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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.

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DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON

2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

UPDATED: June 3, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: It’s hard to imagine a world where Emmy winner Gillian Anderson’s take on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown” isn’t an automatic checkbox on Academy members’ ballots. She’s picked up all the televised award shows’ statues thus far. The SAG Award for female drama actor, which was the first time a supporting performance won that race since 2013 (Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”) was the most notable. She also has many of her co-stars following her for spots. A favorite for playing royalty, four-time Emmy nominee Helena Bonham Carter was a surprising loss at last year’s Emmys to Julia Garner (“Ozark”), but she’s back seeking her moment in the Emmy spotlight. Additionally, recent Academy Award winner (for original screenplay for “Promising Young Woman”) Emerald Fennell has charmed Hollywood and is now seeking Emmy attention for the first time since 2019, when she served as head writer on “Killing Eve.”

There are also multiple women from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” including Emmy winners Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley, alongside former nominee Yvonne Strahovski and possible first-timer Madeline Brewer, in the mix. And then there’s Wunmi Mosaku, whose stellar work as Ruby Baptiste, Leti’s half-sister in HBO’s horror-drama “Lovecraft Country” will be remembered for years to come. She is a contender in this category, as are her co-stars Aunjanue Ellis and Jamie Chung.

But let’s get something straight off the bat: We’ve allowed four seasons of “This Is Us” to pass by without a nomination for the amazing Susan Kelechi Watson as the powerhouse Beth Pearson, and we should be ashamed of such a sin. As the show is signing off next season, time is winding down to give her the recognition she deserves. Let’s not let it pass by again.

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.


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Des Willie/Netflix

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Gillian Anderson
    "The Crown" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Five nominations, one win (lead drama actress for "The X Files" in 1997)
    ROLE: Margaret Thatcher

    CREATOR: Peter Morgan
    SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell


  2. Helena Bonham Carter
    "The Crown" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Four nominations
    ROLE: Princess Margaret

    CREATOR: Peter Morgan
    SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell


  3. Ann Dowd
    "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Three nominations, one win (supporting drama actress for "The Handmaid's Tale" in 2017)
    ROLE: Aunt Lydia

    CREATOR: Bruce Miller
    SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
    STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford


  4. Wunmi Mosaku
    "Lovecraft Country" (HBO)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ruby Baptiste

    CREATOR: Misha Green
    SYNOPSIS: A young African American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.
    STARRING: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jada Harris, Michael K. Williams


  5. Samira Wiley
    "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Three nominations, one win (guest drama actress for "The Handmaid's Tale" in 2018)
    ROLE: Moira Strand

    CREATOR: Bruce Miller
    SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
    STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford


  6. Madeline Brewer
    "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Janine Lindo

    CREATOR: Bruce Miller
    SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
    STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford


  7. Yvonne Strahovski
    "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
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    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Serena Joy Waterford

    CREATOR: Bruce Miller
    SYNOPSIS: Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
    STARRING: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Nina Kiri, Alexis Bledel, Bahia Watson, Bradley Whitford


  8. Emerald Fennell
    "The Crown" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Two nominations
    ROLE: Camilla Parker Bowles 

    CREATOR: Peter Morgan
    SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell


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NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. Susan Kelechi Watson
    "This Is Us" (NBC)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Beth Pearson

    CREATOR: Dan Fogelman
    SYNOPSIS: A heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets, their struggles and their wonderful parents.
    STARRING: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Alexandra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Eris Baker, Faithe Herman, Lonnie Chavis, Melanie Liburd, Lyric Ross, Asante Blackk, Griffin Dunne, Caitlin Thompson


  2. Cynthia Nixon
    "Ratched" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Five nominations, two wins (supporting comedy actress for "Sex and the City" in 2004 and guest drama actress for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in 2008)
    ROLE: Gwendolyn Briggs

    CREATOR: Ryan Murphy, Evan Romansky
    SYNOPSIS: In 1947, Mildred Ratched begins working as a nurse at a leading psychiatric hospital. But beneath her stylish exterior lurks a growing darkness.
    STARRING: Finn Wittrock, Sarah Paulson, Jon Jon Briones, Charlie Carver, Brandon Flynn, Judy Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Amanda Plummer, Sharon Stone


