Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.
At a glance, this list of probable contenders for the drama Emmy will look a lot like last year’s. AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad are back. So are PBS’ Downton Abbey, HBO’s Game Of Thrones and, of course, 2012’s winner, Showtime’s Homeland. But also included among the frontrunners this year—as if the broadcast networks didn’t have a hard enough time getting any noms!—is Netflix’s first entry, House Of Cards. How will the wildcard fare against the cablers? While you ponder that question, here’s our assessment of its chances, as well as those of 23 other series and their stars:
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Since FX’s 1980s-set spy yarn is still in its freshman season—and still suffering from comparisons to Showtime’s Homeland—its best bets for nominations are its standout leads, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. But, since neither TV vet has been recognized before by the Emmys, even they are, if not long shots, pretty far-off medium shots.
Though A&E’s attempt to out-AMC with its moody Psycho prequel has scored big in the ratings, it isn’t the series but rather Oscar-nominated star Vera Farmiga who stands the best chance of receiving a nod.
HBO’s Prohibition-era shoot-’em-up had a superlative season. But, since this category is more crowded than a Game Of Thrones cast party—and the show has never generated as much heat as its gangsters have packed—it’s unlikely to eke out a third consecutive nomination. On the other hand, Bobby Cannavale—so good as the year’s Big Bad, Gyp Rosetti—is all but assured a TK nod.