Lauren, Gallery & Pocket book editor extraordinaire and podcast host gives us her picks for the 67th annual Emmys!  The red carpet should be starting in a few hours, so read her advice and cast your votes!

I get very passionate about awards season every year and when they asked for a volunteer to talk about the Emmys I jumped at the chance.  I thought, “ Why not share my two cents  with our XO members; I love TV, I valiantly watch the Emmys and the Oscars every year, I get violently mad at the tv when my favorite actors don’t win – shouldn’t that qualify me for the job?  I think so.”  So here it goes, my picks for the 2015 Emmy Awards!



 mad men poster
“Better Call Saul”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”
“Orange is the New Black”

**MAD MEN – of course.  I truly love Game of Thrones and it was a close second in my heart but since this was the final season for Mad Men – I had to go there.  Plus, I thought the season was excellent (better than GOT) if truth be told.   There was a part of me that wanted Downton Abbey (old habits die hard and this show was awesome once-upon-a-time but that time is long past.  It jumped the shark when they killed Sybil and Matthew – boo hoo.)


“Modern Family”
“Parks and Recreation”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

 parks and rec         veepseason3

** Don’t go crazy but while I ‘like’ all of these shows, I’m not on fire for any of them.  However, I have two clear preferences: Parks and Rec – because of Chris Pratt – duh!!  And Veep – because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is brilliant!  She has absolutely no filter and I adore that.



don-draper-shrugBob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

** No contest AT ALL – Jon Hamm or bust!  HE HAS NEVER WON BEOFRE!!  What total BS is that?!  If he doesn’t win I will send hate mail to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the rest of the year.  This is not a joke.


Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Let me start by saying I’ll puke if Claire Danes wins again – she’s so whiny in Homeland, how can people stand her?  I struggled with this one because there are two actresses who top my list; Taraji Henson from Empire and Robin Wright from House of Cards.  Both are utterly amazing in their own ways – who does crazy better than Taraji?  And Robin Wright is just so beautiful and cool. (Not to mention she was once Kelly Capwell in Santa Barbara –  a soap opera from the 80’s that shall always be in my personal hall of fame – if you’ve seen this soap you’ll know what I mean). Ultimately, Taraji edged out Robin because (a.) Robin won last year (I believe in spreading the love around) (b.) who doesn’t love Cookie!


Timothy Hutton, “American Crime”mark-rylance-wolf-hall
Ricky Gervais, “Derek Special”
Adrien Brody, “Houdini”
David Oyelowo, “Nightingale”
Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”

Ok, I am feeling very passionate about these two men: Richard Jenkins and Mark Rylance – I absolutely adored them both in their respective series.  Now I know that Olive Kitteridge and Wolf Hall were not everyone’s cup of tea – but I couldn’t guzzle enough of enough of them.  These shows blew me away with their casting, sets, and storylines.  Who knew 1980’s small-town Maine would be so riveting!  Same goes for the court of Henry the VIII! (Ok, The Tudors was hot so I did know Henry the IIIV was awesome.  But this series was done by Masterpiece Theater on PBS – not Showtime – and therefore has less graphic nudity!) In the end I’m going with Mark – he did strong, silent, powerful and deadly better than any courtier before.


Felicity Huffman, “American Crime” olivekittridge
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Queen Latifah, “Bessie”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Emma Thompson, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street”

I know this one is going to be my biggest cry of the whole night.  Why?  I ABSOLUTLEY LOVED Frances McDormand in Olive Kitterigdge and I fear the academy is going to let me down here and not pick Frances and I kid you not – this woman was brilliant in this role – it will be a CRIME. And I can honestly say I want her to win more than any other award the whole night (maybe except Jon Hamm but I know he’s going to win).  Olive is such a hard person to love but love her I did.  The book by Elizabeth Strout is amazing, so she had great material but I promise you you’ll never see another character like Olive – or one so perfectly played.  I could spend all night talking about this character; her complexity, her tenacity, her nastiness, how misunderstood, how brutally honest, how real, how smart, how much I really really liked her.  Let me be clear, Olive is not for everyone but she was for me. 


Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”

Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”

Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Will Forte, “The Last Man On Earth”
Louis C.K., “Louie”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

They will probably give this to Jeffrey Tambor again but my heart belongs to Louie.


Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback” amyschumer
Lily Tomlin, “Grace And Frankie”
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks And Recreation”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

I vote Amy.  Schumer that is.  She does drunk better than anyone. She’s a girls girl.  I want to party with her.   She is Hollywoods It Girl right now, she’s a shoe in.


“The Amazing Race” Top-Chef-logo-1203-1projectrunway
“Dancing With The Stars”
“Project Runway”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

This is hands-down the category that ENRAGES me consistently every year –and  prompts things being thrown at the tv.  Why does Amazing Race win all the time?  It’s good but it’s had its day in the sun. Give another AMAZING show a chance!!! Why does it have to win every frickin’ year!!!!   Please give this to Project Runway – the show of my heart  – or to Top Chef, a show that I have watched since its very first season in awe and envy.   PLEASE!


