2018 Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win
By Philiana Ng
Clockwise from top left: NBC/BBC America/NBC/Amazon Studios/FX/NBC
Who will come out on top at the Emmys?
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che, airs Monday, Sept. 17 on NBC, and there's a very good chance we'll see several first-time Emmy winners.
With eight-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (six straight for Veep) not in the running this year and several worthy new faces slipping into the drama and acting categories, the ceremony could be a night filled with surprises and shockers. From the farewell season of The Americans to critical darling The Handmaid's Tale in the running for the top drama prize to comedy newbies like Barry, GLOW and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel vying to topple last year's comedy victor, Atlanta, things could get very interesting.
While we won't know for sure who will be taking home the Emmy until Monday, there's no harm in looking into our crystal ball and forecasting who we think will be the night's biggest winners. With just a few days to go, ET predicts who will take home the Emmy statuette -- and who should win -- on television's biggest night.
Outstanding Drama Series The Americans
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid's Tale
This Is Us
Westworld Should Win: The Americans Will Win: The Handmaid's Tale
With five out of the seven nominees repeating from last year, the category is relatively status quo. The Handmaid's Tale won this award last year and there's no reason to think any other series on this shortlist will be able to trump it. But if we had to pick a dark horse, it'd be this year's "new" entries, The Americans and Game of Thrones, the former for its stellar swan song and the latter for its penultimate season, back in the race after a one-year hiatus from Emmy contention.
Outstanding Comedy Series Atlanta
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Should Win: Atlanta Will Win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Since three-time winner Veep isout of the picture for this year, we're predicting Amazon's witty 1950s hour-long comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, to take full advantage, following up its Golden Globe with the top comedy prize at the Emmys. But it'll be up against some stiff competition, with Atlanta arguably having its best season and newcomers like dark comedy Barry and the female-led GLOW proving to be worthy contenders.Still, we anticipate Mrs. Maisel is the one to beat.
Outstanding Limited Series The Alienist
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Patrick Melrose Should Win: Godless or Patrick Melrose Will Win: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
It will be difficult to top The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story; it has the star wattage (Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin), the high production value and centers on a story the whole world was enthralled by. There's no reason to think the frontrunner won't be handsomely rewarded on Emmy night.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Foy, The Crown
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld Should Win: Sandra Oh, Killing Eve or Keri Russell, The Americans Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
Elisabeth Moss won her first Emmy in 2017 for her gut-wrenching performance as Offred and we're predicting that the Handmaid's Tale leading lady will become a back-to-back winner. But if the Emmys wanted to make history, voters would reward Sandra Oh for her stunning portrayal as MI-6 agent Eve Polastri on the magnificent Killing Eve. Not only would it be her first career Emmy win (shocking, considering Oh was previously nominated five times for Grey's Anatomy), she would also be the first woman of Asian descent to win in a lead actress category in either comedy or drama at the Emmys. It's time.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Ed Harris, Westworld
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld Should Win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans or Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us Will Win: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Emmy voters love Sterling K. Brown and with good reason; two seasons in, he continues to deliver on This Is Us as Randall Pearson, the heartbeat of the popular family drama. While we think he's still the odds-on favorite to take home his second straight Emmy in the category, we wouldn't be surprised if co-star Milo Ventimiglia swooped in for a surprise win for his portrayal of beloved TV dad, Jack Pearson. Ventimiglia arguably had the flashier season, especially with the two-episode arc in February focusing almost exclusively on answering how Jack died. But sometimes, flashy (or in this case, weepy) doesn't equate to Emmy.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney, Mom
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie Should Win: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
With Julia Louis-Dreyfus ineligible, this year's frontrunner is Rachel Brosnahan from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The 27-year-old actress is as charmingly pitch-perfect as one can be as Midge Maisel, a Jewish housewife who discovers her knack for zingers and one-liners as she embarks on a new journey as an up-and-coming stand-up comedian in the '50s. To us, no one else dominated their role quite like Brosnahan and so, she's our only Emmy choice.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Bill Hader, Barry
William H. Macy, Shameless Should Win: Ted Danson, The Good Place Will Win: Donald Glover, Atlanta
It's been a big year for Donald Glover, from the acclaimed sophomore season of Atlanta to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story to his Childish Gambino career (see: the buzzed-about "This Is America" music video). And while this is technically an award honoring the best in television, we'd be remiss if we didn't pick Glover to repeat on the merits of his genre-spanning accomplishments. If there was a potential spoiler, we'd get behind Ted Danson, who could make history with his first Emmy win in 25 years for his A+ work on The Good Place.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Laura Dern, The Tale
Michelle Dockery, Godless
Edie Falco, Law & Oder True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King, Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult Should Win: Jessica Biel, The Sinner Will Win: Laura Dern, The Tale
Jessica Biel showcased exactly what she's made of with a tour de force performance in the first season of The Sinner, but awards favorite Laura Dern (who won the Emmy in 2017 for Big Little Lies) will likely take the cake for her stirring performance as filmmaker Jennifer Fox in the HBO autobiographical film.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels, The Looming Tower
