Television’s best shows over the past year will be recognized this Sunday at the 68th annual Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. The industry’s biggest stars will flood Los Angeles hoping to bring home some hardware in recognition for the shows they have put countless hours and dedication into. Although the Academy is known to honor the same shows time after time, this year could see some sleepers and talented newcomers come away with awards. Below are my predictions and also who I would like to see win for some of the major categories.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Nominees: Black-ish (ABC), Master of None (Netflix), Modern Family (ABC), Silicon Valley (HBO), Transparent (Amazon), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), Veep (HBO)
My Prediction: Master of None
My Favorite: Master of None
Ok, I’m starting off with both my favorite and what I think is the hardest category. This year saw so many fantastic comedies, from five-time winner Modern Family and last year’s winner Veep, to newcomer Master of None. Out of all of these shows Veep is my favorite. Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues to show she’s in a class of her own, however, I didn’t think it was the best comedy of the year; that belongs to Master of None. What Aziz Ansari did in its first season was a masterpiece. It was both witty and laugh-out-loud funny, and brought us a truly unique premise. I think the Academy will recognize its brilliance and honor it with this year’s award.
Outstanding Drama Series
Nominees: The Americans (FX), Better Call Saul (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Game of Thrones (HBO), Homeland (Showtime), House of Cards (Netflix), Mr. Robot (USA)
My Prediction: Mr. Robot
My Favorite: Better Call Saul
This category features some of the most watched and best shows on television. Kevin Spacey was brilliant as usual in House of Cards and The Americans is an underappreciated gem. My favorite, however, is the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. Vince Gilligan is a television genius and was able follow-up one of the greatest shows in history with, in my opinion, an even better show. I think this year though belongs to Mr. Robot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of a Game of Thrones fan as they come, but Sam Esmail has created something special that truly defines the drama category.
Outstanding Limited Series
Nominees: American Crime (ABC), Fargo (FX), The Night Manager (AMC), The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX), Roots (History)
My Prediction: The People v. O.J. Simpson
My Favorite: The People v. O.J. Simpson
This is a growing category and a genre I think should be a major feature in American television. This category is currently dominated by FX, and while Fargo is a great show, this year belongs to The People v. O.J. Simpson. Between the outstanding acting and sharp writing, this may have been the best thing on TV this year. Sarah Paulson was as amazing as ever in her role as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, and Sterling Brown and Courtney B. Vance provided emotional performances as well. This should be the easiest choice the Academy has to make.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Anthony Anderson Black-ish (ABC), Aziz Ansari Master of None (Netflix), Will Forte The Last Man on Earth (Fox), William H. Macy Shameless (Showtime), Thomas Middleditch Silicon Valley (HBO), Jeffrey Tambor Transparent (Amazon)
My Prediction: Anthony Anderson
My Favorite: Thomas Middleditch
If you’ve ever watched Silicon Valley you know how perfect Thomas Middleditch is in his role as Richard Hendricks. He provides that cringe-worthy awkwardness you would expect out of a young computer programmer, and this only made his character funnier. Unfortunately, I think the Academy is going to give Anthony Anderson this year’s award because of his more traditional comedic role. He plays his role well but it’s not as intricate of a role as Middleditch’s.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominees: Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep (HBO), Laurie Metcalf Getting On (HBO), Tracee Ellis Ross Black-ish (ABC), Amy Schumer Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central), Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
My Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
My Favorite: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
As I wrote earlier, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in a class of her own. She is truly one of the greatest female comedic actresses ever and that’s where I’m going to leave it.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees: Kyle Chandler Bloodline (Netflix), Rami Malek Mr. Robot (USA), Bob Odenkirk Better Call Saul (AMC), Matthew Rhys The Americans (FX), Live Schreiber Ray Donovan (Showtime), Kevin Spacey House of Cards (Netflix)
My Prediction: Rami Malek
My Favorite: Bob Odenkirk
Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors and he portrays conniving politician Frank Underwood perfectly, but Bob Odenkirk has put up the best performance of his career in Better Call Saul. He has been able to transition from a supporting role in one show to commanding the screen in another, all while playing the same character. That being said, I think Rami Maleck will take home the award this year for his mysterious portrayal of Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot. The casting for this role was about as perfect as it could have been.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominees: Claire Danes on Homeland (Showtime), Viola Davis on How to Get Away with Murder (ABC), Taraji P. Henson on Empire (Fox), Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black, Keri Russell on The Americans (FX), Robin Wright on House of Cards (Netflix)
My Prediction: Taraji P. Henson
My Favorite: Viola Davis
This was a difficult choice for me because of how many powerful female roles and great actresses there were this year. In the end, I think Taraji P. Henson will win, partly because of how popular Empire is. She is a versatile actress who has given her all in this role. I, however, think this award should go to Viola Davis. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone command a scene like Davis. She brings a certain raw emotion to her performance that is unmatched.
- Courtney B. Vance will take home the award for lead actor in a limited series for his role as Johnnie Cochran in The People v. O.J. Simpson.
- There is no way Sarah Paulson won’t win for her role as Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson.
- Master of None should be rewarded for its brilliant writing.
- As someone who is an avid standup fan, I think John Mulaney will take home the award for outstanding writing for a variety special. He is a seasoned comedic writer and his jokes are hilarious.
This year’s Primetime Emmy Awards are on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC