Emmy Contenders 2017: Lead Actor in a Drama

There is some serious star power in the race this year, including Oscar winners Kevin Spacey (sure to land his fifth consecutive nom for “House of Cards”) and Anthony Hopkins, a newcomer for “Westworld.” There are also Oscar nominees like Paul Giamatti (“Billions”), “Goliath’s” Billy Bob Thornton (an Oscar winner for screenwriting and a nominee for acting), Tom Hardy (“Taboo”) and Terrence Howard (“Empire”) in the mix. They’ll likely face off against last year’s winner for “Mr. Robot,” Rami Malek, and returning nominees Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) and Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”).

Other first-year hits that could break in include Kiefer Sutherland (“Designated Survivor”) and Dan Stevens (“Legion.”) But the frontrunner is likely an actor who just became a household name in the last 18 months, Sterling K. Brown. He won an Emmy last year for channeling Christopher Darden in “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and heads this year’s smash hit “This Is Us.” He’s competing opposite his TV dad Milo Ventimiglia and they may split some votes, but Brown has emerged as the odds-on favorite for a nomination and a likely win.


Sterling K. Brown
“This Is Us”
Kyle Chandler
Paul Giamatti
Anthony Hopkins
Rami Malek
“Mr. Robot”
Bob Odenkirk
“Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys
“The Americans”
Liev Schrieber
“Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey
“House of Cards”
Milo Ventimiglia
“This Is Us”

On the Bubble

Tom Hardy
Aldis Hodge
Terrence Howard
Damian Lewis
Ian McShane
“American Gods”
Wagner Moura
Giovanni Ribisi
“Sneaky Pete”
Matt Smith
“The Crown”
Dan Stevens
Kiefer Sutherland
“Designated Survivor”
Justin Theroux
“The Leftovers”
Billy Bob Thornton

Dark Horses

Pierce Brosnan
“The Son”
Peter Capaldi
“Doctor Who”
Mike Colter
“Luke Cage”
Dominic Cooper
Hugh Dancy
“The Path”
Rupert Friend
Walton Goggins
Freddie Highmore
“Bates Motel”
Hugh Laurie
Andrew Lincoln
“The Walking Dead”
Dylan Minnette
“13 Reasons Why”
Aaron Paul
“The Path”
James Purefoy
“Hap and Leonard”
Michael Sheen
“Masters of Sex”
Kofi Siriboe
“Queen Sugar”
James Spader
“The Blacklist”
Dominic West
“The Affair”
Ricky Whittle
“American Gods”
Michael K. Williams
“Hap and Leonard”
Aden Young

More TV

  • SAG Rally

    SAG-AFTRA Rally Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty Draws Nearly 1,000

    SAG-AFTRA is keeping up the pressure on the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), holding a spirited mid-day rally at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Reps for the union said the noon event on Wednesday drew sign-ups from nearly 1,000 members and supporters at national headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard, followed by a two-block [...]

  • 'The Other Two' Bosses on Justin

    'The Other Two' Bosses on Justin Bieber as Inspiration for New Comedy Central Show

    After Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider’s tenure at “Saturday Night Live,” where they became the show’s youngest co-head writers and wrote music videos like the instant hit “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” the two headed to Comedy Central to do more “big dumb broad stuff and make fun of pop culture,” says Kelly. Their [...]

  • Alec Baldwin

    Alec Baldwin Pleads Guilty to Harassment in Parking Spot Fight

    Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty to a harassment charge stemming from an altercation over a parking spot, Variety confirmed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Deputy Press Secretary. The “Saturday Night Live” star was sentenced to a conditional discharge on Wednesday and will take a short-term anger management class. Baldwin was charged with attempted assault in the [...]

  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher Variety Facetime

    JoAnna Garcia Swisher Joins ABC Comedy Pilot 'Happy Accident'

    JoAnna Garcia Swisher has signed on for a leading role in the ABC single-camera comedy pilot “Happy Accident,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced cast member Matt Walsh. The show follows two Pittsburgh families – father Bud (Walsh) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer with her med student son – are forced [...]

  • Avi Saxena - Discovery

    Discovery Hires Amazon's Avi Saxena as CTO of Direct-to-Consumer Unit, Will Open Seattle Office

    Discovery hired Avi Saxena, former VP of technology for Amazon Marketplace, as chief technology officer of direct-to-consumer. Saxena reports to the guy who was his boss at Amazon: Peter Faricy, who was appointed CEO of Discovery’s Global Direct-to-Consumer division in August 2018 and who headed up the Amazon Marketplace third-party seller business. Related Sam Elliott Reflects [...]

  • Sean Hannity Reveals Broadband Plans for

    Sean Hannity Reveals His Plans for Fox News Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sean Hannity sometimes tells younger colleagues at Fox News Channel that he is “the bridge between two generations of Fox” because he has been part of its primetime lineup since 1996. Now he may serve a similar purpose for a third. Fox News will next week bring Hannity to the world of video-streaming, launching “Hannity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content