- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Tumblr
Best Drama Series
WILL WIN: Game of Thrones (HBO)
Game of Thrones sat out last year's race after winning the previous two, and The Handmaid's Tale bagged the first-ever series win for a streaming show. Now they face each other — talk about apples and oranges, both tasty — with an emboldened Netflix (The Crown, Stranger Things) and a departing FX critics' darling (The Americans) lurking.
SHOULD WIN: The Americans (FX)
With the Handmaid's Tale finale leaving a sour taste and ?Game of Thrones feeling like it aired a million years ago, ?hopefully there's room for The Americans to grab recognition ?for both its series run and a haunting final season.
Best Television Movie
WILL WIN: Black Mirror: USS Callister (Netflix)
HBO, which has dominated this category, has three nominees that can't be counted out — Fahrenheit 451, Paterno and The Tale — but the smart money is on Black Mirror: USS Callister, which received three more noms than that anthology series' installment that won last year and has a field-leading seven noms, including one for writing.
SHOULD WIN: The Tale (HBO)
Pitting a pair of so-so historical dramas (Flint and Paterno) against ?a lambasted adaptation (Fahrenheit 451) against a good made-for-?Sundance feature (The Tale) against a TV episode (USS Callister), this category needs reshaping. Maybe we should skip it some years?
Best Actor in a Drama Series
WILL WIN: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Having co-stars nominated for This Is Us (Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia) and Westworld (Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright) suggests splits could pave the way for Jason Bateman for rookie Ozark or Matthew Rhys for The Americans' last season. But Brown has won Emmys in each of the last two years and swept this year's precursors.
SHOULD WIN: Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)
The baffling exclusion of Counterpart star J.K. Simmons from ?a field dominated by supporting performances makes it easy ?to argue that Matthew Rhys' work as the increasingly miserable and ?dislocated Philip Jennings demands recognition at long last.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
WILL WIN: David Harbour, Stranger Things (Netflix)
Though classified as supporting, the male leads of Handmaid's (Joseph Fiennes) and The Crown (Matt Smith) may have a shot, much like Peter Dinklage, who has won twice before for Game of Thrones. But SAG and Golden Globe noms and a Critics' Choice win suggest David Harbour may be tough to beat for Stranger Things' second season.
SHOULD WIN: Matt Smith, The Crown (Netflix)
A mixture of retreads and head-scratchers, this category comes ?down to the immensely likable work by David Harbour on Stranger Things and the immensely unlikable character played by Matt Smith on ?The Crown, with the higher degree of difficulty going to the latter.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
WILL WIN: Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things (Netflix)
Handmaid's' extraordinary Ann Dowd won last year and could repeat, but this year she'll have to fend off two co-stars (Alexis Bledel, a guest actress winner last year, and Yvonne Strahovski), not one. Also from other popular shows: Thrones' Lena Headey, The Crown's Vanessa Kirby and Westworld's Thandie Newton. I predict a surprise.
SHOULD WIN: Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
With "Beryl," The Crown's Vanessa Kirby has the best ?single showcase episode in this category. For a full season, though, ?it's hard to top Yvonne Strahovski, who transitioned Serena ?Joy from hissable villain to her show's most complicated character.
Best Actor in a Comedy Series
WILL WIN: Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
Donald Glover, last year's winner, is nominated for producing, directing and writing, as well, and has a guest-acting nom — as is Barry's Bill Hader. This race would seem to be between the two of them — unless TV Academy favorite Ted Danson can pull an upset for his show's delicious second season.
SHOULD WIN: Bill Hader, Barry (HBO)
Atlanta's Donald Glover winning for the magnificent "Teddy Perkins" ?episode, in which he was encased in latex most of the time, ?would be nice, but Bill Hader mined remarkable dramatic depths ?in the last few episodes of his HBO hitman comedy.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
WILL WIN: Henry Winkler, Barry (HBO)
One can't count out past winners Alec Baldwin for his SNL Trump or Louie Anderson for his Baskets mom, nor Tony Shalhoub for popular Maisel or Bryan Tyree Henry for acclaimed Atlanta. But expect a beautiful moment when Henry Winkler, a TV icon and one of the industry's true nice guys, wins for the first time on his sixth nom.
SHOULD WIN: Louie Anderson, Baskets (FX)
Anybody other than Alec Baldwin, whose SNL support ?from voters should go to the long-overdue Kenan Thompson. ?Frankly, Louie Anderson should have been elevated to lead, ?given how central Christine Baskets is to the show's narrative.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
WILL WIN: Alex Borstein, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Atlanta's Zazie Beetz, Glow's Betty Gilpin, Will & Grace's Megan Mullally and Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf will get votes, but this will come down to SNL's Kate McKinnon (even though co-stars Aidy Bryant and Leslie Jones share the category), the winner in each of the last two years, and MADtv vet Alex Borstein, Maisel's resident smartass.
SHOULD WIN: Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin emerged as the heart of GLOW, Zazie Beetz had ?two superb Atlanta showcases and Kate McKinnon is Kate McKinnon. ?But the winner should be Alex Borstein, tearing into a career-best ?live-action role and improving — not just stealing — her every scene.
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie
WILL WIN: Merritt Wever, Godless (Netflix)
Of two Versace nominees, Penelope Cruz has a flashier part and more screen time, but Judith Light owns every moment she has. Jesus Christ Superstar's Sara Bareilles shines, as do two lesser-knowns, American Horror Story: Cult's Adina Porter and Black Mirror: Black Museum's Letitia Wright. But past winner Wever is a cut above.
