Handmaid’s Tale or Stranger Things? Atlanta or Veep? The FOTS team takes a stab at predicting Sunday night’s winners.
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
This Is Us
DAVID: Absent the 800-pound gorilla called Game of Thrones, one of these series is going to be a first-time winner. And almost all of them, save the absurd House of Cards, have a case to come out on top amidst all the vote-splitting: Saul is the best series on the list, period. The Crown is history under glass, immaculately produced. Stranger Things is insanely popular, and insanely fun. This Is Us is the first “Big Four” series nominated since 2011. Westworld picked up the most nominations of anyone, with 22. But if I’m making predictions (which I guess I am), I’m betting on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which was so bracingly of-the-moment it’s primed to capitalize on what will be a very politically-minded evening.
CHASE: Here’s a fun thought experiment: would Thrones have won if it was nominated with the rest of this group? I’m not so sure. It was one of many shows that took a step backward this season (where you at, The Americans??). I really, really don’t want to pick Westworld, a show that was more mystery Reddit thread than compelling drama, but HBO knows how to throw money behind its nominees. Ready to get weird? Handmaid’s Tale is certainly of the moment, but This Is Us is the populist, heart-tugging drama we all need right now.
SEAN: If it had been eligible, Game of Thrones would have easily won as it is now more popular than ever despite any perceived dip in quality. By missing the eligibility cut-off this year it finds itself in danger of losing in its final year especially if it doesn’t premiere until 2019. Handmaid’s Tale would be a fitting winner considering its relevance and lavish praise, though I doubt Emmy voters are feeling so bold (they almost never are). Stranger Things should continue its surprise award season dominance and give us one of the most fun and shocking Drama Series wins in years.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Keri Russell, The Americans
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
DAVID: Elisabeth Moss will and should win in a cakewalk, though she’ll face challenges from the heavy hitters at Netflix (Foy), and HBO (Wood). The men’s side is much trickier, and having a glut of seven nominees doesn’t help. I’d love for it to go to Bob Odenkirk, underrated for so long on Saul, but watch out for Sterling K. Brown, still riding high from his Miniseries win last year.
CHASE: SEVEN nominees for best actor? I probably shouldn’t complain. If anyone was getting axed from this list it would probably be my boy, Matthew Rhys. If Spacey can’t seem to ever win the Emmy than neither will Hopkins. I’ll take Brown as well, and I’ll go with Foy just to make it interesting.
SEAN: Elisabeth Moss should win, but the royal glamour of The Crown will be hard to ignore and Foy‘s performance grounds the dry historical drama with wit and poignancy. Sterling K. Brown will represent This is Us’ only major win of the night.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
Ed Harris, Westworld
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
John Lithgow, The Crown
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
DAVID: For the women, I’m picking Thandie Newton, with the Handmaid’s actresses splitting the vote and a Millie Bobby Brown win…let’s say unlikely. On the men’s side, my personal choice is David Harbour (so great!), but the smart money is on John Lithgow’s crusty-yet-moving portrayal of Winston Churchill.
CHASE: I’ll continue my streak of picking Jonathan Banks to win, and then watching him lose. It won’t be long before we add him to the list of actors who bafflingly never won an Emmy with Hugh Laurie (House) and Steve Carell (The Office). Remember how fun the show was last year when people like Kate McKinnon, Rami Malek, and Tatiana Maslany were winning? Let’s keep that alive. Millie Bobby Brown.
SEAN: It’s between Thandie Newton and Millie Bobby Brown for the win (both MVPS for their insanely popular series), though I can’t help but bemoan Winona Ryder’s absence in this category. John Lithgow is beloved by Emmy voters and his moving portrayal of Churchill will win the night.
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul, “Witness”
Stephen Daldry, The Crown, “Hyde Park Corner”
Kate Dennis, The Handmaid’s Tale, “The Bridge”
Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland, “America First”
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things, “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
Jonathan Nolan, Westworld “The Bicameral Mind”
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Joel Fields and Joel Weisberg, The Americans, “The Soviet Division”
Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul, “Chicanery”
Peter Morgan, The Crown, “Assassins”
Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”
Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things, “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld, “The Bicameral Mind”
DAVID: I expect the pilot for The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred,” to take both. And I won’t argue with it for Directing, but the best-written hour of television this year was Better Call Saul’s “Chicanery.”
