2014 Emmy Winners

We live in an era with a seemingly endless diversity of choices for quality television programming. Yet judging by the results of last night’s Emmy Awards, it would appear that most voting members of the Television Academy only watched one show over the past year.

Sweep mentality was in full effect at the Emmys this year, as voters bowed down to worship at the throne of ‘Breaking Bad’. Nominated in eight categories, the series took home five trophies, including most of the big ones: Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (all of which the show had also won previously). Of the three nominations that didn’t win, one was lost to another nominee from the same show, so that doesn’t count. The other two (Directing for a Drama Series and Casting for a Drama Series) both went to HBO’s ‘True Detective’, which despite waves of hype turned out to mostly be an also-ran in Emmy’s eyes.

Also shut out from any of the major artistic categories were hot properties ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’.

Ceremony host Seth Meyers was annoyingly smarmy as usual, and delivered his jokes with all the overly-rehearsed awkwardness of an amateur stand-up at Open Mic Night. Highlights of the evening included Bryan Cranston making out with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and a very touching tribute to Robin Williams. I may have given Billy Crystal grief for doing a terrible job hosting the Oscars a couple years ago, but he gave a hell of a eulogy for his friend.

Outstanding Drama Series


  • ‘Breaking Bad’
  • ‘Downton Abbey’
  • ‘Game of Thrones’
  • ‘House of Cards’
  • ‘Mad Men’
  • ‘True Detective’

Josh’s day-before prediction: While ‘True Detective’ has tons of buzz, I expect that the Academy won’t be able to resist rewarding the final season of ‘Breaking Bad’ for ending in a fairly satisfying manner.

Actual winner: ‘Breaking Bad’

Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama


  • Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
  • Jeff Daniels, ‘The Newsroom’
  • Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
  • Woody Harrelson, ‘True Detective’
  • Matthew McConaughey, ‘True Detective’
  • Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards’

Josh’s prediction: 2014 is the year of Matthew McConaughey.

Actual winner: Bryan Cranston

Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama


  • Lizzy Caplan, ‘Masters of Sex’
  • Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’
  • Michelle Dockery, ‘Downton Abbey’
  • Julianna Marguiles, ‘The Good Wife’
  • Kerry Washington, ‘Scandal’
  • Robin Wright, ‘House of Cards’

Josh’s prediction: I’d love to see this go to Lizzy Caplan, but doubt that will happen. After Diahann Carroll made a spectacle at the ceremony last year by suggesting that anyone who didn’t vote for Kerry Washington was a racist, it wouldn’t surprise me if the voters attempted to make up for that this year. On the other hand, they may just play it safe and give the trophy to Claire Danes yet again.

Actual winner: Julianna Marguiles

Outstanding Comedy Series


  • ‘The Big Bang Theory’
  • ‘Louie’
  • ‘Modern Family’
  • ‘Orange Is the New Black’
  • ‘Silicon Valley’
  • ‘Veep’

Josh’s prediction: ‘Modern Family’ has won this award four times in a row. Why would the voters break with tradition now?

Actual winner: ‘Modern Family’

Outstanding Lead Actor – Comedy


  • Louis C.K., ‘Louis’
  • Don Cheadle, ‘House of Lies’
  • Ricky Gervais, ‘Derek’
  • Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
  • William H. Macy, ‘House of Lies’
  • Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Josh’s prediction: This is a really weak selection of nominees. Honestly, the only one who actually deserves to be in the running here is Louis C.K., and I don’t see him winning. As little as I want to see Jim Parsons claim this prize for the fourth damn time, that’s probably what will happen.

Actual winner: Jim Parsons

Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy


  • Lena Dunham, ‘Girls’
  • Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Veep’
  • Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’
  • Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’
  • Taylor Schilling, ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Josh’s prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is most deserving, but she’s already won twice before for ‘Veep’, as well as two more times before that (for ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ respectively). Emmy obviously loves her. I think it’s time for Amy Poehler (who has astoundingly never won an Emmy) to share the glory.

