Entertainment Television

2017 Emmys predictions: Who should win and who will win Sunday night

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Stephen Colbert will host this year's 69th Annual Emmy Awards.

Stephen Colbert will host this year's 69th Annual Emmy Awards.

LOS ANGELES – It’s going to be a bloodbath; albeit a golden one!

(Yes, we’re looking at you Feud: Bette and Joan and Big Little Lies!)

The ironically incomparable talentmom recognized and those lucky few who will be crowned the best of the best at this year’s 69th Annual Emmy Awards have critics, pundits and fans battling with each other regarding the odds their faves will win the most coveted statuette in the medium. It’s beginning to look like one of Game of Thrones’s signature, epic massacres or weddings – except there are no spoilers or leaks here.

The Oscars only wish they had this problem.

Yes, there were a few major omissions (there always are, especially with TV’s fruitless abundance) but given the market saturation of almost-perfect narrative and acting offerings; for the most part, the Academy of Arts and Sciences (ATAS) did an admirable job modernizing the process without compromising it (take note, Daytime Emmys). Kudos to ATAS for expanding and redefining categories/murky areas, diversifying voting and voters, and allowing a much larger ballot. (Even though it’s becoming a tad ridiculous; the streaming world needs to figure out their own academy). There are no controversial electoral colleges in this race!

In fact, the drama category saw the largest number of submissions (180). Coming in second? Best Lead Dramatic Actor boasted 140 confident possible nominees. Best Lead Dramatic Actress clocked in with 113 submissions. Yep, talent overfloweth.

With the landscape changing mainly due to bolder, more creative risks, blossoming diversity and mercurial technological advances, this year’s nominations are truly emblematic of what we are experiencing right now: Peak TV – as critics have unimaginably dubbed this 'third' recent renaissance of TV (and mostly streaming) in recent memory.

For the first time in a while, the cable and network worlds equally shared the top wealth: Westworld and Saturday Night Live tied for the most nominations, scoring 22 nominations each.

GoldDerby.com’s managing editor Chris Beachum tells Postmedia Network he’s as psyched as anyone this year – mainly because the best actors in the world are literally competing this year: “We've seen film stars crossing over into television for several years, but now it's an avalanche of talent. For this year's Emmy Awards, Oscar winners alone that are nominees include Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies), Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon (Feud: Bette and Joan), Robert De Niro (The Wizard of Lies), Geoffrey Rush (Genius), Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Anthony Hopkins (Westworld), and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards). The Movie/Miniseries Actress race featuring Kidman, Witherspoon, Lange, and Sarandon is particularly fascinating because it also features past Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman (American Crime) and one of the hottest stars, Carrie Coon (Fargo).”

Hosted by Emmy winner and nominee – and arguably the most popular and bravest late-night TV host right now – Stephen Colbert, the Prime Time Emmy Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. EST – and Postmedia Network will be there on the red carpet and in the press room to bring you all the scoop and talk to our Canadian influences from the kudofest.

Here are our predictions for all major Emmy races:

DRAMA SERIES

  • Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
  • House of Cards (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • This Is Us (NBC)
  • Westworld (HBO)

Who Should Win: The Handmaid’sTale is all the rage in Hollywood. Postmedia Network spoke with several voters, and the consensus is this perfectly-timed modern yet dystopian tale is the most important one being told right now on TV. Industry insider Chelsea Handler told us, “It’s the best show on TV, hands down; no one I talk to can stop talking about it!”

Who Will Win: Tale creator Margaret Atwood will be forgetting about her recent Toronto condo woes (Google it) when she accepts her first Emmy. Hopefully she’ll mention The Six and “long live The Islands" in her speech.

Upset: The Crown resonates with the Academy more because members are typically a bit older and appreciate in-depth historic dramas with a focus on iconic biographies like O.J. Simpson – and this is pretty close to Emmy bait as you can get. I wasn’t a huge fan but I liked it. If Crown wins, it will be because of its standout, cinematic production values along with some fine performances but the turtle-neck speed of plotting might hinder it.

COMEDY SERIES

  • Atlanta (FX)
  • Black-ish (ABC)
  • Master of None (Netflix)
  • Modern Family (ABC)
  • Silicon Valley (HBO)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • Veep (HBO)

Who Should Win: It’s a tie! Master of None is a work of art – whatever category it is in or even medium it aired on. In fact, season two of Aziz Ansari's soulful offering was simply a masterpiece; but the Emmys might be too bourgeoisie to notice the genre-breaking effort involved here.

Who Will Win: Black-ish is the best network TV comedy series. This past season, they targeted every uncomfortable hot topic they could find and somehow made us laugh. In many ways, Black-ish has become today’s All in the Family.

Upset: While the fine folks at Goldderby.com are vowing Atlanta will triumph here; normally, ATAS rarely honours freshman shows. But it is definitely a possibility. Hey, it happened at the Golden Globes but they love fresh meat. The Emmys make you work before honouring you!

DRAMA ACTRESS

  • Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder)
  • Claire Foy (The Crown)
  • Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Keri Russell (The Americans)
  • Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
  • Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Who Should Win: This is Moss’ eighth nomination (she was robbed at least twice for an Emmy for her brilliant turn on Mad Men) and has never won so expect the streak to be over! Look for her now-iconic performance in Tale to finally deliver.

Who Will Win: This is most likely the only lock at this year’s Emmys: Moss is going to raise Hell. I just hope her recent Scientology outing doesn’t harm her chances. Art is art.

