72nd Primetime Emmy Awards Final Predictions

This Sunday, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will arrive to offer us our first glimpse of award shows in the time of COVID. Certain categories seem inevitable – for example, if you bet against Watchmen, just get straight out of the business. But with several of the acting categories offering a sense of competition, and in desperate need of a sense of normalcy, I thought we could forget the modern hellscape for a few minutes to reflect on my predictions for television’s biggest night, from Comedy to Drama to Limited Series.

Let’s start with Comedy, as it is, for the most part, the easiest category to predict. Schitt’s Creek has bridged the gap between the younger generations’ love for Peak TV and older generations’ love of the classic sitcom. It’s final season was one of the best on television. Not only is it going to win Best Comedy Series in a cakewalk (not even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or The Good Place come close), but you can also bet on its winning Best Writing for creator/actor/writer Dan Levy and Best Actress for Catherine O’Hara, whose Moira Rose is easily the best character on television. After that, however, things are a bit trickier. You see, after those softballs, the competition gets a bit tougher. Maisel is objectively a stronger directed show – as is Ramy – and you can bet one of those two challengers will upset in Best Director. Maisel should also find a victory in reigning champ Alex Borstein, who should beat Annie Murphy for Best Supporting Actress. Dan Levy is the frontrunner in Best Supporting Actor, but given he’ll already be taking an Emmy home for Best Writing (and I don’t expect another Phoebe Waller-Bridge moment – I love Schitt’s Creek, but it’s no Fleabag), he’ll have to fend off reigning champ Tony Shalhoub and two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. My head says Shalhoub, but my heart says that Ali’s spiritual, soulful, and subtly funny performance as a Muslim Sheikh on Ramy is going to make some waves for the known dramatic actor. Look for Ali to pull off a surprise victory.

Which brings us to the toughest category of all: Best Actor. I don’t view it as an exaggeration in the slightest to call Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series the toughest category of the night. On the one hand, there’s Eugene Levy’s awkward, but loving patriarch of the Rose family. On the other hand, we have Ramy Youssef, the wunderkind who wrote, directed, and acted in his own sitcom as an awkward Muslim millennial trying to balance his faith and life in modern America. Both are brilliant performances in their own ways, and both have their own advantages. The safest bet is Eugene Levy, and I would love to see the comedy legend Levy win his first Emmy in decades. But I’ve got a gut feeling that Youssef will win here, with the show following the same route as Barry’s first season. It’s a wild card, to be sure, but go big or go home. That’s the most likely series of events for Best Comedy Series, and with such worthy winners, it’d hard to get upset over it – although if I had my druthers, Best Writing would go to “On The Run” for the creation of Jackie Daytona, Regular Human Bartender.

Moving on to Drama, we’re in a similar situation – with one major exception. You see, like Schitt’s Creek, it’s safe to assume that Succession is your presumptive frontrunner – and considering I viewed the show’s second season as one of television’s finest accomplishments, I’m not one to disagree. But that’s where things get tricky: unlike Schitt’s Creek and its lack of competition, Succession has two strong contenders: Netflix is coming at them with the industry-beloved Ozark (several nominations over several years), while Disney+ has the only true blockbuster left on television in The Mandalorian. In fact, I’m getting a sneaking suspicion that The Mandalorian may surprise us all tomorrow. But I can’t bet against my favorite, especially when it’s the frontrunner, so Succession it remains – especially when you factor in that it will absolutely win both Directing and Writing (although which episode wins for Directing remains to be seen). But once you reach the acting categories, you’re in tricky water. I suppose it’s easy to assume that Helena Bonham Carter is your frontrunner in Best Supporting Actress, considering she’s well-liked and widely considered the best part of Season Three. But that means betting against reigning champ Julia Garneron the beloved Ozark – not to mention Meryl Streep!

