Here it is folks — that annual exercise in utter foolishness and certain humiliation known as my Daytime Emmy predictions! But, hey, don't take my word for anything. For the first time ever, you fans can watch the reels that each nominated show and star submitted to the blue-ribbon panels by going to HLNtv.com. And don't miss the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, airing live on HLN from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, June 16 (8/7c). Suds-sational!
Outstanding Daytime Drama: General Hospital
With the votes so close that all five eligible soaps made it into the race, anything can happen here. The Bold and the Beautiful's submission — dying Stephanie's farewell party — is especially powerful and could triumph. But I'm betting on the laughs. ABC's landmark serial, celebrating its 50th anniversary, will take the top trophy for a record 12th time and, if that happens, you can thank Robin Mattson (Heather), Roger Howarth (Todd) and a fantastically fun, frisky script by Ron Carlivati and his writing team. Their Weekend at Bernie's riff, featuring dead mobster Anthony being chauffeured around town, may be an offer the judges can't refuse.
Outstanding Lead Actor: Doug Davidson, The Young and the Restless
No contest. Long overdue for an Emmy, this widely loved, 38-year Genoa City resident has a killer reel (literally) in which his character, Paul, accidentally sent his son to his death and must now face up to that horrifying reality. Davidson is shattering and mesmerizing and at the very top of his game. Jeez, what more do you want?
Outstanding Lead Actress: Heather Tom, The Bold and the Beautiful
This is one tough group, and it would have been even tougher if GH's Jane Elliot (Tracy) — the true best actress of this or any other year — hadn't stubbornly refused to submit herself, dammit. And don't get me started on the incomprehensible absence of GH's Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie)! Okay, gripe over. I'm going out on a limb and predicting Tom will pull a three-peat. Her character Katie, hit with postpartum depression and looking to dump her hubby and child, is one hot mess and Tom, as always, delivers like a champ. Likeliest spoiler: Y&R's soon to depart (sob!) Michelle Stafford, on fire in an episode where she gets down-n-nasty with Phyllis' arch-nemesis, the Bug.
Outstanding Supporting Actor: Bradford Anderson, General Hospital
This quirky actor's reel, which finds Spinelli trying to woo back his beloved Maxie, is a bit on the choppy side (why won't GH let any scene go longer than 12 seconds?) but it's oozing with energy and smarts and that deliciously priceless commodity known as charm. Carlivati has scripted a far more mature Spinelli — way more intriguing and less cloying/annoying than the character was under Bob Guza — and it pays off here in spades. Likeliest Spoiler: B&B's Scott Clifton, crazy-good as Liam embarrasses the crap out of himself at his own wedding.
Outstanding Supporting Actress: Katherine Kelly Lang, The Bold and the Beautiful
Finally nominated for the first time after 26 long, tear-stained years as Brooke Logan, this industry fave is the one most likely to end up at the podium — and it won't be because of a sympathy vote! Lang's character, cradling her dying, lifelong frenemy Stephanie, is heartbreakingly fabulous and a sterling example that less is more. Likeliest Spoiler: Days of Our Lives' Arianne Zucker, a smash as sexpot wackadoo Nicole and so deserving of the gold. If not this year, babe, next.
Outstanding Younger Actor: Chandler Massey, Days of Our Lives
Make it two in a row for this fine young star, who had a spectacular showcase in 2012 as the high-strung, ever-troubled gay hero Will Horton. Massey's submission — the episode where Will kinda-sorta comes out to grandma Marlena, played by a splendid, perfect Deidre Hall — simply can't be beat.
Outstanding Younger Actress: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, The Bold and the Beautiful
Can this soap possibly sweep all three actress categories? Could happen! Wood is startlingly versatile and in supreme command as Steffy hands over the signed annulment papers to her husband Liam. There are surprises galore, including a wondrously off-key, Bob Hope-inspired rendition of "Thanks for the Memory," and Wood is at once raw, goofy, sexy. luminous, profound and so very memorable. I may be fairly crummy at my Emmy predictions but this I'm dead certain about: Wood is going to be a major star.
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