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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2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
UPDATED: July 29, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: It looks to be full steam ahead for Netflix’s “The Crown,” tied for the most overall noms this year with 24. There might be an opening for Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian,” which could pose a threat to its frontrunning status, especially if voters are all-in for the streaming platform to go along with “WandaVision” in limited series.
Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett of the now-canceled “Lovecraft Country” made history as the first two Black leads to be nominated from the same drama series, and if voters can’t check them off there, maybe a series win for a canceled inaugural series, which would be a first in history, could shake things up.
The viewing platform for Emmy nominees opens on Aug. 13, with final-round voting, beginning on Aug. 19 at 9:00 am PT until Aug. 30 at 10:00 pm PT.
Check out the full rankings of the category’s nominees in the chart below.
ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:
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.