Mad Men is the Drama Series to beat. The AMC hit series is on a 3-year winning streak in this category. With two extremely popular new series' being nominated (Game of Thrones, Broadwalk Empire) and Friday Night Lights first nomination it could easily be the year the streak ends.
Mad Men, for those of you who still don't know, takes place in a fictional advertising agency circa the 1960's. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the people in his life as they deal with the changing moods and social movements of the 60’s.
Mad Men has also won "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series" and "Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series" for the last 3 years.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones premiered in April 2011. It became an immediate success. The fanbase became so strong that just 2 days after it's premiere it was already renewed for a second season. The story follows the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros' noble families violent dynastic struggles for control of the Iron Throne. It has proven in it's short 10 episode existence to have created a fan base easily comparable to a show like Lost.
The Emmy's tend to go with fan favorites (The Sopranos, Lost, 24 are just some popular past winners) so perhaps this is Game of Thrones' year.
Just a few years ago HBO had the award-winning and well loved TV series The Sopranos. The show's Emmy award winning writer and producer Terence Winter then began penning a new show based on Nelson Johnson's book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City. The show (now just called Boardwalk Empire) became an instant hit.
Will this crime-drama period piece give Terence Winter another Emmy? We will have to find out in 2 months.
The Good Wife
The Good Wife is a legal drama found on CBS. The show follows Alicia Florrick, her state attorney husband Peter has been put in jail following a very public sex and corruption scandal. Alicia is forced to return to her old job as a litigator to prove for the rest of her family. The show was nominated in this category last year as well but lost to the unstoppable force that is Mad Men. There’s not a very good chance for The Good Wife taking home the award, but who knows perhaps it will be an underdog victory that ends the Mad Men streak.
Last year however Archie Panjabi won best supporting actress for her role of Kalinda Sharma.
Friday Night Lights
When has a TV show based on a movie ever been a critical success? Admittedly Friday Night Lights was ALSO based on a book; but still the whole thing is typically unheard of. It never had a massive viewers, but the fans it did find it where loyal.
While it’s been nominated for Emmys in the past this is the first year it’s ever been nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series award. This was also Friday Night Lights’ final season so if the Emmy’s ever wanted to recognize it with a win. This is their last chance.
There are very few people who knew that Dexter would become a show many consider "the greatest ever made". It’s Dark Humor blends with Drama perfectly. The show wasn’t without it’s controversy however. Many objected to the show’s "Hero" being a serial killer, regardless of what type of people he murders.
The show has been nominated for this award the last 3 years and lost all three times to Mad Men. Despite how much people love this show, I doubt we’ll see a change in it’s losing streak.