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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2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Looking for every opportunity to unseat a frontrunner, “Hacks” seems pretty close to grabbing multiple prizes if it can exploit some vote-splitting tactics. Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs are enjoying their first nominations here, while Jen Statsky is now a three-time nominee. (She picked up two prior noms for “The Good Place” in comedy series.) Aniello is double nominated (also up in the directing race) for the pilot episode, “There Is No Line.” The extra visibility boosts the show here, and the script is sharp, laying down some of the first season’s best one-liners. Watch out for an upset.
Maya Erskine was nominated in this category in 2019, but then she shared the recognition with Anna Konkle and Stacy Osei-Kuffour. She’s solo this time around for the second season episode “Play,” and the show also landed a very helpful comedy series mention. However, it is still a smaller series than many of the others in the category, which unfortunately relegates it to the background of conversation at the moment.
For the past three Emmy Award ceremonies, the winner of this category went on to win comedy series. That bodes well for “Ted Lasso,” which is the front-runner in that race already. The pilot episode also includes showrunner Bill Lawrence on the ballot, giving it an edge. The beginning of any series generally tends to do well with voters as well (see “Modern Family” and “Arrested Development”). That makes this one a likely safe bet.
The other nomination for the Apple TV Plus comedy comes from a trio of writers for the “Make Rebecca Great Again” episode that comes toward the end of the first season. It’s loved by voters, picking up noms elsewhere (directing, for example), but it did not make as much of a splash as the beginning of the season and therefore is a longer shot for the win.
The hilarious and talented Meredith Scardino is comedic royalty at the Emmys. She won four awards from her time on “The Colbert Report” and picked up other mentions since then for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and the Golden Globe Awards when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted in 2015. “Girls5eva” was one of the most exciting shows of the year, with an impeccable ensemble. Scardino’s nominated pilot set up all of that. Unfortunately, being the only nom for the Peacock series, a win may be the longest of long shots, but crazier things have happened on Emmy night
The HBO Max adaptation of the popular novel of the same name showcases Steve Yockey’s ability to blend tone in clever ways. He sets up a surprisingly dark comedy in “In Case of Emergency,” which is also nominated for directing. That double exposure helps keep Emmy voters focused, but the series has lost some heat since the winter awards season, so it will be an uphill battle to get enough ballot boxes checked.
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:
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
- 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