2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Outstanding Drama Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Outstanding Drama Series

What will join 'Breaking Bad' and 'True Detective' in the big category?

It's Emmy Nomination Contender Time!

The 2014 Emmy Ballots were unveiled on Monday, June 9 and finished ballots are due in on the 20th. That's a very short window. Between now and June 20, we'll be breaking down the major categories, 10 of them to be specific.

As usual, the process will be pretty straight-forward. Sepinwall will blog about his preferences, using the intriguing rules and methodology that he sets for himself.

And over here, in photo gallery form, I'll be going through the featured contenders handicapping their chances of actually landing nominations. My rules and methodology are also a bit silly. Specifically, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions, vaguely in order by likelihood. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, just because.

Life has a way of messing up tight schedules like this and there's an off chance that we won't finish before the June 20 deadline. It's happened in the past and that's why this year we're starting with...


It's always one of the toughest categories on the Emmy board and it gets harder and harder each year with new players like Netflix and SundanceTV and History pushing their way into a field that gets deeper and deeper, especially when somebody like -- hypothetically -- HBO decides that something that might -- hypothetically -- normally have been a miniseries is actually -- hypothetically -- a drama series.

Normally, you'd have to wait for the end of the nomination announcements or Emmy telecast to dig into this category. Instead, it's where we're starting.

Check out the gallery below...

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<p>Tiago Splitter of the Spurs</p>

Tiago Splitter of the Spurs

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBA Finals Game 3 rout leads Tuesday, 'Harry' falls under a million

Steady 'Night Shift' and 'Talent' put NBC in second

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

The San Antonio Spurs routed the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, leading ABC to comfortable wins among young viewers. However, the NBA Finals Game 3 was down from Sunday's Game 2 and lost to "America's Got Talent" overall head-to-head, though ABC still scored a narrow nightly win in total viewers.

Even against the NBA Finals, NBC's summer success "The Night Shift" maintained its key demo numbers, while The CW's "Famous in 12" also stayed steady in its second week. 

Both FOX's "Riot" and "I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" were flat with their dismal key demo numbers, but while "Riot" added a couple viewers, the royal dating dud dipped below a million viewers. [I'd bet on "Harry" ticking above a million in Final Live + SD numbers, but for now, those are ugly numbers.]

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Hillary Clinton: Public and Private with Diane Sawyer&quot;</p>

"Hillary Clinton: Public and Private with Diane Sawyer"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: '24: Live Another Day' tops ABC's Hillary Clinton special on Monday

Nobody cares about a 'Bachelorette' recap special

Fast National ratings for Monday, June 9, 2014.

Jack Bauer for President? FOX's "24: Live another Day" beat ABC's "Hillary Clinton: Public and Private with Diane Sawyer" and carried FOX to primetime wins in most measures.

Of course, by that standard, Jack Bauer would lose the presidency to the stars of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior," which was Monday's top show among young viewers.

Among other Monday notables, "MasterChef," "Mistresses" and "Beauty and the Beast" were all down week-to-week.

On to the numbers...

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<p>LeBron James didn&#39;t cramp up on Sunday</p>

LeBron James didn't cramp up on Sunday

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBA Finals Game 2 crushes Tony Awards, Miss USA on Sunday

'Cosmos' finale is down for FOX, while 'Enlisted' loses viewers

Fast National ratings for Sunday, June 8, 2014.

On a busy Sunday night of live programming, there was actually very little competition at all. ABC's coverage of the second game of the NBA Finals dominated primetime in all measures. The Tony Awards telecast put CBS in second place overall, while NBC's Miss USA coverage eked out a distant second among young viewers.

All of those numbers will be prone to adjustments when Final Live+Same Day figures trickle in. As of now, the Tony Awards were flat from last year in the key demo and down a hair overall. Miss USA was up very slightly from last year.

FOX had the night's other couple notables, as "Enlisted" ticked down a tiny bit in total viewers, while the finale for "Cosmos" was down in most measures.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Neil Patrick Harris in &quot;Hedwig and the Angry Inch&quot;</p>

Neil Patrick Harris in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

Credit: AP

2014 Tony Awards Live-Blog

Hugh Jackman hosts, Neil Patrick Harris performs and theater's best are toasted

I was in London two weeks ago and caught four plays -- Well, three plays and one musical -- in three days, so when the Olivier Awards roll around, I'll be well-prepared. 

However, with Josh Lasser handling most of the New York junkets for Team HitFix, I haven't made it to NYC since Fall 2012, which would also be the last time I made it to Broadway. As a result, I've seen none of this year's Tony nominees. 

So follow along for full coverage of what I'm able to understand from the 2014 Tony Awards. I know Hugh Jackman is hosting. I know Neil Patrick Harris is both a performer and a guaranteed winner. 

Click through for the full live-blog and comment below, should the spirit move you!

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<p>Kerry Bish&eacute; of &quot;Halt and Catch Fire&quot;</p>

Kerry Bishé of "Halt and Catch Fire"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Halt and Catch Fire' star Kerry Bishé on not being a wet blanket wife

What technical skills does the 'Scrubs' veteran have?

