2017 Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win
By Philiana Ng
Who will come out on top at the Emmys?
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, airs this Sunday on CBS, and there’s a very good chance, there will be several newly minted Emmy winners.
With back-to-back Emmy winner Game of Thrones missing from the action this year (more on why here), it’s an open race for the top drama prize for the first time in two years.
Could This Is Us make history by being the first broadcast drama in over a decade to win (since 2006’s 24) or will genre phenom Stranger Things steal the show? On the comedy side, will two-time series winner Veep -- ending its storied run in 2018 -- march toward its swan song with another Emmy statuette?
With less than 48 hours to go, ET predicted who will win (and who should win) on television’s biggest night.
Outstanding Drama Series Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
This Is Us
Westworld Should Win: This Is Us and Stranger Things Will Win: The Handmaid’s Tale
With five rookie drama series crashing the category and the absence of Game of Thrones, it could come to a last-minute hail Mary in predicting who will be victorious. We’re betting on Hulu’s critical favorite, the very timely Handmaid’s Tale, to rise above the pack, but don’t count out the uber popular genre fave, Stranger Things, and heartfelt family series, This Is Us, to pull off the upset -- the latter of which would be the first broadcast drama to win in 11 years.
Outstanding Comedy Series Atlanta
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep Should Win: Atlanta Will Win: Veep
Veep may be ending with a seventh and final season next year, but the two-time comedy series winner isn’t done collecting its Emmy hardware. We’re predicting the awards favorite will take home the top comedy prize for a third straight year, though we wouldn’t be surprised if Donald Glover’s FX series, Atlanta, or Aziz Ansari’s rule-bending Netflix comedy, Master of None, steal the spotlight.
Outstanding Limited Series Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of Should Win:The Night Of Will Win:Big Little Lies
It’s hard to bet against Big Little Lies on Emmy night (after all, we’re crossing our fingers and toes for a second season!), but HBO’s other critically hailed series, The Night Of, which features career-defining performances by Riz Ahmed and John Turturro, could be a potential spoiler. But with a category this stacked, can you really go wrong with any of them? Outstanding TV Movie Black Mirror: San Junipero Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies Should Win:Black Mirror Will Win: The Wizard of Lies
Never underestimate the power of Robert De Niro, who played Bernie Madoff in the HBO movie. His star power will likely fuel The Wizard of Lies to an Emmy win, but it would be a pleasant surprise to see a sleeper hit like Black Mirror get recognition on TV’s biggest stage.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards Should Win: Claire Foy, The Crown Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Our pick is Elisabeth Moss, whose portrayal of Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale is both heartfelt and impassioned. Previously nominated six times, it’s about time the former Mad Men star got her Emmy due, though The Crown’s Claire Foy was absolutely flawless as Queen Elizabeth.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us Should Win: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us Will Win: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
A first-time winner last year for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Sterling K. Brown is the clear frontrunner to collect his second Emmy in back-to-back years, this time for his unflinchingly raw performance as adoptee Randall Pearson on This Is Us. Though his co-star (and TV dad), Milo Ventimiglia, could take away some votes, Brown is the one to beat.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Allison Janney, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie Should Win: Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Could this be the year Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who’s won five years in a row, will be upset? Though we’d like to see another one of these deserving funny ladies win the best comedy actress Emmy, we just don’t think it’ll happen.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
Donald Glover, Atlanta
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent Should Win: Anthony Anderson, Black-ish Will Win: Donald Glover, Atlanta
Fresh off his Golden Globe win in January, Atlanta mastermind Donald Glover has been on a momentum swing and what better way to cap off a stellar year (don’t forget, he’s starring in the anticipated Han Solo film) than an Emmy? Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has been the prohibitive favorite several years running, but it’s time for the comedy baton to be passed on.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies Should Win: Carrie Coon, Fargo Will Win: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Who can deny Nicole Kidman an Emmy? The Oscar winner is going up against her Big Little Lies pal, Reese Witherspoon, but it was her turn as the painfully torn former lawyer-turned-stay at home mom Celeste, whose husband is secretly abusing her, that brought chills. This category is an impressive tour de force of living legends and critics’ favorites enjoying the TV ride, so any one of them would be a praiseworthy champ. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Robert DeNiro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of Should Win: Ewan McGregor, Fargo Will Win: Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Ewan McGregor pulled double duty on Fargo playing brothers on opposite ends in life, and for that, we think he’s a serious contender for the Emmy. But The Night Of’s Riz Ahmed, whose sympathetic performance as the imprisoned Naz, was heartbreakingly raw and award-worthy.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale Should Win: Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things Will Win: Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
You can’t script this Chrissy Metz’s unbelievable rise any better. From having 81 cents in her bank account to becoming one of TV’s sweethearts on the most beloved dramas, Metz’s real-life story coupled with her This Is Us character, Kate’s, daily struggles with her weight, is reason enough to root for the 36-year-old actress to take home her first Emmy.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
John Lithgow, The Crown
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld Should Win: Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us Will Win: John Lithgow, The Crown
This Is Us standout Ron Cephas Jones broke America’s collective hearts in the soulfully devastating episode, “Memphis.” If we were voting with our hearts, it’d be Jones all the way, but it’s tough to deny John Lithgow’s remarkable transformation into Winston Churchill in The Crown.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live Should Win: Anna Chlumsky, Veep Will Win: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
This is Kate McKinnon’s to lose. After pulling off a surprise win last year, the Saturday NightLive star had several memorable moments this season -- but it’ll be her performance as Hillary Clinton (remember her heart-wrenching rendition of “Hallelujah” in character?) that’ll give her the ultimate lift.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep Should Win: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Will Win: Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
It’s difficult to argue against Alec Baldwin, whose impression of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live was timely and headline-making (he also plans on reprising the character, pending his availability, in season 43). We were crossing our fingers for Kimmy Schmidt standout Tituss Burgess to get over the hump last year; perhaps this could be his year.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan
Regina King, American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies Should Win: Regina King, American Crime Will Win: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
We’re here for the Laura Dern-aissance! Not only did she have a memorable run in the Twin Peaks revival, Dern -- who’s never won an Emmy in five previous tries -- was a literal highlight on Big Little Lies as Renata, a fierce career woman and anti-bullying advocate. Could Dern’s co-star Shailene Woodley earn her first Emmy or American Crime’s Regina King win her third straight? Nothing would surprise us!
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Bill Camp, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
Michael K. Williams, The Night Of Should Win: Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies Will Win: Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
The True Blood alum turned heads as Nicole Kidman’s abusive husband, Perry, in Big Little Lies, and we believe he’ll be handsomely rewarded for his disturbing (and tragic) arc.
Who do you think will win big at the Emmys? Tell us who your picks are in the comments below and on Twitter at @etnow!
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, airs live coast-to-coast Sunday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on CBS.