Ah, fall. The temperature dips ever so slightly. (Or, at least it did that one day around 5 p.m.) The leaves turn a magnificent . . . brown, and shrivel on the sidewalk. And television returns fresh, to take over our lives once more. • A hallmark of the fall TV season is the Emmy broadcast, and this year we pitted our prediction skills against those of a spinning cardboard version of our beloved but snarky asterisk mascot to see who will be taking home the gold Sunday night. What/who will you believe more, a flat inanimate object (which temporarily sprouted a sixth arm to match the number of nominees) or a living, breathing television watcher? (We'll let you know who had the better record next week.)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Asterisk says: 30 Rock
Geology shows are educational.
tb-two* says: 30 Rock
We agree. Three-time winner 30 Rock deserves one last statue for its final season. Girls took home the award last year and is nominated again, but the series lost a bit of spunk in its second season, which may keep the gold away from Hannah and the crack spirit guides.
Asterisk says: Mad Men
C'mon, this one's as obvious as the whiskey carafes on the ad executives' credenzas.
tb-two* says: House of Cards
Last year was the first time in four straight years that Mad Men did not win, losing out to Showtime's hit Homeland, which undoubtedly irked the asterisk. This year, however, there are two other strong contenders. Breaking Bad has yet to win in this category, and has had one of its best seasons yet, and Netflix's surprise hit House of Cards may deservedly surprise Emmy viewers, becoming both the first nomination for Netflix and its first win.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
Asterisk says: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
This show's as hip as a spinning asterisk.
tb-two* says: The Daily Show
The Daily Show wins this category almost every year, so we don't know what the wheel was thinking. Maybe it really liked the rap medleys with JT this year.
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Asterisk says: Top of the Lake
Oooooh, just try to scare me.
tb-two* says: American Horror Story
The biggest competition for the BBC-produced crime drama Lake is the weirdness of American Horror Story. We'd be fine with either, but forced to pick, let's go with AHS.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy
Asterisk says: Don Cheadle, House of Lies
The asterisk doesn't lie.
tb-two* says: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Cheadle won in this category last year, and Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory has won numerous times. However, we were very excited when Bateman was nominated for the return of Arrested Development and would love to see the show get some well-deserved recognition for its triumphant re-entry.
Lead Actress in a Comedy
Asterisk says: Laura Dern, Enlightened
As the academy would be, if it makes this pick.
tb-two* says: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
We think Fey definitely deserves a win this year, as she brought the show she created, wrote and starred in to a close.
Lead Actor in a Drama
Asterisk says: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Hey, industry loyalty, bud.
tb-two* says: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Cranston was as great as ever this year and we would love to see him get his third win in this category. Even though Kevin Spacey also had a great year on Cards, who can bear the idea of an acceptance speech delivered in that accent?
Lead Actress in a Drama
Asterisk says: Claire Danes, Homeland
She rocked on My So-Called Life
tb-two* says: Robin Wright, House of Cards
Danes won last year, and her biggest competition this year is the deserving Wright, whose performance on House of Cards was one of the best of her career.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Asterisk says: Adam Driver, Girls
Do you want me to be your boyfriend? Is that it? No, just an Emmy winner.
tb-two* says: Adam Driver, Girls
The men of Modern Family are consistently great, while Bill Hader's work on SNL this season was perhaps his best yet. The asterisk's pick of Adam Driver is not far-fetched though. Driver's work on Girls as the guy your father doesn't want you to date was just as good as the first season.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Asterisk says: Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
It's Sofia's time, especially after that split seam mishap.
tb-two* says: Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Bowen, Vergara's Family co-star, won the past two years. After Sunday, it will be three.
Supporting Actor in a Drama
Asterisk says: Bobby Carnavale, Boardwalk Empire
I just can't get that old Drifters song out of my head.
tb-two* says: Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Although we are sure Carnavale is excellent, we're crossing our fingers for Banks of Breaking Bad (only because Aaron Paul will almost definitely get the win next year for his work on the astounding final episodes).
Supporting Actress in a Drama
Asterisk says: Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
She was in the Grinch with Jim Carrey, so she likes green things.
tb-two* says: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Smith has won twice for her work on Downton Abbey, so we think she should keep the trend going.