Zoë’s 2022 Emmy Predictions – July 15th

The Emmy nominations may have just been revealed only three days ago, but that also means that we’re already three days into phase two of this Emmy season, where the focus is no longer on “getting in” but now about “getting the win.” Given that we still have two months until the actual Emmy ceremony (though only a little less than a month until final-round voting begins), a lot will change between now and September, but since everyone is off to the races, it’s good to start tracking these contenders now and see how much shifts over the course of the next eight weeks.

From now until September 9th – the Friday before the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards – I’ll be updating my Emmy predictions every Friday, with alterations in my rankings and new commentary to provide reasoning behind the rise and fall of certain contenders, and to kick things off, today marks the start of this “series-of-sorts,” where I investigate who’s ahead in the producing, acting, directing, and writing categories for dramas, comedies, and limited series and survey what narratives may lead shows and stars to Emmy wins.


The cast of Succession

Outstanding Drama Series

  1. Succession
  2. Squid Game
  3. Severance
  4. Ozark
  5. Better Call Saul
  6. Yellowjackets
  7. Euphoria
  8. Stranger Things

I don’t see anything shaking me from my belief that Succession is going to win its second Outstanding Drama Series Emmy anytime soon. The show earned the most nominations of the year, with 25 (including a record-breaking 14 acting nods), and it was one of the only drama series to receive acting, writing, directing, and casting nominations. People can’t get enough of this thing, and every branch can’t stop praising it to high heaven. And even if you didn’t think Season 3 was as strong overall as Seasokn 2, you can’t deny how epic that ending was, leaving the Roys in a perilous place for Season 4.

I have Squid Game at #2 simply due to its status as a staggering pop culture phenomenon with viewership that no other nominee can rival, but I have a feeling it will be honored elsewhere as opposed to receiving recognition in the “main drama category.” Severance is working its way towards being as beloved as Succession in the industry (the quality speaks for itself), but it’ll have to wait to receive its due here, until it further builds up its already admirable reputation (though, like Squid Game, I also suspect it could receive recognition elsewhere at this ceremony).

Ozark and Better Call Saul won’t receive that “final season bump” other shows have in the past, but they’ll go out with honorable nom hauls nevertheless, and given Emmy voters’ penchant to “spread the love,” I have other categories in mind that could keep them from going home empty handed. Yellowjackets is another show like Severance that’ll continue to grow its support in the Academy after a strong first season showing here, while Euphoria is likely just happy to be in the conversation (probably propped up by the social media fanbase, since reviews this season were somewhat mixed), and Stranger Things won’t challenge anyone with no other above-the-line nominations to speak of.

Lee Jung-jae in Squid Game

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game
  2. Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
  3. Jeremy Strong – Succession
  4. Brian Cox – Succession
  5. Jason Bateman – Ozark
  6. Adam Scott – Severance

Though there is a chance Squid Game could get its due with a win for Hwang Dong-hyuk in Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, at the moment, I have a feeling Lee Jung-jae will repeat his SAG victory at the Emmys and win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, giving Squid Game its big win of the night. It’s such a classic and inspiring success story to see this actor come from outside of Hollywood and topple all these “big names,” and I believe it could be an exciting way to sell Lee’s win to voters – though his powerful lead performance is reason enough to vote for him.

Right on his heels though is Bob Odenkirk, as this is one of the final opportunities Emmy voters will have to honor him in his role as Saul Goodman, since Better Call Saul is in its last season (the second part of which will admittedly be eligible for next year’s Emmys). Jeremy Strong turned in another great performance as Kendall Roy in Season 3 of Succession, but he just won last season, and I can see voters wanting to switch things up. Brian Cox is also as dependably despicable as ever in the role of Logan Roy, but there’s no additional impetus to award him this year either. Same goes for Jason Bateman (doing more marvelous work as Marty Byrde in Ozark’s final season, even if there’s nothing to give him a “finale/farewell” bump) and Adam Scott (who’s frankly just happy to be here).

Zendaya in Euphoria Season 2

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Zendaya – Euphoria
  2. Laura Linney – Ozark
  3. Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
  4. Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
  5. Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
  6. Reese Witherspoon – The Morning Show

You’ll see throughout this article that I’m a tad bit hesitant to predict repeat winners for this year’s Emmys, but that’s not the case with Zendaya. As much as I’d love to see Laura Linney finally win an Emmy for Ozark or Melanie Lynsky receive her due from the Television Academy, Zendaya somehow reached new heights in her performance as Rue Bennett on Euphoria this season, particularly in the exhilarating episode “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” which essentially functions as an hour-long Emmy clip for the star, depicting her character Rue’s relapse.

