Here's who should win Emmys on Sunday
Television • TV critic makes his picks for the most-deserving among the nominees.
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COMEDY • "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Girls," HBO; "Louie," FX; "Modern Family," ABC; "30 Rock," NBC; "Veep," HBO

Pierce's pick • "The Big Bang Theory." Nothing on TV makes me laugh more.

LEAD ACTOR/COMEDY • Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock," NBC; Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development," Netflix; Don Cheadle, "House of Lies," Louis C.K., "Louie," FX; Showtime; Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes," Showtime; Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS

Pierce's pick • Matt LeBlanc, who's great as a parallel-universe version of himself.

LEAD ACTRESS/COMEDY • Laura Dern, "Enlightened," HBO; Lena Dunham, "Girls," HBO; Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime; Tiny Fey, "30 Rock," NBC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," HBO; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation," NBC

Pierce's pick • Amy Poehler makes us laugh and care about an unlikable character.

SUPPORTING ACTOR/ COMEDY SERIES • Ty Burrell, "Modern Family," ABC; Adam Driver, "Girls," HBO; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family," ABC; Bill Hader, "Saturday Night Live," NBC; Tony Hale, "Veep," HBO; Ed O'Neill, "Modern Family," ABC

Pierce's pick • Ty Burrell, who makes playing Phil Dunphy look easy.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS/COMEDY • Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; Julie Bowen, "Modern Family," ABC; Anna Chlumsky, "Veep," HBO; Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock," NBC; Jane Lynch, "Glee," Fox; Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family," ABC; Merritt Wever, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime

Pierce's pick • Mayim Bialik, because Amy is another role that's harder than Bialik makes it look. And because I love the idea of Blossom winning an Emmy.

DRAMA SERIES • "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Downton Abbey," PBS; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "Homeland," Showtime; "House of Cards," Netflix; "Mad Men," AMC

Pierce's pick • "Game of Thrones," which is unmatched for the huge scale of a drama that is, at the same time, character-driven.

LEAD ACTOR/DRAMA • Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom," HBO; Jon Hamm, "Mad Men," AMC; Damian Lewis, "Homeland," Showtime; Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards," Netflix

Pierce's pick • Bryan Cranston is magnificent in the role of a lifetime: Walter White, the mild-mannered teacher-turned-druglord/killer.

LEAD ACTRESS/DRAMA • Connie Britton, "Nashville," ABC; Claire Danes, "Homeland," Showtime; Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel," A&E; Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men," AMC; Kerry Washington, "Scandal," ABC; Robin Wright, "House of Cards," Netflix

Pierce's pick • Kerry Washington, who is so good in a show that is so crazy.

SUPPORTING ACTOR/DRAMA: Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire," HBO; Jonathan Banks, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland," Showtime

Pierce's pick • Aaron Paul creates a character we love despite all the incredibly terrible things he's done.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS/DRAMA • Morena Baccarin, "Homeland," Showtime; Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife," CBS; Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men," AMC; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey," PBS

Pierce's pick • Anna Gunn, who's great playing a character who's all shades of gray.

LEAD ACTOR/MINISERIES OR MOVIE • Benedict Cumberbatch, "Parade's End", HBO; Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra," HBO; Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra," HBO; Toby Jones, "The Girl," HBO; Al Pacino, "Phil Spector," HBO

Pierce's pick: Benedict Cumberbatch stands out in this talented field.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES/MOVIE • Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story," FX; Laura Linney, "The Big C: Hereafter," Showtime; Helen Mirren, "Phil Spector," HBO; Elisabeth Moss, "Top of the Lake," Sundance Channel; Sigourney Weaver, "Political Animals," USA

Pierce's pick • Elisabeth Moss is amazing as a Kiwi detective.

MINISERIES/MOVIE •"American Horror Story: Asylum," FX; "Behind the Candelabra," HBO; "The Bible," History; "Phil Spector," HBO; "Political Animals," USA; "Top of the Lake," Sundance Channel

Pierce's pick • "Top of the Lake" is a great character drama.

HOST, REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM • Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars," ABC; Anthony Bourdain, "The Taste," ABC; Cat Deeley, "So You Think You Can Dance," Fox; Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, "Project Runway," Bravo; Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol," Fox; Betty White, "Betty White's Off Their Rockers," NBC

Pierce's pick • Cat Deeley, who may just be the perfect reality/competition show host.

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM • "The Amazing Race," CBS; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC; "Project Runway," Lifetime; "So You Think You Can Dance," Fox; "Top Chef," Bravo; "The Voice," NBC

Pierce's pick • "Project Runway" is just plain addictive, even to non-fashionistas.

VARIETY SERIES • "The Colbert Report," Comedy Central; "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central; "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC; "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," NBC; "Real Time With Bill Maher," HBO; "Saturday Night Live," NBC

Pierce's pick • "The Daily Show." This remains can't-miss TV.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL • "The Kennedy Center Honors," CBS; "Louis C.K.: Oh My God," HBO; "Mel Brooks Strikes Back! With Mel Brooks and Alan Yentob," HBO; "Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One)," NBC; "12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief"

Pierce's pick • "Louis C.K.: Oh My God" which was, OMG, hilarious.

spierce@sltrib.com