Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win, and Wishful Thinking

By  · Published on September 16th, 2016

We have all the best predictions. Trust us.

In a previous article, I wrote about the some very deserving, but potentially overlooked nominees and was extremely pleasantly surprised to see some of those shows and actors score actual nominations (The Americans, you guys). Well, finally the 68th Emmy Awards are arriving on Sunday evening and I have some predictions on what I think will win, what should win, and what I wish could have been nominated.

Best Drama Series

The Nominees: The Americans , Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, Mr. RobotHomeland

Will Win: Game of Thrones

Should Win: The Americans

Wish It Was Nominated: The Leftovers

Game of Thrones is coming fresh off of its best season and its first win for Best Drama Series at last year’s ceremony so it is hard to bet against it right now. I would not count out first time nominees, Mr. Robot or The Americans, to come in from behind and win. The first season of USA’s hacker drama was a huge hit, but has not been as exciting in the current second season. FX’s critical darling The Americans continues to blow people away season after season and did the nearly impossible by scoring its long overdue nomination for its fourth season so definitely do not count it out. The one show I wish would have been included is HBO’s other drama series The Leftovers, because it is such a perfect, complicated, and enthralling show that has not gotten the recognition it so rightly deserves (just watch the season two episode “International Assassin” and you’ll agree).

Best Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Will Win: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)

Should Win: Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

Wish It Was Nominated: Justin Theroux (The Leftovers)

The commitment to his character that Rami Malek has makes it one of the most interesting performances on television right now. He is a huge part of why the show is so dynamite and works so well, plus he has been sweeping up tons of critics’ awards along the way. It’ll be hard to stop him, but the only other nominee who should is Matthew Rhys. His performance week to week on The Americans is masterclass work and it should not be denied. Of course, I have to give a shoutout to Justin Theroux who is so nuanced and powerful on The Leftovers and should have been nominated along with these talented men (if you don’t believe me, here’s the proof).

Best Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Claire Danes (Homeland), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Keri Russell (The Americans), Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Will Win: Keri Russell (The Americans)

Should Win: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)

Wish It Was Nominated: Eva Green (Penny Dreadful)

I love The Americans and Keri Russell somehow manages to deliver ferocity and vulnerability at the same time as a KGB spy and the Academy’s newfound love of The Americans could spell a long overdue win for the actress. However, Tatiana Maslany is probably the hardest working performer out of every single acting nominee recognized (I mean, just look at who she’s nominated for playing in the show). She manages to play about four different characters, and sometimes those characters pretending to be each other, in each episode of Orphan Black and make it look easy. The only woman who should have been nominated was Eva Green for Penny Dreadful. While the show itself was bumpy and a little convoluted, she was fearless and devoted to her role.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)

Will Win: Kit Harington (Game of Thrones)

Should Win: Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul)

Wish It Was Nominated: Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers)

We all know that Peter Dinklage is great on Game of Thrones and the Emmys have recognized him twice for it, so I think that they will give the spotlight over to his costar Kit Harrington who was given his best material and best performance yet this past season. However, if the vote is split between the two GoT men, look out for Jonathan Banks to win. He is constantly revealing new layers to a character many already know from Breaking Bad and is deserving of a win in this category. If it were up to me, Christopher Eccleston would have also been nominated for his incredible performance as an outspoken preacher who faces so much tragedy, but still remains firm in his faith.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees: Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Maura Tierney (The Affair), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Constance Zimmer (UnREAL)

Will Win: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

Should Win: Constance Zimmer (UnREAL)

Wish It Was Nominated: Any of the supporting women from The Leftovers

I promise that this is not just an article to get more people to watch The Leftovers; the show is just THAT good. From Ann Dowd to Liv Tyler to Regina King, The Leftovers gives its women great roles and enough room to fully flesh them out. But, if I had to choose from the Academy’s nominees for who will win, it would be Dame Maggie Smith. The Academy loves Downton Abbey and will want to award it in some way for its final season. But, Constance Zimmer gave an electric performance full of lightning quick zingers and raw humanity on UnREAL that deserves to be awarded.

Best Comedy Series

Nominees: Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, Modern Family, Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Black-ish

Will Win: Veep

Should Win: Veep

Wish it Was Nominated: You’re the Worst

Veep consistently delivers the laughs in every episode and does not show any signs of slowing down any time soon. It was this category’s winner last year and has the most nominations for a comedy series this year so it definitely has an edge over every other nominee. While the other nominees are also funny and smart, I do not see any other them realistically dethroning Veep. Now, if You’re the Worst were nominated, it would be a whole different conversation. I could sing praises of this show all day, but I’ll leave it with this clip and this clip from the show that highlights its brilliance.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), William H. Macy (Shameless), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Wish it Was Nominated: Rob Delaney (Catastrophe)

The other nominees do great work, but Tambor is just on another level. He is a great comedy actor and is so good on Transparent that he completely disappears into the role and I forget that he is the same man who created the iconic character of George Bluth on Arrested Development. While I was not surprised by the lack of nomination for Rob Delaney on Catastrophe (the show itself only scored one nomination: Best Comedy Writing), I was just a little sad. Delaney’s character is so cynical and blunt about the complications of his life while still retaining that element of humor that many shows try and fail to achieve.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Laurie Metcalf (Getting On), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Wish it Was Nominated: Aya Cash (You’re the Worst)

This is another one of those categories where the other nominees are at a disadvantage because of the frontrunner. Throughout her illustrious comedy career, Louis-Dreyfus has garnered 17 Emmy nominations and five wins (four of them are consecutive) and, just like her show, shows no signs of stopping. She really does just keep getting better and the Academy clearly loves her. In a perfect world, Aya Cash would have been nominated. As evidenced in the clips above, Aya Cash is hilarious, dramatic, real, and consistent in her performance as Gretchen in You’re the Worst and it is a shame that she was overlooked.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Tony Hale (Veep), Louie Anderson (Baskets), Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Matt Walsh (Veep)

Will Win: Tony Hale (Veep)

Should Win: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Wish it Was Nominated: I’m pretty satisfied with all the nominees actually.

To be perfectly honest, this is a pretty great lineup and I would be happy to see any one of them win. Tony Hale has won in this category twice before and would definitely deserve another win. Andre Braugher has scored three straight nominations, but no win yet for his comical turn in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. His facial reactions in the show are just pure comic gold and reason enough for him to win. But seriously though, this is a stacked category.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent), Allison Janney (Mom), Judith Light (Transparent), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Niecy Nash (Getting On)

Will Win: Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)

Should Win: Anna Chlumsky (Veep)

Wish it Was Nominated: Kether Donoghue (You’re the Worst)

Out of all these great nominees, McKinnon is the one who doing dramedy. She is doing straight up, all kinds of funny comedy. Her Hillary Clinton impersonation is iconic and was the undeniable star of SNL this past season. Don’t count out Anna Chlumsky, though, for her fourth consecutive nomination for Veep. She matched comedy queen Julia Louis-Dreyfus quip for quip this season on Veep. Again, I bring up You’re the Worst for my wishful thinking nominee. Half of Kether Donoghue’s comical genius on the show is her Disney princess voice and the other half is her timing. She is the queen of Hot Messes everywhere and totally owns it.

Who even knows what the Academy will crown this year? It could be a year of total surprises, or it could be a year of predictability. Either way, I am very excited to see how the show turns out. Tune in to ABC this Sunday at 7 PM to watch the ceremony and find out if I got any predictions right!

And also watch You’re the Worst and The Leftovers for television excellence.

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