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh received fond “farewell” nominations after Killing Eve’s critically reviled final season, but those nominations are the win here. Same goes for The Morning Show’s Reese Witherspoon, whose inclusion pundits are still puzzled by, when the formerly nominated Jennifer Aniston was right there starring in this season alongside her, and she was more out front on the campaign trail.

Matthew Macfadyen in Succession Season 3

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  1. Matthew Macfadyen – Succession
  2. Kieran Culkin – Succession
  3. Oh Young-soo – Squid Game
  4. Billy Crudup – The Morning Show
  5. John Turturro – Severance
  6. Christopher Walken – Severance
  7. Nicholas Braun – Succession
  8. Park Hae-soo – Squid Game

Many pundits seem to think that this is the season where Kieran Culkin will finally earn his Emmy for Succession, but I’m not so sure. In my eyes, Matthew Macfadyen had the stronger arc this time out, and while Culkin had a few funny moments that set social media ablaze (Roman sexting Logan, anyone?), Macfadyen was essential to that twist ending that pulled the rug out from beneath viewers, and I think voters are going to remember that.

If anyone will upset these two men though, it’s Golden Globe winner Oh Young-soo as the elderly and eccentric Oh Il-nam in Squid Game, who himself serves a surprising purpose in that show’s Season 1 finale, which could be something voters want to honor. Among the other nominees, Billy Crudup is a winner welcomed back but he won’t be taking home another trophy, John Turturro and Christopher Walken deserve their places even if they won’t be “win competitive,” Nicholas Braun doesn’t have the dramatic weight on Succession to challenge his co-stars, and Park Hae-soo is an unexpected but welcome inclusion who is still least likely to come out on top with such strong competitors ahead of him.

Julia Garner in Ozark Season 4

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  1. Julia Garner – Ozark
  2. Sarah Snook – Succession
  3. Jung Ho-yeon – Squid Game
  4. Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul
  5. Christina Ricci – Yellowjackets
  6. Patricia Arquette – Severance
  7. Sydney Sweeney – Euphoria
  8. J. Smith-Cameron – Succession

At the start of this season, many pundits were trying to push the idea that it was Sarah Snook’s “time” to earn Emmy recognition for Succession. And while she’s as excellent as ever on Season 3 of that show, there’s no way her material can compete with what Julia Garner has been given on the final season of Ozark, in my opinion. I don’t care that she already has two Emmys – this is another case like Zendaya’s in Lead Actress in a Drama Series, where the contender in question somehow finds a way to top their already exemplary work from before with richer and more resonant acting, and it’s hard to imagine voters not being choked up by the conclusion of Ruth’s arc.

The rest of the line-up kind of blurs together, but I’ll put SAG winner Jung Ho-yeon at third, followed by the finally nominated Rhea Seehorn getting a boost off of Better Call Saul’s brilliant final season, while standouts from new shows (Yellowjackets’ Christina Ricci and Severance’s Patricia Arquette) find themselves at the middle of the pack, and first-time nominee Sydney Sweeney (nominated twice this year) is right behind, with Succession’s J. Smith-Cameron rounding out the pack in a role that’s a lot of fun, but can’t quite match the dramatic might of the top contenders in this category.

Adam Scott in Severance

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  1. Ben Stiller – Severance (“The We We Are”)
  2. Hwang Dong-hyuk – Squid Game (“Red Light, Green Light”)
  3. Mark Mylod – Succession (“All the Bells Say”)
  4. Jason Bateman – Ozark (“A Hard Way to Go”)
  5. Karyn Kusama – Yellowjackets (“Pilot”)
  6. Lorene Scafaria – Succession (“Too Much Birthday”)
  7. Cathy Yan – Succession (“The Disruption”)

This is a very close race. I’ve gone back-and-forth on #1 and #2 approximately twenty times in the last ten minutes, and I’m still not entirely sure what to do (and I also think there’s an outside shot that Succession love carries my #3 pick to a win as well). I ultimately went with Ben Stiller for Severance’s Season 1 finale “The We We Are” because it’s nearly universally seen as the strongest episode of the season – and maybe one of the strongest season finales ever – and I have a hard time seeing Severance go home empty-handed after its strong showing this season. This feels like the best way to give it something.