John Legend, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Jesse Plemons, USS Callister (Black Mirror) Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose Will Win: Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
This may be Darren Criss' to lose for his chilling performance as Gianni Versace's killer, Andrew Cunanan, in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. The category, however, touts some of the strongest competition, with stars like John Legend, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons, hoping to hear their name called on Monday evening, so it is conceivable that someone like Cumberbatch or even Legend -- who's already completed the rare EGOT -- could steal a win.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid's Tale
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale Should Win: Vanessa Kirby, The Crown Will Win: Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale
Former Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski gave one of the best performances on the second season of The Handmaid's Tale, which could serve her well come Emmy night, as she'll have to overcome co-stars Alexis Bledel (last year's Emmy winner in the guest actress category) and Ann Dowd (last year's winner in this category). It's a tall task, but if the Emmys want to spread the wealth among the shows they covet most, Strahovski should earn her first Emmy.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Matt Smith, The Crown Should Win: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Will Win: David Harbour, Stranger Things
Marking Stranger Things star David Harbour's second straight nomination, we believe he'll finally come out on top. But, don't sleep on the Game of Thrones guys.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Zazie Beetz, Atlanta
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace Should Win: Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Will Win: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
A tough category to predict, simply because each of these eight women is worthy of winning. We're predicting Kate McKinnon, who remains a Saturday Night Light bright spot, to repeat in this category following last year's victory, but we can't help but have a nagging feeling that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel standout, Alex Borstein (who won an Emmy last weekend for her voice-over work on Family Guy), will be rewarded for her excellently understated run as Susie, who becomes Midge's manager.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Henry Winkler, Barry Should Win: Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Will Win: Henry Winkler, Barry
Could Alec Baldwin repeat for his Donald Trump impersonation on Saturday Night Live or is it time to put the spotlight on someone else? Barry's Henry Winkler may be the recipient of such luck. The legendary actor has previously earned five Emmy nominations (including three for his work on Happy Days), never coming out on top. We're predicting 2018 to be his year.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Sara Bareilles, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Judith Light, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter, American Horror Story: Cult
Merritt Wever, Godless
Letitia Wright, Black Museum (Black Mirror) Should Win: Penelope Cruz or Judith Light, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Will Win: Merritt Wever, Godless
Remember when Merritt Wever tearfully (and adorably) won her first Emmy in 2013 for Nurse Jackie? Wever is our choice to take home her second career Emmy statuette, this time for her part as Mary Agnes, a widow who is in a relationship with Callie, a former prostitute turned teacher. Penelope Cruz has the cache to win any award, especially one for Donatella Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and Judith Light turns in a devastatingly heartbreaking performance as the wife of a brutally murdered businessman by Cunanan's hand. While we think Wever has the goods to pull off a win, the ladies of Versace could prove victorious.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Jeff Daniels, Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
John Leguizamo, Waco
Ricky Martin, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Should Win: Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Will Win: Jeff Daniels, Godless
Someone from The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story may seem like the obvious pick here, but we think Jeff Daniels -- who plays against type as Frank Griffin, a one-armed killer -- in Godless will spoil a Versace sweep.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul's Drag Race
The Voice Should Win: RuPaul's Drag Race Will Win: RuPaul's Drag Race
Could this be the year RuPaul's Drag Race reigns supreme? The unstoppable VH1 program, which has hit the pop culture zeitgeist, has already collected four Emmys, including one for RuPaul in the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program category. Because of that, we're going all in with this one.
Outstanding Variety Talk Series The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Should Win: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Will Win: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
John Oliver's HBO late-night program has won the Emmy the last two years and we don't anticipate that changing, as his weekly, biting commentary on the cultural and political landscape of the state of our country continues to strike a chord with viewers. But should Emmy voters decide to shift gears and recognize a woman's voice in the late-night space, Samantha Bee is more than worthy of recognition.
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series At Home With Amy Sedaris
I Love You, America
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman's Show Should Win: Portlandia or Drunk History Will Win: Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live has been inconsistently funny in recent seasons, but it's still a comedy institution, so it's tough to bet against it. But do one of the other nominees have a shot at pulling off a stunner? We're planting a flag with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's outgoing Portlandia (a four-time nominee in this category),which has quietly produced some of the funniest sketches in recent years, as a dark horse.
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 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Saturday Night Live's Colin Jost and Michael Che, airs live coast-to-coast Monday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC.