Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.
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(DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON)
2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
UPDATED: June 3, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The first season of Jon Favreau’s space Western was a surprising but deserving winner at the Creative Arts Emmys last year when it picked up seven of its prizes, leading some to think that it was much more of a contender in the drama series category than initially perceived. For this second season, Disney Plus will be even more strategic in its campaigning and might be an inspired alternative to traditional awards flair.
The superhero genre is popping up more in the television medium, in turn, being taken more serious in the awards conversations and the hit Amazon Prime series based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis has gained a larger following in its second season. As Marvel maintains its momentum in awards spaces, a DC Comics entry is probably closer on the horizon especially given this robust cast and crew.
The cultural significance of FX’s “Pose” has been palpable in the industry from Billy Porter winning lead actor drama in its inaugural season to its commentary on race, gender and the LGBTQ community. As its series finale remains fresh in the minds of audiences and voters, its impact on Hollywood could be recognized one last time with a focused campaign.
Misha Green’s fantasy-horror drama had strong reviews and audience reception when it premiered in August 2020. With a diverse cast and crew, it’s a timely piece for the Emmys to recognize, and offers up a few opportunities for historical representation – most notably, Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett could be the first Black leads of drama series to be nominated in the same year for the same series.
The HBO reboot of the CBS classic series changed up its time setting and found admiration for its actors, most notably Emmy winners Matthew Rhys and John Lithgow. Likely to a favorite in the Creative Arts categories, much of that love can spill over into major recognition. It’ll fight with its early June 2020 release and other HBO contenders, but its stylish crafts should keep it in the conversation.
The eligibility period ends on May 31 before nomination-round voting begins on June 17, concluding June 28. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, 2021.
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:
Season four (Nov. 15, 2020 release date)
CREATOR: Peter Morgan
SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell
"The Handmaid's Tale"(Hulu)
Season four (Apr. 28, 2021 release date)
CREATOR: Bruce Miller
SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenie, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford
"The Mandalorian"(Disney Plus)
Season two (Dec. 18, 2020)
CREATOR: Jon Favreau
SYNOPSIS: The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
STARRING: Pedro Pascal
Season one (Aug. 16, 2021)
CREATOR: Misha Green
SYNOPSIS: A young African-American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.
STARRING: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jada Harris, Michael K. Williams
Season one (Dec. 25, 2020)
CREATORS: Chris Van Dusen
SYNOPSIS: Wealth, lust, and betrayal set against the backdrop of Regency-era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.
STARRING: Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, Phoebe Dynevor, Ruth Gemmell, Florence Hunt, Claudia Jessie, Ben Miller, Luke Newton, Regé-Jean Page, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Thompson, Will Tilston, Polly Walker, Julie Andrews
Season three (May 2, 2021)
CREATORS: Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
SYNOPSIS: Drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the late 1980s.
STARRING: Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Jason Rodriguez, Dyllón Burnside, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Sandra Bernhard
"This Is Us"(NBC)
Season five (Oct. 27, 2021)
CREATOR: Dan Fogelman
SYNOPSIS: A heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets, their struggles and their wonderful parents.
STARRING: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Alexadra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Eris Baker, Faithe Herman, Lonnie Chavis, Melanie Liburd, Lyric Ross, Asante Blackk, Griffin Dunne, Caitlin Thompson
"The Mosquito Coast"(Apple TV Plus)
Season one (Apr. 30, 2021)
CREATOR: Neil Cross
SYNOPSIS: An idealist uproots his family and moves them to Latin America.
STARRING: Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Logan Polish, Gabriel Bateman, Kimberly Elise, James LeGros
NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:
Season four (May 23, 2021)
CREATORS: Rodrigo García, Hagai Levi, Nir Bergman
SYNOPSIS: A psychotherapist questions his abilities and gets help by reuniting with his old therapist, whom he has not seen for ten years.
STARRING: Uzo Aduba, Anthony Ramos, Liza Colón-Zayas, John Benjamin Hickey, Quintessa Swindell, Joel Kinnaman
Season one (June 21, 2020)
CREATORS: Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald
SYNOPSIS: In booming 1932 Los Angeles, a down-and-out defense attorney takes on the case of a lifetime.
STARRING: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow
"We Are Who We Are"(HBO)
Season one (Sept. 14, 2020)
CREATORS: Sean Conway, Paolo Giordano, Luca Guadagnino, Francesca Manieri
SYNOPSIS: Two American teenagers come of age while living on an American military base in Italy.
STARRING: Chloë Sevigny, Jack Dylan Grazer, Alice Braga, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Spence Moore II, Scott Mescudi, Faith Alabi, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Taylor, Corey Knight, Tom Mercier
"The Boys"(Amazon Prime Video)
Season two (Sept. 4, 2020)
CREATOR: Eric Kripke
SYNOPSIS: A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.
