Even at the best of times, TV awards ceremonies often feel like old news; this year, it’s almost ancient history. It’s been what seems like aeons since the Emmys last reared their heads, with the 2023 ceremony being pushed back by four months thanks to the now-resolved actors’ and writers’ strikes. Voting took place back in August, and ecompasses series broadcast from 1 June 2022 until 31 May 2023.
Among the TV shows vying for awards glory on Monday evening (15 January) are media dynasty sensation Succession, post-apocalyptic drama The Last of Us and Bill Hader’s hitman dramedy Barry. Better Call Saul may have ended back in 2022, but the acclaimed Breaking Bad spin-off is also getting a final run at awards glory here.
Reality-scripted mashup Jury Duty also joins culinary hit The Bear, cloying football comedy Ted Lasso and school sitcom Abbott Elementary along the frontrunners. You can see the full nominations list here.
Also expected to be a major contender this year is season two of Mike White’s perfectly pitched satire The White Lotus, which, along with Succession, dominated the drama field at the previous Emmys back in 2022.
The 75th Primetime Creative Arts Emmys will be held at the Peacock Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California, and will be hosted by Anthony Anderson.
Here’s a breakdown of predictions for this year’s Emmy Awards, including who is expected to win in all the major categories (and who deserves to win instead).
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
House of the Dragon
The Last of Us
The White Lotus
Will win: Succession
Should win: Succession
It’s a strong field this year in the drama category; Better Call Saul’s superb final season would be a worthy winner almost any normal year. The White Lotus also deserves credit, as do the really-much-better-than-they-had-any-right-to-be genre shows The Last of Us, House of the Dragon, and Andor. But this time, it’s got to go to Succession, which finished its run as not just the best TV show of its era, but one of the very best of any era.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Only Murders in the Building
Will win: The Bear
Should win: Jury Duty
The bookies have Ted Lasso as the favourite to take home this award, but I’m not sure I see it – Jason Sudeikis’s mawkish sitcom dropped off drastically in its final season, and it’s up against some far stronger and well-liked alternatives. Chief among these is The Bear, the brilliant restaurant dramedy starring Jeremy Allen White. The Bear is, however, furiously tense, and often light on the laughs, leading many to complain that the half-hour series should instead be competing in the drama category. Wouldn’t Jury Duty, the wonderfully original series about a man who doesn’t know he’s part of a televised mock courtroom, be a more appropriate choice? Maybe – and given Jury Duty’s logistically difficult premise, this might be the series’ only instalment.
Outstanding Limited Series
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Daisy Jones & the Six
Fleishman Is in Trouble
Will win: Beef
Should win: Fleishman is in Trouble
A distinctly weaker category than drama or comedy series, Limited Series is likely to go to Netflix’s escalating feud drama Beef, which was a sturdy hit with both critics and audiences. There’s probably more to love about Fleishman is in Trouble, however. The Jesse Eisenberg-fronted series is something of a slow burn, but picks up towards the back half, when Lizzy Caplan begins to steal the limelight.
Lead Actor in a Drama
Jeff Bridges – The Old Man
Brian Cox – Succession
Kieran Culkin – Succession
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Pedro Pascal – The Last of Us
Jeremy Strong – Succession
Will win: Kieran Culkin
Should win: Bob Odenkirk
I would struggle to remember a stronger actors’ line-up than this. While the award is expected to go to one of the brilliant Succession male leads – likely Culkin, if the Golden Globes are any indication – there is a small but real possibility that the trio of contenders will cannabalise each others’ votes, paving the way for an outsider (Pascal or Odenkirk) to seize an unlikely win. I’m hoping against the odds that Odenkirk emerges with the trophy – his work across six seasons of Saul has been incredible, particularly so this final season.
Lead Actress in a Drama series
Sharon Horgan – Bad Sisters
Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
Bella Ramsey – The Last of Us
Keri Russell – The Diplomat
Sarah Snook – Succession
Will win: Sarah Snook
Should win: Sarah Snook
No contest here. The Australian actor’s turn as Succession’s venal Shiv Roy is top, top stuff. Ramsey is probably the strongest of her competitors – expect their name to be in much more serious contention when The Last of Us returns for season two – but there’s no universe in which this prize doesn’t go to Snook.
