Mrs. Maisel amazed us, Game of Thrones was played out and Chernobyl blew up. It’s been a massive year for television, but which of these TV shows will claim the honor of an Emmy award?
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will take place this Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It’ll be broadcast in the US by Fox. Let’s take a look at which shows and stars are likely to be celebrating when all the envelopes have been opened.
Setting the scene
This year is going to be a big one for Game of Thrones — the show ended in May, and 2019 is its last chance to scoop a third Emmy for best drama. HBO’s phenomenally popular fantasy show leads the pack with 14 nominations, despite a final season that divided viewers. Nine of the show’s stars are nominated for the lead or supporting actor categories, including Gwendoline Christie who nominated herself much to the confusion of fans.
Thrones plays a big part in making HBO the network with the most nominations. This year HBO claims 47 noms for shows including pitch-black comedy Barry and cutting satire Veep, which also ended this year. The network brought us powerful one-off dramas Chernobyl and Sharp Objects, while you can currently catch up with the new season of Succession, a biting look at the luxurious lives of the super-rich that plays like Game of Thrones with helicopters and boardroom battles instead of dragons and sword fights.
Just behind Thrones is When They See Us, with 11 nominations. The hard-hitting docu-drama is based on a true story, which is a big trend on the big screen and increasingly dominates the small screen. Chernobyl, Escape at Dannemora, A Very English Scandal and Fosse/Verdon are other true stories on the shortlist.
When They See Us is one of many shows to earn nominations for streaming service Netflix, which could win awards for shows like Ozark, Russian Doll and the final season of House of Cards.
Netflix rival Amazon Prime Video has been nominated 18 times, including several for the streaming service’s irrepressible original show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon also claims nominations for Fleabag and A Very English Scandal, which appeared on the BBC first.
How will fan reaction to Game of Thrones and other shows influence Emmy voters? Look here for the full list of nominees, and here for a handy guide on how to watch their shows. It also might be useful to check out this guide to who’s behind the voting, what with a level of secrecy surrounding the whole thing.
Also note that the Emmys are following in the Oscars’ footsteps by not having a host. It worked out for the Academy, so let’s hope one of TVs biggest nights has a good one too.
Outstanding drama series
- Better Call Saul
- Game of Thrones
- Killing Eve
- This Is Us
It’s got to be Thrones — partly because it’s likely most Emmy voters will have actually watched the show’s entire eighth and final season, and partly because there may be some goodwill toward sending the massively influential show out with a bang. That’s not to mention the hefty bundle of Emmys it bagged at the Creative Arts Emmys — focused on technical achievement, which aside from one controversial episode, has been one of its best assets.
Outstanding comedy series
- The Good Place
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Russian Doll
- Schitt’s Creek
Veep is also heading out the door after its seventh and final season aired in May, but with so many worthy competitors in the category it has dominated for the last four years, it may have to step aside for the likes of the Bill Hader-starring Barry. The dark comedy’s second season not only bettered the first, it turned heads with a surreal standout episode upping its credentials as something completely unique on TV.
Outstanding limited series
- Escape at Dannemora
- Sharp Objects
- When They See Us
It’s between Chernobyl and When They See Us for sure. But Ava DuVernay’s miniseries might just pip the former with its unflinching, empathetic light shed on the Central Park Five.
Outstanding television movie
- Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
- Deadwood: The Movie
- King Lear
- My Dinner With Herve
Who didn’t have a go at clicking through the different pathways in Bandersnatch, Charlie Brooker’s painstaking choose-your-own-adventure movie? But while Bandersnatch ticks the uniqueness box, the poignant vote would go to Deadwood: The Movie. Arriving 13 years after the TV show ended, with the majority of the original cast including Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane, it would be some victory for the celebrated show.
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
- Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
- Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
- Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
- Laura Linney, Ozark
- Mandy Moore, This Is Us
- Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
- Robin Wright, House of Cards
She lost out last year to a gracious Claire Foy (The Crown), but this year’s the one for Sandra Oh, the bumbling heart of everyone’s favorite spy thriller, Killing Eve. It’ll be historic too: If Oh wins, she’ll be the first woman of Asian descent to win an Emmy in this category. This year’s the one.
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
- Jason Bateman, Ozark
- Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
- Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
- Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
- Billy Porter, Pose
- Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Some would say they know who it won’t be (sorry, Kit Harington). Sterling K. Brown would be a worthy winner, but in a tight category, the nod might go to Bob Odenkirk, who’s been knocking on the door for some while now with his consistently excellent work in Better Call Saul.
