Emmys 2021 — Karen Peterson’s Final Predictions

The 73rd Primetime Emmys are upon us. The 2020/21 television season was unusual in so many ways, with disrupted production and release schedules, pandemic and political themes, reunions and more. It seems so long ago that we gathered to watch Princess Diana spar with Prince Charles on The Crown, and a college football coach from Kansas hop on a plane to coach European football in England. From regency-era tales on Netflix to Marvel’s first small screen endeavors, the 73rd Emmys will celebrate a fascinating year.

With 27 awards to hand out this Sunday, only a few categories seem like foregone conclusions. And even among the likeliest winners, there are no guarantees. Read on for all of the final predictions and let us know where you agree and where you don’t.

Outstanding Drama Series

  1. “The Crown” (Netflix)
  2. “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
  3. “Pose” (FX)
  4. “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
  5. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
  6. “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
  7. “This Is Us” (NBC)
  8. “The Boys” (Amazon Prime Video)

Outstanding Comedy Series

  1. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
  2. “Hacks” (HBO Max)
  3. “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
  4. “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
  5. “Cobra-Kai” (Netflix)
  6. “Black-ish” (ABC)
  7. “Pen15” (Hulu)
  8. “Emily in Paris” (Netflix)

Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series

  1. “WandaVision” (Disney+)
  2. “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
  3. “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
  4. “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
  5. “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime Video)

Outstanding Television Movie

  1. “Oslo” (HBO)
  2. “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” (Lifetime)
  3. “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Prime Video)
  4. “Uncle Frank” (Amazon Prime Video)
  5. “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Billy Porter, “Pose” (FX); Episode — “Take Me to Church”
  2. Josh O’Connor, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “Terra Nullius”
  3. Regé-Jean Page, “Bridgerton” (Netflix); Episode — “Art of the Swoon”
  4. Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO); Episode — “Sundown”
  5. Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” (NBC); Episode — “Forty: Part 2:
  6. Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason” (HBO); Episode — “Chapter Eight”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Emma Corrin, “The Crown” (Netflix); Epiosde — “Fairytale”
  2. Mj Rodriguez, “Pose” (FX); Episode — “Series Finale”
  3. Olivia Colman, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “48:1”
  4. Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Home”
  5. Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment” (HBO); Episode — “Brooke – Week 5”
  6. Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO); Episode — “Holy Ghost”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  1. Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “Pilot”
  2. Kenan Thompson, “Kenan” (NBC); Episode — “Flirting”
  3. Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix); Episode — “The round toes, of the high shoes”
  4. William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime); Episode — “Father Frank, Full of Grace”
  5. Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” (ABC); Episode — “What About Gary”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  1. Jean Smart, “Hacks” (HBO); Episode — “1.69 Milliion”
  2. Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max); Episode — “In Case of Emergency”
  3. Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC); Episode — “Babe in Boyland”
  4. Allison Janney, “Mom” (CBS); Episode — “My Kinda People and the Big To-Do”
  5. Aidy Bryant, “Shrill” (Hulu); Episode — “Ranchers”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  1. Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” (Disney+)
  2. Hugh Grant, “The Undoing” (HBO)
  3. Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  4. Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  5. Ewan McGregor, “Halston” (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  1. Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
  2. Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
  3. Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision” (Disney+)
  4. Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
  5. Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha” (National Geographic)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Michael K. Williams, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO); Episode — “Rewing 1921”
  2. Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Testimony”
  3. Tobias Menzies, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “Gold Stick”
  4. Giancarlo Esposito, “The Mandalorian” (Disney+); Episode — “The Rescue”
  5. Max Minghella, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “The Crossing”
  6. O-T Fagbenle, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Home”
  7. John Lithgow, “Perry Mason” (HBO); Episode — “Chapter Four”
  8. Chris Sullivan, “This Is Us” (NBC); Episode — “In the Room”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Gillian Anderson, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “Favourites”
  2. Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Progress”
  3. Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Vows”
  4. Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Testimony”
  5. Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “The Hereditary Principle”
  6. Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); Episode — “Home”
  7. Aunjanue Ellis, “Lovecraft Country” (HBO); Episode — “I Am”
  8. Emerald Fennell, “The Crown” (Netflix); Episode — “Fairytale”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  1. Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “All Apologies”
  2. Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC); Episode — “Host: Dave Chappelle”
  3. Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “Make Rebecca Great Again”
  4. Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC); Episode — “Host: Carey Mulligan”
  5. Brendan Hunt, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “Two Aces”
  6. Paul Reiser, “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix); Episode — “you only give me your funny paper”
  7. Carl Clemons-Hopkins, “Hacks” (HBO); Episode — New Eyes”
  8. Jeremy Swift, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “Biscuits”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  1. Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “All Apologies”
  2. Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC); Episode — “Host: Anya Taylor-Joy”
  3. Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks” (HBO); Episode — “I Think She Will”
  4. Rosie Perez, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max); Episode — “Arrivals and Departures”
  5. Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+); Episode — “For the Children”
  6. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC); Episode — “Host: Bill Burr”
  7. Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC); Episode — “Host: Regé-Jean Page”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  1. Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
  2. Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  3. Paapa Essiedu, “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
  4. Jonathan Groff, “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  5. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
  6. Anthony Ramos, “Hamilton” (Disney+)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  1. Kathryn Hanh, “WandaVision” (Disney+)
  2. Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
  3. Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
  4. Renée Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  5. Phillippa Soo, “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  6. Moses Ingram, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  1. “The Crown” (Netflix), dir. Benjamin Caron; Episode — “The Fairytale”
  2. “The Crown” (Netflix), dir. Jessica Hobbs; Episode — “War”
  3. “The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), dir. Liz Garbus; Episode — “The Wilderness”
  4. “Pose” (FX), dir. Steven Canals; Episode — “Series Finale”
  5. “The Mandalorian” (Disney+), dir. Jon Favreau; Episode — “Chapter 9: The Marshal”
  6. “Bridgerton” (Netflix), dir. Julie Anne Robinson; Episode — “Diamond of the First Water”

