likely around for the long haul and Laurie will have plenty of time to win. Fellow first time nominee (in this category) Hank Azaria will probably be overlooked as well, most likely because of the weight and depth of this category. Kiefer Sutherland has been nominated three times without a win. Will the fourth be a charm? Hard to say for sure, but more than likely not. That leaves Ian McShane and James Spader. McShane was snubbed last year and won the Golden Globe, but Spader won this category last year for his same role on The Practice. I think this is going to be one of the categories that doesn't branch out, and we'll see Spader walk away with a repeat win.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Hugh Laurie impressed me the most last year, so I think this award belongs to him. He plays the curmudgeon doctor with heart, and he does it all with a pretty much flawless American accent. Laurie makes House likeable, and we seem to find ourselves rooting for him, despite his difficult nature. I'd love to see Laurie take the statue, but I just don't think it's his year.
WHO GOT SNUBBED: Dennis Leary from Rescue Me, most obviously. Leary turns in excellent performances on a daring, and sometimes, controversial show. Also snubbed, Everwood's Treat Williams, The Shield's Michael Chiklis, and Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon from Nip/Tuck.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Garner - Alias
Mariska Hargitay - Law & Order: SVU
Patricia Arquette - Medium
Glenn Close - The Shield
Frances Conroy - Six Feet Under
WHO WILL WIN: I don't think this category is going to be much of a competition because Glenn Close will more than likely take this one easily. This is Jennifer Garner's fourth nomination and Mariska Hargitay's second (and she won the Golden Globe), but Close is just too much of an Emmy favorite to walk away empty handed. Plus, she announced earlier this summer that she won't be returning to her nominated role on The Shield, which sets up a "now or never" scenario for voters. Patricia Arquette is wonderful as medium Allison DuBois, but she is a first-time nominee, and likely to be overlooked. Frances Conroy might sneak in and steal this category, but I think Close is the most likely winner.
WHO SHOULD WIN: This is difficult for me because I just adore Mariska Hargitay and Jennifer Garner and their incredible performances. Garner stars in a more character-heavy show, but Hargitay was handed some difficult material this year, and she pulled it off beautifully. This is such a toss-up for me, so I would be happy with a win for either actress. They are both equally deserving of the statue.
WHO GOT SNUBBED: So many, I'll probably forget some of them. This category, more than any other this year, had a huge pool to choose from with all the talented actresses on television dramas. Included in my list of snubs, Cold Case's Kathryn Morris for her beautiful and moving performance in the season finale as well as her flawless navigation through Lilly's ups and downs last season, Amber Tamblyn (a nominee last year) for her unmistakably real and raw performance as Joan Girardi on the cancelled Joan of Arcadia, and Kristen Bell for her amazingly multi-layered portrayal of Veronica Mars (although, I think her time is coming). All amazing actresses who would have been welcomed additions to the category in my book.
Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Kathryn Joosten, Phil Keoghan, Ray Liotta, and Jeff Probst are all set to presentt Sunday night at The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
*Premiering Tonight!!! CBS kicks off Survivor: Guatemala tonight at 8 p.m. EDT. The new batch of 16 castaways will be joined by two surprise former contestants. Tune in tonight on CBS to find out who they are and who gets eliminated.
*Programming Alert Reminder!!! Due to President Bush's address to the nation regarding Hurricane Katrina, some of your favorite programs are shifting around. The speech is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. EDT and last 30-45 minutes. Fox will air the second episode of Reunion next Thursday (September 22nd) instead of tonight. Over at CBS, the Quentin Tarentino-directed two-hour rerun of last season's finale will move to next Wednesday (September 21st) instead. That move pushes CSI:NY's second season premiere back to the following Wednesday (September 28th). Meanwhile, ABC is planning an entire evening dedicated to Hurricane Katrina coverage.
*And finally, it looks like Gilmore Girls is off to a hot start this season. More than 6.2 million viewers tuned in to see Luke's answer. Over at Fox, the new forensics drama Bones finished very well with 10.7 million viewers and sophomore drama House closed out Fox's evening with 15.9 million viewers, proving that the show has staying power. Tuesday was the first night with multi-network premieres.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as Emmy Week winds down. I'll have my predictions for the best drama and comedy, a full up-to-date list of presenters, and general information on the telecast this Sunday. And of course, all the latest television news!