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
- Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
- Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
- Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
- Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
While the entire world may not have seen Fleabag, which they absolutely should, Emmy voters in this category probably have. That gives us some hope that Phoebe Waller-Bridge will take home lead actress. Despite this being Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ last chance to win with Veep, her six-year winning streak already seems like ample recognition.
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
- Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
- Don Cheadle, Black Monday
- Ted Danson, The Good Place
- Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
- Bill Hader, Barry
- Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
After the success of season 2, Barry’s Bill Hader is the clear frontrunner to secure his second lead actor Emmy in a row.
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie
- Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
- Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
- Aunjanue Ellis, When They See Us
- Joey King, The Act
- Niecy Nash, When They See Us
- Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Neither Michelle Williams nor Amy Adams have won an Emmy yet. It’s a close race between the two worthy winners, but given Williams’ transformation into real-life actress and dancer Gwen Verdon, she might have the edge.
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie
- Mahershala Ali, True Detective
- Benicio Del Toro, Escape at Dannemora
- Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
- Jared Harris, Chernobyl
- Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
- Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
For his exceptional work in When They See Us, we’re going to give this one to Jharrel Jerome. The actor portrays both the young and adult versions of Korey Wise, one of the Central Park Five.
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
- Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones
- Julia Garner, Ozark
- Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
- Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
- Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
- Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
We know it should be Lena Headey. But given Cersei had a disappointingly small amount to do in Game of Thrones’ final season, there’s the small chance Gwendoline Christie will mark a triumphant win for her role as Ser Brienne of Tarth, an influential and unconventional female warrior and role model.
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
- Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones
- Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
- Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
- Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
- Michael Kelly, House of Cards
- Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
In another Game of Thrones heavy segment, the odds are Peter Dinklage will cap off an impressive season for Tyrion’s part (he survived, that’s some feat in itself) and take home his fourth acting Emmy.
How to watch
The Emmys will take place in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. local time. That translates to a less convenient time for those in the UK, and as you’ll see arther down, it’s tricky to watch over there at all.
5 p.m. PT or 8 p.m. ET
(Note that the Emmys start in the UK on Sept. 23)
1 a.m. GMT
(Note that the Emmys start in Australia on Sept. 23)
10 a.m. AEST
How to watch without cable
Fox will both broadcast the Emmys and livestream the show online. If you’re hungry for extra Emmys content, head to ET’s stream of red carpet arrivals, or to the TV Academy’s stream of what’s going on backstage.
If you don’t have cable or satellite TV, you can watch the Emmys by streaming online with the Fox Now app or on Fox’s Emmy page.
The following live television streaming services carry Fox and can also be used to livestream the Emmys: Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, AT&T TV NOW, fuboTV, YouTube TV and Sling TV.
Unfortunately the Emmys won’t be broadcast in the UK. You’ll have to buy a VPN to watch via Fox or the other US streaming services.
The Emmys will be airing live on FOX8 or you can stream the show online with the Fox Now app or on Fox’s Emmy page.
The Emmys for behind-the-scenes work
The Primetime Emmys take place Sunday, but Game of Thrones has already bagged a handful of awards thanks to the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this past weekend, which recognize the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Thrones claimed trophies for music, makeup, costumes, casting, editing, sound, visual effects, stunts and opening titles.
Amazon’s 1960s-set Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fittingly won awards for its period costumes and hairstyles. It was also recognized for its cinematography, as well as claiming both guest actor and guest actress awards in the comedy categories.
The Handmaid’s Tale claimed both guest star awards for drama, while Fleabag, Game of Thrones, Queer Eye and When They See Us were recognized for their casting. Short online comedy State of the Union won Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd the best acting awards for a short-form show. Chernobyl, Free Solo and Queer Eye also won multiple awards.
HBO is leading with 25 Creative Arts wins, followed closely by Netflix with 23. The streaming service claimed awards for Queer Eye, Our Planet, Russian Doll, When They See Us, Bandersnatch, Glow, One Day at a Time, Springsteen on Broadway, The Ranch and sci-fi animation Love, Death and Robots.
One award Netflix missed out on was the Outstanding Variety Special award, despite having four out of five entries on the shortlist including Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. That one went to James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke special episode on CBS with Paul McCartney in Liverpool. (Editors’ note: CBS is the parent company of The Techy Trends.)
Elsewhere, Apple won an Emmy for Carpool Karaoke: The Series. The Simpsons defied those who say the long-running show is on the decline with a win for an episode from the show’s 30th season, while Star Trek: Discovery took home an award for its prosthetic make-up. Oculus, Twitch and NASA were recognized for their work with interactive media.
Originally published Sept. 10.
Update, Sept. 16: Adds more winner predictions.