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
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THE EMMYS HUB
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(DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON)
2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)
UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: A five-time nominee this year, Bo Burnham’s musical special “Inside” was just what the doctor ordered at the last second during the eligibility window. Netflix has given it a big push, and it may find its way past other bigger name competitors in the category.
Spike Lee’s helming of Broadway show “David Byrne’s American Utopia” debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2020 first and received critical acclaim immediately. Admittedly, it made more noise at that fest than when it launched on the premium cabler, but surely there are many Talking Heads fans within the ranks of the Television Academy that will show this one love.
Our six favorite New York friends came together for “Friends: The Reunion” and provided an astounding retrospective on the sitcom’s 10 glorious seasons. With behind-the-scenes insights and meticulously recreated sets, it was the talk of social media when it first streamed in May. It also brought the long-snubbed Courteney Cox her first Emmy nom, which kept the discussion going. That momentum could carry it onto the stage in September.
The filmed version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton” dropped in the height of the pandemic last summer, offering locked-down audiences a taste of the live performances they had been missing. As the only nominee here with multiple acting nominations, it has a clear advantage.
The stage version of the classic episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” brought a new twist on a beloved tale. “The West Wing” was a TV Academy darling during its original run (winning 26 Emmys, including four consecutive drama series statues from 2000-03), and this special already brought home a DGA for Thomas Schlamme, which increases its clout.
Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special “8:46” was one of the first to drop in the middle of the pandemic, and while it offered plenty of laughs, it came on the heels of George Floyd’s murder, hitting a sensitive chord within America. It had early heat, but more feel-good projects have thus far pushed to the front of this pack.
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.
ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
- Outstanding Comedy Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Television Movie
- Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
- Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie
- Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
- Outstanding Casting for a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie
- Outstanding Competition Program
- Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
- Outstanding Variety Talk Series
- Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
- Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
- Outstanding Variety Special (Live)
- Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
- Outstanding Animated Program
- Outstanding Short Form Animated Program
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.