Another day, another award show. This time, we’re gearing up for the 71st Emmy Awards taking place Sunday in Los Angeles. Golden statues have already gone out to some of our favorites at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys — except, notably and quite disrespectfully, Beyoncé. But now our focus is on primetime.
Ahead of the ceremony, Out’s Director of Culture and Entertainment Tre’vell Anderson and senior staff writer and host of the Outcast podcast Rose Dommu, got together to give you our supremely expert takes on who and what will take home the top prizes. (Spoiler alert: Tre’vell is “rooting for everybody Black” and Rose is still mad that the TV academy won’t give Sharp Objects its due.)
Check out our picks below, and come back to Out.com (and follow us on Twitter) throughout the Sunday show for your most relevant Emmys updates.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Good Place (NBC)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Russian Doll (Netflix)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
Rose: Fleabag was everything for me this year, and Americans love rewarding British creative excellence, so I can see a world where Fleabag sweeps. Russian Doll was incredible and could easily come in as an underdog and take the prize.
Tre’vell: Here’s the thing … I have not sent not one episode of any of these nominated shows. That being said, our current cover star Dan Levy deserves! I’d love if the Emmys did the unexpected and rewarded this small, Canadian show from a network that many of us have never heard of.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy
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)
Rose: Ted Danson is excellent and kind of hot on The Good Place, and that’s enough for me.
Tre’vell: I finally got around to catching a few episodes of Black Monday and I’m hooked. Don Cheadle is a legend. He’s been nominated now-eight times with zero wins. Give him his things!
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy
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)
Rose: This category has created a deep schism in the LGBTQ+ community that will take decades to heal. But this was Veep’s last season and Julia’s performance is unparalleled, so I’m all but certain she’ll win, earning her the record for most Emmys acting wins.
Tre’vell: In the words of Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody Black,” which in this category means nobody.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Olivia Colman (Fleabag)
Sian Clifford (Fleabag)
Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
Sarah Goldberg (Barry)
Marin Hinkle (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Rose: How incredible would it be if Olivia Colman won an Oscar and an Emmy in one year, bringing her halfway to EGOT? She’s brilliant on Fleabag and deserves, but I also wouldn’t mind a Betty Gilpin win. Realistically, Anna Chlumsky probably has the highest odds for her final season of Veep, and I’m not mad at it, but I’m still holding out for Olivia.
Tre’vell: This actually is Alex Borstein’s to lose. She’s the reigning winner from last year and the Emmys love them some Mrs. Maisel. Jane Lynch already took home one of the Creative Arts Emmys for her guest role.
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul (AMC)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
This Is Us (NBC)
Rose: There were plenty of problems with the final season of Game of Thrones, but no one can deny the impact its had on pop culture for the past 10 years. Questionable storytelling aside, the sheer scale of the show’s last outing was overwhelming. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die … and you probably win a bunch of Emmys.
Tre’vell: We all know it’s a long shot, but I’ve got to put my support behind Pose. No other show, including GoT, has done what Pose has done by just existing. The Emmys love a swan song moment, so this award is almost definitely going to Game of Thrones, but maybe, just maybe, The Academy is interested in switching things up?
Outstanding Lead Actor in A Drama
Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Kit Harington (Game of Thrones)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Rose: Porter’s work on Pose has turned him into a global superstar, and this category seems like the best chance for Pose to make history and win an Emmy. I will say that’s it’s disappointing Porter is the only actor from the show nominated, but nevertheless, she deserves.
Tre’vell: That part.
Outstanding Lead Actress in A Drama
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)
Rose: It is past time for Sandra Oh to win an Emmy — the fact that she never did for Grey’s Anatomy is criminal. Killing Eve has become something of a phenomenon, and so much of that is Oh’s performance — her descent into obsession over her own personal sociopath is enthralling. In a perfect world, she would open her acceptance speech with a “Gupta.”
Tre’vell: I know no one is still watching How to Get Away With Murder, but what I look like ever voting against Viola Davis? Not today, not never. (But I see you Sandra!)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
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)
Rose: Wow, more men. I guess there’s room for everybody, let’s say that. Hugh Grant, I guess, because that show was pretty gay. Whatever.
Tre’vell: If Jharrel Jerome doesn’t win this category, the TV Academy has no credibility. His performance is When They See Us is a master class in acting, purposeful transformation, and commitment to a character. I will riot if he doesn’t win. Mark my words!
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
Amy Adams (Sharp Objects)
Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora)
Joey King (The Act)
Niecy Nash (When They See Us)
Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon)
Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us)
Rose: I won’t make another joke about Amy Adams not winning, because she’s been through enough — Sharp Objects was slept on, but what’s done is done. If it was going to happen, it would have happened at the Golden Globes. I would love to live in a world where Niecy Nash has a Primetime Emmy, but I have a feeling Patricia Arquette will win again after nabbing the Golden Globe earlier this year.
Tre’vell: Patricia Arquette did that, as she always does. But the performances in When They See Us can’t be denied. That said, if the limited series had any chance in this category, that all went away when the academy nominated both Niecy and Aunjanue.
Outstanding Limited Series
Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)
Sharp Objects (HBO)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Rose: Fuck it, we’ve made it this far — I want an unexpected win for Sharp Objects. I know in my guts, which Patricia Clarkson has slowly been poisoning, that it won’t win. But a girl can dream...and tile dollhouse floors with human teeth. Don’t tell mama!
Tre’vell: When They See Us. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
The Emmys airs Sunday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST.