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: June 24, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Audiences and critics revere just about everything of HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” and they have done an amazing job and making sure creator and star Michaela Coel goes hand-in-hand with the show’s success. Picking up key accolades thus far, such as Critics Choice and SAG nods, she is another shining example of the depth of brilliance many of the limited series encompasses this year. Because of that, she could be more vulnerable for a spot than many suspects.

It was a travesty that Danielle Brooks navigated the entirety of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” and never managed a single nomination for an impressive turn as the convicted felon Taystee. Now under the producing arm of executive producer Robin Roberts, she’s stepping into her most awards-friendly and baity role yet as the legendary singer Mahalia Jackson. The awards campaign for Lifetime could have a contender on their hands. 

Perhaps one of the best things that ever happened to awards campaign for National Geographic’s “Genius: Aretha” and its leading lady Cynthia Erivo, was seeing United Artist and MGM’s film version of Aretha Franklin’s life, “Respect,” get pushed back to summer 2021 due to the pandemic. This allowed the merits of Erivo’s electrifying performance to stand solely on its own merits and without comparison. Now, the double Oscar-nominee of “Harriet” (for actress and original song) looks to take on the TV Academy with a confident hand. 

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Oscar and Emmy winner Nicole Kidman? Lighting it up in HBO’s popular limited series “The Undoing” gave her an allowance to portray a different kind of woman we haven’t seen of her before. The former winner of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” While the series may have left some wanting more, you can never count out her depth of admiration and respect in Hollywood. 

In what very well could be one of the top three outings for the MCU, “WandaVision” had everyone glued to their screens each week, and much of that was the vulnerable execution of Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. The Scarlet Witch). It should come as no surprise if you’ve seen her work in films such as “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and in series such as “Sorry for Your Loss,” she could be that one nominee that gets the public excited about this year’s ceremony. 

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.


AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie)

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: Helen Mirren has the most wins in this category with four – “Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness” (1995), “The Passion of Ayn Rand” (1999), “Elizabeth I” (2005) and “Prime Suspect: The Final Act” (2006). Patty Duke and Laura Linney each have the second most with three.

For nominations: Helen Mirren is the most nominated actress in this category with 10. Judy Davis and Jessica Lange are second with seven each.

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.