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Emmy Nominations 2021: Final Predictions

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Emmy Nominations are out tomoorw, so you know what that means! Let’s talk about who we think the nominees will be!

Comedy Series

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Ted Lasso
  2. The Flight Attendant
  3. Hacks
  4. The Kominsky Method
  5. Black-Ish
  6. Pen15
  7. Girls5eva
  8. Mythic Quest

Potential Upsets

  1. Master of None
  2. Cobra Kai
  3. Made for Love

With seven of last year’s eight nominations being ineligible for this year’s Emmy season, most of the Comedy Categories are an open playing field for newcomers.  And while some series have had successes in other major Award shows, most of these positions are up for grabs. The closest thing to a sure thing that this category has is Ted Lasso, with The Flight Attendant, and Hacks as safe bets.  The Kominsky Method and Black-Ish have experienced past Emmy success, which makes their return probable.   It is difficult to predict what will fill the last three spots.  There is definitely potential for previous nominee Master of None to score a nomination, although controversy following the series’ creator could deter voters from the series.  Following its move to Netflix and subsequent rise in mainstream popularity, the third season of Cobra Kai has its best shot at Emmy success.  However, even with this newfound popularity, it may prove to be too much of a “young person’s show” to be taken seriously here.  Pen15, Girls5eva, and Mythic Quest are the most likely to sneak into those last three spots but don’t count out Made for Love just yet.

Comedy Actress

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
  2. Jean Smart (Hacks)
  3. Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-Ish)
  4. Renee Elise Goldsberry (Girls5eva)
  5. Maya Erskine (Pen15)

Potential Upsets

  1. Cristin Milioti (Made for Love)
  2. Allison Janney (Mom)
  3. Charlotte Nicdao (Mythic Quest)

Most, if not all of my current Comedy Actress predictions have found success in past award circuits.  Kaley Cuoco and Jean Smart are all but confirmed to be nominated, and Tracee Ellis Ross is a long-time Emmy favorite!  Renee Elise Goldsberry has garnered nonstop conversation since Girls5eva first aired, making her nomination a safe bet.  Though the fifth spot is a tossup, I’m predicting Pen15’s Maya Erskine to take the spot from former winner Allison Janney.

Comedy Actor

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)
  2. Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
  3. Anthony Anderson (Black-Ish)
  4. Rob McElhenney (Mythic Quest)
  5. Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien)

Potential Upsets

  1. Kenan Thompson (Kenan)
  2. William Zabka (Cobra Kai)
  3. Ralph Macchio (Cobra Kai)

Jason Sudeikis is so firmly established as the frontrunner for this category, that if he doesn’t get a nomination, it’d be the snub of the year.  Michael Douglas and Anthony Anderson are almost always nominated for their respective series, and this year will be no exception. The remaining two spots will be filled by Rob McElhenney and Alan Tudyk, two actors who are long overdue for recognition.  While their shows are less popular than their competitors, the buzz surrounding their performances has been louder.

Comedy Supporting Actress

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)
  2. Kate McKinnon (SNL)
  3. Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)
  4. Cecily Strong (SNL)
  5. Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
  6. Aidy Bryant (SNL)
  7. Zosia Mamet (The Flight Attendant)

Potential Upsets

  1. Paula Pell (Girls5eva)
  2. Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant)
  3. Michelle Gomez (The Flight Attendant)

Every single day, I change my predictions on this category! While Hannah Waddingham, Kate McKinnon, Juno Temple, and Cecily Strong are consistently the rocks of my prediction list, every other seat is up for grabs.  While I currently have Hannah Einbinder, Aidy Bryant, and Zosia Mamet filling up the remaining spots, Paula Pell, Rosie Perez, Michelle Gomez, and names I haven’t even mentioned could EASILY sneak into the remaining spots (Chloe Fineman please???).

Comedy Supporting Actor

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Kenan Thompson (SNL)
  2. Bowen Yang (SNL)
  3. Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
  4. Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso)
  5. Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso)
  6. Ray Romano (Made for Love)
  7. Danny Pudi (Mythic Quest)

Potential Upsets

  1. Laurence Fishburne (Black-Ish)
  2. Alex Newell (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist)
  3. Pete Davidson (SNL)

The Comedy Supporting Actor category is the first category to not have a clear frontrunner at this time.  Long-time SNL favorite, Kenan Thompson should be the current frontrunner, but he’s not the only cast member in need of recognition. Bowen Yang has consistently been a highlight of the series and has more than once given the series viral moments.  Ted Lasso also has the opportunity to score numerous nominations, especially if the series itself catches the eye of Emmy voters.  If Made for Love is only able to score one nomination, I’d put my money on it being Ray Romano. And even though Danny Pudi may be a long shot, sometimes you just have to predict what you want to see!

