There are some very contentious categories in writing and directing this year, especially in Comedy and Drama Series.
In Comedy Series Writing it feels like a fight between the second season of Atlanta and first season The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Atlanta creator Donald Glover won directing last year, but lost writing. It might happen again, and in fact I’m predicting it. I think Amy Sherman-Palladino will finally earn her first Emmy for the pilot of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But then there’s Barry. Two nominations, like Atlanta, and one of four head-to-head battles for Bill Hader and Donald Glover. Will the voters throw Hader a bone here?
Drama Series Writing is going to be a real battle too, between The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones. I think The Handmaid’s Tale can keep its crown in that category but the return of Game of Thrones in nominations was so strong that it’s going to be close. It’s one of those races where all eyes are probably on those two, making a surprise win from The Americans or Killing Eve entirely possible.
Limited Series could be a tough fight. The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story has the most nominations for a Limited Series/TV Movie (18) and the episode nominated was heralded as the most poignant and heartbreaking (it is) and I think those factors tip it in its favor. But Black Mirror just won here last year (with San Junipero) and its nominated TV Movie this year, USS Callister, was a massively praised hit. Scott Frank (Godless) is a respected writer in both film and television and then there’s David Lynch. Shockingly, Twin Peaks: The Return was completely snubbed in Limited Series and all acting categories but Lynch showed up here and in directing. He’s a longshot but maybe this would be a consolation but directing would make more sense for that.
Here are my ranked winner predictions for the 2018 Emmys in Writing and Directing for Comedy Series, Drama Series, Limited Series/TV Movie, Variety Series and Variety Special.
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
1. Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (“Pilot”)
2. Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (“Alligator Man”)
3. Stefani Robinson, “Atlanta” (“Barbershop”)
4. Alec Berg and Bill Hader, “Barry” (“Chapter One: Make Your Mark”)
5. Liz Sarnoff, “Barry” (“Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going”)
6. Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley” (“Fifty-One Percent”)
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
1. Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“June”)
2. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, “Game of Thrones” (“The Dragon And The Wolf”)
3. Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, “The Americans” (“Start”)
4. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Killing Eve” (“Nice Face”)
5. Peter Morgan, “The Crown” (“Mystery Man”)
6. The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things” (“Chapter Nine: The Gate”)
WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, TV MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
1. Tom Rob Smith, “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (“House By The Lake”)
2. William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, “USS Callister: Black Mirror”
3. Scott Frank, “Godless”
4. David Nicholls, “Patrick Melrose”
5. David Lynch and Mark Frost, “Twin Peaks”
6. Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus, “American Vandal” (“Clean Up”)
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
1. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
2. The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)
3. Saturday Night Live (NBC)
4. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
5. Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC)
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
1. Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (Netflix)
2. Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life (Netflix)
3. Full Frontal with Samanta Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated) (TBS)
4. John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City Music Hall (Netflix)
5. Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady (HBO)
Next up…Directing for Comedy Series, Drama Series, Limited Series, Variety Series and Variety Special