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TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  1. Aunjanue Ellis
    "Lovecraft Country" (HBO)
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    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Hippolyta Freeman

    CREATOR: Misha Green
    SYNOPSIS: A young African American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.
    STARRING: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jada Harris, Michael K. Williams


  2. Tatiana Maslany
    "Perry Mason" (HBO)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Three nominations, one win (lead drama actress for "Orphan Black" in 2016)
    ROLE: Sister Alice McKeegan

    CREATORS: Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald
    SYNOPSIS: In booming 1932 Los Angeles, a down-and-out defense attorney takes on the case of a lifetime.
    STARRING: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow


  3. Erin Doherty
    "The Crown" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Princess Anne

    CREATOR: Peter Morgan
    SYNOPSIS: Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, Josh O'Connor, Emma Corrin, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Stephen Boxer, Emerald Fennell


  4. Chloë Sevigny
    "We Are Who We Are" (HBO)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Sarah Wilson

    CREATORS: Sean Conway, Paolo Giordano, Luca Guadagnino, Francesca Manieri
    SYNOPSIS: Two American teenagers come of age while living on an American military base in Italy.
    STARRING: Chloë Sevigny, Jack Dylan Grazer, Alice Braga, Jordan Kristine Seamón, Spence Moore II, Scott Mescudi, Faith Alabi, Francesca Scorsese, Ben Taylor, Corey Knight, Tom Mercier


  5. Chrissy Metz
    "This Is Us" (NBC)
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    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Kate Pearson

    CREATOR: Dan Fogelman
    SYNOPSIS: A heartwarming and emotional story about a unique set of triplets, their struggles and their wonderful parents.
    STARRING: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Jon Huertas, Alexandra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Eris Baker, Faithe Herman, Lonnie Chavis, Melanie Liburd, Lyric Ross, Asante Blackk, Griffin Dunne, Caitlin Thompson


  6. Dominique Jackson
    "Pose" (FX)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Elektra

    CREATORS: Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
    SYNOPSIS: Drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the late 1980s.
    STARRING: Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Jason Rodriguez, Dyllón Burnside, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Sandra Bernhard


  7. Indya Moore
    "Pose" (FX)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Angel

    CREATORS: Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
    SYNOPSIS: Drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the late 1980s.
    STARRING: Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Jason Rodriguez, Dyllón Burnside, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, Sandra Bernhard


  8. Adjoa Andoh
    "Bridgerton" (Netflix)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Lady Danbury

    CREATOR: Chris Van Dusen
    SYNOPSIS: Wealth, lust, and betrayal set against the backdrop of Regency-era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.
    STARRING: Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, Phoebe Dynevor, Ruth Gemmell, Florence Hunt, Claudia Jessie, Ben Miller, Luke Newton, Regé-Jean Page, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Thompson, Will Tilston, Polly Walker, Julie Andrews


  9. Jamie Chung
    "Lovecraft Country" (HBO)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ji-Ah

    CREATOR: Misha Green
    SYNOPSIS: A young African American travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.
    STARRING: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jada Harris, Michael K. Williams


  10. Phillipa Soo
    "The Bite" (CBS)
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    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Cydni Estereo

    CREATOR: Chris Brancato, Paul Eckstein
    SYNOPSIS: "The Bite" follows the lives of two neighbors Rachel (Audra McDonald, "The Good Fight") and Lily (Taylor Schilling, "Orange is the New Black") as they embark on unprecedented times when a deadly new strain of a virus arrives.
    STARRING: Audra McDonald, Taylor Schilling, Steven Pasquale, Phillipa Soo, Will Swenson, Leslie Uggams


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(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. Chuck Zlotnick / Courtesy of Marvel Studios

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Supporting Actress in a Drama 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: Nancy Marchand has the most wins in this category with four, all for her work as Margaret Pynchon in "Lou Grant," three of which were consecutive. Ellen Corby is second in line with three.

For an entire series, "Lou Grant" has the most wins with four while "St. Elsewhere," "The Waltons" and "The West Wing" with three apiece.

For nominations: Tyne Daly has the most nominations with eight, with Nancy Marchand and Betty Thomas close behind with seven.

"Hill Street Blues" is the series that has received the most nominations in this category over its run, with 13 nominations, with "Game of Thrones" close behind with 12.


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.