Emmy Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Melanie Lynskey May Be the Best Bet for a ‘Yellowjackets’ Win


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UPDATED: August 4, 2022



With an incredible year that included “Don’t Look Up” and the limited series “Candy,” Melanie Lynskey picked up her first Emmy nom. As the central figure of Showtime’s survival drama, she ignites the TV screen playing Shauna, the trauma-ridden mother, with an underlying intensity. With a big win from Critics Choice, she’s a real dark horse, representing an easy way to reward the series that landed seven noms, including two for writing.

Continuing to shatter ceilings, Zendaya earned four noms this year, becoming the youngest two-time nominee ever. Her drama series nom made her the youngest woman ever nominated for producing. She became the first Black person recognized for acting, music and lyrics in the same year, with two mentions. Her role has been considered the front-runner for months, despite SAG Awards ignoring her. Can she continue her historic run?

Landing her eighth nom, Laura Linney is beloved with four Emmys on her mantle to date — “Frasier,” “Wild Iris,” “John Adams” and “The Big C.” Her turn as Wendy Byrde in the Netflix crime series has been one of her most praised, but she has yet to win despite three previous mentions for the show. However, the final season sentiment could carry her to the moment on stage.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The most jaw-dropping name on Emmy nom morning was Reese Witherspoon for her role in the Apple TV+ drama series. Even more shocking, Witherspoon got in without her co-star Jennifer Aniston, who landed the crucial SAG Award mention. But, in hindsight, so did Reese. With her fourth career nom, with one win as an executive producer of “Big Little Lies,” can she continue to surprise on the circuit?

Thirteen Emmy nominations are part of Sandra Oh’s impressive resume, including her role as Eve Polastri in BBC’s drama series this year. However, despite being the first actress of Asian descent nominated in the category, she’s yet to win. It’s a sad stat considering she seemed destined to win twice but lost to Claire Foy (“The Crown”) and her co-star Jodie Comer, who’s also in the mix again. So it’s an uphill climb, but she’s has support in the industry.

Jodie Comer won this category in 2019 for her turn as Villanelle in the BBC America drama. She got past some big names to sneak into the lineup, which was undoubtedly helped by coming off a big year in Hollywood with “Free Guy” and “The Last Duel.” Unfortunately, this race hasn’t had a repeat acting winner since Claire Danes in “Homeland,” which could be a difficult hurdle to clear, along with vote splitting.

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: Olivia Colman, “The Crown” (Netflix)


. - Credit: Courtesy of HBO
. - Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Courtesy of HBO

And The Nominees Are:




Show and Network




“Euphoria” (HBO)

Episode submission: “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird”


Melanie Lynskey


“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Episode submission: “Doomcoming”


Laura Linney

Wendy Byrde

“Ozark” (Netflix)

Episode submission: “Pound of Flesh and Still Kickin'”


Sandra Oh

Eve Polastri

“Killing Eve” (BBC America)

Episode submission: “Making Dead Things Look Nice”


Reese Witherspoon

Bradley Jackson

“The Morning Show” (Apple TV+)

Episode submission: “Confirmations”


Jodie Comer


“Killing Eve” (BBC America)

Episode submission: “Don’t Get Eaten”


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: Tyne Daly and Michael Learned have the most awards in this category with four, while Barbara Bain, Kathy Baker, Edie Falco and Loretta Young all have three each. “Cagney & Lacey” is the series with the most awards in this category, with six.

For nominations: Angela Lansbury has the most nominations in this category with 12, which were all consecutive, failing to win. The next most nominated actors are Sharon Gless, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Learned and Julianna Margulies, with eight apiece.

“Cagney & Lacey” and “Murder, She Wrote” are the series with the most nominations in this category, with 12 each.

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

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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