Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.
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(DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON)
2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
UPDATED: May 6, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Netflix’s “The Crown” has been the frontrunner for some time, sweeping the big awards bodies including Golden Globes, SAG and Critics Choice. Despite a lackluster showing for BAFTA TV, a shutout from ACE Eddies and a head-scratching loss from the Art Directors and Costume Designers Guild, it remains the favorite to win it all. Many feel bullish on the chances of “Bridgerton.” Still, as we’ve seen with freshman series that capture the zeitgeist (such as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Empire”), they often get fumbled by the TV Academy in favor of safer selections. Let’s see how loud the phase one period gets.
With networks going into their second year of campaigning in the pandemic, they’ve learned the landscape, and we could some surprises peak through, especially from the likes of HBO. The cable company has a robust slate this year, and they could navigate three shows into the drama series category. At the top of the heap, “Lovecraft Country,” which was very popular with critics and audiences, is HBO’s best bet. The return of “In Treatment” and the reboot of “Perry Mason” could also squeeze into the field of eight. There are also vocal admirers of Luca Guadgnino’s “We Are Who We Are” that could get a second wind.
Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” managed to break into the drama series field last year, even picking up seven deserved wins from the Creative Arts. This hopefully signals a regular occurrence of recognizing populist and genre programs at the Emmys, which they haven’t done across their long history. This may also help the likes of its Disney and Marvel counterpart “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and Amazon Prime’s “The Boys,” which had a well-received second season.
Other returning series include Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was the first streaming show to win the Emmys top category in its inaugural year, as well as NBC’s “This Is Us,” which remains the major network’s best shot at recognition.
FX’s final season of “Pose” will have many voters talking, and they may feel compelled to give the show its long overdue flowers before it exits, while freshman series like Apple TV Plus’ “The Mosquito Coast” and HBO’s “The Nevers” will try to stay above the fray.
The eligibility period ends on May 31 before nomination-round voting begins on June 17, concluding June 28. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, 2021.
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:
Season four (Nov. 15, 2020 release date)
CREATOR: Peter Morgan
SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell
"The Handmaid's Tale"(Hulu)
Season four (Apr. 28, 2021 release date)
CREATOR: Bruce Miller
SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenie, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford
"The Mandalorian"(Disney Plus)
Season two (Dec. 18, 2020)
CREATOR: Jon Favreau
SYNOPSIS: The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
STARRING: Pedro Pascal
Season one (Aug. 16, 2021)
CREATOR: Misha Green
SYNOPSIS: A young African-American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.
STARRING: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jada Harris, Michael K. Williams
"This Is Us"(NBC)
Season five (Oct. 27, 2021)
CREATOR: Dan Fogelman
SYNOPSIS: A heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets, their struggles and their wonderful parents.
STARRING: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Alexadra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Eris Baker, Faithe Herman, Lonnie Chavis, Melanie Liburd, Lyric Ross, Asante Blackk, Griffin Dunne, Caitlin Thompson
Season three (May 2, 2021)
CREATORS: Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
SYNOPSIS: In the New York of the late 80s and early 90s, this is a story of ball culture and the gay and trans community, the raging AIDS crisis and capitalism.
STARRING: Billy Porter, Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Charlayne Woodard, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, Dyllón Burnside, Angel Bismark Curiel, Sandra Bernhard, Jason A. Rodriguez
Season four (May 23, 2021)
CREATORS: Rodrigo García, Hagai Levi, Nir Bergman
SYNOPSIS: A psychotherapist questions his abilities and gets help by reuniting with his old therapist, whom he has not seen for ten years.
STARRING: Uzo Aduba, Anthony Ramos, Liza Colón-Zayas, John Benjamin Hickey, Quintessa Swindell, Joel Kinnaman
Season one (June 21, 2020)
CREATORS: Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald
SYNOPSIS: In booming 1932 Los Angeles, a down-and-out defense attorney takes on the case of a lifetime.
STARRING: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow
NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:
Season one (Dec. 25, 2020)
"We Are Who We Are"(HBO)
Season one (Sept. 14, 2020)
"The Boys"(Amazon Prime Video)
Season two (Sept. 4, 2020)
"The Mosquito Coast"(Apple TV Plus)
Season one (Apr. 30, 2021)
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"(Disney Plus)
Season one (March 19, 2021)
Season two (Nov. 18, 2020)
"For All Mankind"(Apple TV Plus)
Season two (April 23, 2021)
"Snowfall"(FX on Hulu)
Season four (Feb. 24, 2021)
"Raised By Wolves"(HBO Max)
Season one (Sept. 3, 2020)
Season one (July 12, 2020)
Season three (March. 16, 2021)
Season five (Feb. 16, 2021)
TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:
Season one (Sept. 18, 2020)
Season one (Nov. 9, 2020)
"I Hate Suzie"(NOW TV)
Season one (Aug. 27, 2020)
Season three (June 21, 2020)
Season one (April 21, 2021)
Season five (May 3, 2020)
"Selena: The Series"(Netflix)
Season one (May 4, 2021)
Season one (Nov. 17, 2020)
"Servant"(Apple TV Plus)
Season two (Jan. 15, 2021)
"Star Trek: Discovery"(Paramount Plus)
Season three (Oct. 15, 2020)
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):
AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Drama Series)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television’s most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.
For wins: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” holds the record for most wins for a series in a single year with 12 (in 2015, 2016 and 2019), most collective wins for a drama series with 59 (across eight seasons), most wins for a single episode with six (for “Battle of the Bastards” in 2016) and most wins for a series and drama series in its final season with 12 (in 2019). “Game of Thrones” is also tied for most wins for outstanding drama series with four – along with “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing.” “Hillstreet Blues,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing” won their four awards consecutively. “The West Wing” also holds the record for most wins in its first season with nine, while it shares the record for most wins for acting across an entire drama series at nine, along with “Breaking Bad” and “The Sopranos.”
There are four shows that have won this category three times – “The Defenders,” “Dragnet,” “Playhouse 90,” which all won consecutively, and “Upstairs, Downstairs.”
For nominations: “Game of Thrones” holds the record for most nominations overall for an entire drama series with 161. It also holds the most nominations for a drama series in a single year and its final season with 32 (2019). AMC’s “Mad Men” holds the record for the most nominations without a win in a single year, going zero for 17 (in 2012). “NYPD Blue” holds the record for most nominations in its first season at 27 (in 1994), while “Law & Order” has the record for most nominations ever for an entire drama series at 11.
For networks, NBC has the most wins in this category with 21 with CBS following with 18. Hulu is the first and only streaming service to win this category with “The Handmaid’s Tale” (in 2017).
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Outstanding Variety Series
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
Outstanding Competition Program
About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, is given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards recognize excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements) and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.
The 73rd Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 pm est on CBS and on-demand on sister streamer Paramount Plus.
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