Emmy Predictions: Drama Series – Is ‘Better Call Saul’ at the Front of the Line After the Series Finale?
Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.
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UPDATED: Aug 18, 2022
2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:
The domination of “Succession” is an understatement when referring to the HBO drama winner of 2020. With 25 mentions, it’s the most nominated series of the year across all categories, including three directing and 14 acting noms, a record for any series in Emmy history. With Critics Choice and SAG wins under its belt, it’s the front-runner and could be unstoppable (unless others are seeking an alternative).
Showtime’s first drama nominee since “Homeland” in 2016, the first season of the mystery series “Yellowjackets” picked up seven noms including directing and two integral writing nominations. With actress Melanie Lynskey emerging as a dark horse to win lead drama actress, major wins tend to spill into other categories, including drama series. However, it’s the least nominated drama contender in the mix, and may not have the fuel to get it off the “Emmy Island.”
AMC’s “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” has received an Emmy nom for each of its seasons. With the second half of the final season airing during voting, TV Academy members may feel inclined to check it off, along with its actors Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn, who are both in the mix. However, seven nominations in total may be too few to clear some of the louder contenders in the mix, with nearly four times as many noms. Listen to the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast interview with Odenkirk and Seehorn following the series finale.
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Courtesy of HBO Max
“Euphoria” is the second most nominated drama series with 16, with the HBO show seeing a significant increase from its single-digit tally for the first season. With Zendaya looking like the front-runner in lead actress drama, the show dominated the social media and “watercooler” conversations when it aired, which could lead to multiple surprise wins, including other acting possibilities such as Sydney Sweeney, Martha Kelly and Colman Domingo. However, if there’s an HBO show to top the category, that looks to be “Succession” (for the moment).
Making history as the first non-English language series ever to be nominated, Netflix’s bloody spectacle “Squid Game” maxed out in all its possible nominations, capping at 14 for its kickoff season. The streamer is the reigning champ in this race, after sweeping in 2021 with “The Crown.” They look to extend that history-making presence with the most watched program in Netflix history.
Wrapping its fourth season and the second most watched series in the history of Netflix, “Stranger Things” landed a respectable 13 nominations, the second most since its Emmy debut. While it’s likely to pick up plenty of the Creative Arts categories such as music supervision and visual effects, with no writing, directing or acting noms, it may prove too difficult to nab the big one.
Fourteen nominations for the inaugural season of “Severance,” the Apple TV+ dystopian drama had a respectable showing with names in the acting, directing and writing categories. As the first drama nominee for the streamer, and after a vibrant presence at San Diego Comic-Con, it could manage to duplicate the success of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2017 and win the big prize. Phase two campaigning will be key.
The final season of “Ozark” nabbed a respectable 13 nominations, adding to its overall tally of 45 in its entirety. The crime drama ended had a satisfying conclusion, and with many of its actors contending to win their respective categories – Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner and Tom Pelphrey – it could be an acting branch favorite for the Netflix series.
The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.
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The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.
2021 category winner: “The Crown” (Netflix)
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:
Courtesy of Kailey Schwerman/Showtime
AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Drama Series)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television's most prestigious artistic award.
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." "Hill Street 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." Netflix's "The Crown" is the only series to sweep all the major categories in 2020, winning all four acting races, writing and directing.
Four shows 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 has 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 and Netflix are the only streaming services to win this category, with "The Handmaid's Tale" in 2017 and "The Crown" in 2020.
2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions
About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized 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 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.
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