Emmys: The 4 Races Worth Watching

6:00 AM 7/25/2018

by Michael O'Connell

The races to watch, records and oddities ... and Monica Lewinsky!

CNN/Photofest; Ron Batzdorff/NBC; VH1

Netflix threw down a gauntlet with 112 nominations, snapping HBO's win streak. But it's not all about the dueling rivals as The Hollywood Reporter analyzes the winners (royals of Windsor and Westeros), losers (sorry, Jimmy Fallon), the races to watch, records and oddities ... and Monica Lewinsky!

  • Tune In for This: 4 Tight Races Worth Watching

    Anthony Bourdain competes posthumously, while three other pools will be of particular interest to Emmy voters in the run-up to the Sept. 17 show

    Informational Series
    There’s no historic preference for late Emmy nominees, but Bourdain seems primed to take one final win for CNN’s Parts Unknown. That means Leah Remini (last year’s winner), Neil deGrasse Tyson, Shane Smith and David Letterman should all plan to sit politely in their seats.

    Actor, Drama Series
    Vote splitting can put a major damper on Emmy odds, and this is the only big race where it affects nominees from two different series — Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris for Westworld and Milo Ventimiglia and 2017 winner Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us.

    Reality Host
    In a first for the category, or any big Emmy race, nearly all the nominees for reality host — RuPaul Charles, Jane Lynch, Tim Gunn (shared with Heidi Klum), Ellen DeGeneres — are openly gay. It’s a complete 180 from reality’s early days of Probst, Bergeron and Seacrest.

    Drama Series
    Sure, best drama is always the biggest race. But pitting the power of Game of Thrones (22 noms, the most of any series) against incumbent Handmaid’s Tale makes it the most exciting match by far. And don’t discount a curveball sendoff for FX’s The Americans.

  • Emmys Heat Index: Biggest Winners (and Losers)

    For every phone that blows up on nomination morning, there are just as many, sad and silent, that have their owners checking for service


    Jason Bateman
    Ozark (Netflix)
    A segue into drama proves fruitful for the Arrested Development star, nominated for both lead actor and directing on the Netflix breakout.

    Sarah Barnett
    President and GM (BBC America)
    Steamrolling her deep-pocketed rivals, she has two actresses vying for drama lead in Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve).

    Bob Greenblatt
    Chairman (NBC Entertainment)
    The Big Four boss sees love for his latest live musical (Jesus Christ Superstar) and comes up just short of CBS, ABC and Fox’s combined nominations.

    Rachel Brosnahan
    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
    Edging out all other freshman series, Maisel and its nominated star boost a rebuilding Amazon with its top nom haul to date.


    Sofia Vergara, et al. 
    Modern Family (ABC)
    After eight years of best comedy noms and a total of five wins, Modern Family and its cast finally get shut out. (Save sound mixing.)

    Chris Albrecht
    CEO (Starz)
    This guy cannot get a break. Buzzy drama Counterpart doesn't grab a single big nom, nor does mini Howards End, despite a middling year for limited series.

    Roseanne Barr
    Roseanne (ABC)
    The tarnished sitcom reboot stood little chance of getting Emmy love. Only TV Academy favorite Laurie Metcalf gets a mention for her trouble.

    Jimmy Fallon
    The Tonight Show (NBC)
    Recent ire from Donald Trump doesn’t do any Emmy rehab for Fallon, who’s suddenly become Jay Leno 2.0. (They’re both nominated only for shorts.)

  • Late Night’s Widening Wealth Gap

    With so little room for so many hosts, these top nominees have done extra credit by diversifying their eligible options with web series, sister specials and side hustles

    Samantha Bee (TBS)
    Not only does her Full Frontal score a top variety spot post-C-word-gate, but the comedian’s clever billing of a Puerto Rico episode as a special helps secure seven total noms.

    James Corden (CBS and Apple)
    The Late Late Show funnyman has parlayed his hit into a nominated Apple spinoff (Carpool Karaoke) and scripted Snapchat series, growing his tally to seven noms as well.

    Jimmy Kimmel (ABC)
    The Live! host may have only two mentions for his nightly series, but his latest stint as Oscar emcee helped drive the awards show to a total of eight noms.

    Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
    The Daily Show host may be outmatched by established rivals John Oliver (HBO) and Stephen Colbert (CBS), but that doesn’t make his variety talk series nom any less of a coup.

    This story first appeared in the July 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.