Final Emmy Nomination Predictions: Beyond ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘The Crown,’ Some Obvious and Some Ridiculous Picks

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The Emmy initial voting phase is over, pencils are down and now we wait for nominations to be announced on July 13. A few final predictions for major categories, most of which you’ll agree with, and a few I decided to have a little fun with. First, the major series categories:

Comedy Series

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

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“Hacks” (HBO Max)

“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)

“Pen15” (Hulu)

“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)

“Black-ish” (ABC)

“Girls5eva” (Peacock)

“Cobra Kai” (Netflix)

What a year for HBO Max, with two major comedy contenders (boasting standout female leads) in “Hacks” and “The Flight Attendant.” The comedy front-runner remains “Ted Lasso,” but I still contend that the category is more interesting and competitive than the conventional wisdom that says this is an off year. It’s been great to see “Pen15,” which started out as a tiny, low-budget show for Hulu, get its due. And “Girls5eva” has been such a joyous bop that I’m rooting for it, although it came late in the year. For that eighth slot, I stuck in “Cobra Kai” on a bit of a lark and due to that Netflix magic, but it could easily be “Mythic Quest” (which I’d be happy to see) or the recently canceled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” Another possibility could be Netflix’s “Master of None,” but it came in so late this eligibility period, and is such a dramatic (literally and figuratively) departure from the show’s past seasons.

Drama Series

“The Crown” (Netflix)

“Bridgerton” (Netflix)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

“Pose” (FX)

“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)

“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)

“This Is Us” (NBC)

“The Boys” (Amazon Prime Video)

An Emmy win in one of the top series categories has so far eluded Netflix, but it can taste that changing this year. “The Crown” has been the front-runner from the beginning, but it’s by no means a lock to go all the way. It seems a sure thing for a nom, though, while it may also be joined by the soapy “Bridgerton.” Meanwhile, “The Handmaid’s Tale” concluded its season with a buzzy ender, propelling the previous winner back into the race. And an emotional farewell for “Pose” also gives it a good shot. It’s been a while since “Lovecraft Country” aired, which may impact its chances, while Amazon’s hefty awards push for “The Boys” could propel it into the competition. Just bubbling under may be HBO’s “Perry Mason” and “In Treatment,” which premiered late in the season.

Limited/Anthology Series

“I May Destroy You” (HBO)

“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

“Mare of Easttown” (HBO)

“Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video)

“The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime Video)

Limited series, newly combined with anthology offerings, may be the most unpredictable of the major categories, due to the sheer volume of high-profile and heavily campaigned contenders. Just when you thought “The Queen’s Gambit” would remain the front-runner, HBO’s “I May Destroy You” — which premiered more than a year ago — is coming on strong again, winning major BAFTA, Peabody, GLAAD and Independent Spirit awards.

Competition Series

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)

“The Masked Singer” (Fox)

“Top Chef” (Bravo)

“Nailed It” (Netflix)

“The Amazing Race” (CBS)

This is a category that rarely changes, as we know, but what can you say, these are all well-crafted competition series that continue to offer up escapism and adventure — something we badly needed this year. “Drag Race” seems unstoppable, but the ratings power of “Masked Singer” has propelled it into the game. “Top Chef” pulled off an epic year under COVID-19 conditions, and “The Amazing Race” is still my sentimental fave (even if it has more than its fair share of Emmys).

And now, my picks in performer categories:

Comedy Actress
Jean Smart, “Hacks” (HBO Max)
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC)
Jane Levy, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” (NBC)
Lena Waithe, “Master of None” (Netflix)

Comedy Actor
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
Kenan Thompson, “Kenan” (NBC)
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” (ABC)
Ted Danson, “Mr. Mayor” (NBC)

Comedy Supporting Actress
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Kathleen Turner, “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
Rosie Perez, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks” (HBO Max)
Paula Pell, “Girls5eva” (Peacock)

Comedy Supporting Actor
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Paul Reiser, “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
Ray Romano, “Made for Love” (HBO Max)
Laurence Fishburne, “Black-ish” (ABC)
Michiel Huisman, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)

Drama Actress
Olivia Colman, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Emma Corrin, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment” (HBO)
Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
Mj Rodriguez, “Pose” (FX)

Drama Actor
Billy Porter, “Pose” (FX)
Rege-Jean Page, “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason” (HBO)
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” (NBC)
Justin Theroux, “The Mosquito Coast” (Apple TV Plus)

Drama Supporting Actress
Gillian Anderson, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Emerald Fennell, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Wunmi Mosaku, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched” (Netflix)
Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

Drama Supporting Actor
Michael K. Williams, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Giancarlo Esposito, “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
John Lithgow, “Perry Mason” (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Jonathan Bailey, “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
Anthony Ramos, “In Treatment” (HBO)
John Benjamin Hickey, “In Treatment” (HBO)

Limited Series/TV Movie Actress
Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha” (Nat Geo)
Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision” (Disney Plus)

Limited Series/TV Movie Actor
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime)
Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” (Disney Plus)
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing” (HBO)
Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” (Disney Plus)
Bryan Cranston, “Your Honor” (Showtime)

Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actress
Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision” (Disney Plus)
Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
Marielle Heller, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
Letitia Wright, “Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video)
Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton” (Disney Plus)

Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor
John Boyega, “Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video)
Bill Camp, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
Brendan Gleeson, “The Comey Rule” (Showtime)
Donald Sutherland, “The Undoing” (HBO)
Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
Courtney B. Vance, “Genius: Aretha” (Nat Geo)

See you on the 13th!

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