So we are just starting the new television season, and yes, my mind is already thinking about next year's Emmys? Will Breaking Bad repeat? Will Mad Men finally win an acting award? What will replace 30 Rock? But I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the new shows that could make a splash in major categories, particularly the acting ones. It is too early to tell if any of these will still be standing come May, or be worthy of Emmys by that time, but it is nice to look at potential nominees based on initial reviews, the actors themselves, or the themes of the show. So take a look at some quik hits on early potential contenders, and voice in the comments section some of your own picks as well.
1. Orange is the New Black - Will is submit as a Comedy or a Drama? Probably comedy, because it actually has a shot of cracking the top six. I am not as sold as other pundits on the Emmy potential of this show. It got great reviews, and has been a huge pop culture phenomenon, but I wonder if its themes will strike a chord with Emmy voters. We won't know until the nominations are announced, but it is a safe bet to say that it, along with its actors, will be in the conversation throughout the next year or so.
2. Robin Williams and The Crazy Ones - The reviews have been a bit mixed, but I think the show is starting to find its rythmn after several weeks, and a lot of credit goes to the cast. I put Robin Williams up top because he is the most obvious one to look at. The Actor in a Comedy Series category has been weak for years, and Williams is a legend. Even if the show were complete crap, he would probably be the conversation. Plus with David E. Kelley behind him, he will probably have a knock-out episode submission. But I also think that James Wold should be in consideration as well. He was great on Mad Men and Political Animals last year, and his carefree character on this show is a lot of fun. The show itself will probably miss out on the top prize, unless it just soars in the rest of the season. But if it stays the course, it could see some Emmy nominations coming its way.
3. Margo Martindale "The Millers" and Allison Janey "Mom" - Both of these Emmy favorites (along with Beau Bridges as well), have landed big roles in two CBS sitcoms. Unfortunately, neither sitcom so far is really Emmy worthy, although both have the potential to grow into at least decent sitcoms (at least both get a few laughs per episode). But never discount Emmy favorites Margo Martindale and Allison Janey. Both play over-the-top scene stealers, and if either were to get a decent, deeper storyline, they could be at leats in the conversation. Don't discount previous winners, once the Emmys like someone, they tend to stick with them.
4. James Spader "The Blacklist" - Not sure where this show is going, but so far it has been a fun ride. One thing is certain, and that is that James Spader rocks in it. He is a multi-Emmy winner, has great episodes, and can easily see himself among the contenders.
5. Masters of Sex - The title alone may scare off older Emmy voters, but this new series is fantastic, has great reviews, two top-notch performances, and Showtime behind it, which has done well over the last several years. Also, it is probably the best new drama series, and could be the only newcomer that even has a shot at cracking the Drama Series category. It will be tough ride to get there, but it may pick a few key nods along the way.
6. Michael J. Fox "The Michael J. Fox Show" - I didn't particularly like The Michael J. Fox show as a whole, but as it has been said before, the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series is an incredibly weak field, and has been for years now. Michael J. Fox is a solid nominee on a ballot, and even if it is not his best work, it is better than most of the other options.
7. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sleepy Hollow - I'm not crazy enough to think that either of these shows will nab major nominations, but I think that both of these, which have incredible cinematic production values, will be boons across the Creative Arts categories.
8. Andre Braugher "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" - The show as a whole is actually a lot of fun, and if it survives I would love to see it get some recognition. But I know this for sure: it is never smart to bet against Andre Braugher. He could easily slip into the supporting actor slot on the comedy side, and I guarantee it will be a surprise to most pundits, but it shouldn't be.
9. American Horror Story: Asylum - Finally, this season of American Horror Story looks to be as creepy, over-the-top, and awesome as the previous efforts, and adding in the likes of Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Emma Roberts, and Kathy Bates along with the rest of the already incredible cast is just icing on the cake. Expect it to clean up as always.