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Emmys 2021: The Final Predictions

by Diego Andaluz
A collage of Billy Porter in POSE, Anya Taylor-Joy in THE QUEENS GAMBIT, and Jason Sudeikis in TED LASSO, all leading our final round of predictions for the 2021 Emmys.

The 73rd Primetime Emmys are arriving on the heels of a year where global circumstances have resulted in an influx of small-screen content consumption from all around the world. In the midst of what many have been calling the “Golden Age of Television” with an impressive variety of shows that have impacted pop culture, 2021 is one of the most important yet. The competition going into the Emmys is high, with multiple programs (such as The Queen’s Gambit and Ted Lasso) already in the lead with huge wins from award bodies earlier in the year. But many other hit programs (like Mare of Eastown) have proved to dominate conversations as major threats, heating up the race further.

Find out who we believe will be walking away with gold in our final round of predictions for the 2021 Emmys! Editor Diego Andaluz accurately predicted over 80% of the final nominees and winners for the 2021 Oscars, will he be just as on point with the Emmys? Our predictions are ranked by most likely to win, followed by runner-up choices. You can also find the final winners for this year’s OscarsGolden GlobesCritics Choice AwardsSAG AwardsBAFTAs, and MTV Awards right here on DiscussingFilm.

LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES, MOVIE CATEGORY

One of the more interesting groups of the night, the Limited Series section is rife with questions that will dictate the final results. Will The Queen’s Gambit continue its remarkable dominance? Can Mare Of Easttown’s buzz take it to the finish line? Will the lack of love for The Underground Railroad result in one of the best shows of the year going home empty-handed? But perhaps the biggest question of all is one that could change the landscape of the Emmys for years to come: Is WandaVision’s mainstream appeal strong enough to make a splash in the winners list? 

While it might come close in other places (such as Directing), I currently foresee The Queen’s Gambit maintaining its dominance in categories like Actress, Writing, and the overall Limited Series prize. Moving on, we could see potential shakeups in quite a few other slots. Voters coalescing around Barry Jenkins to ensure a Best Director win for him would not be out of the norm, as well as a Best Actor win for Lin-Manuel Miranda being in the cards if enough voters see past the categorical murkiness that has plagued Hamilton‘s recent awards run. 

Limited Series

1. The Queen’s Gambit
2. Wandavision
3. Mare of Easttown 
4. I May Destroy You
5. The Underground Railroad

Direction For a Limited Series

1. Barry Jenkins (The Underground Railroad)
2. Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit)
3. Craig Zobel (Mare of Easttown)
4. Matt Shakman (WandaVision)
5. Thomas Kail (Hamilton)
6. Michaela Coel & Sam Miller (I May Destroy You)
7. Sam Miller (I May Destroy You)

Writing For a Limited Series or Movie

1. Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit)
2. Brad Ingelsby (Mare Of Easttown)
3. Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)
4. Jac Schaeffer (WandaVision)
5. Chuck Hayward & Peter Cameron (WandaVision)
6. Laura Donney (WandaVision)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

1. Paul Bettany (Wandavision)
2. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)
3. Hugh Grant (The Undoing)
4. Ewan McGregor (Halston)
5. Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

1. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)
2. Elizabeth Olsen (Wandavision)
3. Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown)
4. Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
5. Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

1. Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown)
2. Daveed Diggs (Hamilton)
3. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (The Queen’s Gambit)
4. Anthony Ramos (Hamilton)
5. Jonathon Groff (Hamilton)
6. Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) 

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

1. Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision)
2. Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown)
3. Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown)
4. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton)
5. Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit)
6. Phillipa Soo (Hamilton)

Television Movie

1. Oslo
2. Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square
3. Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia
4. Uncle Frank
5. Sylvie’s Love

DRAMA CATEGORY

Although still somewhat cloudy, this year’s Drama category is marked by races that are far clearer than those in Limited Series. With clearly established frontrunners in the majority of the acting slots (The Crown’s Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson, Lovecraft Country’s Michael K. Williams) as well as the overall Drama Series race, expect The Crown to emerge as the overall winner here.

However, the Lead Actor race reveals a far tighter contest than you might expect. Whereas Josh O’Connor has won here at the Golden Globes, Hollywood Critics, and Critics Choice Awards, I currently see Billy Porter’s iconic turn in the final season of POSE (which he has previously won in this category for) emerging victorious on Sunday night. 

Drama Series

1. The Crown 
2. The Handmaid’s Tale
3. POSE
4. The Mandalorian
5. Lovecraft Country
6. Bridgerton
7. This is Us
8. The Boys

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

1. Billy Porter (Pose)
2. Josh O’Connor (The Crown)
3. Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton)
4. Jonathon Majors (Lovecraft Country)
5. Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)
6. Sterling K Brown (This is Us)

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

1. Emma Corrin (The Crown)
2. MJ Rodriguez (Pose)
3. Olivia Coleman (The Crown)
4. Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
5. Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)
6. Uzo Aduba (In Treatment)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

1. Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)
2. Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
3. Tobias Menzies (The Crown)
4. Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian)
5. John Lithgow (Perry Mason) 
6. Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale)
7. O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale)
8. Chris Sullivan (This is Us)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

1. Gillian Anderson (The Crown)
2. Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
3. Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
4. Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)
5. Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
6. Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country)
7. Emerald Fennell (The Crown)
8. Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale)

COMEDY CATEGORY

Fresh off a near clean sweep at the HCA TV Awards, Ted Lasso will enter the Emmys as the clear frontrunner in most categories in the Comedy section. Facing only slight competition from two HBO Max Originals (The Flight Attendant and Hacks), Ted Lasso stands as the likely winner in the overall Comedy Series, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress races on Sunday night (with six nominations in supporting categories alone).

Yet, expect the two other aforementioned programs to battle it out in the Lead Actress race. While The Flight Attendant’s Kaley Cuoco could take home the gold, Jean Smart’s show-stopping performance in Hacks will likely edge her out to have her name called at the 2021 Emmys. 

Comedy Series

1. Ted Lasso
2. The Flight Attendant
3. Hacks
4. Cobra Kai
5. The Kominsky Method
6. PEN15
7. Black-ish
8. Emily in Paris

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

1. Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)
2. Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
3. William H. Lacy (Shameless)
4. Kenan Thompson (Kenan)
5. Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

1. Jean Smart (Hacks)
2. Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
3. Allison Janey (Mom)
4. Aidy Bryant (Shrill)
5. Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

1. Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso) 
2. Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
3. Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live)
4. Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso)
5. Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso)
6. Paul Reiser (The Kominsky Method)
7. Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks)
8. Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

1. Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)
2. Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
3. Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)
4. Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant)
5. Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)
6. Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
7. Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live)

VARIETY CATEGORY

Variety Talk Series

1. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
2. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
3. Conan
4. The Late Show With Stephen Colbert 
5. Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Variety Sketch Series

1. Saturday Night Live
2. A Black Lady Sketch Show

Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

1. Bo Burnham: Inside
2. Hamilton
3. Friends: The Reunion
4. 8:46 – Dave Chappelle
5. A West Wing Special To Benefit When We All Vote
6. David Byrne’s American Utopia

The Final Award Winners of 2021:

Follow Awards Editor Diego Andaluz on Twitter: @thediegoandaluz

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