2024 Emmys Lead Actress Drama Predictions

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2024 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Reese Witherspoon Jennifer Aniston Variety Extra Edition Morning Show
Reese Witherspoon Jennifer Aniston Variety Extra Edition Morning Show

Weekly Commentary (Updated: May 9, 2024): More to come.

Emmy submissions are due Thursday, May 9. The eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs is May 31. The nominations-voting-round is open from June 13 to June 24.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

And the Predicted Nominees Are


Performer and Series


Anna Sawai — “Shōgun” (FX)


Imelda Staunton — “The Crown” (Netflix)


Jennifer Aniston –“The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)


Reese Witherspoon –“The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)


Emma Stone — “The Curse” (Showtime)


Carrie Coon — “The Gilded Age” (Max)

Next in Line


Performer and Series


Maya Erskine — “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)


Ella Purnell — “Fallout” (Prime Video)


Mariska Hargitay — “Law and Order: SVU” (NBC)


Rosario Dawson — “Ahsoka” (Disney+)


Carrie Preston — “Elsbeth” (CBS)


Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Justified: City Primeval” (FX)


Juliette Binoche — “The New Look” (Apple TV+)


Rebecca Ferguson — “Silo” (Apple TV+)


Jess Hong — “3 Body Problem” (Netflix)

Also in Contention


Performer and Series


Ruth Wilson — “The Woman in the Wall” (Showtime)


Caitríona Balfe — “Outlander” (Starz)


Rosamund Pike — “The Wheel of Time” (Prime Video)


Noomi Rapace — “Constellation” (Apple TV+)


Angela Bassett — “9-1-1” (ABC)


Sonequa Martin-Green — “Star Trek: Discovery” (Paramount+)


Shanola Hampton — “Found” (NBC)


Rachel Keller — “Tokyo Vice” (Max)


Melissa Benoist — “The Girls on the Bus” (Max)


Zoe Saldaña — “Special Ops: Lioness” (Paramount+)

Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actress)

Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actress)
Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actress)

**The list below is not complete and have been confirmed as officially submitted. All information is subject to change. Grouped by network that airs each series.

  • Angela Bassett — “9-1-1” (ABC)

  • Danai Gurira — “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (AMC)

  • Alisha Boe — “The Buccaneers” (Apple TV+)

  • Kristine Froseth — “The Buccaneers” (Apple TV+)

  • Noomi Rapace — “Constellation” (Apple TV+)

  • Anna Sawai — “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” (Apple TV+)

  • Juliette Binoche — “The New Look” (Apple TV+)

  • Rebecca Ferguson — “Silo” (Apple TV+)

  • Carrie Preston — “Elsbeth” (CBS)

  • Queen Latifah — “The Equalizer” (CBS)

  • Rosario Dawson — “Ahsoka” (Disney+)

  • Angela Bassett — “9-1-1” (Fox)

  • Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor — “Justified: City Primeval” (FX)

  • Anna Sawai — “Shōgun” (FX)

  • Carrie Coon — “The Gilded Age” (Max)

  • Melissa Benoist — “The Girls on the Bus” (Max)

  • Shanola Hampton — “Found” (NBC)

  • Mariska Hargitay — “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC)

  • Jess Hong — “3 Body Problem” (Netflix)

  • Imelda Staunton — “The Crown” (Netflix)

  • Freya Allan — “The Witcher” (Netflix)

  • Anya Chalotra — “The Witcher” (Netflix)

  • Zoe Saldaña — “Special Ops: Lioness” (Paramount+)

  • Sonequa Martin-Green — “Star Trek: Discovery” (Paramount+)

  • Roma Downey — “The Baxters” (Prime Video)

  • Ella Purnell — “Fallout” (Prime Video)

  • Maya Erskine — “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)

  • Lili Taylor — “Outer Range” (Prime Video)

  • Rosamund Pike — “The Wheel of Time” (Prime Video)

  • Emma Stone — “The Curse” (Showtime)

  • Ruth Wilson — “The Woman in the Wall” (Showtime)

  • Caitríona Balfe — “Outlander” (Starz)

  • Jennifer Tilly — “Chucky” (Syfy)

More Information (Lead Drama Actress)

More Information (Lead Drama Actress)
More Information (Lead Drama Actress)

2023 category winner: Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy — “Succession” (HBO) — Season 4

2024 Emmy Awards Calendar and Timeline (all dates are subject to change)

  • Eligibility period: June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024

  • Feb. 29: Submissions open

  • May 9: Deadline for programs that identify as Primetime programming to upload all entry materials.

  • June 13: Nominations-round voting begins

  • June 24: Nominations-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PT

  • June 28 – July 8: Voting for peer group-specific top ten rounds panels (if applicable)

  • July 17: Primetime Emmy nominations are announced.

  • July 24: Deadline for errors and omissions to the nominations.

  • August 5: Find-round videos available for viewing.

  • August 15: Final-round voting begins.

  • August 26: Final-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PST.

  • Sept. 7-8: Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Governors Gala

  • Sunday, Sept. 15: 76th Primetime Emmy Awards to air on ABC.

Emmy Awards Predictions




Drama Series

Comedy Series

Limited or Anthology Series

Lead Actor (Drama)

Lead Actor (Comedy)

Lead Actor (Limited, Movie)

Lead Actress (Drama)

Lead Actress (Comedy)

Lead Actress (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actor (Drama)

Supporting Actor (Comedy)

Supporting Actor (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actress (Drama)

Supporting Actress (Comedy)

Supporting Actress (Limited, Movie)

Directing (Drama)

Directing (Comedy)

Directing (Limited, Movie)

Writing (Drama)

Writing (Comedy)

Writing (Limited, Movie)

Guest Actor (Drama)

Guest Actor (Comedy)

Television Movie

Guest Actress (Drama)

Guest Actress (Comedy)

Casting (Limited, Movie)

Casting (Drama)

Casting (Comedy)

Other Awards Predictions

Talk Series

Reality Competition Program

Animated Program

Scripted Variety

Game Show

Character Voice-Over Performance

Variety Special (Live)

Host for a Reality or Competition Program


Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

Structured Reality

Documentary (Series)

Directing (Series, Special)

Unstructured Reality

Documentary (Special)

Writing (Series, Special)

Directing (Reality Program)

Hosted Nonfiction (Series or Special)

Music (Limited, Movie, Special, Series, Documentary, Direction, Theme Music, Lyrics, Supervision)

Main Title Design

Writing (Nonfiction)

Short Form Series

Short Form (Actor/Actress)

Exceptional Merit

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, commonly known as the Emmys, are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Established in 1949, these celebrate outstanding achievements in American primetime television. The Emmys are categorized into three divisions: the Primetime Emmy Awards for performance and production excellence, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards recognizing achievements in artistry and craftsmanship, and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards, which honor significant engineering and technological advancements. The eligibility period typically extends from June 1 to May 31 each year. The Television Academy, which hosts the Emmys, consists of over 20,000 members across 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans and executives.

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