CHASE: I want to be different, but I can’t find a reason to be. “Offred” as well.
SEAN: Directing and writing is where The Handmaid’s Tale will find their love, easily taking both.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
DAVID: Veep has won twice in a row and could easily make it a third (for what I’d call a down season), but I’m taking Atlanta: it has the critical buzz, it has the audience, and it’s simply a remarkable show. I only regret that the superb Master of None (my favorite show of 2017 to date) is going to play the bridesmaid all night.
CHASE: Damn, what a category. Is there any doubt that the half-hour comedy is where the true television excellence exists right now? I want to pick Atlanta. I want to pick Master of None. But this is where that HBO money prevails. Veep.
SEAN: Veep appears primed for another win despite the latest season feeling bitter and slightly tired after the election loss (just like the rest of America).
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Allison Janney, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
Donald Glover, Atlanta
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
DAVID: Julia Louis-Dreyfus vs. Allison Janney is the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object, longtime Emmy darlings who are only now facing each other because Janney switched categories. I don’t think voters are tired yet of giving JLD hardware for Veep, however, so I’d expect her to make it six in a row on Sunday: the most for a single role in Emmy history. Jeffrey Tambor is much less likely to three-peat with Atlanta on the rise — how many categories can producer/writer/director/star Donald Glover win?
CHASE: You basically have to pick Louis-Dreyfus until Emmy proves that they won’t give her the award. I’ll take Ansari for actor because he had so much more screentime than Glover. Don’t worry, Glover will have his arms full of awards for other categories.
SEAN: Even if the latest season of Veep wasn’t on fire, Julia Louis-Dreyfus always is. She wins a historic six in a row on Sunday. Tambor will be moved to the side to make room for Donald Glover.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep
DAVID: I’m taking Kate McKinnon to repeat in another politically-charged year, and it’s also a safe-ish bet to see recurring co-star Alec Baldwin joining her. But what will it take to get Tituss Burgess an award?
CHASE: I’ve got beef. Where is Brian Tyree Henry for his gut-busting work as drug dealer/aspiring rapper Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles on Atlanta? I’d have taken him to win. But it’s hard to argue that the SNL-ers won’t prove to be winners. McKinnon and Baldwin. At least we’ll get some Trump tweets out of it.
SEAN: If ever there was a time for Emmy voters to get political it would be now, and McKinnon and Baldwin appear locked for wins after giving us excuses to laugh through all the election insanity.
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Donald Glover, Atlanta, “B.A.N.”
Jamie Babbit, Silicon Valley, “Intellectual Property”
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley, “Server Error”
David Mandel, Veep, “Groundbreaking”
Morgan Sackett, Veep, “Blurb”
Dale Stern, Veep “Justice”
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Donald Glover, Atlanta, “B.A.N.”
Stephen Glover, Atlanta, “Streets on Lock”
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None, “Thanksgiving”
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, “Success Failure”
Billy Kimball, Veep, “Georgia”
David Mandel, Veep, “Groundbreaking”
DAVID: I was extremely surprised that it was “B.A.N.” getting nominated here and not any of Hiro Murai’s work, but I’m still thinking Donald Glover goes three-for-three. His run stops at writing, though — that’s where I think Master of None finally gets thrown a bone for its “Thanksgiving” episode. I hope, anyway. It wasn’t my favorite of the season (that would have been the penultimate episode, “Amarsi Un Po”) but I’ll take it.
CHASE: “B.A.N.” is basically perfect, though I would have liked to see nominations for “Juneteenth” as well. Atlanta takes both awards.
SEAN: Aziz Ansari has got to win somewhere on Sunday and writing looks like the perfect place. David Mandel will win for Veep‘s season finale, which would have been a perfect series finale. Hopefully they can top it with the real one next year.