Lead Actor in a Comedy
Bill Hader – Barry
Jason Segel – Shrinking
Martin Short – Only Murders in the Building
Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso
Jeremy Allen White – The Bear
Will win: Jeremy Allen White
Should win: Bill Hader
Again, my issue with White’s near-certain win here is more of an issue with the comedy/drama divide at the Emmys. Even within The Bear’s roster of characters, White’s character Carmy is particularly dry, intense and self-serious (though still funnier than late-era Ted Lasso). The man’s brilliant in it – but if we’re judging purely on the merits of a comedy qua comedy, there are more deserving nominees here. Hader gets my vote: throughout Barry, the former SNL star has showcased hidden depths as a dysfunctional, sometimes comically dense assassin-turned-thesp.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary
Natasha Lyonne – Poker Face
Jenna Ortega – Wednesday
Will win: Quinta Brunson
Should win: Quinta Brunson
If Abbott Elementary’s multitalented writer-creator-star doesn’t walk away with this prize, it’ll be a major upset. She came close at the last ceremony, losing out to Hacks’s Jean Smart (while winning in the writing category). This year, Ortega’s Wednesday Addams was well received, and Lyonne was flawless in the stylish Columbo riff Poker Face, but it just feels like Brunson’s moment. If Ayo Edebiri had been nominated (rightfully) as a lead in The Bear, though? This might be a different story.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Taron Egerton – Black Bird
Kumail Nanjiani – Welcome to Chippendales
Evan Peters – Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Daniel Radcliffe – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Michael Shannon – George & Tammy
Steven Yeun – Beef
Will win: Steven Yeun
Should win: Steven Yeun
A very fine actor who seems capable of nailing more or less any genre, Yeun should walk this category. His rivals here are all perfectly capable and well-liked performers, but none of these specific projects really caught on the way Beef did.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Lizzy Caplan – Fleishman Is in Trouble
Jessica Chastain – George & Tammy
Dominique Fishback – Swarm
Kathryn Hahn – Tiny Beautiful Things
Riley Keough, Daisy Jones & the Six
Ali Wong, Beef
Will win: Ali Wong
Should win: Dominique Fishback
A very competitive category here will most likely see Wong emerging as the winner. She’s great in Beef, maybe even the stronger of the show’s two leads, and there’s a reason she took home a Golden Globe earlier this month. But I’d personally like to see the gong go to Fishback, former star of The Deuce, whose turn in Donald Glover’s punishingly grim satire Swarm is fantastic.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
F Murray Abraham – The White Lotus
Nicholas Braun – Succession
Michael Imperioli – The White Lotus
Theo James – The White Lotus
Matthew Macfadyen – Succession
Alan Ruck – Succession
Will Sharpe – The White Lotus
Alexander Skarsgård– Succession
Will win: Matthew Macfadyen
Should win: Matthew Macfadyen
It’s almost ridiculous to have a category so totally dominated by two TV series. (Personally I think Better Call Saul’s Tony Dalton has been snubbed.) Macfadyen will probably win, having been given the weightiest scenes (that balcony argument with Shiv is an all-timer), but these are eight stellar performances, especially those on the Succession side.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus
Elizabeth Debicki – The Crown
Meghann Fahy – The White Lotus
Sabrina Impacciatore – The White Lotus
Aubrey Plaza – The White Lotus
Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul
J Smith-Cameron – Succession
Simona Tabasco – The White Lotus
Will win: Jennifer Coolidge
Should win: Rhea Seehorn
Look, everybody loves Coolidge. The 62-year-old actor is experiencing a career renaissance thanks to The White Lotus, and there’s no faulting her performance in it. But Seehorn has been a revelation as Better Call Saul’s steely, conflicted lawyer Kim Wexler. It’s a unique character, a unique performance, and Seehorn deserves the world for it.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Carrigan – Barry
Phil Dunster – Ted Lasso
Brett Goldstein – Ted Lasso
James Marsden – Jury Duty
Ebon Moss-Bachrach – The Bear
Tyler James Williams – Abbott Elementary
Henry Winkler – Barry
Will win: Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Should win: Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Another stacked category, with Winkler, Marsden and Carrigan all well deserving of a mention. But it’s Moss-Bachrach, who plays The Bear’s diamond in the rough Richie, who will probably come out on top. If this year is to be a Bear sweep, then no one’s taking this off him.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Ayo Edebiri – The Bear
Janelle James – Abbott Elementary
Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary
Juno Temple – Ted Lasso
Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso
Jessica Williams – Shrinking
Will win: Ayo Edebiri
Should win: Ayo Edebiri
Edebiri had an absolutely monumental 2023, starring in Bottoms, Theater Camp, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Black Mirror, and Abbott Elementary, and several other films and TV shows. But it’s for her role in The Bear as anxious sous-chef Sydney Adamu that the prolific young comedian is best known. She’s brilliant in it, and the clear winner here.