We asked some Hollywood pros to share how they plan to vote in the major categories in exchange for their anonymity. While some of them like a certain freshman entry (hi, The Handmaid's Tale!), there's still a whole lot of affection for perennial winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The Showrunner: As the leader of one of the most successful shows on broadcast TV, this busy scribe is keeping her fingers crossed for Offred.
The Publicist: He represents some of the most powerful actors in Hollywood, but he gets all starry-eyed when talking about Bob Odenkirk’s performance.
The Comedy Writer: This multiple Emmy winner from one of TV’s most popular comedies says domo arigato, Ms. Roboto to Evan Rachel Wood.
The Director: As a three-time Emmy winner, this helmer sees more golden statues in Donald Glover’s future.
The Veteran Actress: This 40-years-plus vet of film and TV thinks Aziz Ansari is the Master of Everyone.
Credit: Colleen Hayes/HBO; Robert Voets/CBS; Melissa Moseley/Netflix
The Showrunner: I don’t want to pick Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus because, my God, how many times can this woman win? But I have to pick Julia Louis-Dreyfus because she still delights with every line, facial reaction, and body contortion. The other women in her category are funny, but Julia is a master.
The Publicist: That one was so hard. I love Lily Tomlin’s character on Grace and Frankie though I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus will probably win. I think it’s a tough call between her and Lily. Lily has this offbeat character who just has the greatest lines.
The Comedy Writer: Going out on a limb here: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the best TV star of all time. Disagree? Fight me!
The Director: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is still the top in this category. She is a true female comedy icon.
The Veteran Actress: Allison Janney twists her willowy physique and woodwind voice completely to become her flawed recovering addict on Mom. And she does it with glee — the mark of great comic acting.
Credit: Guy D'Alema/FX; Jennifer Clasen/Amazon Studios; Colleen Hayes/FX; Netflix
The Showrunner: Donald Glover has been nominated for just about everything for Atlanta (writing, directing) but it’s his acting that really brings the world to life. The Tambor three-peat may just have to wait. Glover’s too good.
The Publicist: Had to give my vote to Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor. You have to suspend disbelief to accept that character, and if he doesn’t pull it off, it doesn’t happen.
The Comedy Writer: Zach Galifianakis gives the strangest, most vulnerable and funniest performance on Baskets and made me do what I never thought possible: love clowns.
The Director: Donald Glover. Just watch Atlanta and you’ll know why. Donald is a star in the making.
The Veteran Actress: Aziz Ansari’s face — and the brain behind it—illuminates everything he looks on as a piece of our common humanity. No matter how race or family-specific his situation on Master of None, he makes me feel the same thing’s happened to me — and it’s okay to laugh about it.
Credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu; David Giesbrecht/Netflix; Robert Viglasky/Netflix
The Showrunner:The Handmaid Tale’s Elisabeth Moss is a near lock for this, and she deserves it. In addition to celebrating this performance, an Emmy for Moss would right the wrong of her getting passed over for her years on Mad Men.
The Publicist: Robin Wright. She does a great job on House of Cards and she is Claire — although I do have an issue with why she killed the guy in the other's guys house. But that’s okay.
The Comedy Writer: "Claire Foy is great in The Crown," I’ll often say at dinner parties to seem smart even though I haven’t seen a minute of it yet. But I’m picking Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld because I’ve been an admirer of complex robot portrayals going all the way back to the sitcom Small Wonder.
The Director: Robin Wright. Her performances are so nuanced and controlled. I love watching her.
The Veteran Actress: Elisabeth Moss can make me believe anything. Her beautiful depiction of freedom before Gilead makes her suppression as Offred all the more hideous. I’m rooting for freedom.
Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC; Patrick Harbron/FX; Ron Batzdorff/NBC
The Showrunner: How Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk hasn’t already won an Emmy for Jimmy/Saul is a travesty of justice. He consistently brings nuance to what could’ve been a one-note character, and he just gets better every season.
The Publicist: Kevin Spacey will probably win but I voted for Bob Odenkirk. He nails the character and that show is so fun. I’ll bet you when they wrote him into Breaking Bad, the episodes were so strong they knew they had to break him out eventually.
The Comedy Writer: Bob Odenkirk. Only a comic actor with Bob (Odenkirk)’s brilliance could make Jimmy/Saul’s tragic fall so insanely entertaining.
The Director: Matthew Rhys. I think The Americans is one of the overlooked gems on television today. And Matthew Rhys deserves to be recognized.
The Veteran Actress: This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown. His heart is in his voice; I could listen all day.
Credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu; Michele K. Short/AMC; Alex Bailey/Netflix
The Showrunner: The Handmaid’s Tale is excellent and could not be more politically relevant, but given the hourly barrage of depressing headlines, I’m going with the '80s escapism of Stranger Things instead. And where did they find all those great kid actors?
The Publicist:The Crown is going to win but I voted for Better Call Saul. I just like it. It’s fun, I love the characters, and I love Bob [Odenkirk]’s character from Breaking Bad. I like House of Cards, although I found this year’s story not believable.
The Comedy Writer: In this Throne-less year, I’m going with Better Call Saul. Forget the high-wire feat of being a prequel to the greatest drama of all time, the cast and writers of Saul deliver gripping drama every single week unaided by dragons, robots, or Queen Elizabeth.
The Director: The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s dark, brooding, stylish, and almost too painful to watch considering the current political climate.
The Veteran Actress: The Handmaid’s Tale. Did novelist Margaret Atwood know how much we’d need this right now? Kudos to the whole production team for horribly, beautifully turning prose into film.