When it comes to Kerry Bishé's character on AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire," it was a Speak and Spell that caused me to pivot.

In her opening moments, we fear that Bishé's Donna is going to be the latest in a series of cable drama wet-blanket wives. Her husband Gordon (Bishé's "Argo" co-star Scoot McNairy) has big dreams in the world of '80s computing and we think that Donna's role is going to be the one telling him to think of his family rather than chasing his dreams. [I've seen some people suggest that's all the character continues to be. Those people are wrong.]

Then we see Donna go to work on her kid's Speak and Spell. She isn't meek or tentative with the poplar piece of juvenile technology. She attacks it like a woman who knows her way around a computer. In that moment, and as we hear later hints about Donna's work at TI and her computing past with Gordon, we realize -- or we *should* realize -- that the character has skills of her own, that she had dreams of her own. When she allows Gordon to follow his path, we sense she's not just being permissive to her husband, she's permitting herself to have dreams again.

I got a lot of that from a Speak and Spell, but when I sat down with Bishé and mentioned that scene, she was immediately excited and eager to discuss a moment she also viewed as crucial. 

In a wide-ranging interview, the "Virtuality" and "Scrubs" veteran talks about making sure that Donna seemed capable, what her own technological capabilities are, reuniting in the '80s with McNairy and much more.

Check out the full Q&A. And also check out my interviews with stars Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy and with "Halt and Catch Fire" showrunner Jonathan Lisco...

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<p>&quot;Halt and Catch Fire&quot;</p>

"Halt and Catch Fire"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Halt and Catch Fire' showrunner Jonathan Lisco on the TV tech zeitgeist and more

'Southland' veteran discusses his AMC drama's true visionaries

I like talking to the creative people who have jobs that folks outside of the industry bubble don't necessarily understand.

Last month, for example, I talked with Michael Spiller about what it means to be a directing producer on "The Mindy Project."

Jonathan Lisco has a more glamorous and identifiable job. He is, after all, the showrunner on AMC's new drama "Halt and Catch Fire" and we've all learned to revere the showrunner. However, Lisco didn't create "Halt and Catch Fire." The '80s-set computer drama was created by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, but The Chrises don't have a lengthy TV background, so Lisco was brought in as writer, executive producer and showrunner for the first season as part of an overall deal he signed with AMC.

Lisco has been a creator -- FOX's "K-Ville" was the first series to shoot in New Orleans after Katrina -- but his most recent credit was executive producing TNT's much-admired "Southland."

I sat down with Lisco last month to discuss the process that brought him to "Halt and Catch Fire" and the challenges of running a first-year show that you didn't create. We also discussed TV's high tech zeitgeist, the struggles of not fetishizing the '80s and the struggles to get computer minutia correct.

Check out the full Q&A... Also check out my "Halt and Catch Fire" interviews with Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy.

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<p>LeBron James</p>

LeBron James

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBA Finals Game 1 ratings cause 'Undateable' to cramp up on Thursday

'Gang Related' and 'Last Comic Standing' are also down against Spurs-Heat

Fast National ratings for Thursday, June 5, 2014.

The air-conditioning-free Game 1 of the NBA Finals caused problems for both LeBron James and ABC's competition on Thursday night as the Heat-Spurs showdown dominated primetime in all measures.

The Miami/San Antonio opener was in line with last year's Game 1 ratings, which makes sense since that was also a Heat-Spurs Finals.

Fittingly, only "Hell's Kitchen," which only had to face ABC's pre-game, avoided drops on Thursday as "Undateable," "Gang Related" and "Last Comic Standing" all dipped.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Peter Dinklage of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>

Peter Dinklage of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' has become more popular than 'The Sopranos' sorta kinda

By one measurement, Westeros has now surpassed New Jersey

Congratulations, with myriad caveats, to "Game of Thrones" for becoming the most popular series in HBO's history, at least in some ways of measuring these things.

HBO proudly announced on Thursday (June 5) that the current fourth season of "Game of Thrones" is averaging a gross audience of 18.4 million viewers. That surpasses the 2002 season of "The Sopranos," which had an average gross audience of 18.2 million viewers.

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<p>Justin Williams celebrates his Stanley Cup game-winner</p>

Justin Williams celebrates his Stanley Cup game-winner

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Stanley Cup Game 1, CBS repeats lead Wednesday

Kings-Rangers game plays well with young viewers, not overall

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

The Stanley Cup opener, an OT thriller between the Kings and Rangers, gave NBC strong enough demo numbers to lead Wednesday among young viewers, but the hockey showdown had much less juice overall where NBC finished fourth for the night. In total viewers, it was CBS on top, with a repeat of "Criminal Minds" standing as Wednesday's most watched show.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup was down 29 percent from last year's Game 1 between Boston and Chicago, but that's at least partially a function of time zones given that much of this year's opener aired out of primetime in the Los Angeles market.

Among other notables, FOX saw only a small decline for the second week of "So You Think You Can Dance," The CW's "The 100" was steady in the demo (down overall) and ABC's "Motive" got a pretty big week-to-week bump for some reason.

On to the numbers...

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