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 to
THE OSCARS HUB
UPDATED: August 4, 2022
2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:
With an incredible year that included “Don’t Look Up” and the limited series “Candy,” Melanie Lynskey picked up her first Emmy nom. As the central figure of Showtime’s survival drama, she ignites the TV screen playing Shauna, the trauma-ridden mother, with an underlying intensity. With a big win from Critics Choice, she’s a real dark horse, representing an easy way to reward the series that landed seven noms, including two for writing.
Continuing to shatter ceilings, Zendaya earned four noms this year, becoming the youngest two-time nominee ever. Her drama series nom made her the youngest woman ever nominated for producing. She became the first Black person recognized for acting, music and lyrics in the same year, with two mentions. Her role has been considered the front-runner for months, despite SAG Awards ignoring her. Can she continue her historic run?
Landing her eighth nom, Laura Linney is beloved with four Emmys on her mantle to date — “Frasier,” “Wild Iris,” “John Adams” and “The Big C.” Her turn as Wendy Byrde in the Netflix crime series has been one of her most praised, but she has yet to win despite three previous mentions for the show. However, the final season sentiment could carry her to the moment on stage.
The most jaw-dropping name on Emmy nom morning was Reese Witherspoon for her role in the Apple TV+ drama series. Even more shocking, Witherspoon got in without her co-star Jennifer Aniston, who landed the crucial SAG Award mention. But, in hindsight, so did Reese. With her fourth career nom, with one win as an executive producer of “Big Little Lies,” can she continue to surprise on the circuit?
Thirteen Emmy nominations are part of Sandra Oh’s impressive resume, including her role as Eve Polastri in BBC’s drama series this year. However, despite being the first actress of Asian descent nominated in the category, she’s yet to win. It’s a sad stat considering she seemed destined to win twice but lost to Claire Foy (“The Crown”) and her co-star Jodie Comer, who’s also in the mix again. So it’s an uphill climb, but she’s has support in the industry.
Jodie Comer won this category in 2019 for her turn as Villanelle in the BBC America drama. She got past some big names to sneak into the lineup, which was undoubtedly helped by coming off a big year in Hollywood with “Free Guy” and “The Last Duel.” Unfortunately, this race hasn’t had a repeat acting winner since Claire Danes in “Homeland,” which could be a difficult hurdle to clear, along with vote splitting.
The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.
The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.
2021 category winner: Olivia Colman, “The Crown” (Netflix)
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:
AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Lead Actress Drama)
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: Tyne Daly and Michael Learned have the most awards in this category with four, while Barbara Bain, Kathy Baker, Edie Falco and Loretta Young all have three each. “Cagney & Lacey” is the series with the most awards in this category, with six.
For nominations: Angela Lansbury has the most nominations in this category with 12, which were all consecutive, failing to win. The next most nominated actors are Sharon Gless, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Learned and Julianna Margulies, with eight apiece.
“Cagney & Lacey” and “Murder, She Wrote” are the series with the most nominations in this category, with 12 each.
2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Comedy Series
- 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 Competition Program
- Outstanding Variety Talk Series
2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions
- Outstanding Television Movie
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
- Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
- Outstanding Reality Host
- Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
- Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
- Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
- Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
- Outstanding Animated Program
- Outstanding Short Form Animated Program
- Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
- Outstanding Narrator
- Outstanding Structured Program
- Outstanding Unstructured Program
- Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
- Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special
- Outstanding Documentary Filmmaking
- Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special
- Outstanding Main Title Design
- Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
- Outstanding Music for Series
- Outstanding Music for Limited Series
- Outstanding Music and Lyrics
- Outstanding Music Supervision
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.