We may be knee deep in the fall film festival season but on the TV side September means the Emmy Awards and this weekend will bring us two days of the Creative Arts Emmys, covering dozens of categories including costumes, cinematography, music and of course, the guest acting in a comedy series and drama series awards.
With nominations based on a sliding scale of actual submissions, this year’s Variety Sketch Series category is just two shows: the venerable Saturday Night Live from NBC in its 46th season or the sophomore year for HBO’s vibrant and fresh A Black Lady Sketch Show. It’s hard to bet against SNL, which has won here for the last four years in a row. But it’s far from impossible; the show lost in the first two years, after the category split off from Variety Talk, to Inside Amy Schumer and Key & Peele. SNL bested A Black Lady Sketch Show last year but will it do it again?
Speaking of SNL and A Black Lady Sketch Show, the two programs will also go head to head (or head to head to head to head) as each have two worthy competitors in the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category. Yvette Nicole Brown and Issa Rae are repping ABLSS while last year’s winner here, Maya Rudolph, and former cast member Kristen Wiig, are nominated for SNL. Rudolph is the frontrunner here but any of those four could take it this year.
Guest Actor in a Drama Series feels pretty locked in, at least to Tyler and I as we agree on our top three with Lovecraft Country‘s Courtney B. Vance leading the way. Guest Actress in a Drama Series is a place where we differ, with me going for Sophie Okonedo in Ratched (a risk, as the show massively underperformed and Okonedo is its only acting nomination) and Tyler thinking that Alexis Bledel will triumph once again for The Handmaid’s Tale. It makes a lot of sense; The Handmaid’s Tale has won this category for the last three years in a row.
This year’s three Creative Arts ceremonies will be held outside in a tent on the L.A. Live events deck in downtown Los Angeles, on September 11 and 12, with a limited audience.
Here are the final Emmy winner predictions by AwardsWatch Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster in guest acting, Variety Special (Live), reality host and Variety Sketch Series. Watch for full predictions next week for the top categories of the Primetime Emmy Awards.