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  1. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), dir. MJ Delaney; Episode — “The Hope that Kills You”
  2. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), dir. Declan Lowney; Episode — “Make Rebecca Great Again”
  3. “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max), dir. Susanna Fogel; Episode — “In Case of Emergency”
  4. Hacks” (HBO), dir. Lucia Aniello; Episode — “There Is No Line”
  5. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), dir. Zach Braff; Episode — “Biscuits”
  6. “B Positive” (CBS), dir. James Burrows; Episode — “Pilot”
  7. “Mom” (CBS), dir. James Widdoes; Episode — “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak”

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Anthology or Movie

  1. “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix), dir. Scott Frank
  2. “Mare of Easttown” (HBO), dir. Craig Zobel
  3. “WandaVision” (Disney+), dir. Matt Shakman
  4. “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime), dir. Barry Jenkins
  5. “I May Destroy You,” HBO, Episode “Ego Death”, dir. Sam Miller, Michaela Coel
  6. “I May Destroy You” (HB) Episode “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”, dir. Sam Miller
  7. “Hamilton” (Disney+), dir. Thomas Kail

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  1. “Pose” (FX), Episode — “Series Finale”; Written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J
  2. “The Crown” (Netflix), Episode — “War”; Written by Peter Morgan
  3. “Lovecraft Country” (HBO), Episode — “Sundown”; Written by Misha Green
  4. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), Episode — “Home”; Written by Yahlin Chang
  5. “The Mandalorian” (Disney+), Episode — “Chapter 13: The Jedi”; Written by Dave Filoni
  6. “The Boys” (Amazon Prime), Episode — “What I Know”; Written by Rebecca Sonnenshine
  7. “The Mandalorian” (Disney+), Episode — “Chapter 16: The Rescue”; Written by Jon Favreau

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  1. “Hacks” (HBO Max), Episode — “There Is No Line”; Written by Lucia Aniello, Jen Statsky, Paul W. Downs
  2. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), Episode — “Pilot”; Written by Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Bill Lawrence, Joe Kelly
  3. “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max), Episode — “In Case of Emergency”; Written by Steve Yockey
  4. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), Episode — “Make Rebecca Great Again”; Written by Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
  5. “Girls5eva” (Peacock), Episode — “Pilot”; Written by Meredith Scardino
  6. “Pen15” (Hulu), Episode — “Play”; Written by Maya Erskine

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. “I May Destroy You” (HBO), Written by Michaela Coel
  2. “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix), Written by Scott Frank
  3. “Mare of Easttown” (HBO), Written by Brad Ingelsby
  4. “WandaVision” (Disney+), “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience”; Written by Jac Shaeffer
  5. “WandaVision” (Disney+), “Previously On”; Written by Laura Donney
  6. “WandaVision” (Disney+), “All New Halloween Spooktacular!”; Written by Chuck Hayward, Peter Cameron

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

  1. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
  2. “Conan” (TBS)
  3. “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
  4. “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
  5. Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  1. “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  2. “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

  1. “Celebrating America – An Inauguration Night Special” (Multiple Platforms)
  2. “The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards” (CBS)
  3. “Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020; Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020” (Showtime)
  4. “The Oscars” (ABC)
  5. “The Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring the Weeknd” (CBS)

Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

  1. “Hamilton” (Disney+)
  2. “Bo Burnham: Inside” (Netflix)
  3. “8:46 — Dave Chappelle” (Netflix)
  4. “Friends: The Reunion” (HBO Max)
  5. “David Byrne’s American Utopia” (HBO)
  6. “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” (HBO Max)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

  1. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
  2. “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  3. “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
  4. “The Amber Ruffin Show” (Peacock)
  5. “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live this Sunday, September 19 at 5 PT/8 ET on CBS.

Written by
Karen Peterson is the Awards Editor for We Live Entertainment. She previously worked as the Assistant Editor at Awards Circuit, now owned by Variety. Her work can also be found at Citizen Dame and at the Watch and Talk podcast. Her non-awards season hobbies include Angels baseball, taking pictures of other peoples' pets, and tweeting about The Bachelor franchise.

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