Predicting the 2015 Emmy Nominations

PHOTO: From the left, Jon Hamm in Mad Men, Taraji P. Henson in Empire and Claire Danes from HomelandFOX, AMC, Showtime
From the left, Jon Hamm in Mad Men, Taraji P. Henson in Empire and Claire Danes from Homeland

Expect to see more contenders -- favorites as well as newcomers -- when the Emmy nominations are announced Thursday morning.

That’s because the Emmys have added a seventh slot to the outstanding drama and comedy categories.

“It’s an extra slot for new shows to slide in there,” Yahoo! TV critic-at-large Ken Tucker told ABC News. “Certainly, there’s a lot of potential contenders for that extra lot.”

Among them are the CW hit comedy “Jane the Virgin” and star Gina Rodriguez, film actor Clive Owen and his new Cinemax show “The Knick,” and the Fox mega-hit drama “Empire” and its stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.

“It will be a big scandal, to reference another show, if ‘Empire’ does not get a lot of nominations,” Tucker said. “It’s by far the biggest hit on television this year. I think Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard certainly deserve nominations. Then the question becomes what shows do those new shows push out?”

We will find out Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m. PST when the nominees are announced live by “Orange Is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba and “So You Think You Can Dance” host Cat Deeley.

Till then, here are Tucker’s predictions for the 2015 Emmy nominations:

Outstanding Drama

Last year, “Orange Is the New Black” competed in the comedy category, racking up a total 12 nominations, but this year, it’s been ruled by the TV Academy to be a drama, per its new rules stating comedies are half-hour long and dramas are hour-long. “OITNB” also lost its petition for a waiver, though “Jane the Virgin,” “Shameless” and “Glee” were granted exceptions.

So, look for “Orange” to rack up some nominations in the drama category, including for outstanding drama.

  • “Orange Is the New Black”
  • Mad Men
  • House of Cards
  • “Game of Thrones”
  • “The Americans” (“Longshot but might,” Tucker said)
  • “Empire”
  • “Downton Abbey”

Outstanding Actress in Drama

  • Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)
  • Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”)
  • Claire Danes (“Homeland”)
  • Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”)
  • Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
  • Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”)

“It’s going to be an interesting race if some of those new names pop up there,” Tucker said.

Outstanding Actor in Drama

  • Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)
  • Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)
  • Dominic West (“The Affair”)
  • Terrence Howard (“Empire”)
  • Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”)
  • Clive Owen (“The Knick”)

“It will be a shock if Jon Hamm doesn’t finally win an Emmy,” Tucker said about Hamm’s final season of “Mad Men.”

Outstanding Comedy

Expect a mix of veterans and newcomers in this category. The ABC hit sitcom “Black-ish” should score some noms.

“Emmy voters like shows that are not just critically acclaimed but do well in the ratings,” Tucker said. “‘Black-ish’ made an immediate ratings impact.” As for Netflix newcomer “Grace and Frankie,” Tucker thinks the stars will get a nom even if the show doesn’t. “Emmy voters tend to be older and have a great fondness for people like Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.”

  • “Modern Family”
  • “The Big Bang Theory”
  • “Veep”
  • “Black-ish”
  • “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • “Jane the Virgin”
  • “Transparent”

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy

  • Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”)
  • Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)
  • Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
  • Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”)
  • Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy

  • Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”)
  • Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)
  • William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
  • Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)
  • Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”)
  • Billy Crystal (“The Comedians”) (“He certainly has a lot of name recognition and gives a good performance,” Tucker said.)
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