Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

2019 Emmy Nomination Predictions – The Drama Categories

It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that Game of Thrones will end its series run with another Drama Series Emmy win, and it could very well break the all-time record for nominations for a drama series in a single season, so let’s take a look at where everyone else stands in this race.

A whopping five of last year’s seven Drama Series nominees aren’t eligible this year: The Americans, The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things and Westworld. The first ended its series run while the rest, well, it almost seems they all wanted to steer clear of the Drogon’s path and just let Game of Thrones reign. Note: The Handmaid’s Tale aired some episodes from last season during this season’s eligibility period. Not enough to qualify for Drama Series or Lead or Supporting Acting, but is eligible in the Guest Acting, Directing and Writing categories. Only NBC’s This Is Us will make its case to stay in this race, while five other shows look to return or make their first mark.

AMC’s Better Call Saul was nodded in Drama Series its first three seasons but sat out last year’s eligibility. It should have no problem returning to the fold. Despite earning two directing nominations, a Lead Actor nominations and two technical nods, Netflix’s Ozark missed out on Drama Series (and Lead Actress) by probably just a hair. With five open slots, it’s a sure bet for its second season.

Three freshman shows with buzz, stars and industry awards are looking to be the new kids on the block: Amazon’s 30-minute Homecoming, from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and starring Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts; FX’s breakthrough drama Pose, featuring the largest LGBTQ+ cast in television history and HBO’s surprise hit Succession from Academy Award winner Adam McKay. These are the main contenders for one of those seven spots but there are definitely buzzed shows that could upset.

The latest installment of the FX American Horror Story series, Apocalypse, was moved in eligibility from Limited Series to Drama Series as this season featured most of the previous seasons’ actors playing the same roles, defying the anthology rules. After a breakthrough year last year, Killing Eve, from BBC America, returned for a stellar second season that might find a way in. Netflix’s Bodyguard was a huge hit and, with Ozark, might keep the streamer on the map.

Drama Series

Last year’s nominees (winner in bold): The Americans, The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Westworld

My predictions:

  • Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Homecoming (Amazon)
  • Ozark (Netflix)
  • Pose (FX)
  • Succession (HBO)
  • This Is Us (NBC)

Look out for: American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX), Bodyguard (Netflix), Killing Eve (BBC America)

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Matthew Rhys, The Americans – WINNER; Jason Bateman, Ozark; Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us; Ed Harris, Westworld; Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us; Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

My predictions:

  • Jason Bateman, Ozark
  • Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
  • Brian Cox, Succession
  • Richard Madden, Bodyguard
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Billy Porter, Pose

Look out for: Kit Harington, Game of Thrones; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan; Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us; Stephan James, Homecoming

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Claire Foy, The Crown – WINNER; Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale; Sandra Oh, Killing Eve; Keri Russell, The Americans; Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

My predictions:

  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
  • Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
  • Laura Linney, Ozark
  • Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
  • Julia Roberts, Homecoming
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards

Look out for: Christine Baranski, The Good Fight; Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder; Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce; Mandy Moore, This Is Us; Elizabeth Olsen, Sorry For Your Loss; Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Apocalypse; Mj Rodriguez, Pose

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones – WINNER; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones; Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale; David Harbour, Stranger Things; Mandy Patinkin, Homeland; Matt Smith, The Crown

My predictions:

  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
  • Kieran Culkin, Succession
  • Bobby Cannavale, Homecoming

Look out for: Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul; Shea Whigham, Homecoming; Peter Mullan, Ozark; Evan Peters, Pose; Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Thandie Newton, Westworld – WINNER; Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale; Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things; Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale; Lena Headey, Game of Thrones; Vanessa Kirby, The Crown; Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

My predictions:

  • Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones
  • Julia Garner, Ozark
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
  • Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
  • Keeley Hawes, Bodyguard

Look out for: Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us; Indya Moore, Pose; Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul; Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us – WINNER; F. Murray Abraham, Homeland; Cameron Britton, Mindhunter; Matthew Goode, The Crown; Gerald McRaney, This Is Us; Jimmi Simpson, Westworld

James Cromwell (Supporting Actor Miniseries – 2000; Guest Actor Drama – 2001, 2003; Supporting Actor Drama – 2013); Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us (Guest Actor Drama – 2018; Supporting Actor Drama – 2017); Denis O’Hare, This Is Us (Guest Actor Drama – 2017)

My predictions:

  • James Cromwell, Succession
  • Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
  • Michael McKean, Better Call Saul
  • Christopher Meloni, Pose
  • Jeremy Allen White, Homecoming
  • Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Look out for: Alan Alda, The Good Fight; Alan Alda, Ray Donovan; Griffin Dunne, This Is Us; Denis O’Hare, This Is Us; Glynn Turman, How to Get Away with Murder; BD Wong, American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale – WINNER; Viola Davis, Scandal; Kelly Jenrette, The Handmaid’s Tale; Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale; Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones; Cicely Tyson, How To Get Away With Murder

Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale (Guest Drama Actress – 2018); Laverne Cox, Orange Is The New Black (Guest Drama Actress – 2017); Jessica Lange, American Horror Story (Lead Actress Limited Series or Movie – 1996, 2003, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017; Supporting Actress Limited Series or Movie – 2012); Cicely Tyson, How To Get Away With Murder (Guest Drama Actress – 2015, 2017, 2018)

My predictions:

  • Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
  • Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Apocalypse
  • Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us
  • Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
  • Carice van Houten, Game of Thrones

Look out for: Sandra Bernhard, Pose; Connie Britton, American Horror Story: Apocalypse; Hong Chau, Homecoming, Joan Collins, American Horror Story: Apocalypse; June Squibb, The Good Doctor

Directing for a Drama Series

My predictions:

  • Game of Thrones, “The Long Night” (Miguel Sapochnik)
  • Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne” (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss)
  • Ozark, “Reparations” (Jason Bateman)
  • Pose, “Love Is the Message” (Janet Mock)
  • Pose, “Pilot” (Ryan Murphy)
  • Succession, “Celebration” (Adam McKay)

Look out for: Better Call Saul, “Breathe” (Michelle MacLaren); Better Call Saul, “Wiedersehen” (Vince Gilligan); Bodyguard, “Episode One” (Thomas Vincent); Game of Thrones, “The Last of the Starks” (David Nutter); The Handmaid’s Tale, “Holly” (Daina Reid); Homecoming, “Protocol” (Sam Esmail); Ozark, “One Way Out (Alik Sakharov)

Writing for a Drama Series

My predictions:

  • Better Call Saul, “Winner” (Peter Gould & Thomas Schnauz)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, “Holly” (Bruce Miller & Kira Snyder)
  • Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne” (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss)
  • Ozark, “The Gold Coast” (Chris Mundy)
  • Pose, “Pilot” (Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, & Steven Canals)
  • Succession, “Nobody Is Ever Missing” (Jesse Armstrong)

Look out for: Better Call Saul, “Wiedersehen” (Gennifer Hutchison); Homecoming, “Stop” (Eli Horowitz & Micah Bloomberg); Killing Eve, “Nice and Neat” (Emerald Fennell); Pose, “Love is the Message” (Ryan Murphy & Janet Mock)

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