Sun. Aug 9th, 2020

Final 2020 Emmy Predictions: the DRAMA categories

With the dominance of an Emmy champion like Game of Thrones out of the picture things should be a little clearer, right? Nope. Even with it gone so many returning shows with Emmy credit in their own right are still here, some return and newcomers threaten to upset the balance.

What to do with those new shows? Is HBO’s Euphoria going to be a no-show are surprise? How will Apple do with The Morning Show and its first venture into television territory? Netflix and Hulu already opened those doors so there won’t be a streaming bias.

How will basic networks fare in an awards market that has pushed them out of those now open doors? NBC’s This Is Us has hung in there and was seen as the savior for network television when it debuted and landed a long lost spot in Drama Series.

Pose managed six nominations in its first season and made history with Billy Porter’s Lead Actor in a Drama Series win. Now that voters know the show and with the response to the second season even stronger than the first, can it improve on that? Is there room for another acting nom? Mj Rodriguez and Angelica Ross are knocking at the door as are show creators Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals in the highly competitive directing category.

What of Westworld? Mostly cast in the shadow of its overlord Game of Thrones, while still scooping up 20+ nominations for its first two, it feels like a whisper now. We barely have a place for it at the table in our predictions this year, which could be reading the pulse or a fatal 404 error. Same goes for Netflix’s Stranger Things; an Emmy behemoth with acting, directing and writing nominations for its first two seasons. Did taking a year off make people forget or will it come roaring back?

Most of believe that HBO’s Succession and Netflix’s Ozark and The Crown are going to be the top players this Emmy season and rightfully so. The first two showed huge prowess against Game of Thrones last year, winning writing and directing (respectively) and kept that show from entering the history books for wins. The Crown is an indisputable juggernaut for nominations but how will voters respond to an entirely new cast?

Here are our final 2020 Emmy nomination predictions in the Drama Series categories. Nominations will be announced on July 28.

DRAMA SERIES (8)

  • Better Call Saul (AMC) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • The Crown (Netflix) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Ozark (Netflix) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Stranger Things (Netflix) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Succession (HBO) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • The Morning Show (Apple TV+) – Erik, Kevin
  • Pose (FX) – Erik, Kevin
  • Big Little Lies (HBO) – Amanda
  • Westworld (HBO) – Amanda

Six of the eight nominees from last year return as eligible contenders this year. With no Game of Thrones, we’ll have a new Drama Series winner for the first time in three years. Better Call Saul has been nominated for all four of its seasons. This Is Us has been nominated for all three of its seasons. The Handmaid’s Tale is eligible again for its third season, was nominated for its second season in 2018 (and scored 11 below the line nominations for those hanging episodes) and winning for its first season in 2017. The Crown is eligible again for its third season, was nominated for its first two seasons. Stranger Things is eligible again for its third season, was nominated for its first two seasons. Westworld is eligible again for its third season, was nominated for its first two seasons. Homeland is eligible for its final season, was nominated four times previously and winning for its first season in 2012. Big Little Lies is eligible in Series for the first time after winning Limited Series in 2017.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES (6)

  • Jason Bateman – OzarkErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Sterling K. Brown – This Is UsErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Brian Cox – SuccessionErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Bob Odenkirk – Better Call SaulErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Tobias Menzies – The CrownErik, Amanda
  • Billy Porter – PoseErik, Kevin
  • Jeremy Strong – SuccessionKevin, Amanda

All but one of the nominees from last year (Kit Harington, Game of Thrones) returns as an eligible contender this year. Idris Elba, eligible for Luther, was nominated for the role four times in Lead Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie. He lost all four. Rami Malek is eligible for the final season of Mr. Robot. He’s 1 for 1 in this category, winning in 2016, his only nomination. Liev Schreiber is eligible for the final season of Ray Donovan. He was nominated three times previously.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES (6)

