We’re only a couple of weeks away from the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, where the Television Academy will crown the most outstanding shows of the past year. Last year, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) and Veep (HBO) took home the top prizes for Drama Series and Comedy Series, respectively. There will be a new winner in the Comedy category this year, as Veep did not air any new episodes in the eligibility period in preparation for their seventh and final season.
So, who’s going to win at this year’s ceremony? Let’s take a look into the major series and acting categories.
We could say that the frontrunner is last year’s winner, The Handmaid’s Tale, but the Hulu drama won in a year without the 2015 and 2016 winner Game of Thrones (HBO), which has returned to the Emmys race this year for its seven-episode season from last summer.
Then, there is the final, critically-praised season of The Americans (FX), the final Claire Foy-led season of The Crown (Netflix), and the second seasons of Stranger Things (Netflix), This Is Us (NBC), and Westworld (HBO).
The best bets are on The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones, but don’t count out The Americans.
My vote: The Americans
Need I say more than Sterling K. Brown will win whenever he is nominated? He is radiant every time he shows up onscreen in This Is Us.
But, we have Matthew Rhys nominated here for his brilliant run as Philip Jennings in The Americans.
Also nominated in this category are Jason Bateman for Ozark, Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright for Westworld, and Milo Ventimiglia for This Is Us.
Will Brown win a third consecutive Emmy? Or will Rhys finally bring home his own?
My vote: Sterling K. Brown
This is the race that has all of us holding our breath. Last year’s winner Elisabeth Moss kept us all in panicking throughout the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Yet, Keri Russell has deserved an Emmy since Felicity, and her six-season run as Elizabeth Jennings in The Americans should be given retrospective awards.
Claire Foy was the fiercest competitor against Moss in last year’s race, and this is the last chance that Foy has to win for The Crown. Her perfect posture and the utter grace she exudes throughout her performance as young Queen Elizabeth won her a second Screen Actors Guild Award earlier this year. Will she take home an Emmy this year, too?
Sandra Oh sits in a prime position to win her first Emmy Award for her thrilling role as Eve Polastri in the BBC America drama Killing Eve. Oh made history when she became the first Asian actress to be nominated in this category at the Emmys. Given her performance, her career, and this milestone reached at the 70th (do better, Academy) ceremony, Sandra Oh is more than deserving of this achievement.
Then, we have 2016 winner Tatiana Maslany nominated for the final season of the BBC America drama Orphan Black, in which she played 10 roles over the course of 10 episodes, and Evan Rachel Wood nominated for her second run as Dolores, a lead sentient robot of Westworld searching for the way out of the park and into reality.
My vote: Keri Russell
We should never forget the Game of Thrones men in this category, especially two-time winner Peter Dinklage, who has been nominated for every season. His competition comes from Stranger Things standout David Harbour and one of the many Handmaid’s Tale acting nominees Joseph Fiennes.
Also nominated are Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for Game of Thrones, Mandy Patinkin for Homeland (Showtime), and Matt Smith for The Crown.
My vote: Peter Dinklage
The winners for Supporting Actress and Guest Actress in a Drama Series from last year are nominated against one another here, as Ann Dowd and Alexis Bledel try to stand out in a field of three Handmaid’s Tale actresses.
However, I see the competition here being between Yvonne Strahovski for her mesmerizing arc with Serena Joy in Handmaid’s Tale and Vanessa Kirby for her unforgettable turn as Princess Margaret in The Crown.
Also nominated are Millie Bobby Brown for Stranger Things, Lena Headey for Game of Thrones, and Thandie Newton for Westworld.
My vote: Yvonne Strahovski
In a year without Veep, what will win?! There are two clear frontrunners in this race: Atlanta (FX) and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video).
Also nominated are Barry (HBO), Black-ish (ABC), Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), GLOW (Netflix), Silicon Valley (HBO), and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).
My vote: Atlanta
Donald Glover will win. The statue has already been engraved. His performance in Atlanta is impeccable, and he already picked up an Emmy for this role last year. The Academy loves to award performers repeatedly, so expect to see him back on the stage (more than once).
Also nominated are Anthony Anderson for Black-ish, Ted Danson for The Good Place (NBC), Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bill Hader for Barry, and William H. Macy for Shameless (Showtime).
My vote: Donald Glover
Rachel Brosnahan has a magnetic presence as Midge Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so expect to see her win an Emmy after picking up a Golden Globe Award and Critics Choice Award this year.
Also nominated are Pamela Adlon for Better Things, Allison Janney for Mom, Issa Rae for Insecure, Tracee Ellis Ross for Black-ish, and Lily Tomlin for Grace and Frankie.
