Our friends at Parade Magazine took a shot at picking the winners at tonight’s Emmy Awards, see if you agree.
The 2021 Primetime Emmys will take place on Sunday, Sept. 19, with Cedric the Entertainer as host—and with this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards having been presented over the weekend, we’ve already got a scorecard going into TV’s biggest night.
So far, The Queen’s Gambit is in the lead with nine 2021 Creative Arts Emmy wins, with The Mandalorian and Saturday Night Live tied for second place with seven. The Crown has four trophies, and Ted Lasso and Pose each have three
How will they all fare on TV’s big night? Here are our predictions for the winners in the drama and comedy categories at the 2021 Primetime Emmys.
Emmy Predictions 2021
Outstanding Drama Series
Last year’s winner in this category, Succession, is just about to launch its new season—meaning it’s not among the 2021 nominees as there were no new episodes that aired during the 2021 eligibility period. That leaves the field open for a new taker.
The eight shows nominated include Bridgerton (Netflix), Pose (FX), Lovecraft Country (HBO), The Crown (Netflix), The Boys (Amazon Prime Video), The Mandalorian (Disney+), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), and This Is Us (NBC).
It would be great if Pose could break through and win the Emmy in its final season. It was a groundbreaking show that took the TV Academy a while to acknowledge, but it doesn’t have nearly the number of nominations that some of its competitors do, like The Crown and The Mandalorian, which are tied for the most nominations with 24 each.
The three most likely candidates to walk away with the Emmy are The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mandalorian, and The Crown. The Handmaid’s Tale is at a disadvantage, having won previously, while The Mandalorian would have to break the Emmy tradition of no genre shows winning major categories. That leaves The Crown, which has previously won 10 Emmys but never for Drama Series, most likely to take home the gold.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
There are three fresh faces in this category for 2021: Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton), Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country), and Josh O’Connor (The Crown), with Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason), Billy Porter (Pose), and Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) all having won in the category before. Rhys’ previous win was for The Americans, but Porter and Brown were winners for their current series.
O’Connor has received a lot of awards season love, taking home a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for his role as Prince Charles. If the accolades continue for The Crown, he could very well add an Emmy to his collection, but the sentimental favorite is Porter, who played Pray Tell for the final time in the final season of Pose.
Majors is at a disadvantage because Lovecraft Country has a pall over it due to its cancelation, and as much buzz as Page received for Bridgerton, the series didn’t provide him with the same weighty scenes that Porter and O’Connor carried off with such aplomb. As for Brown and Rhys, there is one more season of This Is Us, so it isn’t Brown’s swan song just yet, and Rhys is most likely looking forward to several more seasons of Perry Mason in which the Academy could honor him.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
This year, Mj Rodriguez made history as the first trans performer to score a lead actress nomination from the TV Academy, but she is up against stiff competition with Uzo Aduba (In Treatment), Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country), Olivia Colman (The Crown), Emma Corrin (The Crown) and Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale).
Despite her previous three Emmy wins, Aduba is not the leader in this category. That honor goes to first-time nominee Corrin, who is pretty much a shoo-in to win. However, if the Emmy vote is split on The Crown, with Colman also getting a fair share of the votes, Rodriguez could sneak by and capture the Emmy.
Smollett has the same issue as Majors (her series was canceled) and Moss is always a strong contender. The Handmaid’s Tale did earn 18 nominations this year, but this is the year of The Crown.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
This year’s supporting actor category has eight strong performances: Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country), Tobias Menzies (The Crown), John Lithgow (Perry Mason), Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian), Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Chris Sullivan (This Is Us), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale).
Prior to his untimely death, Williams was without a doubt the frontrunner for the Emmy. It remains to be seen if the TV Academy will honor him in his passing or if that will affect the vote. In the unlikely event that Williams is passed over, Menzies’ performance as Prince Phillip could secure him the gold statuette, with three-time Emmy winner Whitford also a strong contender, but one who faces the issue of the vote being split with the other two actors nominated from his series.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Emmy voters may have a difficult time in this category as the bulk of the nominees are divided between The Crown and The Handmaid’s Tale: Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale), Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale), Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country), Emerald Fennell (The Crown), and Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale).
Dowd has previously won for her role as Aunt Lydia, but the outstanding performance of the season was Anderson’s, who previously won in this category for The X-Files. In a cast of excellent performances, Anderson’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher was a standout.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Hacks, which stars Jean Smart, is a new entry to the field and it is the one show that is giving Ted Lasso a bit of a run for its money. But when all is said and done, the Apple+ comedy with its 20 Emmy nominations will take home the gold.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Surprisingly, the TV Academy only nominated five actors in this category: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method), Kenan Thompson (Kenan), Anthony Anderson (black-ish), and William H. Macy (Shameless).
With all the positive buzz on Ted Lasso, this may be the one sure bet of the night with Sudeikis practically guaranteed to take home the Emmy. If enough Academy members who would like to honor Douglas for the final season of The Kominsky Method mark their ballots, then he could squeak by—but at this point, he looks to be the runner-up. Anderson has joked that he is becoming the Susan Lucci of the Primetime Emmys, with nine acting nominations but no wins. Lucci, famously, didn’t win a Daytime Emmy until after her nineteenth nomination.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Here again, the TV Academy only put up five women for this category: Jean Smart (Hacks), Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant), Allison Janney (Mom), Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish), and Aidy Bryant (Shrill), but it turns out that five is all you need if they are the right five, and this group is that.
Celebrity interviews, recipes and health tips delivered to your inbox. Jennifer Aniston will not be attending the Emmy Awards1.4
Janney is a six-time Emmy winner, including two for Mom in the Supporting Actress category. She moved up to Lead Actress with the departure of Anna Faris, but as beloved as she is, it is looking as if Smart (who is no slouch in the Emmy department as the owner of three) will get the nod. While it is true this is the final season for Mom, Hacks is a fresh show that has found a lot of love for the former Designing Women star. Truth be told, it was looking as if Cuoco had this category sewn up until Smart came along.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
With eight nominees, this category is a much more complicated one for voters: Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso), Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live), Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso), Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso), Paul Reiser (The Kominsky Method), Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks).
With four of the eight nominees from Ted Lasso, it is expected that they’ll split the vote to such a point that Saturday Night Live’s Thompson, who’s said to be leading the field in this category, will win. But, if by some chance, Thompson fails to take home gold, of the four Ted Lasso supporting actors, look for Goldstein to emerge on top.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
With seven ladies in the running—Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), Juno Temple (Ted Lasso), Hannah Einbinder (Hacks), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), and Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant)–it’s looking to be neck and neck for costars Waddingham and Temple.
This could be another case of a split vote, but those in the know are calling this race for Waddingham, who has already won a couple of critics’ awards for Season 1. The fact that her role was also more substantial than Temple’s, and offered up some wonderful chemistry with Sudeikis, are two more factors in her favor.
How to watch the 2021 Emmy Awards
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will broadcast live on Sunday, September 19 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.