SHOULD WIN: Merritt Wever, Godless (Netflix)
Penelope Cruz nails so many of Donatella Versace's ?mannerisms and deserves applause for not riding her movie-star status to the lead category. Wever ?just happens to have the meatier, more nuanced role.
Best Variety Sketch Series
WILL WIN: Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Portlandia is nominated for its final season, while At Home With Amy Sedaris and I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman are up for their first seasons, but this is still SNL's to lose. It landed 21 noms, just one fewer than last year (when election insanity propelled it to a show-record 22) and one fewer than this year's field leader Thrones.
SHOULD WIN: At Home With Amy Sedaris (TruTV)
We're done with the whole Saturday Night Live comeback narrative, ?right? The last season of Portlandia deserves consideration, ?but the gem of this group is Amy Sedaris' unexpectedly strange, ?sad and deranged winking take on the home advice genre.
Best Variety Talk Series
WILL WIN: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
The nominees are almost the same as they were the last two years, when HBO's Brit-wit John Oliver prevailed. One should never count out broadcast network contenders (Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert), and James Corden's The Late Late Show got hot when it counted. But it's hard to bet against Oliver.
SHOULD WIN: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
Colbert maintained momentum, Kimmel expanded his ?topicality, Samantha Bee withstood a torrent of ?controversy, and Trevor Noah staked out his own unique Daily Show space. But, the champ remains the champ.
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special
WILL WIN: The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)
This category's last two winners were Oscar nominees from Netflix (What Happened, Miss Simone? and 13th), so there's no reason why the service's timely Oscar winner Icarus can't win this year. But my sense is Judd Apatow's more recent, heartfelt tribute to his enigmatic mentor, a late TV legend, will resonate more with this group.
SHOULD WIN: The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)
Judd Apatow's four-hour exploration of and tribute to the late Garry Shandling is perceptive, heartfelt and introspective. It's perhaps the best thing Apatow has ever directed and it's very much the measured celebration Shandling deserved.
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series
WILL WIN: Wild Wild Country (Netflix)
No show has more wins in this category than PBS' American Masters, and few nature docuseries have been nominated but not won, so keep an eye on BBC America's Blue Planet II, too. But HBO's The Defiant Ones and Netflix's Wild Wild Country were also widely watched and more heavily promoted, so I suspect it's between them.
SHOULD WIN: Blue Planet II (BBC America)
Leaving aside that I don't get why The Defiant Ones and The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling are in different categories, there's no wrong choice here. My instinct is to honor the patience, persistence and dedication behind BBC America's Blue Planet II, which is breathtaking from the first frame to the last.
Best Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
WILL WIN: Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018 (CBS)
The field includes Netflix standup specials by Dave Chappelle and the team of Steve Martin and Martin Short, plus a Samantha Bee Puerto Rico show. But bet on The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special or James Corden's Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special (which won the then-unified variety special Emmy in 2016 and '17).
SHOULD WIN: Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special (CBS)
I'm not sure why Scott wanted to make sure we did this category. My vote would go to anything other than Carpool Karaoke. So it's either the Carol Burnett special if you're feeling sentimental or the Samantha Bee special if you're feeling angry.
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
WILL WIN: Viola Davis, Scandal (ABC)
2017's winner hailed from Handmaid's, which could bode well for Cherry Jones, Kelly Jenrette or Samira Wiley — but a split seems likelier. A fourth nom in this category could prove the charm for Thrones' Diana Rigg or How to Get Away With Murder's Cicely Tyson. However, stars often win here, so Viola Davis (Scandal) seems likelier.
SHOULD WIN: Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones (HBO)
I'm not sure how much screentime Diana Rigg even had in her nominated episode, but she owns one of the year's single best scenes and that should be enough to make the fourth time the charm for her Game of Thrones work. She previously won in 1997 for Rebecca, but I won't hold that against her.
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
WILL WIN: Donald Glover, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
In five of the last 10 years this winner has been an SNL host, and with two nominated this year — Donald Glover and Bill Hader — there's no reason to think that won't happen again. Glover did double-duty as host and musical guest (the latter job under the name Childish Gambino), and had everyone buzzing, so he has the edge.
SHOULD WIN: Sterling K. Brown, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
We don't see voting results, obviously, but if we did I'd hope that Brown would receive 95 percent of the tally for a guest stint that was both eerily scary and hilarious, a part that allowed him to go head-to-head with Andre Braugher in full Homicide mode and come out on top.
Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking
WILL WIN: Jane (Nat Geo)
There are just four nominees. Only one of them hails from Netflix and was Oscar-nominated: Strong Island. A&E's City of Ghosts and Starz's What Haunts Us will have their champions. But I expect the appeal of chimp whisperer Jane Goodall and the strong campaign mounted by Nat Geo to put Jane over the top.
SHOULD WIN: Jane (Nat Geo)
I'm still angry that OJ: Made in America didn't win this category, basically because it won the Oscar and Emmy voters got snobby about ESPN's medium-hopping. So angry. At least Jane got snubbed by the Oscars and thus it'll get to be honored here. These documentary categories all need fixing.
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
‘Yellowjackets’ Creators Get Real on Season 2 Pressure, Showtime Tumult and Spinoffs: “We Have a Couple of Ideas”
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Trailer: Stand-Up Comedian Midge Still Struggles for Career Success in Final Season
‘GOT,’ ‘Vikings’ and ‘Summertime’ Stars Join Roland Emmerich’s Gladiator Series ‘Those About to Die’