And the Emmy winners are? 2 TV devotees offer predictions

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Posted: Sep 15, 2015 1:47 PM
And the Emmy winners are? 2 TV devotees offer predictions

Emmy will dispense her favors Sunday night when the 67th Emmy Awards airs at 8 p.m. EDT Fox.

In the meantime, TV's biggest guessing game moves into high gear, with its players including two sure-of-themselves Associated Press television critics.

Will "Modern Family" continue its best-comedy streak? They say: Yes and no.

Will "Mad Men" finish its run by picking up another best-drama statuette? They say: Maybe, maybe not.

Now here's the full list of confident yet often clashing forecasts from those fearless prophets for seven major Emmy races:

DRAMA SERIES:

LYNN ELBER

Should win: "Mad Men." It ended as intelligently as it began, so true to its brand of storytelling that even Coke would be envious.

Will win: "Game of Thrones." The superbly produced saga is that rare bird, a fantasy with sufficient heft to gain Emmy respect.

FRAZIER MOORE

Should win: "The Americans." It's downright un-American it's been overlooked again.

Will win: "Mad Men." This was a grand finale season for the series that, along with "The Sopranos," certified a golden renaissance in drama on television.

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COMEDY SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: "Transparent." Riding a wave of social change isn't the trick. Making art of it, with heart, is what should make this a winner.

Will win: "Veep." The political winds are at its back after four solid seasons on the campaign trail, and Emmy voters will reward consistency.

MOORE

Should win: "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Fresh, funny and wickedly uplifting. What a welcome treat!

Will win: "Modern Family." This has become such a habit with Emmy judges they're in danger of contracting Repetitive Stress Syndrome.

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ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men." Did we ever not believe he was Don Draper, from the highs to the lows? Don't hate him because he's matinee-idol handsome, Emmy voters.

Will win: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men." Spoiler Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" is gone, removing the only legit reason Emmy voters had to bypass Hamm's work.

MOORE

Should win: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men." He should win, even if his competition this year weren't largely unimpressive.

Will win: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men." Emmy won't squander its last chance to correct this glaring sin of omission.

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ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: Taraji P. Henson, "Empire." Her virtuoso acting turn feeds the show's soap opera spirit without making a cartoon Cookie.

Will win: Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder." The two-time Oscar nominee (to Henson's one) is a gift to TV, and Emmy will show its gratitude for her take-no-prisoners performance.

MOORE

Should win: Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black." A crowd by herself in so many roles on this supernatural clone-fest she's lost count of them all, Maslany supersizes the accomplishment of acting.

Will win: Taraji P. Henson, "Empire." An exciting performance on the series that proved that, even in an age when cable and streaming video routinely steal the show, a broadcast network can still launch an empire.

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ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent." His unerringly thoughtful performance and the zeitgeist are both on his side.

Will win: Jeffrey Tambor. A respected journeyman actor gets the starring role he deserves and the acclaim his performance demands.

MOORE

Should win: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent." Much more than comic, Tambor's nuanced performance as a man's late-in-life transition into a woman is not only perfect, but perfect for this moment.

Will win: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent." Why not? Nominated but never awarded for past classic characters, he has outdone himself here and he will be recognized for it.

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ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie." Her sly performance both grounds and elevates the high-concept comedy.

Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep." An Emmy favorite (and deservedly so) from "Seinfeld" to "The New Adventures of Old Christine" to "Veep," happy habits are hard to break.

MOORE

Should win: Amy Schumer, "Inside Amy Schumer." An arresting, exciting and original comedy voice everyone was waiting for without even realizing.

Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep." Good at what she does, and comfortably familiar doing it, she'll be the comfortable choice for the fourth time in a row.

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LIMITED SERIES:

ELBER

Should win: "American Crime." An unsparing dissection of crime and punishment, and widely available on a broadcast network, ABC, not premium cable. A winner on both counts.

Will win: "Olive Kitteridge." The adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel honored its pedigree, and Emmy voters appreciate breeding.

MOORE

Should win: "American Crime." It was ambitious, heartbreaking and illuminating. But a win for the splendid "Olive Kitteridge," ''Wolf Hall" or "The Honorable Woman" would do Emmy just as proud.

Will win: "American Horror Story: Freak Show." Its rival series — all superior but not nearly so high-profile — will cancel one another out, clinching a win for this popular, much-buzzed-out freak show.

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EDITOR'S NOTE —

Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber . Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore