As the COVID year-plus has swung around into a loosening of our social life once again (although it remains to be seen if that’s necessarily a good thing yet), so too have the Emmys arrived again. The celebration of the best in television from the past year (June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, to be clear) may have a fuller experience than it did in 2020. The 72nd Emmys were one of the first major awards show in the wake of COVID lockdown, and they had to take on a stripped down, remote production style, which may have contributed to their weakened ratings. As the 73rd approaches, taking place on September 19, 2021, the world is slightly less reliant on the alleviation provided by ubiquitous streaming services and endless “content.” But only slightly, and indeed, many of the shows nominated for the 2021 ceremony were quarantine qlassics (yuck, sorry). So we’ll see how the TV awards show fares in a couple months. Until then, though, the purpose of this piece is to predict what will win in each of the major categories, not to establish the best of each category.

Generally, THE MANDALORIAN and THE CROWN tied for the most nominations with 24 apiece. However, this piece will concern itself with “only” 39 major categories, defined in a segment by the official Emmys site away from the “other awards,” the former presumably being big wins afforded airtime and given in the proper ceremony rather than the Creative Arts show for the latter (although those awards are deserved as well). This is an increase from last year’s 26 considered major categories, but I figured the Emmys distinguished the ones listed here and maybe I can get a better “score,” even as I consider reality and other categories that are just outside of my ken. Last year, I only scored a 12/26, a 46 percent. We’ll see if I improved in a couple months, but for now, I’ll bold the potential winners.

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • BLACK-ISH
  • COBRA KAI
  • EMILY IN PARIS
  • HACKS
  • THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
  • THE KOMINSKY METHOD
  • PEN15
  • TED LASSO

Outstanding Drama Series

  • THE BOYS
  • BRIDGERTON
  • THE CROWN
  • THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
  • THE MANDALORIAN
  • POSE
  • THIS IS US

Outstanding Limited Series

  • I MAY DESTROY YOU
  • MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
  • WANDAVISION

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

  • CONAN
  • THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH
  • JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!
  • LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
  • THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  • A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW
  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

  • CELEBRATING AMERICA — AN INAUGURATION NIGHT SPECIAL
  • 63RD ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS
  • THE OSCARS
  • PEPSI SUPER BOWL LV HALFTIME SHOW STARRING THE WEEKND
  • STEPHEN COLBERT’S ELECTION NIGHT 2020: DEMOCRACY’S LAST STAND: BUILDING BACK AMERICA GREAT AGAIN BETTER 2020

Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-recorded)

  • BO BURNHAM: INSIDE
  • DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA
  • 8:46 — DAVE CHAPPELLE
  • FRIENDS: THE REUNION
  • A WEST WING SPECIAL TO BENEFIT WHEN WE ALL VOTE

Outstanding Competition Program

  • THE AMAZING RACE
  • NAILED IT!
  • RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE
  • TOP CHEF
  • THE VOICE

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

  • ANTIQUES ROADSHOW
  • PROPERTY BROTHERS: FOREVER HOME
  • QUEER EYE
  • RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS
  • SHARK TANK

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

  • BECOMING
  • BELOW DECK
  • INDIAN MATCHMAKING
  • RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE UNTUCKED
  • SELLING SUNSET

Outstanding Television Movie

  • DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE
  • OSLO
  • ROBIN ROBERTS PRESENTS: MAHALIA
  • SYLVIE’S LOVE
  • UNCLE FRANK

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson — BLACK-ISH
  • Michael Douglas — THE KOMINSKY METHOD
  • William H. Macy — SHAMELESS
  • Jason Sudeikis — TED LASSO
  • Kenan Thompson — KENAN

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Aidy Bryant — SHRILL
  • Kaley Cuoco — THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
  • Allison Janney — MOM
  • Tracee Ellis Ross — BLACK-ISH
  • Jean Smart — HACKS

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Sterling K. Brown — THIS IS US
  • Jonathan Majors — LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
  • Josh O’Connor — THE CROWN
  • Regé-Jean Page — BRIDGERTON
  • Billy Porter — POSE
  • Matthew Rhys — PERRY MASON

