Who should win at the 2011 Emmys

By Channel Guide Staff

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards air live tonight at 8pm ET/5pm PT on FOX, hosted by Jane Lynch, with a countdown special airing at 7pm ET/4pm PT. To prepare for the big event, we took an informal poll among our editorial staff to see who we think should (not necessarily will) win the big award in several notable categories (listed below, with our pick for the winner bolded as the last entry in each list of nominees). How do your picks compare with ours?

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
WINNER: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation — As brilliant as Falco and Fey are, it’s time for someone else to get a shot at this Emmy, and we want Poehler to stop having to secretly envy her former SNL cohort Fey’s success in the Emmy department.

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
WINNER: Louis C.K., Louie — At least one of us wondered by The Big Bang Theory is even on this list even once, let alone multiple times. Although the Academy might honor Carell for his swan song in The Office, it would be a shame if they overlooked Louis, who got most of the love among our staff. (Although Karl did mention that he wouldn’t mind seeing Alec Baldwin win just to see Tom’s miffed response).

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
WINNER: Julie Bowen, Modern Family — While Betty may be a sentimental favorite and has been hot in recent years, and while we would love to see what Jane would do as host and winner (maybe she could accept in character and treat us to an onstage wardrobe change, pulling off her gown to reveal a tracksuit underneath?), most of us think Julie should take home this trophy.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
WINNER: Ty Burrell, Modern Family — With four out of the six nominees in this category from Modern Family, the odds are very good that someone from that show will win. While all four of them are great, Ty made the majority of our staff laugh the most. With so many nominees from the same show, however, the question arose of whether the award becomes meaningless at a certain point. While Modern Family is a worthy show with a hilarious cast, there are more than just a couple of comedy shows on TV.

COMEDY SERIES
Glee
Parks and Recreation

The Office
30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory

WINNER: Modern Family — The majority of our staff went for Modern Family, with a few votes for Parks and Recreation. As mentioned earlier, TBBT shouldn’t be on any list, and hopefully The Office won’t cash in on sentiment for Steve Carell’s final season, as the show doesn’t have the punch it once had.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
WINNERS: Tie between Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights, and Mireille Enos, The Killing

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
WINNERS: Tie between Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire, and Timothy Olyphant, Justified — Once again we were torn. All we know is that we don’t want to see Jon Hamm. Sorry, Jon, but we’re feeling a bit of Mad Men weariness here. Kind of like getting annoyed with the Yankees for winning all the time, even as you admire  how good they are. And even though Hugh is apparently the highest-paid TV actor, and House the most-viewed show in the world, we think the doctor should be out in this category. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Kyle sneak in as a winner, though, as a way of honoring of Friday  Night Lights‘ outstanding overall, and final, run.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
WINNER: Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jon Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
WINNER: Peter Dinklage,
Game of Thrones

DRAMA SERIES
The Good Wife
Mad Men
Friday Night Lights
Dexter

Game of Thrones
WINNER: Boardwalk Empire Empire slightly edged out Friday Night Lights and Game of Thrones among our staff; you couldn’t go wrong with any of them.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs
WINNER: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce — It was unanimous among our staff that this award should go to Winslet for her tour-de-force performance.

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
WINNER: Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys — Our staff liked Kinnear’s take on John F. Kennedy in this controversial miniseries that ended up on ReelzChannel after History found it too hot to handle in the United States.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Brian F. O’Byrne, Mildred Pierce
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys
James Woods, Too Big to Fail
WINNER: Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE

Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce
Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs
WINNER: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
— Although Mildred Pierce provided most of the nominees in this category, we think Dame Maggie should triumph.

MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Downton Abbey

The Kennedys
Cinema Verite
Too Big to Fail

The Pillars of the Earth

WINNER: Mildred Pierce

VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Saturday Night Live

Conan

WINNERS: Three-way tie between The Colbert Report, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart — Perhaps our staff is too political-minded, but we couldn’t decide between these shows that deserve recognition for the challenge of trying to stay even funnier than the real-life politicians they cover.

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
So You Think You Can Dance
The Amazing Race

Project Runway

American Idol

Dancing With the Stars

WINNER: Top Chef — The Bravo cooking competition series eked out Amazing Race and DWTS among our staff.

UPDATE 9/19/11 — Channel Guide picks vs. actual winners

So, how’d we do in the select categories? Here are the results, comparing our picks with the actual winners. For a complete list of Emmy winners, go here.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: Amy Poehler
Actual winner: Melissa McCarthy

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: Louis C.K.
Actual winner: Jim Parsons

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: Julie Bowen
Actual winner: Julie Bowen

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: Ty Burrell
Actual winner: Ty Burrell

COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: Modern Family
Actual winner: Modern Family

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Channel Guide: Connie Britton and Mireille Enos
Actual winner: Julianna Margulies

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Channel Guide: Steve Buscemi and Timothy Olyphant
Actual winner: Kyle Chandler

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Channel Guide: Kelly Macdonald
Actual winner: Margo Martindale

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Channel Guide: Peter Dinklage
Actual winner: Peter Dinklage

DRAMA SERIES
Channel Guide: Boardwalk Empire
Actual winner: Mad Men

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Channel Guide: Kate Winslet
Actual winner: Kate Winslet

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Channel Guide: Greg Kinnear
Actual winner: Barry Pepper

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Channel Guide: Paul Giamatti
Actual winner: Guy Pearce

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Channel Guide: Maggie Smith
Actual winner: Maggie Smith

MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Channel Guide: Mildred Pierce
Actual winner: Downton Abbey

VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
Channel Guide: The Colbert Report, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Actual winner: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Channel Guide: Top Chef
Actual winner: The Amazing Race