Meanwhile, Supporting Actor is tricky, because while I’d love to see any of the Succession actors win, three in one category makes it tough . There’s a very good chance the split favors Giancarlo Esposito, a double nominee who has never won for his work as Gus Fring, but my money’s on Billy Crudup. He’s a well-liked character actor, and he’s already won awards as one of the two highest praised aspects of The Morning Show. Speaking of The Morning Show, keep an eye on Best Actress – it’s a three-way race between Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, and Laura Linney. Linney is the Vegas favorite, although personally I see it as a race between Aniston and Colman. Colman has my vote, considering she’s loved in the industry, she’s effortlessly charming, and she’s taking on a role that has already garnered an actress a Lead Actress Emmy. But don’t rule out Aniston – she’s only won one Emmy, and who doesn’t love Rachel Green? Which brings us to Best Actor, which will yield one of three results. Option #1: Jeremy Strong’s incredible performance in Successionwins outright. Option #2: Brian Cox rides his legendary status and the Murdoch narrative to another win after last winter’s Golden Globes. Option #3: both Succession actors split the vote and Directing winner and perennial nominee Jason Bateman finally earns an acting Emmy. I’m leaning heavily towards Option #3 as the most likely, but I can’t bet against Strong and the “But” heard round the world. Expect Strong to rep Succession in the acting categories.

And finally, we have Limited Series/TV Movie. In terms of TV Movies, we’ll have an answer in a few hours, as Bad Education seems poised to beat El Camino (although I wouldn’t be too sure of that). But as for Limited Series, don’t overthink anything. Chernobyl swept last year’s Emmys, and it wasn’t even that good. Imagine what will happen with the far-superior Watchmen machine. Watchmenis about to dominate this show in a cakewalk. “This Extraordinary Being” is about to win Best Writing and Best Directing (both highly deserved), and if you bet against them, you are an idiot. Flat out. I’m not sugarcoating. It’s also a surefire conclusion that Regina King will win yet another Emmy for her role as Sister Knight – sorry, Cate Blanchett. You’ll have to wait another year, despite your terrific performance as Phyllis Schlafly. And I would also assume that Watchmen is your frontrunner in Best Supporting Actor, although, to quote next year’s winner Hamilton, “Is it a question of ‘if,’ Burr, or which one?” I’d say you can rule out Jim Parsons relatively easy, despite rumors he may benefit from the split (people hate Hollywood). And Jovan Adepo doesn’t have the same material his costars do. I’d say it’s a two-way race between Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Louis Gossett Jr. Abdul-Mateen is riding the coattails of a terrific 2020, and had Candyman come out and his Oscar machine started for The Trial of the Chicago 7, I could see him winning for his twist role as King’s husband-turned-superhero Doctor Manhattan. But I’m feeling nostalgic for Sergeant Foley, and it’s a great narrative to have one of the first iconic Emmy winners (for Roots all the way back in 1977) win again at the age of 84. Look for a Gossett victory.

While Jean Smart could win Best Supporting Actress to launch a sweep, I’m not betting against Toni Collette – she’s the strongest competition in a beloved show, and her performance is absolutely phenomenal. Which brings us to Best Actor, which may be the biggest sh*tshow of the ceremony. This is a strange group of nominees, and the only performer you can rule out is Jeremy Pope on Hollywood. Hugh Jackman has the best performance, Mark Ruffalo has never won an award and plays twins(including one who’s schizophrenic), Jeremy Irons has won almost every award he’s ever been nominated for and has the Watchmen machine at his back, and Paul Mescal has the “rising star” narrative giving him strength. Despite being the odds-on favorite, I would rule out Ruffalo – nobody watched that show, and nobody who did enjoyed it. And I don’t think Irons had quite enough material to support a victory here. Which leaves Mescal and Jackman. I’ll be honest – I can really see a Mescal upset coming. But Hugh Jackman is so good in Bad Education. And a win here would bolster its pending Best TV Movie victory. Oh, and don’t worry about Variety Series – John Oliver is gonna sweep gain. What are ya gonna do?