My vote: Rachel Brosnahan
There are three Emmy winners in this category: Alec Baldwin for Saturday Night Live, Louie Anderson for Baskets, and Tony Shalhoub for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Shalhoub could pick up on the Maisel momentum and take home his fourth Primetime Emmy, having already won a Tony Award for The Band’s Visit just a few short months ago.
Then, there are Brian Tyree Henry in Atlanta, arguably the best show on television last year with so many standout episodes nominated for their own Emmys, and Henry Winkler in Barry, WHO HAS NEVER WON AN EMMY. GIVE THIS MAN AN EMMY!
Also nominated are Tituss Burgess for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Kenan Thompson for Saturday Night Live.
My vote: Brian Tyree Henry
I have loved every second of Betty Gilpin in GLOW, but I found her arc in the second season her crowning achievement. So, I can’t wait to see her pick up an Emmy next year.
For now, Kate McKinnon in Saturday Night Live is the golden comedic performance that the Academy adores. She has won for the past two years, but she has Alex Borstein for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel right behind her in the running.
I expect Borstein to carry that Maisel momentum right onto the Emmys stage.
Also nominated are Zazie Beetz for Atlanta, Aidy Bryant for Saturday Night Live, Leslie Jones for Saturday Night Live, Laurie Metcalf for Roseanne, and Megan Mullally for Will & Grace.
My vote: Alex Borstein
The two biggest names in this category are Black Mirror: USS Callister (Netflix) and Laura Dern-led The Tale (HBO). After very few nominations for The Tale, expect the Academy to follow through on their love for Black Mirror they exhibited last year with another vote for the anthology show.
Also nominated are Fahrenheit 451 (HBO), Flint (Lifetime), and Paterno (HBO).
My vote: Black Mirror: USS Callister
I loved every minute of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (FX), the newest addition to the Ryan Murphy Universe. I expect this limited series to walk away with plenty of awards.
Godless (Netflix) was one of the best shows I saw this year, but I would never doubt Versace in this race.
Also nominated are The Alienist (TNT), Genius: Picasso (NatGeo), and Patrick Melrose (Showtime).
My vote: American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace
While Antonio Banderas turned into Pablo Picasso in Genius: Picasso, the transformation that enraptured us all was Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in Versace. Criss showed us what a serial killer looks like over the course of nine episodes, and there is no one else who created such a mark on his acclaimed show as he did.
Also nominated are Emmy-favorite Benedict Cumberbatch for Patrick Melrose, Jeff Daniels for The Looming Tower (Hulu), John Legend for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (NBC), and Jesse Plemons for Black Mirror: USS Callister.
My vote: Darren Criss
Only two of the six nominees here have not yet won an Emmy: Jessica Biel, nominated for The Sinner (USA), and Michelle Dockery, nominated for Godless.
This is a very difficult category to predict, as there is a high possibility that any one of these women could take home this award. We were afraid with Sarah Paulson in American Horror Story: Cult (FX) and afraid of Jessica Biel in The Sinner. We were rooting for the ladies of La Belle and Michelle Dockery in Godless and standing with Regina King in Seven Seconds (Netflix). We were locked into the courtroom with Edie Falco in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC).
However, there was one performance that showed more emotion than I could possibly handle: Laura Dern in The Tale. Playing the role of The Tale writer/director Jennifer Fox in the HBO film, Dern uses her ability to fully engage an audience to follow along with her on this journey through her character’s childhood and present while grappling with the sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
Dern’s main competition comes from Michelle Dockery, who comes to this ceremony with three prior Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey.
My vote: Laura Dern
Jeff Daniels received nominations in two categories this year, so I would expect to see him accept an award in one of those categories. While Darren Criss is the frontrunner for Lead Actor, Daniels could walk away with Supporting Actor for his role in Godless, as the show received 12 nominations and he is already an Emmy winner for The Newsroom (HBO).
Daniels’ biggest competition comes from the men of Versace: Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin, and Finn Wittrock. But should they split the vote of Versace fans, Brandon Victor Dixon could win the award for his role as Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, which earned 13 nominations at this year’s Emmys.
Also nominated are John Leguizamo for Waco (Paramount Network) and Michael Stuhlbarg for The Looming Tower.
My vote: Jeff Daniels
In a category full of first-time Emmy nominees, the two best predictions are from Versace: Penelope Cruz and Judith Light. Cruz is the current frontrunner, but an episode no one can forget from the limited series stars Light as the grieving Marilyn Miglin, whose husband was a victim of Cunanan’s murder spree. Light does not have a Primetime Emmy, and September 17 is the perfect night to hand her one for what I know in the future will be an iconic performance.
Also nominated are Sara Bareilles for Jesus Christ Superstar, Adina Porter for American Horror Story: Cult, Merritt Wever for Godless, and Letitia Wright for Black Mirror: Black Museum (Netflix).
My vote: Judith Light
Now, go make your own predictions and make sure to watch the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17 on NBC!