The groundbreaking series Game of Thrones sung its swan song at last year’s Emmys. But even prior to making history, many networks and streaming services tucked tail and decided to take the year off. And now with Thrones no more and Bodyguard not airing a second season there’s an open spot—a tie last year resulted in eight nominees instead of seven.
The six series’ looking to maintain their place amongst the nominees from last year: Better Call Saul (AMC); Killing Eve (BBC America); Ozark (Netflix); Pose (FX); Succession (HBO) and This Is Us (NBC).
Looking to comeback after taking last year off: The Crown (Netflix); The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu); Stranger Things (Netflix) and Westworld (HBO).
That totals ten shows before you even consider any series first season shows trying to make an appearance in the Best Drama Series race. Let’s take a deeper look at this overcrowded race.
SAG Ensemble matters:
- Big Little Lies
- The Crown
- Stranger Things
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- This Is Us
The Crown established itself as a threat to win Best Drama Series when it upset Game of Thrones to win Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards. Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale after so-so seasons respectively received necessary lifelines with a SAG Ensemble nod. It was no surprise that the former Best Limited Series champ (2017) Big Little Lies and its who’s-who cast cracked the category. But, a third season not a definite so the ladies of Monterey may not be HBO’s biggest concern. This Is Us, after winning Best Ensemble two years consecutively (2018-2019) was snubbed and for the big four networks only hope this will be problematic. Remember when Modern Family was dropped from the Best Comedy Series lineup in 2018 it was after SAG snubbed the Ensemble.
HBO’s New Premier Drama is…..
Succession’s second season was a must-watch and after a decent first outing last year seems primed to have even more success at this year’s Emmys. But don’t count out Westworld, it’s landed two previous nominations for Best Drama Series and with Aaron Paul joining the cast for season three it could keep Emmy voters attention.
HBO’s “B” List…
- His Dark Materials
- The Outsider
For any other network or streaming service these shows would be their premier series. But, for both series respectively they will need HBO to really aggressively campaign—and HBO may have bigger fish to fry. Materials and Outsider should still land technical nominations but their best chances at above the line noms are Best Drama Actor for Ben Mendelsohn (The Outsider) and Best Drama Supporting Actor for Lin-Manuel Miranda (His Dark Materials).
Streaming for a nomination
- The Morning Show
Ozark was held back and given a more Emmy-friendly release date and considering how the series performed at last year’s Emmys it should be considered safe for another Drama Series nomination. Hunters and The Morning Show’s advantage is they’re each of their respective streaming services only Drama Series to worry about. Either could easily make the final cut but could also easily miss.
Basic-aly looking to get back in:
- Better Call Saul
- Killing Eve
One to two of these series seems most likely to be snubbed given how competitive the race is. Better Call Saul has made the cut for all four of its previous seasons and should remain a safe bet to return. Pose and Killing Eve are the most likely casualties of the competitive field after being the benefactors of the competition taking the prior year off.
Remember when we were popular?
- Mr. Robot
Homeland won Best Drama Series for its first season (2012)—the first for a Showtime series and the show that stopped Mad Men from what would have been a history-making fifth win in a row. And Mr. Robot was nominated for its mega-popular season (2016)— the first for the USA network. Now in their respective final season each series will hope sentiment leads to a surprise nomination. But their best chances are probably for their respective stars.
My Preliminary Predictions:
- Better Call Saul (AMC)
- The Crown (Netflix)
- Ozark (Netflix)
- Stranger Things (Netflix)
- Succession (HBO)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
- Westworld (HBO)
If there’s an eighth nominee most likely: This is Us (NBC) or Big Little Lies (HBO)