September 18, 2011

THE SKED: Emmy Odds – Theirs and Ours: Drama

>With the help of some online bookmaking sites, we have the latest “official” odds for tonight’s Emmy Awards.  Let’s take a look about what they say about the conventional wisdom, and make some adjustments where they don’t make sense.

Bookie Odds:
Mad Men – 1:2
Boardwalk Empire – 11:4
The Good Wife – 5:1
Game of Thrones – 14:1
Friday Night Lights – 16:1
Dexter – 33:1
ShowbuzzDaily Odds:
Mad Men – 1:1
Boardwalk Empire – 7:5
Game of Thrones – 5:1
The Good Wife – 8:1
Friday Night Lights – 11:1
Dexter – 20:1
Mad Men has won 3 years in a row:  can it match The West Wing and Hill Street Blues with 4?  Maybe so, but it’s going to be an awfully close race against HBO’s Boardwalk Empire  Mad Men‘s not-so-secret weapon may be its episode The Suitcase, the 2-hander for Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss that was one of the best hours the show has ever aired; but this being an industry award, it could be hurt by the extended and very public AMC/Matthew Weiner travails that didn’t leave a good taste in anyone’s mouth.  Boardwalk could also be hurt by the support for HBO’s other nominee Game of Thrones (although that’s probably too much of a genre show to win outright).  The Good Wife, a marvelous show in its own right and the only pure network nominee (Friday Night Lights being an NBC/DirecTV share), is a possible dark horse here.  Friday Night, which richly deserves a statuette, is probably getting an “attaboy” pat on the back on its way out the door.  Dexter‘s season was markedly inferior to its previous one with John Lithgow as the monstrous Big Bad, and is probably out of the running.

Bookie Odds:
Jon Hamm, Mad Men – 4:11
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire – 23:10
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights – 14:1
Michael C. Hall, Dexter – 14:1
Timothy Olyphant, Justified – 16:1
Hugh Laurie, House – 20:1
ShowbuzzDaily Odds:
Jon Hamm, Mad Men – 8:5
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire – 3:1
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights – 6:1
Timothy Olyphant, Justified – 12:1
Hugh Laurie, House – 14:1

Michael C. Hall, Dexter – 20:1

The most important name here is the one that’s absent: because of AMC’s scheduling, Bryan Cranston wasn’t eligible for Breaking Bad after 3 wins in a row, opening the way for what will probably be a tight race between Hamm (who’s never won) and Buscemi.  The knock against Hamm has been that his Don Draper is too self-contained to appeal to Academy voters, who like their Oscar counterparts prefer their performances big; here again, Mad Man’s Suitcase episode may make the difference.  If Friday Night Lights has a chance for any surprise win, it’s would be Chandler here.  Olyphant was even better on Justified this season than he was the year before, but it’s not an award type role.  Laurie will have a better shot next year if this turns out to be the show’s last.  Hall will be hurt by Dexter‘s sub-par year–and by the fact that he plays, you know, a serial killer. 
Bookie Odds:
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife – 15:20
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men – 3:2
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law – 6:1
Mireille Enos, The Killing – 12:1
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights – 16:1
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order:  Special Victims Unit – 25:1
ShowbuzzDaily Odds:
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife -1:1
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men -2:1
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law – 8:1 
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights – 12:1
Mireille Enos, The Killing – 25:1

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order:  Special Victims Unit – 40:1

The biggest shock of last year’s Emmys was Kyra Sedgwick’s win over Julianna Margulies; The Good Wife continues to be a superb show, Margulies is a well-respected former winner, and it’s likely the Academy will make amends for its oversight.  Moss has the best chance of unseating her, once again because she’s got that episode of Mad Men that could almost have been designed as an Emmy showcase.  One can never underestimate the Academy’s attraction to performers of a certain age, which puts Bates in the running as a dark horse.  Britton has deserved this award every year Friday Night Lights was on the air, but no one ever said awards were fair.  Enos has little chance of winning for a show whose finale left many viewers angrier than they’d been since the end of Lost, and Hargitay has won already, with no one seeming to think she needs another.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."