Much like last year’s Schitt’s Creek sweep, Ted Lasso is expected to come out on top in several categories but will the freshman season match the record-setting wins of Creek‘s final season?
Yes and no. While SC made Emmy history with wins in series, directing, writing, lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress, Lasso can do all of that except lead actress. But it’s probably going to be close. The show, which leads the nominations for all comedy series’ with 20, won three Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend, including the coveted casting award – the best bellwether for a series win.
There aren’t a lot of differences in the predictions between myself and AwardsWatch TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster; we agree on series, lead actor, supporting actor and supporting actress (where our rankings are also exactly in line). It’s the directing and writing categories where we split, even on which Ted Lasso episode each of thinks is winning directing. Tyler is going for “Make Rebecca Great Again,” directed by Declan Lowney, while I’ve chosen “The Hope That Kills You,” directed my MJ Delaney. “Make Rebecca Great Again” is an emotional episode with both Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Ted (Jason Sudeikis) dealing with memories and realities of each of their failed marriages. “The Hope That Kills You” is the season one finale with “the big game.” Compelling, both.
Each provide a very different window into the show and a different set of tools at the helm. But not only are there two high-profile pilot episodes in the running (Hacks and The Flight Attendant) but a whole ‘nother Ted Lasso episode, directed by actor Zach Braff (“Biscuits”). Not one to believe in vote-splitting, Braff’s episode, the second of the season, chronicles Ted’s first real day of coaching the British underdog team where he’s met with derision and mockery from the team and fans alike. It’s a wide open category.
Writing is the same, where Tyler and I split on who’s winning that. I’m on the Ted Lasso sweep steam train (going with the pilot episode written by show creators Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly) while Tyler has gone with the Hacks pilot written by show creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky. The Television Academy loves pilot episodes and the writing category has no less than three in the running (there’s also Girls5Eva from Meredith Scardino) but again, there’s also another Ted Lasso episode in the mix, “Make Rebecca Great Again.” There’s a stealth winner chance for that episode, which traverses drama and comedy more fluidly than the pilot episode and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Emmys, regardless of voting methods, they really do love drama in their comedy.
While the comedy categories seem either pretty locked in or at least seemingly a battle between Ted Lasso and Hacks this year, there’s usually room for some upsets. But where would they come from this year? Pen15 in writing? The Flight Attendant in directing? I think the most likely category to see a different winner than either Tyler or I are predicting is supporting actor in a comedy series. While we’re both seeing Brett Goldstein triumph here, he’s in a tight battle with Bowen Yang and Kenan Thompson from Saturday Night Live, both of whom could triumph. While some may think that Goldstein’s chances are lessened because he’s also nominated against no less than three of his co-stars, as the show’s clear supporting standout and because vote-splitting isn’t real, I don’t see that as big a threat as Yang and Thompson are.
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, September 19, (8:00-11:00 PM, live EDT/5:00-8:00 PM, live PDT) on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+ and be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.
Presenters include: Paulina Alexis, Anthony Anderson, Angela Bassett, Kate Beckinsale, Adrien Brody, Stephen Colbert, Jennifer Coolidge, Kaley Cuoco, Lane Factor, Beanie Feldstein, Allyson Felix, America Ferrera, Sterlin Harjo, Devery Jacobs, Ken Jeong, Mindy Kaling, Vanessa Lachey, Dan Levy, Eugene Levy, Jessica Long, Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara plus Sarah Paulson, Amy Poehler, Billy Porter, Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, Seth Rogen, Tracee Ellis Ross, Hailee Steinfeld, Patrick Stewart, Wilmer Valderrama, Kerry Washington, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and Bowen Yang.
Here are the final 2021 Emmy winner predictions in comedy categories by AwardsWatch Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and TV Awards Editor Tyler Doster.