With that being said though, what Hwang Dong-hyuk does in “Red Light, Green Light” is the definition of directing, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a season starter as suspenseful as that one, which is something that could certainly stand out to voters (and perhaps this is where they choose to honor Squid Game, instead of Lead Actor in a Drama Series – or maybe both?). Mark Mylod is right behind these two for Succession’s “All the Bells Say,” but I’d still say it’s between Stiller and Hwang at the end of the day, and I’ll stick with Stiller having the edge… for now.

Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook in Succession Season 3

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  1. Jesse Armstrong – Succession (“All the Bells Say”)
  2. Dan Erickson – Severance (“The We We Are”)
  3. Chris Mundy – Ozark (“A Hard Way to Go”)
  4. Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson – Yellowjackets (“Pilot”)
  5. Thomas Schnauz – Better Call Saul (“Plan and Execution”)
  6. Hwang Dong-hyuk – Squid Game (“One Lucky Day”)
  7. Jonathan Lisco, Ashley Lyle, and Bart Nickerson – Yellowjackets (“F Sharp”)

Now this is where I’m confident that Succession’s “All the Bells Say” will win its Emmy. Episode 9 of Season 3 – the season finale – is almost undeniably the best episode of the season, and the torrent of twists that arrive towards the end of the episode represent not just writing in Succession at its finest, but writing in general at its finest, period, and Emmy voters – who pretty much double as Succession stans – will no doubt take note. Severance season finale “The We We Are” and Ozark series finale “A Hard Way to Go” are commendable competitors, but Succession has got this in the bag.

I’m also happy to see Yellowjackets make a strong showing here with two nominations (particularly for “Pilot”), while Better Call Saul received significant praise as well for its midseason finale “Plan and Execution,” but for these episodes, it’s just an honor to be included. (And I also wouldn’t bet on Squid Game’s “One Lucky Day” staging an upset here, given that, if anyone had any issues with the show, it was notably how that season finale wrapped Season 1 up).


The cast of Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Comedy Series

  1. Abbott Elementary
  2. Ted Lasso
  3. Hacks
  4. Barry
  5. Only Murders in the Building
  6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  7. What We Do in the Shadows
  8. Curb Your Enthusiasm

I’m taking a little bit of a risk here, but that’s what July predictions are for! It’s far too easy to say that Ted Lasso is going to win its second Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy in a row even though, sure, it had the highest nom haul of any contender in this category, with 20 total (including acting, writing, directing, and casting nominations). However, there’s something uniquely special about Abbott Elementary, and it seems to have captured the cultural zeitgeist in a way no other nominee has (especially after Ted Lasso Season 2 was seen by many to be not quite as strong as Season 1). It’s not only revolutionarily representative, but it also speaks to the plight of school teachers today in a honest – but also hilarious – way, and given that I feel it’ll win a couple other key categories, I think it could have a win haul to make a serious play here, too.

But, with all that being said, there is always a chance that voters do just default to Ted Lasso again, or, perhaps, pick one of HBO’s awards plays, between the hysterical Hacks or brilliant Barry, after both shows enjoyed some of the best reviews of their run in their second and third seasons, respectively. Only Murders in the Building is another promising player – particularly due to its impressive 17 nominations – while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and What We Do in the Shadows are just pleased to be picked for inclusion, and Curb Your Enthusiasm feels like a namecheck. 

Bill Hader in Barry Season 3

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  1. Bill Hader – Barry
  2. Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso
  3. Steve Martin – Only Murders in the Building
  4. Martin Short – Only Murders in the Building
  5. Donald Glover – Atlanta
  6. Nicholas Hoult – The Great

Bill Hader may already have two acting Emmys for Barry, but the king has come back to claim his crown and prevent Jason Sudeikis from winning two years in a row with his wrenching and wicked work this season. Sure, it may not be all that comedic anymore, but if Emmy voters are setting out to reward the most admirable and audacious acting, this award is undeniably Hader’s. Sudeikis dived deeper into Ted Lasso’s psyche in Season 2 of that show as well, but Hader has outshone everyone here, and it’ll be a shock if the Academy doesn’t take note.

Steve Martin and Martin Short are appropriately amusing on Only Murders in the Building, but they’re really interchangeable here, and they lack the emotional “oomph” to give them any sort of edge against Hader or Sudeikis. Glover is simply happy to be here after Atlanta missed out on an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination, while Nicholas Hoult can say the same, especially after most pundits had been predicting Anthony Anderson to take his spot for Black-ish.

Jean Smart in Hacks Season 2

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  1. Jean Smart – Hacks
  2. Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary
  3. Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  4. Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant
  5. Issa Rae – Insecure
  6. Elle Fanning – The Great

While there’s some talk of a “Quinta Brunson upset” in this category, I think she’ll end up winning another Emmy on this night, as Jean Smart might be too challenging a competitor to effectively combat. In my eyes, Smart has become the new Julia Louis-Dreyfus – she’s gonna keep winning until her show is over. If you thought her depiction of Deborah Vance would be old hat by Season 2 of Hacks, think again, as Smart somehow found even more comedic gold to mine from this conceited comedian, while also exploring unforeseen emotional depth from her past, continually finding new ways to complicate this perplexing public figure.

Rachel Brosnahan will never miss a nomination as long as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is on air, but Season 4 failed to stand out from the pack this year the way previous seasons had, so she’s no threat to Smart either. Kaley Cuoco should be glad to get back in after The Flight Attendant too didn’t land as smoothly as it could’ve, while it’s nice Issa Rae got a “goodbye” nom after Insecure came to a close last December, and Elle Fanning – much like her co-star Nicholas Hoult – was a shock after most of us expected Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross to fill her spot, and thus she likely won’t be siphoning many votes away from her competitors either.

Henry Winkler in Barry Season 3

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  1. Henry Winkler – Barry
  2. Anthony Carrigan – Barry
  3. Brett Goldstein – Ted Lasso
  4. Nick Mohammed – Ted Lasso
  5. Toheeb Jimoh – Ted Lasso
  6. Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  7. Tyler James Williams – Abbott Elementary
  8. Bowen Yang – Saturday Night Live

A lot of pundits are predicting Brett Goldstein to win his second Emmy in a row for his portrayal of Roy Kent in Ted Lasso, but I’m not so sure there was enough “new” material for him in Season 2 to warrant another award. He’s suitably solid again, sure, but in my opinion, the most interesting comedic supporting actor performances of the year have come from Henry Winkler and Anthony Carrigan in Barry, who each take their characters in daring new directions – with the former revitalizing his career and simultaneously subtly enacting revenge on Barry for his girlfriend’s murder and the latter entering an empathetically written queer romance with a mob boss – and get more than their fair share of Emmy scenes to shine in (particularly Winkler, who is essential to the season’s ending).

Nick Mohammed and Toheeb Jimoh have huge subplots in Season 2 of Ted Lasso that allow them to flex their comedic and dramatic muscles immensely (Mohammed’s evolution into an antagonist is especially eerie), but Goldstein seems to have dominated the Supporting Actor talk for that show so far. When it comes to Tony Shalhoub, he’s already received his due for Mrs. Maisel, and there hasn’t been much chatter about the show or him this season, while for Williams and Yang, the mere inclusion here is the win, and hopefully it lays the groundwork for greater awards success in the future.

Janelle James in Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  1. Janelle James – Abbott Elementary
  2. Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso
  3. Hannah Einbinder – Hacks
  4. Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary
  5. Sarah Niles – Ted Lasso
  6. Juno Temple – Ted Lasso
  7. Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  8. Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live

I’m all-in on Ava. Abbott Elementary’s problematic principal – played to perfection by comedian Janelle James – is perhaps the standout character on the entire show, which is quite a significant statement to make when the sitcom features such a uniformly exceptional ensemble. And yet, you’ll find no hyperbole here. When I think of the “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” of this Emmy season, there’s no one who better fits that description than James, and though some think Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham will repeat or Hacks’ Hannah Einbinder will net her first win, you’ll be hard pressed to find a funnier nominee in this line-up than James.

There’s an outside chance James’ co-star, the legendary Sheryl Lee Ralph, could also challenge her for the win (her inclusion here alongside James, particularly while their equally as comical comrade Lisa Ann Walter is absent, speaks to her support), but James’ character fits the bill a bit better for a winner (think Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester from Glee). Ted Lasso’s Sarah Niles and Juno Temple are also strong contenders (especially Niles, who shares many of Sudeikis’ most emotional scenes with him), while Alex Borstein and Kate McKinnon feel like former winners benefitting from name checking.

Barry Episode "710N"

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  1. Bill Hader – Barry (“710N”)
  2. Lucia Aniello – Hacks (“There Will Be Blood”)
  3. Cherien Dabis – Only Murders in the Building (“The Boy from 6B”)
  4. MJ Delaney – Ted Lasso (“No Weddings and a Funeral”)
  5. Hiro Murai – Atlanta (“New Jazz”)
  6. Jamie Babbit – Only Murders in the Building (“True Crime”)
  7. Mary Lou Belli – The Ms. Pat Show (“Baby Daddy Groundhog Day”)

The craft on Barry has been bewildering for quite some time now, but Bill Hader and co. took things up another notch with Season 3, and never was that more apparent than in Episode 6, “710N,” which features a motorcycle chase that looks as if it could’ve come out of a James Cameron movie. Even though it’s early, I think Hader may have this raced locked up, though if anyone can challenge him, it’ll be last year’s winner Lucia Aniello who directed an appropriately energetic season opener in Hacks’ “There Will Be Blood,” featuring a brutal MMA match to boot.

Don’t count out Cherien Dabis for Only Murders in the Building’s “The Boy from 6B” either though, as that episode – which takes place entirety in the deaf character Theo’s perspective – is incredibly innovatively directed, adapting to Theo’s worldview and aligning the audience with it at the same time. The remaining nominees are mostly just admirable additions, though The Ms. Pat Show is a real head-scratcher that seems to have entirely come out of left-field.

Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  1. Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary (“Pilot”)
  2. Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky – Hacks (“The One, the Only”)
  3. Jane Becker – Ted Lasso (“No Weddings and a Funeral”)
  4. Steve Martin and John Hoffman – Only Murders in the Building (“True Crime”)
  5. Alec Berg and Bill Hader – Barry (“starting now”)
  6. Duffy Boudreau – Barry (“710N”)
  7. Stefani Robinson – What We Do in the Shadows (“The Wellness Center”)
  8. Sarah Naftalis – What We Do in the Shadows (“The Casino”)

Now here’s where I think Quinta Brunson will receive her individual due. It’s a tough fight between her and the Hacks writing team – who prevailed here last year and are up again with Season 2’s fantastically funny and deeply felt finale – but Abbott Elementary’s pilot is sitcom writing at its finest, and it perfectly laid the groundwork for the staggeringly successful series by impeccably introducing its entire cast of colorful characters. (And Brunson’s narrative about this being a personal passion project to pay tribute to her own elementary school teacher certainly helps.)

Ted Lasso’s “No Weddings and a Funeral,” Only Murders in the Building’s “True Crime,” and Barry’s “starting now” are all some of the best written episode of the year – all whip-smart and witty, and even unexpectedly emotional, in Ted Lasso’s case – but Abbott’s and Hacks’ submissions feel a teensy bit more memorable, while Barry’s “710N” is more of a directing showcase than a writer’s, and What We do in the Shadows seems destined to always be a bridesmaid, but never the bride.


The ensemble of The White Lotus

Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series

  1. The White Lotus
  2. Dopesick
  3. The Dropout
  4. Pam and Tommy
  5. Inventing Anna

Heading into the Emmy nominations, it seemed that many were betting on Dopesick to win this category, perhaps because The White Lotus might be a bit too idiosyncratic and risqué to appeal to the Academy at large. And then, The White Lotus went and got 20 Emmy nominations to Dopesick’s 14 – including eight acting nominations – and this whole race got flipped on its head. The voters didn’t just like The White Lotus – they loved it, and it’s not hard to see why, given how well Mike White’s caustic critique of the privileged 1% resonates in an economically divided America today.

The Dropout’s inclusion here makes sense – especially because Amanda Seyfried is currently the frontrunner in her acting category – though noms for Pam and Tommy and especially Inventing Anna make one wonder what happened during the voting period to shake up the race so much. Both were primarily seen as acting plays – with stronger overall miniseries like Maid and Under the Banner of Heaven expected to take their places – but it seems that the baitier “true life” tales with over-the-top transformative performances were too flashy to be overlooked.

Ben Foster in The Survivor

Outstanding Television Movie

  1. The Survivor
  2. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers
  3. Ray Donovan: The Movie
  4. Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas
  5. Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon

To start, this category is a complete cluster. So many different genres, so many disparate tones, and so many questions (like, how in the world did Megan Park’s fantastic – and terribly timely – The Fallout miss a nomination?!). HBO’s The Survivor is probably your best bet for now to win – it’s the “weightiest” movie and the closest to prestige fare – but Ben Foster shockingly missed out on an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie nomination that would’ve strengthened its case.

