Will Grey's Anatomy Win Best Drama?

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Award-Winning Shonda
Can Grey's Anatomy off The Sopranos in the heated battle for Best Drama at the Emmys? According to The Envelope, the L.A. Times awards blog, the medical drama is way ahead in fan support. But it will likely be a fight to the finish.

Some believe Heroes might do it by tapping the same factors that boosted Lost to a recent victory under the new voting process. Both = hot ensemble shows with fantasy elements, huge ratings and major buzz.

But Grey's Anatomy really does best fit the pattern of Emmy champs. Voters love medical shows, yes (E.R. won best drama; Chicago Hope and St. Elsewhere won top acting kudos).

But medicine really isn't the key ingredient in a prescription for victory. This is: ensemble "workplace programs" that feel important, plus snob appeal.

Elitist voters will sometimes embrace lowly dees-and-dems cops if the shows have cache (NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues). Of course, attorneys get winning verdicts all the time (The Practice, L.A. Law). Cops and lawyers together, too (Law & Order). Snooty liberal politics (The West Wing) have a shot, as do upscale mafiosos (The Sopranos).

This year's nominee House is about medicine, but it may be too character specific. Programs largely focused on one role win acting trophies all the time (The Shield, Columbo, Medium), but seldom prevail in series races.

Boston Legal fits this formula, and would've had a good chance under the voting process in place before 2000, but can probably be discounted now.

Heroes fits the formula even though it's not, like Lost, in a "workplace," so to speak. However, it spotlights a team working together. That's what counts!

Grey's Anatomy fits the formula perfectly, of course, has other pluses. A stylish show about life and death feels all the more urgent because it's been in the headlines recently (thank you, Isaiah Washington).

And it can benefit from the Emmy phenom of delayed recognition.

On rare occasions, voters jump on the bandwagon right away (Lost, West Wing), but they usually make programs wait a year, two or three.

With Sopranos off the air and recent champs Lost and 24 out of this category, a good, logical case can be made for Grey's being the next winner of best drama - even after what many consider to be a sub-par Season 3.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.