“The Colbert Report”  davetopten
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
“Late Show With David Letterman”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

I really really want this one to go to Jon Stewart, I love him so much.  He’s so funny and brilliant and The Daily Show was a true original.  However, it’s going to go to Dave Letterman and I won’t even be sad.  He’s an icon and his Top 10 Lists were classic. 

LIMITED SERIESScreen Shot 2015-09-18 at 3.16.38 PM

“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Freak Show”
“The Honorable Woman”
“Olive Kitteridge”
“Wolf Hall”

Olive Kitteridge, need I say more?  Other than “go rent this series, RIGHT NOW.”


“Drunk History”amy-schumer1
“Inside Amy Schumer”
“Key & Peele”
“Saturday Night Live”

** I’m not sure if I’m really qualified to pick a winner for this one (this is not the last time you will hear me say this – my 2 yr. old has really cut down on my TV watching time) so I’ll go with what I know – Amy Schumer.


“Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case” bessie
“Grace of Monaco”
“Hello Ladies: The Movie”
“Killing Jesus”

Bessie – I love Queen Latifah and I was kinda torn when picking Frances earlier.  The Queen did a fabulous job depicting Bessie Smith and her voice is just so delicious.


Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game Of Thrones”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Michael Kelly, “House Of Cards”

Peter Dinklage.  Why?  Because he’s the bomb and I love him.  Tyrion is a classic on TV (not only in books) thanks to him.


Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey” cersei-walk-of-shame-620x349
Lena Headey, “Game Of Thrones”
Emilia Clarke, “Game Of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is The New Black”

Oh, this is an easy one – Lena Headey.  She DESERVES this Emmy for the sole reason that she paraded naked through Westeros for an ungodly (and gratuitous) amount of time this last season.  Yes, her body was amazing so it could have been worse, but kudos to that woman, she did it like a Queen.  I cannot wait to see the hell Cersei rains down on the people who imprisoned her.  PLUS – she is has never won before which is INSANE. 

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMAthe-good-wife-michael-j-fox_320

Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
F. Murray Abraham, “Homeland”
Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
Beau Bridges, “Masters Of Sex”
Pablo Schreiber, “Orange Is The New Black”

This goes back to my ‘not really qualified’ answer from before, however, I’m going with Michael J. Fox.  He was my first crush as Alex P. Keaton.


Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
Rachel Brosnahan, “House Of Cards”
Cicely Tyson, “How To Get Away With Murder”
Allison Janney, “Masters Of Sex”
Khandi Alexander, “Scandal”

Olenna Tyrell is one of my favorite characters in the entire Game of Thrones world – In ANY season! She’s conniving, brilliant, and hilarious.  I can only hope we see her again and again – brava, Diana Rigg.


Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Keegan-Michael Key, “Key & Peele”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Tony Hale, “Veep”

I have to go with Adam Driver – since it’s the only nod Girls got this year.  And I’m still a fan.


Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”alisonjanning
Niecy Nash, “Getting On”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Kate McKinnon “Saturday Night Live”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Allison Janney.  Not only is she GREAT in Mom (so she deserves this) she’ll always be CJ to me.  All you West Wing fans know what I mean.


Mel Brooks, “The Comedians”unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-jon-hamm
Paul Giamatti, “Inside Amy Schumer”
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”
Louis C.K., “Saturday Night Live”
Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”
Jon Hamm, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Jon Hamn, I lurrrve him so much.  Not just because he’s beautiful but because he’s funny too.   

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDYChristine Baranskijoancusack

Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Girls”
Pamela Adlon, “Louie”
Elizabeth Banks, “Modern Family”
Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
Tina Fey, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

This is my only tie and therefor I’ll be happy with whichever brilliant actress wins: Christine Baranski or Joan Cusack.


Richard Cabral, “American Crime”
Denis O’Hare, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Finn Wittrock, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “Bessie”
Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
Damian Lewis, “Wolf Hall”

This one was a tough one for me.  I love Bill Murray and he was great as the depressed widower in Olive Kitteridge but a personal preference from my past is going to sway this vote.  I went with Damian Lewis in Wolf Hall.  He was very  very good as the egomaniac King Henry but I’ll always love him because of his role as Winters in Band of Brothers.  Best. Commander. Ever!  I would have followed him anywhere.


Regina King, “American Crime”american-horror-story-sarah-paulson-covers-criminal-video
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Mo’Nique, “Bessie”
Zoe Kazan, “Olive Kitteridge”

Sarah Paulson – she’s just so good in anything she does.

Well, that’s all my picks–I hope you found my commentary helpful in making your own choices for your betting pool!