Emmys Kickoff: (3 of) 6 Burning Questions

UPDATED: From Chuck Lorre and Amy Poehler ending losing streaks to "True Detective's" historic face-off with departed winner "Breaking Bad," this season already is bursting with potential history-making races.

Barely three months after the Oscars put their red carpet in storage, Hollywood is girding for an equally crazy awards season for television.

With Primetime Emmy nominations looming July 10 and a one-month-earlier ceremony telecast slated for Aug. 25 on NBC, campaigning is in full swing, with a few scenarios emerging as potentially record-setting.

1. Can Matthew McConaughey make history by winning an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year?
The hotter-than-hot Dallas Buyers Club actor, 44, could see his 2014 get even more all right-all right-all right by becoming the first actor to win an Emmy during the same year as his Oscar for his work on HBO's hit drama contender True Detective. Jeff Bridges and Forest Whitaker earned Emmy nominations months after their Oscar wins (for 2009's Crazy Heart and 2006's The Last King of Scotland, respectively). Only the Helens have pulled off this feat: Helen Mirren completed half her EGOT during a 12-month period, scoring an Oscar for The Queen in 2007 between consecutive Emmys for Elizabeth I and Prime Suspect. And Helen Hunt won her Oscar for As Good as It Gets in 1998, the same year she won lead actress in a comedy for NBC's Mad About You. McConaughey will need his Oscar boost because he faces serious competition: Newcomers Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) join heavies Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey and 2013 winner Jeff Daniels in the most crowded lead actor race in a while. Also complicating matters? McConaughey's buddy and Detective co-star Woody Harrelson is being submitted in the same category, making them the only actors slotted as co-leads.

3. Is it finally time for Amy Poehler, Emmy's perennial bridesmaid, to say "I do"?
After 10 nominations, a final season of Parks and Recreation on the horizon, two hot Golden Globes hosting stints and, finally, a Globe win in January for her intrepid Leslie Knope, Poehler, 42, never has entered Emmy season as a stronger contender. She has eschewed campaigning because of a vigorous producing slate (including Comedy Central's Broad City and NBC's upcoming Old Soul and Welcome to Sweden) but no longer is up against pal Tina Fey, affording the stalwart (and lovable) Poehler a bump she has earned.

6. Can Breaking Bad triumph again (and beat True Detective) after an entire year off the air?
In what is becoming the longest goodbye in television history, AMC's departed drama and 2013 winner is eligible for one last round of Emmy consideration. (Its final season was split into two installments of eight episodes, the second of which aired in August and September.) Universally loved creator Vince Gilligan now is shooting the spinoff Better Call Saul, and three-time Emmy-winning star Cranston is up for a Tony for Broadway's All the Way, giving Bad the edge it needs to come back from the dead -- that is, unless voters decide drama's cool-kid newcomer, True Detective, deserves a more arresting Emmy debut.


lbr, the real race is between Breaking Bad and True Detective. Once again, a hearty 'fuck you' to HBO, youretearingmeapart.gif