Comedy Guest Actress

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Maya Rudolph (SNL)
  2. Anya Taylor-Joy (SNL)
  3. Elisabeth Shue (Cobra Kai)
  4. Issa Rae (A Black Lady Sketch Show)
  5. Tina Fey (Girls5eva)

Potential Upsets

  1. Kristen Wiig (SNL)
  2. Andrea Anders (Ted Lasso)
  3. Judi Dench (Staged)

Comedy Guest Actor

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Dave Chappelle (SNL)
  2. Jim Carrey (SNL)
  3. Anthony Head (Ted Lasso)
  4. Adam Driver (Last Week Tonight)
  5. Rege- Jean Page (SNL)

Potential Upsets

  1. Chris Rock (SNL)
  2. Dan Levy (SNL)
  3. William Hurt (Mythic Quest)

The Comedy Guest categories are a whose who of established names, character actors, hefty cameos, and a healthy sprinkling of SNL hosts.  I expect this year to be no different.

Drama Series

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. The Crown
  2. The Mandalorian
  3. Bridgerton
  4. Lovecraft Country
  5. Pose
  6. The Boys
  7. This is Us
  8. Perry Mason

Potential Upsets

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale
  2. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  3. In Treatment

The Drama Series Category is a bit less of a mixed bag than the Comedy Series, with many of the eligible contenders being previous nominees and mainstream programs.  The Crown and The Mandalorian were nominated last year, and I’d argue their nominations are a lock.  The same can be said about Bridgerton, Lovecraft Country, and Pose which have all had strong showings at the Critic’s Choice, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes.  While This is Us fell out of Emmys favor last year, the recent pandemic season could give it the shot it needed to bring it back to the Emmys main stage. As always, the last two spots are wildcards.  While The Handmaid’s Tale might return to the category, I find it more likely that the show will be rewarded for its performances rather than the series as a whole.  The same can be said about In Treatment, which is likely to be score key acting nominations rather than the series.  I am reserving the last two spots for The Boys and Perry Mason, although we shouldn’t count out The Falcon and the Winter Soldier either.

Drama Actress

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Olivia Colman (The Crown)
  2. Emma Corrin (The Crown)
  3. Uzo Adubo (In Treatment)
  4. Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)
  5. Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton)
  6. Mj Rodriguez (Pose)

Potential Upsets

  1. Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  2. Sarah Paulson (Ratched)
  3. Aya Cash (The Boys)

The six actresses I have predicted to take this category have consistently garnered praise throughout past award circuits.  The one seat up for grabs is Phoebe Dyenor’s, although I would argue the show’s popularity will lock her spot. Elisabeth Moss may be able to steal that spot (the Emmys do historically love her), but I’m expecting a major snub in this category, and she seems most likely. 

Drama Actor

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Josh O’Connor (The Crown)
  2. Rege- Jean Page (Bridgerton)
  3. Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country)
  4. Billy Porter (Pose)
  5. Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)
  6. Antony Starr (The Boys)

Potential Upsets

  1. Sterling K. Brown (This is Us)
  2. Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us)
  3. Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian)

Similar to the Drama Actress category, most of these predictions are based off past Emmy nominations and general awards success.  However, I am predicting one popular guess, This is Us’s Sterling K. Brown, to be snubbed in favor of Antony Starr’s performance as the villainous  Homelander in The Boys. This prediction could backfire, but you have to make some bold guesses!

Drama Supporting Actress

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Gillian Anderson (The Crown)
  2. Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
  3. Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  4. Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  5. Tatiana Maslany (Perry Mason)
  6. Indya Moore(Pose)
  7. Dominique Moore (Pose)
  8. Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country)

Potential Upsets

  1. Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  2. Emerald Fennell (The Crown)
  3. Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country)

Drama Supporting Actor

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)
  2. Tobias Menzies (The Crown)
  3. Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian)
  4. Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  5. John Lithgow (Perry Mason)
  6. Anthony Ramos (In Treatment)
  7. O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  8. Wyatt Russell (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)

Potential Upsets

  1. Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton)
  2. Daniel Bruhl (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
  3. Justin Hartley (This is Us)

Limited Series

The (Probable) Nominations:

  1. The Queen’s Gambit
  2. I May Destroy You
  3. Mare of Easttown
  4. The Underground Railroad
  5. WandaVision

Potential Upsets

  1. Small Axe
  2. The Undoing
  3. Fargo

I believe that Limited Series will be the most predictable category of this year’s Emmys.  The Queen’s Gambit took the world by storm during quarantine, and with the Golden Globes being (rightfully) slammed for snubbing I May Destroy You, there is no chance that the Emmys will ignore these two shows.  Mare of Easttown has controlled Twitter since it first debutted, and The Underground Railroad has had nonstop buzz since it hit Amazon prime.  The only wildcard in this category is WandaVision, but Disney has spent so much promoting this series’ Emmy run, I find it unlikely that it would be snubbed.  If anything were to break into this list, it would 100% be Steve McQueen’s anthology series, Small Axe. I’d love to see it break into the category, but it is likely that its only nomination will be for supporting actor, John Boyega.

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