Emmys predictions 2013: Kevin Spacey a clear winner

Kevin Spacey stars in the Netflix original series, Kevin Spacey stars in the Netflix original series, "House of Cards," an adaptation of a British classic. Photo Credit: AP

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The 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards are almost upon us, so without further warning, here are my picks, along with the usual caveat: Don't bet the kids' milk money on this. (This is a guessing game, after all, and with the Emmys, you just never know.) The Sunday telecast originates from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (CBS/2 at 8 p.m.). (Red-carpet coverage begins at 5 p.m. on E!.)

COMEDY SERIES

"The Big Bang Theory," CBS

"Girls," HBO

"Louie," FX

"Modern Family," ABC

"30 Rock," NBC

"Veep," HBO

WHOW WILL WIN The past six years have been dominated by just two comedies ("Modern Family" and "30 Rock"), but even dominance eventually cracks, and for "Modern Family," this will be that year. The winner is "The Big Bang Theory."

WHO SHOULD WIN "Louie," without question. But dark comedies -- and "Louie" is hardly always comic -- don't fare well here.

DRAMA SERIES

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"Breaking Bad," AMC

"Downton Abbey," PBS

"Homeland," Showtime

"Game of Thrones," HBO

"House of Cards," Netflix

"Mad Men," AMC

WHO WILL WIN "Homeland" had a so-so sophomore season, but voters hate to disavow their judgment, especially after crowning this with such gusto after the freshman season. There could be residual guilt over snubbing "Breaking Bad" for so long, but I fully believe it wins anyway at next year's Emmys. That's why the edge goes to ... "Homeland."

WHO SHOULD WIN "Game of Thrones." There is simply no contest here -- "Thrones" had a remarkable season (another one), but fantasy fiction is an almost impossibly tough sell to voters.

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development," Netflix

Louis C.K., "Louie," FX

Don Cheadle, "House of Lies," Showtime

Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes," Showtime

Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," NBC

WHO WILL WIN Emmy voters were in a mildly adventurous mood here last year (Jon Cryer) and may now be remorseful (he wasn't even nominated). Will they turn instead to old faves (Parsons, Baldwin)? Nah. Winner is Jason Bateman.

WHO SHOULD WIN Louis C.K., except that voters don't know whether to laugh or cry when watching.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Lena Dunham, "Girls," HBO

Laura Dern, "Enlightened," HBO

Tiny Fey, "30 Rock," NBC

Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation," NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," HBO

Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime

WHO WILL WIN Tough category because each nominee is perfectly solid, but when confronted with a very difficult choice, voters usually land on the default one. Winner is Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

WHO SHOULD WIN Can I ask for a tie here? If so, Dern and Dunham. But if pressed, I'll settle for Dunham because of the strength of her nominated episode, "Bad Friend."

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey," PBS

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC

Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom," HBO

Jon Hamm, "Mad Men," AMC

Damian Lewis, "Homeland," Showtime

Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards," Netflix

WHO WILL WIN Over the past three years, there have three different winners in this category, so logic dictates Lewis will not repeat. Never trust anything as foolish as "logic" when it comes to the Emmys, but the winner will be... Kevin Spacey.

WHO SHOULD WIN Seriously? You have to ask? Jon Hamm.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

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Connie Britton, "Nashville," ABC

Claire Danes, "Homeland," Showtime

Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey," PBS

Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel," A&E

Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men," AMC

Kerry Washington, "Scandal," ABC

Robin Wright, "House of Cards," Netflix

WHO WILL WIN This category can surprise. Could Washington pull an upset? Dockery? Like the actor category, there have been three different winners over the past three years, which does not bode well for a Danes repeat. But not to worry, fans. She will.

WHO SHOULD WIN Robin Wright. If anyone stands a chance of stopping the Danes Express, Wright is the one to do it. A "House of Cards" twofer would match last year's "Homeland" top actor feat.

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