STARRING: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, Elisabeth Shue, Colby Minifie, Aya Cash
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"(Disney Plus)
Season one (March 19, 2021)
CREATOR: Malcolm Spellman
SYNOPSIS: Following the events of 'Avengers: Endgame,' Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities -- and their patience.
STARRING: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Danny Ramirez, Georges St-Pierre, Adepero Oduye, Don Cheadle, Daniel Brühl, Emily VanCamp, Florence Kasumba, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
"For All Mankind"(Apple TV Plus)
Season two (April 23, 2021)
CREATOR: Ronald D. Moore, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert
SYNOPSIS: In an alternative version of 1969, the Soviet Union beats the United States to the Moon, and the space race continues on for decades with still grander challenges and goals.
STARRING: Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones
"Raised By Wolves"(HBO Max)
Season one (Sept. 3, 2020)
CREATOR: Aaron Guzikowski
SYNOPSIS: Androids are tasked with raising human children on a mysterious planet.
STARRING: Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Winta McGrath, Travis Fimmel, Niamh Algar, Jordan Loughran
Season one (July 12, 2020)
CREATOR: Katori Hall
SYNOPSIS: Follows the lives of strip club dancers working down in the Dirty Delta.
STARRING: Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton, Elarica Johnson, Skyler Joy, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Parker Sawyers, Harret D. Foy
Season three (March. 16, 2021)
CREATOR: Elgin James, Kurt Sutter
SYNOPSIS: Set in a post-Jax Teller world, "Mayans MC" sees EZ Reyes, a former golden boy now fresh out of prison, as a prospect in the Mayan MC charter on the California-Mexico border who must carve out his new outlaw identity.
STARRING: JD Pardo, Clayton Cardenas, Sarah Bolger. Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Raoul Max Trujillo
Season one (Nov. 9, 2020)
CREATOR: Chris Brancato, Paul Eckstein
SYNOPSIS: A gangster named Bumpy Johnson makes his way in Harlem during the 1960s. A TV prequel to the 2007 film, 'American Gangster', which centered on the criminal enterprise of Frank Lucas.
STARRING: Forest Whitaker, Nigel Thatch, Ilfenesh Hadera, Lucy Fry, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Vincent D'Onofrio, Erik LaRay Harvey, Giancarlo Esposito
Season three (June 21, 2020)
CREATOR: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson
SYNOPSIS: A ranching family in Montana faces off against others encroaching on their land..
STARRING: Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Gil Birmingham, Ian Bohen
Season one (Feb. 11, 2021)
CREATORS: Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet
SYNOPSIS: A look at the untold personal story of FBI agent Clarice Starling, as she returns to the field about a year after the events of "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991).
STARRING: Rebecca Breeds, Michael Cudlitz, Lucca De Oliveira, Nick Sandow, Devyn A. Tyler, Kal Penn
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):
AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Drama Series)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television’s most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.
For wins: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” holds the record for most wins for a series in a single year with 12 (in 2015, 2016 and 2019), most collective wins for a drama series with 59 (across eight seasons), most wins for a single episode with six (for “Battle of the Bastards” in 2016) and most wins for a series and drama series in its final season with 12 (in 2019). “Game of Thrones” is also tied for most wins for outstanding drama series with four – along with “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing.” “Hillstreet Blues,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing” won their four awards consecutively. “The West Wing” also holds the record for most wins in its first season with nine, while it shares the record for most wins for acting across an entire drama series at nine, along with “Breaking Bad” and “The Sopranos.”
There are four shows that have won this category three times – “The Defenders,” “Dragnet,” “Playhouse 90,” which all won consecutively, and “Upstairs, Downstairs.”
For nominations: “Game of Thrones” holds the record for most nominations overall for an entire drama series with 161. It also holds the most nominations for a drama series in a single year and its final season with 32 (2019). AMC’s “Mad Men” holds the record for the most nominations without a win in a single year, going zero for 17 (in 2012). “NYPD Blue” holds the record for most nominations in its first season at 27 (in 1994), while “Law & Order” has the record for most nominations ever for an entire drama series at 11.
For networks, NBC has the most wins in this category with 21 with CBS following with 18. Hulu is the first and only streaming service to win this category with “The Handmaid’s Tale” (in 2017).
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Comedy Series
- Outstanding Television Movie
- Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
- Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
- Outstanding Variety Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
- Outstanding Competition Program
About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)
The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, is given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards recognize excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements) and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.
- The 73rd Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 pm est on CBS and on-demand on sister streamer Paramount Plus.