  • Jennifer Aniston – The Morning ShowErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Olivia Colman – The CrownErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Viola Davis – How to Get Away with MurderErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Laura Linney – OzarkErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Jodie Comer – Killing EveErik, Kevin
  • Nicole Kidman – Big Little LiesAmanda

Five of the seven (including the winner) from last year return as eligible nominees. Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) returns as an eligible nominee this year. She won in 2017 and was also nominated the following year. Claire Danes is eligible for the final season of Homeland. She has five nominations for the role of Carrie Mathison, winning twice. Nicole Kidman is eligible for season 2 of Big Little Lies. She won the Emmy for Actress in a Limited Series/Movie for the same role. Reese Witherspoon, also eligible for season of Big Little Lies, was nominated in the same category alongside Kidman. Evan Rachel Wood, eligible for Westworld, has been nominated for both seasons of the show.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES (8)

  • Jonathan Banks – Better Call SaulErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Billy Crudup – The Morning ShowErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Kieran Culkin – SuccessionErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • David Harbour – Stranger ThingsErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Tom Pelphrey – OzarkErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Josh O’Connor – The CrownErik, Amanda
  • Matthew Macfadyen – SuccessionKevin, Amanda
  • Mandy Patinkin – HomelandErik, Kevin

All three Game of Thrones actors are, of course gone. We’ll have a new winner for the first time in three years. Michael Kelly’s improbable Emmy run is also over.Banks has been nominated four times in this category for Better Call Saul and twice for Breaking Bad. He is tied with Ed Begley, Jr. (St. Elsewhere) for most nominations without a win in the category. Another appearance without victory would break that tie, leaving Banks the distinction of biggest Drama Supporting Actor loser in Emmy history. Esposito was nominated once in this category for Breaking Bad, as well.

Previous nominees who find themselves eligible again this year include Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld). Ed Harris (Westworld) was nominated for Lead Actor in a Drama for the same role in 2018.Alexander Skarsgård won the Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/Movie Emmy for the same role in 2017 for Big Little Lies.Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale) won the Guest Actor in a Drama Emmy for the same role, and same season due to the hanging episodes rule, last year.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES (8)

  • Helena Bonham Carter – The CrownErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Ann Dowd – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Julia Garner – OzarkErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Janet McTeer – OzarkErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Thandie Newton – WestworldErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Sarah Snook – SuccessionErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Meryl Streep – Big Little LiesErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Yvonne Strahovski – The Handmaid’s TaleKevin
  • Laura Dern – Big Little LiesAmanda
  • Rhea Seehorn – Better Call SaulErik

As with the men, all Game of Thrones actresses from last year are gone, opening up four spots. Garner and Shaw return as eligible nominees. Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) was the last repeat winner in this category, taking the Emmy in both 2013 and 2014.

Past nominees who find themselves eligible again this year include Orange Is the New Black‘s Uzo Aduba (winner in 2015), The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Ann Dowd (winner in 2016), Westworld‘s Thandie Newton (winner in 2018), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Chrissy Metz (This Is Us), Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley (both of The Handmaid’s Tale).Samira Wiley won the Guest Actress in a Drama Emmy for the same role in 2018. Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley are both eligible for Big Little Lies. They were both nominated in Limited Series/TV Movie in 2017, where Dern won. Natasha Lyonne and Kate Mulgrew are both eligible for the final season of Orange Is The New Black. Lyonne was nominated in Guest Actress in a Comedy and Mulgrew was nominated for Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 2014.

 GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES (6)

  • James Cromwell – SuccessionErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Charles Dance – The CrownErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Ron Cephas Jones – This Is Us Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • O-T Fagbenle – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Amanda
  • Andrew Scott – Black Mirror (“Smithereens”) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Jason Bateman – The OutsiderErik
  • Gerald McRaney – This Is UsKevin
  • Dean Norris – Better Call SaulAmanda
  • Martin Short – The Morning ShowKevin

Only two of last year’s nominees return this year, as winner Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale) gets bumped to Supporting this year. Michael J. Fox is eligible for playing Louis Canning on The Good Fight, a role for which he nominated five times for The Good Wife, but never won. Gerald McRaney (This Is Us) won this award in 2017 and was nominated again the following year. Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) has been nominated three times, from 2017-2019 and won in 2018.

GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES (6)

  • Alexis Bledel – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Laverne Cox – Orange Is the New BlackErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Cherry Jones – SuccessionErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Cicely Tyson – How to Get Away with MurderErik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Julie Dretzin – The Handmaid’s TaleErik, Kevin
  • Jane Lapidaire – The CrownErik, Amanda
  • Phylicia Rashad – This Is Us Amanda
  • Cherry Jones – The Handmaid’s TaleKevin

Cherry Jones returns as a nominee for The Handmaid’s Tale (she won last year), and is now also eligible for Succession. Laverne Cox, Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson all return as possible nominees this year. Cox has been nominated three times previously. Tyson has been nominated four times, including the last three years in a row. Alexis Bledel, eligible again this year, won the award in 2017. There was some debate on the podcast about actors being able to be nominated twice in the same category but as per the Television Academy rules:

A performer may enter multiple achievements in a performing category if the achievements are for different programs (provided the performer is playing a different character).

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES (8)

  • The Crown – “Aberfan” (Benjamin Caron) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Ozark – “Fire Pink” (Alik Sakharov) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Stranger Things – “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” (The Duffer Brothers) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Succession – “This Is Not for Tears” (Mark Mylod) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – “Bear Witness” (Daina Reid) – Erik, Kevin
  • Homeland – “Prisoners of War” (Lesli Linka Glatter) – Erik, Kevin
  • The Outsider – “Fish in a Barrel” (Jason Bateman) – Erik, Kevin
  • Better Call Saul – “Bad Choice Road” (Thomas Schnauz) – Amanda
  • Better Call Saul – “Bagman” (Vince Gilligan) – Erik
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – “Mayday” (Mike Barker) – Amanda
  • Ozark – “Su Casa Es Mi Casa” (Ben Semanoff) – Amanda
  • Succession – “Hunting” (Andrij Parekh) – Kevin

Succession, The Handmaid’s Tale, Killing Eve and Ozark were nominated last year. Ozark (Jason Bateman) won in a huge upset over Game of Thrones, which took up three spots. Stranger Things took a year off but was nominated for its first two seasons.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES (7)

  • The Crown – “Aberfan” (Peter Morgan) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • The Handmaid’s Tale – “Mayday” (Bruce Miller) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Ozark – “Fire Pink” (Miki Johnson) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Succession – “This Is Not for Tears” (Jesse Armstrong) – Erik, Kevin, Amanda
  • Better Call Saul – “Bagman” (Gordon Smith) – Erik, Kevin
  • Black Mirror – “Smithereens” (Charlie Brooker) – Erik, Kevin
  • Ozark – “All In” (Chris Mundy) – Amanda
  • Better Call Saul – “Bad Choice Road” (Thomas Schnauz) – Amanda
  • Big Little Lies – “I Want to Know” (David E. Kelley and Liane Moriarty) – Amanda
  • The Morning Show – “The Interview” (Kerry Ehrin) – Erik
  • Mr. Robot – “407 Proxy Authentication Required” (Sam Esmail) – Amanda
  • Stranger Things – “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” (The Duffer Brothers) – Kevin

Better Call Saul, The Handmaid’s Tale, Killing Eve, and Succession were all nominated last year. Succession upset the Game of Thrones series finale and won. Stranger Things took a year off but was nominated for its first two seasons.

Mr. Robot, On Becoming a God in Central Florida (under Comedy), Orange Is the New Black (under Comedy), and Ray Donovan received Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominations.

Final 2020 Emmy Predictions: the LIMITED SERIES categories

Final 2020 Emmy Predictions: the COMEDY categories

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