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Uzo Aduba — IN TREATMENT
  • Olivia Colman — THE CROWN
  • Emma Corrin — THE CROWN
  • Elisabeth Moss — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Mj Rodriguez — POSE
  • Jurnee Smollett — LOVECRAFT COUNTRY

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Paul Bettany — WANDAVISION
  • Hugh Grant — THE UNDOING
  • Ewan McGregor — HALSTON
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda — HAMILTON
  • Leslie Odom Jr. — HAMILTON

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Michaela Coel — I MAY DESTROY YOU
  • Cynthia Erivo — GENIUS: ARETHA
  • Elizabeth Olsen — WANDAVISION
  • Anya Taylor-Joy — THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • Kate Winslet — THE MARE OF EASTTOWN

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Carl Clemons-Hopkins — HACKS
  • Brett Goldstein — TED LASSO
  • Brendan Hunt — TED LASSO
  • Nick Mohammed — TED LASSO
  • Paul Reiser — THE KOMINSKY METHOD
  • Jeremy Swift — TED LASSO
  • Kenan Thompson — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Bowen Yang — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Aidy Bryant — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Hannah Einbinder — HACKS
  • Kate McKinnon — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Rosie Perez — THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
  • Cecily Strong — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Juno Temple — TED LASSO
  • Hannah Waddingham — TED LASSO

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Giancarlo Esposito — THE MANDALORIAN
  • O.T. Fagbenle — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • John Lithgow — PERRY MASON
  • Tobias Menzies — THE CROWN
  • Max Minghella — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Chris Sullivan — THIS IS US
  • Bradley Whitford — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Michael K. Williams — LOVECRAFT COUNTRY

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Gillian Anderson — THE CROWN
  • Helena Bonham Carter — THE CROWN
  • Madeline Brewer — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Ann Dowd — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Aunjanue Ellis — LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
  • Emerald Fennell — THE CROWN
  • Yvonne Strahovski — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Samira Wiley — THE HANDMAID’S TALE

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster — THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • Daveed Diggs — HAMILTON
  • Paapa Essiedu — I MAY DESTROY YOU
  • Jonathan Groff — HAMILTON
  • Evan Peters — MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • Anthony Ramos — HAMILTON

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Renée Elise Goldsberry — HAMILTON
  • Kathryn Hahn — WANDAVISION
  • Moses Ingram — THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • Julianne Nicholson — MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • Jean Smart — MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • Phillipa Soo — HAMILTON

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Dave Chappelle — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Morgan Freeman — THE KOMINSKY METHOD
  • Daniel Kaluuya — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Daniel Levy — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Jane Adams — HACKS
  • Yvette Nicole Brown — A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW
  • Bernadette Peters — ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST
  • Issa Rae — A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW
  • Maya Rudolph — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Kristen Wiig — SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  • Don Cheadle — THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
  • Charles Dance — THE CROWN
  • Timothy Olyphant — THE MANDALORIAN
  • Courtney B. Vance — LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
  • Carl Weathers — THE MANDALORIAN

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

  • Alexis Bledel — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Claire Foy — THE CROWN
  • Mckenna Grace — THE HANDMAID’S TALE
  • Sophie Okonedo — RATCHED
  • Phylicia Rashad — THIS IS US

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program

  • Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness — QUEER EYE
  • Nicole Byer — NAILED IT!
  • Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary — SHARK TANK
  • Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons — TOP CHEF
  • RuPaul — RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  • James Burrows — “Pilot” (B POSITIVE)
  • Lucia Aniello — “There Is No Line (Pilot)” (HACKS)
  • James Widdoes — “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak” (MOM)
  • Zach Braff — “Biscuits” (TED LASSO)
  • MJ Delaney — “The Hope That Kills You” (TED LASSO)
  • Declan Lowney — “Make Rebecca Great Again” (TED LASSO)
  • Susanna Fogel — “In Case of Emergency” (THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  • Julie Anne Robinson — “Diamond of the First Water” (BRIDGERTON)
  • Steven Canals — “Series Finale” (POSE)
  • Jessica Hobbs — “War” (THE CROWN)
  • Benjamin Caron — “Fairytale” (THE CROWN)
  • Liz Garbus — “The Wilderness” (THE HANDMAID’S TALE)
  • Jon Favreau — “Chapter 9: The Marshal” (THE MANDALORIAN)

