Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Drama Series race:
MAD MEN (AMC – Lionsgate TV)
Why It Was Nominated: The critics rave. The fans swoon. But the masses yawn. Fortunately for AMC, the masses don’t get to choose the Emmy nominations. But no Industry type believes AMC’s Mad Men doesn’t deserve to at least try for a 3rd consecutive Primetime Emmy. After all, The West Wing won four Emmys in a row.
Why It Has To Win: The fact that the show launched its new season last month (and to raves) is a shrewd move on the part of AMC to create fresh buzz. As one producer told me: “At this point, the show’s reputation precedes it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to win.”
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: Roughly seven times more households tuned to the Lost finale on ABC in May than watched Mad Men‘s Season 4 premiere in July. That greatly shakes up the voting equation. More to the point, can Matthew Weiner shake off some bad press after last year’s win? (The young female staff writer who’d won the 2009 drama-writing Emmy with Weiner quit Mad Men before she could be let go by him.)
LOST (ABC – Grass Skirts Prod w/ ABC Network & Studios)
Why It Was Nominated: Had the voters failed to nominate it, Lost‘s multitudes of fans might have marched on the TV Academy headquarters. The show had a buzzworthy final season that dominated not just watercooler talk but also Industry dialogue.
Why It Has To Win: Before cable became the place where quality lives, voters would have easily anointed a show …