Who will (and who should) win at the 2021 Emmys
There are a few things we know for sure about Emmys night: Pose's Billy Porter will look fabulous, everyone will want to hang with the Ted Lasso cast, and someone will have to keep a straight face while announcing Emily In Paris as an Outstanding Comedy Series nominee. As for who will win, only the Television Academy knows for sure — but here are our predictions.
□ = should win
■ = will win
♦ = should and will win
Outstanding Drama Series
The fourth time will be the charm for Netflix's The Crown, which earned 24 nominations this year but has surprisingly never won the top category. Oddsmakers currently put the Disney+ drama The Mandalorian in second, but we here at The Awardist refuse to entertain that idea. Crowns > helmets.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
In the final season of FX's Pose, Billy Porter's Pray Tell went out in a blaze of ballroom glory and beautiful personal sacrifice. As much as we loved Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, Porter has the understandable edge for his final-season performance.
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
Emma Corrin stunned with her deeply felt turn as The Crown's passionate, fragile, and fiercely independent Princess Diana. If anyone can edge her out here, it's Michaela Jaé — Pose's beating heart and soul until the very end.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
The Crown may not have taken home the Emmy for Outstanding Period and/or Character Hairstyling (it went to Bridgerton), but here's hoping Gillian Anderson thanks her fantastic Margaret Thatcher wig when she accepts this Supporting Actress in a Drama award.
♦ Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid's Tale
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country
Emerald Fennell, The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Long before his sudden, heartbreaking death on Sept. 6, Michael K. Williams was the odds-on favorite in this category for his stirring performance as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country. His memory and legacy are a blessing.
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
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale
♦ Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
You better believe that Sudeikis (who's already taken home a SAG award and Golden Globe) is the guy to beat.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Jean Smart solidified her National Treasure status this year by absolutely crushing her two marquee roles: Helen in HBO's Mare of Easttown and comedian Deborah Vance on HBO Max's Hacks. She will win, or there will be hell to pay. (Additional props to frequent nominee Tracee Ellis Ross, who definitely deserves a win for black-ish. With the ABC sitcom heading into its eighth and final season, we think 2022 will be her year.)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
This is a packed category with no easily predictable winner, which makes it all the more exciting. We're giving the edge to Kenan Thompson: Voters clearly love him (he's nominated twice), and there's a decent chance the Lasso boys will split the vote in his favor. Plus, if he wins for Saturday Night Live (it's his third nomination in this category), he'll stay on the show forever, right?
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
The talent in this group is ridiculous, but it would be a shock (and a shame, shame, shame) if Hannah Waddingham isn't called to the podium on Emmys night.
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 Limited or Anthology Series
A lot of deserving winners here, and the race is close. The Queen's Gambit was a phenomenon last fall, Mare of Easttown had everyone talking this spring, and the brilliance of I May Destroy You is timeless. Our crystal ball says Queen's has the most momentum.
□ I May Destroy You
Mare of Easttown
■ The Queen's Gambit
The Underground Railroad
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie
SPOILER ALERT! Close your eyes. Think back to November 2020, the moment you realized that The Undoing's dashing Dr. Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant) had been playing us all along. The HBO thriller's hiding-in-plain-sight twist worked because Grant was just so damn good at convincing us it wouldn't.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie
Much like the Limited Series category itself, this is a race between Easttown and Queen's Gambit. (In a perfect world, voters would crown Michaela Coel, but she'll likely take home an award for writing.) Call it recency bias — or the fact that we've watched "Murder Durder" too many times — but we predict that Kate will put the win in Winslet.
The Emmy Awards will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
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