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Final Emmy Predictions: Documentary (Series) – Beauty of ‘The Beatles’ Takes On the Horrors of Bill Cosby

Other contenders include 'The Andy Warhol Diaries,' 'Jeen-Yuhs,' 'Nuclear Family' and 'Secrets of Playboy'

The Beatles Get Back Documentary Peter
Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd./Disney+
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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
To see old predictions and commentary, click the EMMY PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
For film awards predictions go toTHE OSCARS HUB

UPDATED: July 9, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY (SERIES)

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY

Directed and produced by visionary filmmaker and Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), the eight hour special has been a critical smash and huge on the streaming platform. Already picking up accolades along the way, including the PGA prize, a nomination seems like a lock for “The Beatles: Get Back.”

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“We Need to Talk About Cosby” Showtime

An Emmy-winner for his “United Shades of America” series, W. Kamau Bell’s intense and eye-opening exploration of the life, career and conviction (and overturning of that conviction) of Bill Cosby was among the best works to screen at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Showtime. “We Need to Talk About Cosby” could go the distance.

Executive produced by Emmy darling Ryan Murphy, “The Andy Warhol Diaries” follows the artist as he narrates his own diary entries through the employment of AI technology (voiced by Bill Irwin), as weell as contemporaries and other Warhol experts. The Netflix series could strike a chord of nostalgia with members.

Ry Russo-Young (Gotham Award winner “You Won’t Miss Me”) turns the camera on herself in “Nuclear Family,” the three-episode series, offering a poignant examination of her mother’s fight to keep her children after being sued by the sperm donors. The timely nature of the piece could strike a chord with voters, especially as reproductive rights continue to be under attack in America.

“NYC Epicenters: 9/11→2021½” is a sobering look at life and death told through the eyes of one of cinema’s masters, Spike Lee. The miniseries chronicles New York City from the Sept. 11 attacks up to the COVID-19 pandemic, sharpening the hard truth of the city’s never-ending fight for survival. Already an Emmy winner, anything Lee touches remains in the awards conversation.

A four-part look into the rise and courage of Earvin Johnson, also known as Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers superstar. One of the last drops into the race, if enough of the TV Academy got to “They Call Me Magic,” it could be a shoo-in for some love, especially voters who remember the “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s.
Following the life of controversial figure and Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West, “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” is an intimate portrait of his rise from musician to businessman. In addition, it’s one of the more viewed docs in contention this year.

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The Andy Warhol Diaries. Andy Warhol in The Andy Warhol Diaries. Cr. Netflix © 2022 Andy Warhol Foundation/Netflix

Helmed by director Chris Smith, whose “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” (2017) and “Fyre” (2019) received Emmy nominations, the seven-episode HBO docu-series “100 Foot Wave,” revolving around big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara was a massive hit with critics in July 2021. Goodwill and a second season pickup carries it far with voters.

“McCartney 3,2, 1” – the six-part series, produced by Rick Rubin, icon Paul McCartney discusses his work with the Beatles and as one of the greatest solo artists of all time. Likely helped immensely by the other Beatles doc in the race, it stands a solid chance of squeezing into the category.

One of the new kids on the block, the series follows actor Will Smith (pre-Oscars slap) as he sets out to offer insight into some of the world’s most remote and uncharted locations. With executive producers Ari Handel, Darren Aronofsky and Jane Root, this could be an interesting test to see how Smith will either tank (or increase) the chances for Emmy love.

Also in the mix is “Everything’s Gonna Be All White” from Showtime, “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” from HBO,” “American Masters” from PBS and “Voir” from Netflix.

See the complete final predictions for all 101 Emmy categories here.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The full television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: “Secrets of the Whales” (Disney+)


ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

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Courtesy of Netflix Courtesy of Netflix
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:
RANK SERIES NETWORK
1 “The Beatles: Get Back” Disney+
2 “We Need to Talk About Cosby” Showtime
3 “Nuclear Family” HBO
4 “NYC Epicenters 9/11→2021½” HBO
5 “The Andy Warhol Diaries” Netflix
NEXT IN LINE
6 “Secrets of Playboy” A&E
7 “Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” Netflix
8 “They Call Me Magic” Apple TV+
9 “McCartney 3,2,1” Hulu
10 “Everything’s Gonna Be All White” Showtime
ALSO IN CONTENTION
11 “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” HBO
12 “American Masters” PBS
13 “Welcome to Earth” National Geographic
14 “The Invisible Pilot” HBO
15 “Music Box” HBO
16 “100 Foot Wave” HBO
17 “Voir” Netflix
18 “Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story” Peacock
19 “Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives” Netflix
20 “Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer” Netflix
UNRANKED CONTENDERS
“Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” To be added
“Always Jane” To be added
“Artful” To be added
“Behind the Attraction” To be added
“Bug Out” To be added
“Cold Case Files” To be added
“Conversation with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes” Peacock
“Dear…” Apple TV+
“Diana” To be added
“Eden: Untamed Planet” To be added
“Heist” To be added
“Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed” To be added
“Invisible Monsters: Serial Killers In America” To be added
“Jailhouse Redemption” To be added
“Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury” To be added
“Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole” To be added
“King of the Con” To be added
“Last Chance Transplant” To be added
“Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary” To be added
“LulaRich” To be added
“Muhammad Ali” To be added
“Mysterious Death of Easy E” To be added
“Naomi Osaka” To be added
“New York Homicide” To be added
“Once Upon a Time in Queens” To be added
“Origins of Hip Hop” To be added
“Our Great National Parks” Netflix
“Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy” To be added
“Preaching Evil: A Wife on the Run with Jarren Jeffe” To be added
“Profiled: The Black Man” To be added
“Real PD: Kansas City” To be added
“Reframed: Marilyn Monroe” To be added
“Rich & Shameless” To be added
“Secrets of the Chippendales Murders” To be added
“Serengeti II” To be added
“The American Presidency with Bill Clinton” To be added
“The Big Conn” Apple TV+
“The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For” To be added
“The Deep End” To be added
“The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet” To be added
“The Missing Children” To be added
“The Program: Prison Detox” To be added
“The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin” HBO
“Tiger King 2” Netflix
“UFO” Showtime
“Untold” Netflix
“Uprising” To be added
“Who Do You Believe?” To be added
“Worst Roommate Ever” Netflix
“WWE Evil” To be added

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized 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 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.