So that’s where we’re at as we enter the Big Night. It’s also worth noting that this past week, the Creative Arts Emmys have offered up a handful of winners to shed light on the race itself. The Mandalorian and Watchmen swept the technical, Schitt’s Creek and Succession won the major indicators (casting and editing), and in two of the biggest, most delightful surprises of the night, Euphoria won Best Original Song for the impeccable “All For Us,” while Maya Rudolph won her first Emmy for her delicious, hilarious work on Big Mouth. But we’ll find out these answers soon enough, as the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will premiere tomorrow, September 20th, at 8 pm on ABC. The Emmys will be hosted live via remote camera feeds by Jimmy Kimmel. You can see my full list of predictions below, marked with a *, as well as the results of my favorite categories from the Creative Arts Emmys at the bottom, with the winners in bold. See you all tomorrow with another live blog!

Best Drama Series

  • Better Call Saul
  • The Crown
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Killing Eve
  • The Mandalorian
  • Ozark
  • Stranger Things
  • Succession    *

Best Comedy Series

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Dead To Me
  • The Good Place
  • Insecure
  • The Kominsky Method
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Schitt’s Creek   *
  • What We Do In The Shadows

Best Limited Series

  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Mrs. America
  • Unbelievable
  • Unorthodox
  • Watchmen   *

Best Variety Talk Series

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver   *
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Masked Singer
  • Nailed It
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race   *
  • Top Chef
  • The Voice

Best Actor In A Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman – Ozark
  • Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
  • Steve Carell – The Morning Show
  • Brian Cox – Succession
  • Billy Porter – POSE
  • Jeremy Strong – Succession   *

Best Actress In A Drama Series

  • Jennifer Aniston – The Morning Show
  • Olivia Colman – The Crown   *
  • Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
  • Laura Linney – Ozark
  • Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
  • Zendaya – Euphoria

Best Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson – Black-ish
  • Don Cheadle – Black Monday
  • Ted Danson – The Good Place
  • Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method
  • Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek
  • Ramy Youssef – Ramy   *

Best Actress In A Comedy Series

  • Christina Applegate – Dead To Me
  • Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Linda Cardellini – Dead To Me
  • Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek   *
  • Issa Rae – Insecure
  • Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish

Best Actor In A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • Jeremy Irons – Watchmen
  • Hugh Jackman – Bad Education   *
  • Paul Mescal – Normal People
  • Jeremy Pope – Hollywood
  • Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True

Best Actress In A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America
  • Shira Haas – Unorthodox
  • Regina King – Watchmen   *
  • Octavia Spencer – Self Made
  • Kerry Washington – Little Fires Everywhere

Best Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

  • Nicholas Braun – Succession
  • Billy Crudup – The Morning Show   *
  • Kieran Culkin – Succession
  • Mark Duplass – The Morning Show
  • Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul
  • Matthew Macfadyen – Succession
  • Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Jeffrey Wright – Westworld

Best Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

  • Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown   *
  • Laura Dern – Big Little Lies
  • Julia Garner – Ozark
  • Thandie Newton – Westworld
  • Fiona Shaw – Killing Eve
  • Sarah Snook – Succession
  • Meryl Streep – Big Little Lies
  • Samira Wiley – The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Mahershala Ali – Ramy   *
  • Alan Arkin – The Kominsky Method
  • Sterling K. Brown – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • William Jackson Harper – The Good Place
  • Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
  • Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Kenan Thompson – Saturday Night Live

Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

  • Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel   *
  • D’Arcy Carden – The Good Place
  • Betty Gilpin – GLOW
  • Marin Hinkle – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live
  • Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek
  • Yvonne Orji – Insecure
  • Cecily Strong – Saturday Night Live

Best Supporting Actor In A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • Jovan Adepo – Watchmen
  • Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend
  • Dylan McDermott – Hollywood
  • Louis Gossett Jr. – Watchmen   *
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Watchmen
  • Jim Parsons – Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress In A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America
  • Toni Collette – Unbelievable   *
  • Margo Martindale – Mrs. America
  • Jean Smart – Watchmen
  • Holland Taylor – Hollywood
  • Tracey Ullman – Mrs. America

Best Direction Of A Drama Series

  • “Aberfan” – The Crown
  • “Cri de Coeur” – The Crown
  • “Prisoners of War” – Homeland
  • “The Interview” – The Morning Show
  • “Fire Pink” – Ozark
  • “Su Casa Es Mi Casa” – Ozark
  • “Hunting” – Succession   *
  • “This Is Not For Tears” – Succession

