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2013 Emmys: Our Dream Nominees for Lead Actor and Actress, Drama

Emmys, Drama: Kevin Bacon, Tatiana Maslany, Andrew Lincoln, Kerry Washington FOX, BBC, AMC, ABC

Now that the true TV awards are over (the Golden Remotes, obvi), we can start talking about that other award show that celebrates our small screen favorites. We're talking baout the Primetime Emmys. Perhaps you've heard of it.

The nominations will be announced next week (July 18), so to adequately prepare everyone for the inevitable excitement and disappointment over the nods, we're putting out our dream list into the universe. Perhaps the Emmy gods will hear it. Today, we're covering the men and women we hope are nominated in the lead acting, drama category:

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Lead Actor, Drama

Kevin Bacon, The Following: The 2012-2013 TV season was a bit ho-hum for us when it came to network dramas…until The Following and Mr. Kevin Bacon exploded onto our screens mid-season. We didn't know how badly we needed Bacon in our weekly lives until his gripping performance as former FBI agent Ryan Hardy who was, to put it lightly, a little worse for wear when he started tracking serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) again. Bacon had to juggle falling in love, intense flashbacks and a rage that was always simmering right at the surface over the entirety of season one. Actually, just his scenes with Purefoy should get both of them a nod.

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad: This nomination is basically a guarantee, but we're mentioning him just in case his nod gets lost in the mail somehow. Because if Cranston doesn't get nominated for some odd reason, then we know it's not our fault. Because we're talking about him right now. Walter White is awesome, so don't keep him off the list, Emmy voters!

READ: Check out the winner of our 2013 finale face-off!

Damian Lewis, Homeland: Last year's winner should be back for round two, because Nicholas Brody just got more fascinating to watch as season two unraveled. We're almost certain his performance in "Q&A" was more than enough to get him on the ballot.

Michael C. Hall, Dexter: Our favorite serial killer is no stranger come Emmy time. And even though Dexter's quality as a series overall went up and down over the past couple of seasons, Hall's performance refused to waver. And now with the final season upon us, we don't have much time left to celebrate good ol' Dexter Morgan.

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards: He's Kevin Spacey. Do we have to explain why he needs a nomination? Go watch him in House of Cards on Netflix and then get back to us.

VIDEO: Claire Danes at the 2012 Emmys

Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead: Lincoln's performance as Rick Grimes is always stellar, but last season he had lots more to work with besides just, ‘damn, zombies are still trying to eat us!'There was the death of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), his feud with the Governor (David Morrisey) and episodes that revolved around him just straight up losing his mind. Adding all that to ‘damn, zombies are still trying to eat us!' and you have Emmy gold.

Lead Actress, Drama

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black: We wish—neigh, demand, Maslany take up all six available slots, one for each of her characters that she so expertly and (seemingly) effortlessly plays on the BBC America hit that everyone is talking about. And you can add at least two more nominations for some of her other clones as well!

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Claire Danes, Homeland: The current queen of the small screen made a strong case for her second win in the critically adored Showtime series' second season, especially in the stellar "Q&A" episode, which every aspiring actor should be required to watch...though it may just make them throw in the towel after they come to the realization that they will never be that good.

Keri Russell, The Americans: Felicity who?! The already-beloved star flexed a whole new acting muscle—literally and figuratively, as Russian spy Elizabeth in FX's freshman drama; she's this season's Claire Danes. (Here's hoping Emmy voters have forgotten about the infamous Felicity haircut!)

Kerry Washington, Scandal: "You want me? Earn me?" If the Emmy trophy said that to Washington before the second season of ABC's breakout hit began, Washington more than earned it with her work as the tough yet vulnerable fixer Olivia Pope. This was Washington's year.

PHOTOS: TV stars versus their own shows

Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel: Watch just one scene of Farmiga at work in A&E's Psycho prequel and you'll understand why we'd go pyscho (pun fully intended) if we don't see her recognized come July 18. She can swing through five different moods and emotions in a single scene with such ease that she's almost as creepy as Norman Bates, yet you can't help but root for and adore Norma.

Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries: We know, we know, hoping for a CW star to be recognized by the Emmy is like waiting for rain in this drought, useless and disappointing (what up, obscure A Cinderella Story reference?!), but we can't help but root for Dobrev. Season after season she is consistently one of the strongest and most overlooked actresses on TV.

Obviously there are plenty more deserving actors and actresses, so let us know who you want to get nods come next week!

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