Outstanding Limited Series
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette & Joan
The Night Of
Outstanding TV Movie
Black Mirror: San Junipero
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies
DAVID: Now we’re into the stuff I don’t know as well and didn’t watch much of, and we don’t have any obvious frontrunners. So I’ll take Big Little Lies for Series, and that incredible Black Mirror episode for (the questionably categorized) TV Movie.
CHASE: Ever wondered who the 1% is who don’t like Black Mirror? You found him. Still, it’s the likely winner unless the Emmys go weirdly gaga for Sherlock again. For series I’ll take The Night Of which was a little more serious than the prestige soap opera of Big Little Lies.
SEAN: Big Little Lies has the buzz and the momentum. Black Mirror is in tune with the zeitgeist.
Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of
DAVID: I think Carrie Coon could ride a groundswell of affection for the Emmy-ignorned The Leftovers to victory here, though Nicole Kidman and the Feud ladies have the star power. It’ll be a similar call for Actor — the Hollywood statesman De Niro, or the more deserving Riz Ahmed? I’ll take Ahmed, and hope for a big night for The Night Of.
CHASE: Coon winning would be a mistake. She was frankly miscast on this season of Fargo, and if she couldn’t garner the nomination for her much more deserving work on The Leftovers, I can’t see her winning here. I also think it’s Kidman who’s plotted a pretty incredible career resurgence, but I’ll take De Niro for actor. I haven’t picked a Hollywood name to take an award until this category.
SEAN: Kidman, Lange, and Witherspoon will duke it out for the win and any of them COULD win, but in the end Emmy darling Jessica Lange will prevail for her multifaceted take on Joan Crawford. Robert De Niro got the reviews he needed and the star power to easily take home the Emmy over more deserving but lesser known names.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan
Regina King, American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Bill Camp, The Night Of
Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
DAVID: Even if Big Little Lies doesn’t have the heat, you have to take Laura Dern here. The men’s side is trickier; I’d love for Bill Camp to take it, but it’ll probably be Skarsgard.
CHASE: Deserved over likely, I’ll take Bill Camp who’s fantastic work in The Night Of hopefully propels his career beyond “oh yeah, that guy” status. Also, Dern.
SEAN: Dern will be fresh in the minds of voters after her Twin Peaks turn this summer. Stanley Tucci was a riot in Feud and with no frontrunner in the category, it’s almost anyones game.
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special
Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies
Noah Hawley, Fargo, “The Law of Vacant Places”
Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, “And The Winner Is…”
Ron Howard, Genius, “Einstein: Chapter One”
James Marsh, The Night Of, “The Art of War”
Steven Zaillian, The Night Of, “The Beach”
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special
David E. Kelly, Big Little Lies
Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero
Noah Hawley, Fargo, “The Law of Vacant Places”
Jaffe Cohen, Michael Zam, Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, “Pilot”
Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, “And the Winner Is…”
Richard Price and Steve Zaillian, The Night Of, “The Call of the Wild”
DAVID: Probably Big Little Lies for both, yeah? I didn’t actually watch it, I’m just reading the tea leaves here. “The Beach” is still incredible, though.
CHASE: Give me Steve Zaillian for directing the superbly moody The Night Of premiere and Booker for finally deciding to write an episode of Black Mirror where technology is a positive.
SEAN: Big Little Lies is in position to take both categories.
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late, Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Real Time With Bill Maher
DAVID: Finally! You won’t win for being apolitical, so Corden is out. Bill Maher will never win. Colbert had some good moments this year and picked up his first nomination on The Late Show, but he’s not really in the conversation (also, he’s hosting, and it’ll be far funnier if he loses). Can Kimmel win on the strength of one heartfelt monologue? Probably not. So it’s between Oliver, who won last year, and Bee, the current standard-bearer for righteous fury, and who just picked up a Creative Arts Emmy for her “Not the Correspondents Dinner” special. Yeah, I’m taking Full Frontal.
CHASE: This is really a toss-up. I see four potential winners here, but I think people just really like Stephen Colbert. It would also be a huge slap in the face to Jimmy Fallon and his irrelevant, “let’s play games and go viral” Tonight Show (even more so than failing to be nominated).
SEAN: Oliver deserves to win again for Last Week Tonight — the best political humor show on television, and arguably the most informative.
The Emmys air Sunday night on CBS.