Plus, we’ve seen the “weightier” nominees miss the win before, like just last year, when Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square beat Oslo, Sylvie’s Love, and Uncle Frank. Does that mean Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers – which was shockingly well-received when it premiered in mid-May, and certainly had the most viewership of any movie in this category – could upset? We won’t count it out, especially when its other competitors are merely extensions of shows that don’t have much cultural cachet anymore.

Michael Keaton in Dopesick

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Michael Keaton – Dopesick
  2. Sebastian Stan – Pam and Tommy
  3. Andrew Garfield – Under the Banner of Heaven
  4. Colin Firth – The Staircase
  5. Oscar Isaac – Scenes from a Marriage
  6. Himesh Patel – Station Eleven

If Michael Keaton’s poignant performance in Dopesick wasn’t enough reason to give him the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, his stirring speech at this year’s SAG awards – in which he spoke of losing his nephew to drug abuse – cemented his frontrunner status and shone a light on the deeper importance of his involvement in this project, underscoring how eternal – and essential – that miniseries’ messaging is.

Given Pam and Tommy’s overperformance, one has to assume that Sebastian Stan is the runner-up here, with Andrew Garfield not far behind with the next buzziest performance of the bunch, and Colin Firth and Oscar Isaac neck-and-neck in two HBO dramas, while Himesh Patel’s surprise inclusion for Station Eleven (especially when it seemed like co-stars Mackenzie Davis or Daneille Deadwyler had more heat) is win enough for the actor as he continues his career to hopefully further attention and acclaim.

Amanda Seyfreid in The Dropout

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Amanda Seyfried – The Dropout
  2. Lily James – Pam and Tommy
  3. Margaret Qualley – Maid
  4. Julia Garner – Inventing Anna
  5. Toni Collette – The Staircase
  6. Sarah Paulson – Impeachment: American Crime Story

Amanda Seyfried’s career-best performance in The Dropout has had audiences buzzing for over four months now, and it make total sense why she’d be the frontrunner for the Emmy, with her thorough transformation into disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes representing not just what tends to be the most attractive work to awards voters (a complete immersion into a role) but also some of the most acutely detailed acting you’ll see in film and television all year long. There comes a point where you stop seeing Seyfried and you can only envision Holmes in her place, and it’s thanks to Seyfried’s courageous commitment to her character that such a phenomenon is possible.

Like her co-star, Lily James is likely in second place her for her playful – and painful – portrayal of the endlessly antagonized Pamela Anderson, while Margaret Qualley, once thought to be a challenger for the win, finds herself in third place after Maid failed to make the cut in Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. She’s narrowly fending off Inventing Anna’s Julia Garner, who remain in this weird spot of starring in a show that unexpectedly received major nods despite having a raucously mixed reception, while Toni Collette and Sarah Paulson feel more like “old friends” singled out by Emmy voters than actual challengers.

Murray Bartlett in The White Lotus

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Murray Bartlett – The White Lotus
  2. Jake Lacy – The White Lotus
  3. Seth Rogen – Pam and Tommy
  4. Peter Sarsgaard – Dopesick
  5. Michael Stuhlbarg – Dopesick
  6. Steve Zahn – The White Lotus
  7. Will Poulter – Dopesick

Let’s be honest with ourselves: Murray Bartlett has got this in the bag. Not only did his show dramatically overperform with Emmy nominations across-the-board, but even though he’s placed in the “Supporting Actor” category here (due to The White Lotus being an “ensemble series” with no true lead), he’s still essentially the “face” of the HBO miniseries, and his Armond was continually cited as the standout (alongside Jennifer Coolidge) all season long. If anyone were to upset, it could be Jake Lacy, who played his privileged foil perfectly, but we think Barrett can breathe easy.

Seth Rogen’s inclusion here – as the only supporting performer in a limited or anthology series or movie to be recognized that didn’t star in The White Lotus or Dopesick – shows that he has a fair share of support, as does Pam and Tommy’s overperformance overall, but most of the “winning” acting attention for that show is centered around James and Stan, so I wouldn’t expect him to pull off the upset. Meanwhile, none of the Dopesick guys stand too far above the others to gain steam for a win, and Steve Zahn can’t compete with Bartlett and Lacy in his own show.

Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus
  2. Kaitlyn Dever – Dopesick
  3. Alexandra Daddario – The White Lotus
  4. Connie Britton – The White Lotus
  5. Natasha Rothwell – The White Lotus
  6. Mare Winningham – Dopesick
  7. Sydney Sweeney – The White Lotus

If all goes according to plan, this should be Jennifer Coolidge’s Emmy – she’s picked up a considerable amount of hardware on the way here, and her Tanya was an undeniable scene stealer on this season of The White Lotus, becoming so beloved that she’ll be brought back for Season 2 – but the only thing to worry about is the possibility that, with more White Lotus actresses nominated than previously anticipated, vote splitting could occur.

If that happens, look to Dopesick’s Kaitlyn Dever to benefit. Sure, Mare Winningham is also nominated for that show, but it’s Dever who has appeared elsewhere all season, and her character’s affecting arc becomes perhaps the most stirring storyline on that miniseries – it’s impossible to deny her emotional impact. This should be Coolidge’s “time,” especially when considering how her career has “built to this moment,” but Dever is waiting in the wings if she stumbles.

Sydney Sweeney and Brittany O'Grady in The White Lotus

Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Mike White – The White Lotus
  2. Danny Strong – Dopesick (“The People vs. Purdue Pharma”)
  3. Hiro Murai – Station Eleven (“Wheel of Fire”)
  4. John Wells – Maid (“Sky Blue”)
  5. Francesca Gregorini – The Dropout (“Iron Sisters”)
  6. Michael Showalter – The Dropout (“Green Juice”)

I’m not predicting the love fest for The White Lotus at the Emmys to end any time soon. The show is comedian Mike White’s brainchild, and I think it’s safe to say that none of its satire would land as spectacularly as it does without him steering this ship. One might say that it’s actually his writing that stands out most of all (more on that in a moment), but he’s certainly no slouch as a director either, and I think voters could simply just check the box next to The White Lotus due to their adoration of the show overall.

Danny Strong is likely the runner-up here for the riveting Dopesick finale “The People vs. Purdue Pharma,” but Mike White’s work feels a bit more showy, and it might impress viewers that White directed every episode of his show, being able to claim the entire thing as “his own.” Without miniseries noms, Station Eleven and Maid don’t stand much of a chance here, while The Dropout is more of a performance showcase than a directing one.

Alexandra Daddario and Jake Lacy in The White Lotus

Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

  1. Mike White – The White Lotus
  2. Danny Strong – Dopesick (“The People vs. Purdue Pharma”)
  3. Elizabeth Meriwether – The Dropout (“I’m in a Hurry”)
  4. Molly Smith Metzler – Maid (“Snaps”)
  5. Patrick Somerville – Station Eleven (“Unbroken Circle”)
  6. Sarah Burgess – Impeachment: American Crime Story (“Man Handled”)

As mentioned above, Mike White’s intelligent and incisive writing on The White Lotus is impossible to ignore, and I predict he runs away with the race here. Danny Strong’s work in Dopesick is equally admirable – particularly because of how he ties together all the show’s storylines into one chilling conclusion – but the more memorable dialogue and scathing social commentary in The White Lotus will put White ahead.

Maid won the WGA Award for Television: Long Form – Adapted, but once again, its lack of a miniseries nomination gives it very little chance at upsetting here, and the same can be said for Station Eleven. (While, as mentioned in the last category, The Dropout’s best chance at a win lies with Amanda Seyfried, not with its directing or writing, and as for Impeachment, it’s just lucky to be here).

And… that’s all for now! Catch me updating these predictions every Friday right here on We Live Entertainment, and week by week, I’ll be adding in more categories to assess as well.

Written by
Though Zoë Rose Bryant has only worked in film criticism for a little under three years - turning a collegiate passion into a full-time career by writing for outlets such as Next Best Picture and Awards Watch - her captivation with cinema has been a lifelong fascination, appreciating film in all its varying forms, from horror movies to heartfelt romantic comedies and everything in between. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, she made the move to Los Angeles in 2021 after graduating college and now spends her days keeping tabs on all things pop culture and attempting to attend every screening under the sun. As a trans critic, she also seeks to champion underrepresented voices in the LGBTQ+ community in film criticism and offer original insight on how gender and sexuality are explored in modern entertainment. You can find Zoë on Twitter, Instagram, and Letterboxd at @ZoeRoseBryant.

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