Emmy Nomination Predictions: How'd We Do?

Read this to decide whether to believe us next time nominations come around

Earlier this week, TheWrap made some predictions in the major Emmy categories. After this morning's release of the nominations, we find we were right 76 percent of the time.

When we were wrong, it was because we cynically assumed Emmy voters would make safe, predictable choices. When we were right, it was also because we cynically assumed Emmy voters would make safe, predictable choices.

Also read: Emmy Predictions: Nominees, Snubs, and Winners

Not that the safety and predicatability of those choices made them bad choices. Some of the most obvious picks — like Bryan Cranston's nomination for "Breaking Bad" after three previous wins — are obvious because they're so deserved. And we don't think Emmy voters made any huge mistakes, except for one. In the comedy category.

Here's what we thought would happen, and what actually did, in the six categories where we made predictions.

Outstanding Drama Series

Projected Nominees: "Boardwalk Empire," "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "Homeland," "Mad Men."

Actual Nominees: "Boardwalk Empire," "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "Homeland," "Mad Men."

Explanation/Apology: Yes!  We nailed it. Six out of six.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Projected Nominees: "The Big Bang Theory," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Louie," "Modern Family," "Parks and Recreation," "30 Rock."

Actual Nominees: "The Big Bang Theory," "Curb Your Enthusiasm,"  "Girls," "Modern Family," "30 Rock," "Veep."

Explanation/Apology: Four out of six, and ten out of 12 overall. We think passing over "Louie" was a major misstep by Emmy voters. But nominating "Girls" was a gutsier move than we gave them credit for. We didn't see them choosing "Veep" over another strong political comedy, "Parks," but hey, good for the voters for keeping it interesting.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Projected Nominations: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"; Tina Fey, "30 Rock"; Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly"; Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"; Lena Dunham, "Girls."

Actual Nominees: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," Amy Poehler, "Parks And Recreation," Tina Fey, "30 Rock," Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly," Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl," Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie'; Lena Dunham, "Girls."

Explanation/Apology: Um, how about an apology to us? We correctly guessed six out of six, but the Emmys went ahead and nominated seven this year. (An Emmy spokesman explained that there was a two-way tie for sixth place, resulting in seven nominations.)

We get it: It was a very hard category. So we'll say we went six for seven (under protest) and that our overall record stands at 16 out of 19, which would be 18 if there were any justice in the world. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Projected Nominees: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"; Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory," Louis C.K., "Louie"; Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"; Ed Helms, "The Office"; Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Actual Nominees: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," Don Cheadle, "House Of Lies," Louis C.K., "Louie," Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men," Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Explanation/Apology: Four out of six — thanks for keeping it at six, Emmys — and 20 out of 25 so far. We did say Cryer could score a nod for "for helping the 'Two and a Half Men' transition from the Charlie Sheen era to the age of Ashton Kutcher." But he wasn't one of our official picks.

As for Cheadle? Kudos, Emmy voters. This was a case where we thought you'd go with a familiar pick, Galecki, or simply sub in Helms for Steve Carell on "The Office." We honestly didn't think of Cheadle for the category because his show isn't a clear-cut comedy like the others. The Emmy voters were more forward-thinking than us. Sorry, Mr. Cheadle, and sorry, Emmy voters.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Projected Nominees: Claire Danes, "Homeland"; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Elizabeth McGovern, “Downton Abbey”; Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"; Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"; Glenn Close; "Damages."

Actual nominees: Claire Danes, "Homeland," Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife," Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey," Kathy Bates, "Harry's Law," Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men," Glenn Close, "Damages."

Explanation/Apology: Four out of six, and 24 out of 31. What can we say? Dockery edged out her "Downton" castmate, McGovern. And Bates vs. Hargitay, well, who knows. Maybe this was a case of Emmy voters standing up for a little-watched (and now canceled) show. We did say Bates "could find her way back into the category," but that's a long way from a prediction. Sorry, Ms. Dockery and Ms. Bates.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Projected Nominees: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire, "Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall, "Dexter," Hugh Laurie, "House," Timothy Olyphant, "Justified," Jon Hamm, "Mad Men";

Actual nominees: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire," Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall, "Dexter," Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey," Damian Lewis, "Homeland," Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

Explanation: Four out of six, and 28 out of 37 overall. That comes to 76 percent, a number that just refuses to go higher no matter how many times we punch in the calculations.

But back to the category, and what went wrong: We picked the wrong Hugh. We really thought Emmy voters were a sentimental enough lot to recognize Laurie for his last season on "House." Our diagnosis was wrong.

As for Lewis: Well, we just flat-out underestimated him. One commentor, DL, had this to say when we made our predictions: "How is there no mention of Damian Lewis for 'Homeland' in the Dark Horses/Snubs category, at the very least? The man's performance is utterly riveting, and the panic room scene alone should earn him a nomination if not a golden statuette."

You are right, DL, and we were wrong. We apologize to Mr. Bonneville, Mr. Lewis, and to you.