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2015 Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win?

Is it finally Jon Hamm's year?

Joyce Eng

Is Sunday going to be the most unpredictable Emmy Awards yet? Among the numerous changes this year, the television academy expanded the rules to allow members to vote in all categories in their respective branches and the program races. Previously, panels of 70-80 members could only vote in two selected branch races and two program races. Voters are still supposed to watch the submitted episodes, but will they? (7 shows x 6 episodes each = 42 episodes!) How will the larger pool affect the vote? Will surprise underdog wins be a thing of the past? We'll find out Sunday (8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, Fox), but let's make some fearless predictions for now.

Game of Thrones, Tatiana Maslany lead Emmy nominations

Who will win:
Game of Thrones
There is no better chance than now for Game of Thrones to triumph. Everything is cresting towards a win: Breaking Bad has vacated the premises, there is no new runaway hit, it has a leading 24 nominations (its most ever) and has already won eight of them at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last week. (If it wins at least two on Sunday, it will beat The West Wing for most wins by a show in a year.) Plus, more than any other show, it heavily benefits from the popular vote of the new voting system.
Watch out for: Mad Men
One final win would not only cap one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but make Mad Men the most honored drama series ever with five wins (it's currently tied with Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing). The show, however, has not won a single Emmy in any category since its last drama series win in 2011.

Who will win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
This is it: Hamm's eighth and final shot to win an Emmy for playing Don Draper. Emmy voters have never been sentimental folk -- Steve Carell, Martin Sheen, Angela Lansbury, Hugh Laurie are Emmy-less for their iconic roles -- but that was under the old voting system. With the whole acting branch eligible to vote now, that ought to favor Hamm since you know not everyone's voting on merit alone. If none of the Mad Men actors win, the show will go 0-37 in acting awards.
Watch out for: Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Four years ago, with three-time defending champ Bryan Cranston not eligible, Hamm was supposed to be a lock after submitting the seminal episode "The Suitcase." Instead, Chandler pulled off an upset for Friday Night Lights. He can easily deny Hamm again, especially if voters watch his stellar work in his submission "Chapter 12."

Who will win: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
No black woman has won this category, and Davis and Taraji P. Henson are only the sixth and seventh black actresses to be nominated. Beyond her commanding performance and that noted wig scene (she did not, however, submit that episode), Davis is a respected, beloved star and won the Screen Actors Guild Award, which is voted on by her fellow thespians.
Watch out for: Robin Wright, House of Cards
Taraji P. Henson could spoil as well, but Empire completely underperformed in nominations (three total, including two in costumes) and the Emmys have historically not been generous to soapy performances. Unlike last year, Wright nailed her submission (the bait-y season finale) and House of Cards has the most acting nominations of any show, with a victory already for guest star Reg E. Cathey.

See all of our Emmy coverage

Who will win:Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
The Emmy has been Banks' to lose since completely he crushed it and our hearts -- "I broke my boy" -- in the Mike showcase "Five-0" (the episode is also up for writing). Banks, who's the first actor to be nominated in this category for three shows, might get some residual love as well for never having won for Breaking Bad after Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire) surprised here two years ago.
Watch out for: Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Mendelsohn's cagey, off-kilter Danny was the best part of Bloodline and he has had way more screen time than his competition as an arguable lead.

Who will win: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Headey's spectacular season peaked with a heartbreaking Walk of Shame in "Mother's Mercy," which is up for writing and directing. Besides, it's high time someone other than Peter Dinklage gets acting kudos on the show.
Watch out for: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Would the Emmys give Mad Men multiple acting wins in one night after blanking them for so long? Hendricks, on her sixth nomination, certainly deserves one and had some of her meatiest material and gave her finest performance since "The Other Woman." Her submission, "Lost Horizon," in which Joan battled McCann's workplace sexism, is also nominated in writing. Also keep an eye on SAG champ Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), who, after winning in guest comedy last year, could be the second person after Edward Asner to win in both genres for the same character.

Who will win:Veep
Ah, the true test of Modern Family fatigue. For the first time, the five-time reigning champ, which is aiming for an unprecedented six-peat, did not score key nominations in writing and directing (no show has won comedy series without those nods since Friends in 2002) and for the first time, Veep did in both categories. Like Selina's rise to the Oval Office, Veep has been patiently waiting in the wings for its moment in the sun while fine-tuning its crisp, biting voice that's as assured as Selina is self-absorbed. It would only be the second HBO show to win comedy series after Sex and the City.
Watch out for: Transparent
With 11 nominations, Transparent has the most of any comedy this year, winning three of them at the Creative Arts Emmys. It's a beautiful, thoughtful show that's part of the zeitgeist... but its only drawback is that it's not actually that funny.
Emmys: snubs and surprises

Who will win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
If there's anything close to a lock, it's Tambor. He's been a shoo-in from the moment Maura awkwardly, movingly graced us with her presence. The veteran actor, on his seventh Emmy nod, is also overdue for a win after coming up short for The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development.
Watch out for: Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
Forte's been a revelation, single-handedly carrying his one-man show. It also doesn't hurt that Last Man overperformed, nabbing four nominations, including a writing one for Forte for the pilot.

Who will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Until she is dethroned, it's hard to pick against JLD and her sublime Selina Meyer. The five-time winner is going for the first four-peat in this race since Helen Hunt did it in the '90s. The most suspense will probably be seeing what gag she pulls off onstage this time.
Watch out for: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
There would be no better sendoff for Parks and Rec than for voters to reward its esteemed fearless leader with her first-ever Emmy. The expanded voting should help Poehler, as should Parks and Rec's surprise series nomination, which is only its second ever. Plus, how cool would it be for perennial losers and Losers Party Hosts Poehler and Hamm to finally win on the same night?

Who will win: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The irresistible breakout star gives the most laugh-per-buck of the nominees (hi, "Peeno Noir") and already did the hard part (getting nominated). This would also be the best way to acknowledge Kimmy Schmidt.
Watch out for: Tony Hale, Veep
The 2013 champ could easily reclaim the crown, thanks to Gary's flawless I'm-as-mad-as-hell-and-I'm-not-gonna-take-it-anymore teardown of Selina.

Who will win:Allison Janney, Mom
There are an astounding eight nominees here, so anything can happen, but you can't go wrong with Janney. The Emmy darling ought to scoop up her second straight win for her tragicomic turn to bring her trophy total to seven. That would tie Janney with Mary Tyler Moore and Edward Asner for second place on the all-time acting wins list behind eight-time champ Cloris Leachman.
Watch out for: Anna Chlumsky, Veep
A three-time nominee, Chlumsky has her best chance yet at a win with her own deliciously vicious mic drop on POTUS.

Who will win: The Amazing Race
Never bet against the 10-time champ, which is going for a record 11th win and whose scope remains out of this world (no pun intended).
Watch out for: The Voice
One of two shows to upset Race (Top Chef is the other), The Voice has the cachet to do it again, though it has lost some of its early season luster.

Who do you think will win?

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Andy Samberg, airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET /5 p.m. PT on Fox.