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: The Oscar-winning Barry Jenkins, who is enjoying his very first Emmy nom, is likely to pick up extra votes fromt those who are upset his adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel didn’t score more attention. After hearing about snubs, perhaps more Television Academy members have taken the time to watch the Amazon Prime Video project before submitting final-round ballots. If he wins, he will be just the second Black director to do so.

“I May Destroy You” creator and star Michaela Coel’s addition to this ballot makes this a historic nom: She is now the first Black woman to be nominated for producing, writing, directing and acting in the same year and only the second person overall to score all of those noms at once. If the TV Academy wants to make a statement about previous snubs by other awards orgs, the entry “Ego Death” may get a few more votes.

“I May Destroy You’s” Sam Miller is nominated solo for the HBO limited series with “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes,” which has a bit more heat as an episode than the one for which he shares a nomination with Coel. Other than his two total noms this year, he picked up one in this category in 2012 for “Luther.” Overall, though, there are obstacles to overcome for the win — namely noisier series and bigger names.

Industry staple Scott Frank comes into the race with the same three noms he received for his previous Netflix project, “Godless”: writing, directing and limited series. In 2018, he lost all three races, but now he has momentum from “The Queen’s Gambit’s” success on the winter awards circuit, including winning the DGA. He has been an early favorite in this race for quite some time.

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The Underground Railroad. Barry Jenkins (L) and Nicholas Britell. Courtesy of Emma McIntyre/Amazon

Two-time Emmy winner (for 2016’s “Grease Live!”) Thomas Kail won a Tony for the Broadway production of “Hamilton.” His obstacles to taking this trophy will be overcoming perception that “Hamilton” is not a movie nor a limited series and therefore an outlier in this category. But, as lines continue to blur between media, a win for Kail would signal the Academy is ready for a new entertainment experience.

Matt Shakman crashed the Emmys last year with his first nom (comedy directing for“The Great”) and now is back after helming “WandaVision.” The Disney Plus series had buzz growing week-to-week, which is hard to accomplish in today’s overcrowded landscape. Shakman deserves a lot of credit for that success. He could be a dark horse, especially with this show being the most-nominated limited series.

An incredible independent filmmaker, Craig Zobel graduated into series such as the critically acclaimed but criminally ignored “The Leftovers.” In a way, his recognition for HBO crime drama “Mare of Easttown” (his first-ever Emmy nomination) could encompass some past snubs. Still, while the awards buzz for the show grew throughout Phase 1 voting, it may have peaked already, with wins more likely in acting and writing than here.

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 Matt Shakman



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