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(Courtesy photo) Ty Burrelll and Julie Bowen star in ABC's "Modern Family." Courtesy Erin McCandless/ABC
Pierce: Preferences (as opposed to predictions) for Sunday's Emmy Awards

By Scott D. Pierce

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Sep 19 2012 05:24 pm • Last Updated Jan 07 2013 11:31 pm

Jimmy Kimmel has an idea for something that might speed up this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, which he’s hosting on Sunday.

"Maybe if we loaded the awards into a T-shirt cannon and fired them into the audience," he recently told TV critics.

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That would certainly be exciting. But it wouldn’t speed up the three-hours-if-we’re-lucky show.

Those Emmy awards are heavy. And pointy. So the emergency crews treating the wounded and carting away the dead would definitely slow things down.

Hey, that’s how Maude Flanders died on "The Simpsons" — and she was hit by an actual T-shirt.

So the excitement on Sunday (6 p.m., ABC/Channel 4) will have to come from anticipation about who the winners will be. Here are my personal preferences (as opposed to predictions):

Drama series » (nominees) "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO); "Breaking Bad" (AMC); "Downton Abbey" (PBS); "Game of Thrones (HBO); "Homeland" (Showtime); "Mad Men" (AMC).

Honestly, I could make a case for each of these shows. "Mad Men" has won four in a row (and it deserved three of those), so it’s time for someone else.

My choice » "Breaking Bad."

Comedy series » "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS); "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO); "Girls" (HBO); "Modern Family" (ABC); "30 Rock" (NBC); "Veep" (HBO).

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This category is kind of a joke. HBO doesn’t have three of the best comedies, but it does have the best publicity machine, which accounts for all the nominations.

My choice » "Modern Family" is the odds-on favorite.

Miniseries/movie » "American Horror Story" (FX); "Game Change" (HBO); "Hatfields & McCoys" (A&E); "Hemingway and Gelhorn" (HBO); "Luther" (BBC America); "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia" (PBS).

There are a lot of worthy contenders here, although "Horror Story" is in the wrong category. (It’s a series!) I’m a big "Sherlock" fan, but I also thought "Game Change" was great — and it’s probably going to win.

My choice » "Game Change."

Reality/competition » "The Amazing Race," CBS; "American Idol," Fox; "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC); "Project Runway" (Lifetime); "Top Chef" (Bravo); "The Voice" (NBC).

Let’s be serious. "Idol" and "DWTS" were terrible last year. "The Voice" is already fading. Even "Amazing Race" — which is probably going to win — had one of its weakest seasons.

My choice » "Project Runway" (NOT the all-stars edition) ought to win. Probably won’t, however.

Actors/actresses » Individuals who deserve to win include Bryan Cranston (drama, "Breaking Bad"), Claire Danes (drama, "Homeland"), Jim Parsons (comedy, "Big Bang Theory"), Zooey Deschanel (comedy, "New Girl"), Benedict Cumberbatch (movie/mini, "Sherlock") and Julianne Moore (movie/mini, "Game Change").

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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