British costume drama Downton Abbey will go head-to-head with a host of big-hitting US drama series at Monday (August 25) evening’s Primetime Emmy Awards.
The series, created by Julian Fellowes, will compete with Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and True Detective for the highest honours in US television.
They are all in the running to be named best drama series at the televised ceremony from Los Angeles.
Downton’s Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt are all contenders for individual awards, too.
Meanwhile programmes such as True Detective, Fargo and Orange Is The New Black could shake up the annual awards, according to Tom O’Neil, the editor of awards handicapper Goldderby.com.
“We have a lot of sexy newcomers,” he told Reuters. “It’s not just the same old slapstick comedy show with a new face.”
“They have not just extraordinary critical acclaim,” he added. “They have enormously high cool factors, extraordinary critical buzz and high visibility.”
The newcomers have the additional benefit of boasting movie stars in the top roles, including Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson from True Detective, and Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman from Fargo.
Although it would be a rare feat for True DetectiveFargo and Orange Is the New Black to sweep the top races, O’Neil said, their presence alone has given the Emmys a jolt.
“The Emmys are a conservative industry award that tends to be much like TV reruns themselves, rewarding the same-old, same-old year after year,” O’Neil said. “These are three troublemakers in town that could cause a lot of disruption.”