Best Direction Of A Comedy Series

  • “The Great (Pilot)” – The Great
  • “It’s Comedy Or Cabbage” – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel   *
  • “Marvelous Radio” – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • “Finale Part 2” – Modern Family
  • “Miakhalifa.mov” – Ramy
  • “Happy Ending” – Schitt’s Creek
  • “We Love Lucy” – Will & Grace

Best Direction Of A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • “Find A Way” – Little Fires Everywhere
  • “Episode 5” – Normal People
  • Unorthodox
  • “It’s Summer And We’re Running Out Of Ice” – Watchmen
  • “Little Fear of Lightning” – Watchmen
  • “This Extraordinary Being” – Watchmen   *

Best Writing Of A Drama Series

  • “Bad Choice Road” – Better Call Saul
  • “Bagman” – Better Call Saul
  • “Aberfan” – The Crown
  • “All In” – Ozark
  • “Boss Fight” – Ozark
  • “Fire Pink” – Ozark
  • “This Is Not For Tears” – Succession   *

Best Writing Of A Comedy Series

  • “Whenever You’re Ready” – The Good Place
  • “The Great” – The Great
  • “Happy Ending” – Schitt’s Creek   *
  • “The Presidential Suite” – Schitt’s Creek
  • “Collaboration” – What We Do In The Shadows
  • “Ghosts” – What We Do In The Shadows
  • “On The Run” – What We Do In The Shadows

Best Writing Of A Limited Series/TV Movie

  • “Shirley” – Mrs. America
  • “Episode 3” – Normal People
  • “Episode 1” – Unbelievable
  • “Part 1” – Unorthodox
  • “This Extraordinary Being” – Watchmen   *

Best TV Movie

  • American Son
  • Bad Education  *
  • Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend

Best Variety Sketch Series

  • A Black Lady Sketch Show
  • Drunk History
  • Saturday Night Live

Best Animated Series

  • Big Mouth – “Disclosure The Movie: The Musical!
  • Bob’s Burgers – “Pig Trouble In Little Tina”
  • BoJack Horseman – “The View From Halfway Down”  *
  • Rick and Morty – “The Vat of Acid Episode”
  • The Simpsons – “Thanksgiving of Horror”

Best Guest Actor In A Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman – The Outsider
  • James Cromwell – Succession
  • Giancarlo Esposito – The Mandalorian   *
  • Ron Cephas Jones – This Is Us
  • Andrew Scott – Black Mirror
  • Martin Short – The Morning Show

Best Guest Actress In A Drama Series

  • Alexis Bledel – The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Laverne Cox – Orange Is The New Black
  • Cherry Jones – Succession   *
  • Phylicia Rashad – This Is Us
  • Cicely Tyson – How To Get Away With Murder
  • Harriet Walter – Succession

Best Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Adam Driver – Saturday Night Live
  • Luke Kirby – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Eddie Murphy – Saturday Night Live   *
  • Dev Patel – Modern Love
  • Brad Pitt – Saturday Night Live
  • Fred Willard – Modern Family

Best Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

  • Angela Bassett – A Black Lady Sketch Show
  • Bette Midler – The Politician
  • Maya Rudolph – The Good Place   *
  • Maya Rudolph – Saturday Night Live
  • Wanda Sykes – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Saturday Night Live

Best Direction of a Variety Series

  • A Black Lady Sketch Show
  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready

Best Character Voice-Over Performance

  • Hank Azaria – The Simpsons
  • Nancy Cartwright – The Simpsons
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. – Central Park
  • Maya Rudoloph – Big Mouth
  • Wanda Sykes – Crank Yankers
  • Taika Waititi – The Mandalorian

Best Music and Lyrics

  • “Letter To My Godfather” – The Black Godfather
  • “All For Us” – Euphoria
  • “Eat Sh*t, Bob” – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • “Build It Up” – Little Fires Everywhere
  • “One Less Angel” – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • “Memorized” – This Is Us
  • “The Way It Used To Be” – Watchmen

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *