In our final Awards Tracker of the 2017 Emmy® season, we try to predict some of the biggest surprises that might happen this weekend at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
After an endless summer the Emmys are finally here, and we’ve been blessed with one of the most competitive ceremonies in recent history. The Awards Daily TV team has locked in their final predictions. For every category that seems like a slam dunk (Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow), there’s a category where we are all predicting something different.
Last year, the Television Academy opened up and simplified their voting process. That change resulted in some of the most shocking winners in recent years. Tatiana Maslany beat out favorites like Viola Davis and Robin Wright. Ben Mendelsohn came out of nowhere in the supporting actor field. This year, these are our predictions on some of the most likely upsets in a year with so many possibilities.
The Night Of
Time and time again everyone following the Emmys completely dismissed the chances of The Night Of. Few people predicted its guild success. The show completely over performed in terms of total nominations, including two out of nowhere supporting actor nominations. Then the below-the-line team became the biggest winners of any limited series at the Creative Arts ceremony raking in awards for sound mixing, sound editing, cinematography, and editing.
With a relatively new voting system its difficult to gauge just what awards are key in terms of predicting program wins. However, it’s undeniable that those four wins hint that there is an overall broad support for the crime mystery among many of the branches. In fact, looking over the history of those four awards, only one other time has a limited series swept all races in the past 20 years (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee). Not even Emmy juggernauts like John Adams, Angels in America, and Band of Brothers were able to pull off a clean sweep.
On top of all that, the question needs to be raised on whether or not these below-the-line branches that are heavily straight men will unfairly dismiss female driven narratives like Feud and Big Little Lies and award The Night Of by default. All season long the ADTV team has hinted at the possibility, and the results from last weekend are signalling that it might be true.
For the past year, four Oscar winners have completely controlled the lead actress conversations. But this is still a Television Academy filled with mostly character actors who aren’t anywhere close to the stature of Nicole Kidman and Jessica Lange. There is a chance that enough of them are bored by the frontrunners and instead want to see someone like Carrie Coon win.
More than the two frontrunners in the category, Coon’s biggest career accomplishments have come from television whether it be Fargo or The Leftovers. She’s extremely personable and some members of the performers branch might want to boost her profile rather than stroke the egos of the movie stars.
Bob Odenkirk and Better Call Saul
In a year where five new shows are battling it out for their chance at Emmys, there is a possibility that one of the major awards goes to a show that has been around for a while collecting a loyal pocket of fans. With nine nominations, this is the biggest year yet for Better Call Saul at the Emmys. The show picked up third consecutive nominations for Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks and even returned back to the writing and directing categories after being left out last year.
Maybe the new shows will all split the vote, and the show will win its first award for writing. The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series race doesn’t have a dead-set frontrunner, and even though Sterling K. Brown is a favorite to win, maybe a branch full of character actors will rally behind Odenkirk. Our very own Megan McLachlan is predicting it to happen.
A Wide Open Comedic Actor Field
For the past two years Jeffrey Tambor deservedly won Emmys for a career-defining performance as Maura Pfefferman. This year, after the show was left out of the top award at the Emmys and SAG, it seems that voters are ready to award someone new. The only problem is it’s a wide open category.
After winning just about every precursor, Donald Glover is the odds-on favorite. Aziz Ansari is a comedic actor on a show with a lot of support. Still voters have struggled to reward performances from auteur-driven comedies in the past.
Zach Galifinakis is a comedic actor with a duel role on Baskets that is sure to impress voters. William H. Macy is a well-respected actor that is fresh off of yet another SAG win. Anthony Anderson has been working in comedy for over 20 years and there is a chance that his peers want to finally recognize him.
This category is probably the only one with a completely even playing field for all six nominees.In fact in our own predictions here at ADTV we are split on Donald Glover, Zach Galifinakis, and Anthony Anderson. If one of the other three nominees wins, we won’t be that surprised either. In the end whoever wins will probably not be expected by very many prognosticators or fans.
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Emmy voters have been frustratingly loyal to the current BBC adaptation of Sherlock. First, the show pulled off a string of upsets against The Normal Heart in every major category except for Outstanding TV Movie. Last year, in a shallow field, it won its first award for Outstanding TV Movie. Television Academy members are notorious for rewarding the same show year after year, so what’s stopping them from awarding Sherlock yet again?
Black Mirror: San Junipero is the favorite to win this year and has the heavy support of its passionate fans and critics. Its the best of the nominees and would be a deserving winner. In the end, it might be too edgy for older, more conservative voting members. Many of the voters might feel more comfortable resorting back to Sherlock, a show they have stayed comfortable with year after year. This also wouldn’t be the first time voters rejected a queer narrative in favor of the BBC adaption.
Saturday Night Live Wins Variety Writing
After five wins last weekend, Saturday Night Live is on track to have their best year at the Emmys in the 40+ year history of the sketch show. Across the board, everyone seems to be predicting the show to pick up more wins for directing, Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, and the series as a whole. The only category that doesn’t seem to be mentioned as frequently is the writing category. The writers branch has a spotty-at-best history with SNL. The last time they awarded the show was in 2002, and it has only won the award three other times (’89, ’77, ’76). In recent years they haven’t even bothered to nominate it.
The 2016 election changed everything, and it seems the Television Academy has fully embraced SNL. On top of that, it is the apple in a bag of oranges with its main competition being the various late night hosts. Because of all this, there is a good chance SNL pulls off a complete sweep and wins five more awards on Sunday putting its 2017 total at 10 Emmys.
Two Big Series That Might Go Home Empty Handed
The last possibility has nothing to do with a surprise winner but rather two shows that were early on favorites going home empty handed. Both Feud and Westworld earned an impressive amount of nominations and both won multiple awards at the Creative Arts ceremony. Still, both shows appear to be losing steam in the major races. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that both might leave the main ceremony empty handed.
Emmy voters fully embraced Westworld with 22 total nominations, far more than any of the other drama nominees. The sci-fi epic also tied Stranger Things for the most Creative Arts wins last weekend. Still, there aren’t a lot of main ceremony categories that the show is expected to win. In fact most awards prognosticators are only predicting a win for Thandie Newton who faces stiff competition from actresses in wildly popular shows. If Newton loses, there is a big chance the show might not win a single Emmy Sunday night which would be a big blow to HBO.
Early on Feud was supposed to sweep through Emmy season just like American Crime Story did the year before. It still very well might especially with 11 nominations across Sunday’s various categories. Still, momentum seems to be in the favor of Big Little Lies and The Night Of. Over the past couple of years, voters have chosen their favorite show and given it a clean sweep across the board.
Voters having a hard time deciding between the three limited series. Plus, they might have a bitter taste in their mouth regarding the Olivia De Havilland lawsuit that garnered attention just as voters made their final decisions. Still, Jessica Lange and Ryan Murphy have a decent shot at winning in their respected categories, but if they lose, Feud doesn’t have much of a shot at winning anywhere else.
Readers, what are your “no guts, no glory” predictions this year? Which of the above scenarios do you think is most likely to happen? While you’re at it don’t forget to play along with the ADTV team and make your final predictions here for a chance at some great prizes!