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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UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Benjamin Caron steered the “Fairytale” episode of “The Crown,” which lead drama actress front-runner Emma Corrin submitted as well. That, combined with the industry respect he has makes him one of the top contenders for the award. He was double nominated last year but lost out to “Succession’s” Andrij Parekh. With that HBO phenomenon out of the way, this could be his year — if he doesn’t split too many votes with fellow “Crown” director Jessica Hobbs, who also received her second consecutive nom.

Hobbs’ second consecutive nod comes for “War,” which is also nominated for writing. The episode’s double exposure may not rub off on her a lot, though; the drama directing and drama writing winner hasn’t matched since“TheHandmaid’sTale” took them both in 2017. (Even “Succession” won for two separate episodes last year.) Also, a split could be in the cards with fellow “Crown” nominee Caron.

A blockbuster filmmaker and an outstanding series writer and director, Jon Favreau’s hand on “The Mandalorian” piece of the “Star Wars” universe is undeniably strong. He is nominated here for “Chapter 9: The Marshal” but “Chapter 16: The Rescue” scored him a writing nom. That kind of increased momentum only helps his chances for the win. The question remains how many ballot boxes Television Academy voters will check off for a genre series.

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Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

Steven Canals, co-creator and showrunner of FX ballroom culture period piece “Pose,” is on this ballot for the supersized (and super emotional) series finale, for which he also has a writing nom. If nostalgia kicks in, some voters may go down the line for the series that signed off in June, but he does face stiff competition from series that made a bigger splash with noms (“TheCrown,” “TheMandalorian”). If he wins, he will be the first Black winner of this category since 1999 (Paris Barclay for “NYPD Blue”).

Liz Garbus is a dominant force in the documentary world, but this is her first scripted turn on TV. (She has two prior Emmys in the docu/nonfiction special category.) Helming the fourth season finale of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Wilderness,” Garbus had a tall order on her hands in delivering a morally complex and murderous ending. It was one of the most talked-about episodes of a series that got a second wind this season. Also,the last woman to win this category was Reed Morano for the first season of this show. Perhaps that is a good sign for Garbus.

Julie Anne Robinson is one of three women nominated in this category, the second consecutive year in a row that three were recognized, which signals much progress in the industry. However, despite a DGA nom for the same episode of “Bridgerton” (“Diamond of the First Water”), with “The Crown” dominating total nods, it doesn’t seem likely that Robinson will be able to muster a winning moment.

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.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd./Disney Plus



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.

2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions