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 LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES
UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Not many pundits and predictors had “Marvel Studios’ first outing for Disney Plus leading the field for all limited series” on their Emmy bingo cards. With 23 total nominations, the second-most overall of any series, “WandaVision” has much more heat than originally expected, given the sheer competition in this space. If the analysis of industry insiders is to be believed — that voters are looking for more positive, enjoyable fare — they could do much worse than awarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s crowning achievement.
After winning big at the Critics Choice, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild (even though they don’t have a prize for limited series ensemble), the streaming chess hit “The Queen’s Gambit” is taking its final awards lap at the Emmys. That winter momentum propelled it to 18 overall noms and made it an early front-runner. Things look less certain today, given how strong some other series have come in (and some of this one’s expected noms ended up being big snubs instead), but you can’t count it out yet. With the power of Netflix behind it, “The Queen’s Gambit” could still bring home more gold.
Picking up an impressive 16 Emmy noms overall, “Mare of Easttown,” a late bloomer in the final weeks of eligibility, was the talk of social media when it aired weekly in April and May. That was weeks ago, but what’s helping it now is that it is arguably in the top two spots for a number of races, including lead limited series/ TV movie actress (for Kate Winslet), supporting limited series/TV movie actress (for Julianne Nicholson), limited series/TV movie directing (for Craig Zobel), limited series/ TV movie writing (for Brad Ingelsby) and limited series/ TV movie casting. Being a 50-50 type of contender can easily turn into multiple wins and an excellent night for HBO. Look for “Mare” to get her happy ending.
Michaela Coel’s critically acclaimed series “I May Destroy You” survived a long road to the Emmys. The series was snubbed at the Golden Globes but gained momentum with BAFTA and Peabody wins and picked up nine overall noms here. Still, similar to an issue assumed for “The Underground Railroad,” we can’t be certain how many voters gave this show the proper time and dedication it deserved versus just checked it off on nomination-round ballots because of discourse around it. The good news is that Television Academy members love to vote down the line on their final ballots. So, if they check off Coel in lead actress and possibly writing and directing, this becomes an easier outcome to foresee.
If anyone heard loud cries and audible sobs on Emmy nomination morning, it was a large contingent of devoted followers of Barry Jenkins learning that his masterpiece adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel only managed seven ballot spots. The hurdles it now faces for the win are significant, including being the least nominated of the field and being a series voters may not have actually watched all the way through. This is often the case with art that deals in difficult subject matter. If enough voters take the time to watch it now, it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t get their votes. If not, maybe a consolation win for Jenkins in the directing category could be in the cards.
The viewing platform for Emmy nominees opens on Aug. 13, with final-round voting beginning on Aug. 19 at 9 a.m. PT until Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. PT.
Check out the full rankings of the category’s nominees in the chart below.
ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:
AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Limited or Anthology 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.
This category has continually undergone rule changes and inceptions over the years, making it misleading to account for significant historical wins and nominations. "Prime Suspect" has the most wins in this category with three, while "American Crime Story" is right behind with two. The former also has the most nominations for a continuing series with five, while "American Horror Story" is close behind with four.
Since the beginning of this category in 1973, HBO has the most wins in this category with 11, with NBC and PBS close behind with 10. No streaming platform has yet to win this category.
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Comedy Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Casting for a 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 or Anthology Series or Movie
- Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
- Outstanding Casting for a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie
- Outstanding Competition Program
- Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
- Outstanding Variety Talk Series
- Outstanding Animated Program
- Outstanding Short Form Animated 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.