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie

  • Thomas Kail — HAMILTON
  • Sam Miller — “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes” (I MAY DESTROY YOU)
  • Sam Miller, Michaela Coel — “Ego Death” (I MAY DESTROY YOU)
  • Craig Zobel — MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • Scott Frank — THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • Barry Jenkins — THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
  • Matt Shakman — WANDAVISION

Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program

  • Mark Perez — “Preaching Out Loud” (QUEER EYE)
  • Nick Murray — “Gettin’ Lucky” (RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE)
  • Bertram van Munster — “Give Me a Beard Bump” (THE AMAZING RACE)
  • Alan Carter — “The Blind Auditions Premiere” (THE VOICE)
  • Ari Boles — “Pan African Portland” (TOP CHEF)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series

  • Christopher Werner — “Trump & Election Results/F*ck 2020” (LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
  • Alexander J. Vietmeier — “Episode 1085a” (LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS)
  • Paul G. Casey — “Episode 1835” (REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER)
  • Don Roy King — “Host: Dave Chappelle” (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE)
  • Jim Hoskinson — “Live Show Following Capitol Insurrection; Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Performance By Jamila Woods” (THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special

  • Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, Dave Chappelle — 8:46 — DAVE CHAPPELLE
  • Thomas Schlamme — A WEST WING SPECIAL TO BENEFIT WHEN WE ALL VOTE
  • Bo Burnham — BO BURNHAM: INSIDE
  • Spike Lee — DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA
  • Ben Winston — FRIENDS: THE REUNION

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • Meredith Scardino — “Pilot” (GIRLS5EVA)
  • Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky — “There Is No Line (Pilot)” (HACKS)
  • Maya Erskine — “Play” (PEN15)
  • Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly — “Make Rebecca Great Again” (TED LASSO)
  • Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly — “Pilot” (TED LASSO)
  • Steve Yockey — “In Case of Emergency” (THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • Misha Green — “Sundown” (LOVECRAFT COUNTRY)
  • Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J — “Series Finale” (POSE)
  • Rebecca Sonnenshine — “What I Know” (THE BOYS)
  • Peter Morgan — “War” (THE CROWN)
  • Yahlin Chang — “Home” (THE HANDMAID’S TALE)
  • Dave Filoni — “Chapter 13: The Jedi” (THE MANDALORIAN)
  • Jon Favreau — “Chapter 16: The Rescue” (THE MANDALORIAN)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie

  • Michaela Coel — I MAY DESTROY YOU
  • Brad Ingelsby — MARE OF EASTTOWN
  • Scott Frank — THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
  • Chuck Hayward, Peter Cameron — “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!” (WANDAVISION)
  • Jac Schaeffer — “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience” (WANDAVISION)
  • Laura Donney — “Previously On” (WANDAVISION)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

  • A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW
  • LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW
  • THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special

  • Dave Chappelle — 8:46 — DAVE CHAPPELLE
  • Bo Burnham — BO BURNHAM: INSIDE
  • Mitchell Marchand — JOHN LEWIS: CELEBRATING A HERO
  • STEPHEN COLBERT’S ELECTION NIGHT 2020: DEMOCRACY’S LAST STAND BUILDING BACK AMERICA GREAT AGAIN BETTER 2020
  • THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH PRESENTS: JORDAN KLEPPER FINGERS THE PULSE — INTO THE MAGAVERSE

Well, if I’m correct (unlikely), TED LASSO will win the most awards from these categories with six. However, even if the number isn’t correct, I do feel it will the winningest show regardless; it was just praised up and down by everybody! I’ll take stock, though, on September 19.

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