2010 Emmy Predictions: Directing for Drama and Comedy Series

In case you didn’t know (because I sure as heck didn’t until I saw something the latest Entertainment Weekly), the Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sunday, August 29 on NBC. In the glow of some great nominations and not too many ridiculous slights (I’m resigned to the fact that Sons of Anarchy won’t get its due), the whole thing kind of sneaked up on us, didn’t it? Thankfully, I have enough time to spew out a bunch of predictions before the actual ceremony airs. I’ll be discussing one category a day all week, covering who I think will win and who I think should win. Also: Check out my super glorious graphic that I spent too much time on yesterday! Finally, I’ve embedded polls for each category so I can get some feedback from you folks, so vote away.

Let’s get started with the two directing categories.

Directing for a Drama Series


  • Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, “One Minute”)
  • Steve Shill (Dexter, “The Getaway”)
  • Jack Bender (Lost, “The End”)
  • Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men, “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”)
  • Agnieszka Holland (Treme, “Do You Know What It Means”)

What won’t happen: Good for Treme and Agnieszka Hollan for getting a major nomination, but that’s all it is. And despite the intensity and general awesomeness of “One Minute,” I have to say the same thing about Michelle MacLaren.

What could happen: There seems to be a groundswell of support for Dexter after its popular fourth season and there is a possibility that that swell could turn into a wave of victories that extends all the way to this category. In that case, Steve Shill isn’t totally out of the race. Mad Men has been nominated three years in a row, but hasn’t won yet. That could change, but it’s an outside chance.

What should happen: Jack Bender finally gets recognized for his stellar work on Lost. Bender’s been nominated three times now (the other two came for the second and third season finales), but there is absolutely no question that “The End” is his strongest and most defining work on the series. It feels just as big as the J.J. Abrams-helmed pilot. Lost probably won’t take any other of the major awards, so let’s hope it at least grabs this one on its way out of television.

What will happen: Bender takes it, though Shill and Linka Glatter might surprise.

Directing for a Comedy Series


  • Don Scardino (30 Rock, “I Do Do”)
  • Ryan Murphy (Glee, “Pilot”)
  • Paris Barclay (Glee, “Wheels”)
  • Jason Winer (Modern Family, “Pilot”)
  • Allen Coulter (Nurse Jackie, “Pilot”)

What won’t happen: Allen Coulter, thanks for playing, but you’re not stepping anywhere near this award. The Nurse Jackie pilot is fine, but not distinctive enough, especially with this group of heavy hitters. And much like Mad Men, 30 Rock has been nominated in this category every season (and took a ridiculous three spots last year), but never actually won it. So with buzz for Rock down and two big-time newbies to deal with, Don Scardino doesn’t really have a chance to walk away with the award, either.

What could happen: If the obviously flashier Glee episodes see their votes split in two, the wave for Modern Family gets really big or a combination of both, Jason Winer could very easily take this one. The Modern Family pilot isn’t revolutionary, but it’s well-executed on every level that I can think of.

What should happen: There are going to be a lot of GleeModern Family battles, but this is the one that Glee has the biggest advantage, thanks to its subject matter and ability to go bigger. However, despite the conventional wisdom that leans towards picking pilots as winners, Paris Barclay’s work on “Wheels” is wonderful and it is most definitely one of the 2-3 best episodes the series did during season one.

What will happen: I still believe that Glee ends up on top of the battle with Modern Family, but Ryan Murphy takes home the award for his fine work on the pilot episode. I don’t necessarily want or need anymore Ryan Murphy on my television or people talking about Ryan Murphy on my television, but he’s deserving and I’d rather have Glee win here than anywhere else.


Tomorrow: Writing!


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