You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmy Contenders: Breaking Down Our Favorites

Emmy voters, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

This season has been one of the best in recent memory (I know I probably say that every year). The surge in series production has led to a veritable feast for TV fans. No matter what genre you prefer, there’s a show or three to suit your tastes — and some that defy any classification. Format, length, perspective — if there’s a rule, it was broken this season in the hands of the talented creatives behind and in front of the camera. And we loved every minute of it.

Years past may have heralded the anti-hero — and while, of course, there were plenty of those on offer — this season we had heroines aplenty.

We traveled from “Atlanta” to “One Mississippi,” from “Fargo” to “Silicon Valley,” and made dozens of friends: “Saul,” “Victoria,” “Jane,” “Bosch,” “Ray Donovan,” “Grace & Frankie,” “Kimmy Schmidt,” “Sneaky Pete” and reunited with those “Gilmore Girls.”

But if you’re feeling “Insecure” about Emmy season and worried that you’ve got “Billions” of choices, we’ve got “Great News” for you. We’ve got it all covered, from A(ziz) to “Z: The Beginning of Everything.” We don’t want to cause a “Feud,” but we can help you decide which shows and stars you want to “Crown.” Trust us, “Better” and even “Stranger Things” have happened, and it will all end up in a “Good Place.” We’re going to make everything completely “Transparent,” we promise. Have we left you “Speechless”?

Variety’s team of TV experts has been diligently sifting through all the contenders, and has prepared a series of in-depth special issues that examine all the key races. Starting with this week’s issue, which takes a deep drive into the actor category, we’ll tell you everything you need to know before you cast your vote for the nominees.

As with every season, the centerpiece of these issues is our “Actors on Actors” series, which we’re proud to say has won a few Emmys of its own. We pair top contenders for conversations about their craft — we’ve learned that no one can get an actor to open up like a colleague. Their funny and frank Q&As will air on PBS starting June 13; we’ll also feature excerpts in these issues.

We reunited “Footloose” stars John Lithgow and Kevin Bacon, who reveal that they’re both still learning on the set, while Millie Bobby Brown and Evan Rachel Wood share lessons of being a child star. Minnie Driver and Christine Baranski talk about the challenges of stepping into number one on the call sheet, and Freida Pinto and Milo Ventimiglia admit that the roles they’ve played this season have changed them profoundly.

We also borrow that format to talk to the showrunners behind some of the season’s buzziest new series — pairing Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy from “Westworld” with the Duffer brothers from “Stranger Things,” for example. But we’re also interested in where they work as well, so we invited ourselves into their offices for our “Writer’s Room” series. In each issue, you’ll get a peek inside a different TV producer’s office. Let’s be honest: That’s where they spend most of their time, so what do they choose to surround themselves with, and what does it say about them? And just how many snacks (and toys) are on hand?

Every year, we also invite the top acting contenders into our photo studios on both coasts — and this year’s portraits are a breathtaking collection, courtesy of photographer Shayan Asgharnia. The acting class of 2017 opened themselves up to his camera, and he captured truly honest moments.

Variety has also made an ongoing editorial commitment to cover the skilled artisans who work below the line, and we’re proud to continue that in these pages. Ever wonder how they pulled of that moment that had everyone talking? We’ll find out in Anatomy of a Scene, by talking to the key craftspeople — from production design to cinematographer to costume — who made the magic happen.

And then we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty — analyzing all the key races, from the can’t-miss nominees to the dark horses who deserve a second look.

So now, I’ve got just one question for you: What’s your favorite show on TV?

More TV

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Bob Greenblatt Pays Tribute to Eunetta Boone: 'Love Just Radiated From Her'

    Eunetta T. Boone was funny, sharp and extremely warm-hearted. That’s how WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt remembered Boone as he paid tribute to the showrunner who died Wednesday at the age of 63. Greenblatt worked with Boone in the early 2000s when he was partnered with David Janollari in the Greenblatt-Janollari Studio production venture. Greenblatt-Janollari [...]

  • Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania

    Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania Competition Contender ‘Eden’

    LILLE, France — “I must down to the seas again,” Amaré, an teen African illegal immigrant, reads aloud in a poetry lesson at a refugee center near the beach in Greece. Thoughts of wander-lust seen comically out of place. Amaré has just been seen in the prolog to “Eden” leaping out of a dinghy beaching [...]

  • John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as

    John Simm Talks 'Cold Courage' as Lionsgate Boards International Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Simm plays a rabble-rousing populist politician in “Cold Courage,” and Lionsgate has stepped up and taken international rights to the series. Based on the series of novels by Pekka Hiltunen, the drama is billed as the biggest yet out of Finland and will bow on the Viaplay streaming service in Scandinavia. With a cast [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, will premiere on Paramount Network on June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The sophomore season will continue the story of rancher John Dutton [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content