Actual winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Outstanding Miniseries


  • ‘American Horror Story: Coven’
  • ‘Bonnie & Clyde’
  • ‘Fargo’
  • ‘Luther’
  • ‘Treme’
  • ‘The White Queen’

Josh’s prediction: I would really like to see ‘Fargo’ take this. Although I was a little ambivalent on the show at first, it developed into something really special.

Actual winner: ‘Fargo’

The full list of winners can be found on the official Emmys web site.


  1. Really? Breaking Bad again, True Detective and Game of Thrones have both been better than the last season of Breaking Bad IMO. While I enjoyed Breaking Bad the whole way through, I’ve never felt the show was THAT good, especially not now with GOT and TD out at this point, McConaughey and Dinklage have both been stellar and far better than Cranston was in the last season if you ask me. The final season of Breaking Bad really wasnt any different for me, character wise, than the previous couple seasons before it.

    But what do I know…..I guess

    • Josh Zyber

      Emmy voters take comfort in familiarity. With no more Breaking Bad, you can count on Mad Men to win next year. I’m calling that right now.

      I’m more annoyed that Modern Family has won its category five times in a row. It’s a pleasantly amusing show, but there are better comedies on the air right now. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is far funnier, and it wasn’t even nominated.

  2. I don’t think the voters thought any less of TRUE DETECTIVE than most of us do…it’s just sort of Emmy tradition to reward a long-running show in its final season, particularly if the final season was of superior quality, which BREAKING BAD certainly was. I also think the Academy is still very much a “TV Actors” club, which is why McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Jodie Foster all went home empty handed…those actors are very much seen as “movie stars dabbling in television.”

    I was actually quite happy that THE NORMAL HEART only went home with Best TV movie (in a pretty weak category). I thought it was poorly directed and pretty ham-fisted in the acting category (with the exception of Jim Parsons), so it was certainly undeserving of any kind of category sweep.

    I think the biggest surprise last night was Emmy’s love for “Sherlock,” although now every time I complain about Steven Moffat’s writing on “Doctor Who,” I’ll now have to refer to him as “Emmy-Award Winning Writer Steven Moffat,” which disappoints me to no end.

    As much as I’ve loved Modern Family in the past, it was probably the least-deserving of last night’s winners…it had a rather bland, uneven season.

  3. Ryan

    “rewarding the final season of ‘Breaking Bad’ for ending in a fairly satisfying manner.”

    The majority of us LOVED the ending, didn’t we???? Well I know I did (and all the people I know in my non-internet life)

    • Josh Zyber

      It was a decent finale, but it tied every storyline up in fancy bows a little too neatly.


      The part where Walt parks the car in exactly the right spot so that his hidden machine gun will fire through the walls and only hit exactly the people he wants to hit, who all happen to be standing exactly where they need to stand, except for the Big Bad Guy who is spared the machine gunning so that Walt can kill him personally, was really convenient and contrived. I wasn’t a big fan of that part.

      • Ryan

        It’s a fair complaint. But after rewatching, the entire show was kind of always like that. So I didn’t mind if the final scene was perhaps a little more convenient than usual (Walt did get shot too, afterall)

    • No, I really didnt love the ending, but I also didnt think the show was as amazing as everyone else thought it was. It was really good, but to me doesnt hold a candle to Game of Thrones or True Detective, I just never bought Walt’s transformation and even though Aaron Paul was good, I was never a fan of his character, talk about someone who just never gets it and has zero story arc really throughout the entire show. I never “liked” anyone on the show either, his wife I hated, really wasnt even a fan of Walt for most of it, some of it, however, Cranston was amazing in but it wasnt enough to put this show high on top of the mountain over others.

  4. C.C. 95

    Without HANNIBAL even being nominated these awards have zero credibility. Although FARGO and TRUE DETECTIVE were quite good, HANNIBAL consistently had feature film quality directing, acting, writing, cinematography, production & sound design, etc. The other dramas were J.V. in comparison IMO.
    And, as for comedy, no show was more consistently funny and inventive than SILICON VALLEY.
    Having FOUR-petes and FIVE-petes in any category is ridiculous. MODERN FAMILY must be the best show that ever was (it isn’t), or this is all just fashion (as usual). *sigh*

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