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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.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each individual category, according to the awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
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DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON

2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

UPDATED: June 24, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: When Showtime’s adaptation of James McBride’s “The Good Lord Bird” premiered, people penciled in Ethan Hawke to snatch his first television nomination for his portrayal of John Brown. Thus far, he’s scored nods from both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. With Emmys to likely follow, in part because the four-time Oscar nominee doesn’t do a lot of television, he’s one of the easiest ways to recognize the series in a major way. 

The filmed version of the hit Broadway musical was one of the key items that lifted spirits amid the pandemic in July 2020. What better way to reward it for its efforts than its writer and star, who received a nomination from the Golden Globes, although on the film side? With the added attention around Lin-Manuel Miranda with “In the Heights,” he could be a safe bet.

The Tony Award winning Leslie Odom Jr is fresh off double Oscar noms for One Night in Miami,” which only serves to elevate his visibility for Emmy voters. He is one of our most talented performers in the industry but will likely split some votes with co-star Miranda. 

With nineteen nominations (four wins) — all in variety special categories — this serious attempt from Chris Rock could be a slam dunk for voters, even if some are reluctant on his chances. There’s nothing better than seeing a comedic actor and performer try something different, surprising the viewer in the midst. 

After being snubbed for his work on “Fleabag,” the Irish-born Andrew Scott is back in Emmy contention, now with HBO backing him up. The timing of this television movie could not be more perfect, coming just days before the end of eligibility to keep it fresh in voters’ minds, and he has industry respect to boot. 

The eligibility period ends on May 31 before nomination-round voting begins on June 17, concluding on June 28. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, 2021.


ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Lead Actor Limited 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: This category has had many rule changes and inceptions in its history, but it's worth noting that Laurence Olivier has the most wins in this category, with four with Peter Ustinov behind him with three.

For nominations: Hal Holbrook has the most nominations in this category of any actor with seven, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Laurence Olivier follow close behind with six apiece.


2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

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.