Upset: She could win but let me tell you: I’m not a Foy fan. Every time I see her on the show, I’m like, “Why couldn’t they have cast Emily Blunt instead?”

DRAMA ACTOR

  • Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
  • Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)
  • Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
  • Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
  • Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)
  • Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
  • Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)

Who Should Win: I know not everyone is going to agree on me with this but I am rooting for Rhys. Much like Emma Stone in La La Land, Rhys’ Americans character is always pretending to be someone else which always makes for a standout reel. But he’s so good that voters might opt for flashier, more popular choices. Also, Rhys was robbed of a Guest Actor nom for his anti-type portrayal of a Woody Allen-esque narcissist in Girls this past season so he deserves epic love Sunday.

Who Will Win: Brown. While I’ve been underwhelmed a bit with this Emmy winner on This Is Us but that's mainly because his character is such a bore, there’s no doubt Brown is at the top of his game right now and one of the top most coveted actors in the business. He has the reel, material, talent and buzz – he can win anything.

Upset: Odenkirk could become the new Bryan Cranston.

COMEDY ACTOR

  • Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
  • Aziz Ansari (Master of None)
  • Zach Galifianakis (Baskets)
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta)
  • William H. Macy (Shameless)
  • Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Who Should Win: Ansari, hands down. His performance is not only Emmy-worthy, it deserves an Oscar. Period.

Who Will Win: Glover is going to sew this one up in lieu of a Best Comedy Emmy. (He’ll also win directing/writing, methinks). We're a long way from Community.

Upset: Tambor could become the new Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

COMEDY ACTRESS

  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
  • Tracee Ellis-Ross (Black-ish)
  • Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie)
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
  • Allison Janney (Mom)
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

Who Should Win: If you saw episode two this last season, you know Ellis-Ross should win this little elusive golden bitch. As her character worried she’d lose her unborn baby, the gamut of emotions – pathos and laughter – proved why we might have found the best new comedic network actress since Debra Messing and Patricia Heaton.

Who Will Win: Louis-Dreyfus. I don’t get it. I think Veep is by far Louis-Dreyfus's most one-dimensional portrayal – and despite the fact that could be the point, humans are at least two dimensional in any universe. Even the man currently in the White House.

Upset: Janney could win in the Best Actress category. Never count her out.

LIMITED SERIES

  • Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Fargo (FX)
  • Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
  • The Night Of (HBO)
  • Genius (National Geographic)

Who Should Win: Feud.

Who Will Win: Big Little Lies.

Upset: Fargo.

LIMITED SERIES ACTOR

  • Riz Ahmed (The Night Of)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: The Lying Detective)
  • Robert De Niro (The Wizard of Lies)
  • Ewan McGregor (Fargo)
  • Geoffrey Rush (Genius)
  • John Turturro (The Night Of)

Who Should Win: Turturro and Cumberbatch prove you only get more talented with age.

Who Will Win: Ahmed is the golden boy right now; move over, Rami Malek!

Upset: De Niro.

LIMITED SERIES ACTRESS

  • Carrie Coon (Fargo)
  • Felicity Huffman (American Crime)
  • Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies)
  • Jessica Lange (Feud)
  • Susan Sarandon (Feud)
  • Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies)

Who Should Win: Lange

Who Will Win: Who the frack knows? It’s a toss-up: Kidman and Lange were EQUALLY great but I think Lange was slightly better since her role required much more work.

Upset: Coon.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • John Lithgow (The Crown)
  • Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul)
  • Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
  • Michael Kelly (House of Cards)
  • David Harbour (Stranger Things)
  • Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us)
  • Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)

Who Should Win: There was nothing wrong with Wright in a career-defining turn.

Who Will Win: Lithgow is the bomb.

Upset: Banks, but I wouldn’t be upset. He’s one of the best character actors in the business.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black)
  • Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
  • Chrissy Metz (This Is Us)
  • Thandie Newton (Westworld)

Who Should Win: Metz.

Who Will Win: Brown.

Upset: Newton.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live)
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Tony Hale (Veep)
  • Matt Walsh (Veep)

Who Should Win: Burgess.

Who Will Win: Baldwin.

Upset: Burgess.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
  • Vanessa Bayer (Saturday Night Live)
  • Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live)
  • Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
  • Judith Light (Transparent)
  • Kathryn Hahn (Transparent)

Who Should Win: McKinnon

Who Will Win: What she said.

Upset: Light – and that’s one winning ray I could deal with.

VARIETY TALK SERIES

  • Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
  • The Late Late Show With James Corden (CBS)
  • Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Who Should Win: Sorry Maher, but this is the first time I’m campaigning for someone else: Colbert is the King of Truthiness.

Who Will Win: Colbert. He’s hosting – hello?! Nah, it’ll be Oliver.

Upset: Bee could sting. Hate to say it but her talk show is the least funny of all the options – however, her in-depth segments are 60-Minutes worthy.

REALITY COMPETITION

  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
  • Project Runway (Lifetime)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (vh1)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)
  • The Voice (NBC)

Who Should Win: Survivor. C’mon – this is the best game in history. Even though last season was a disappointment, the first season was ah-maze balls: Gen X vs. Millennials..

Who Will Win: Despite it not delivering its best seasons lately, all the buzz is about RuPaul, who won Best Reality TV Host last weekend for the second year in a row – which means she’s 2/0.

Upset: The Voice could become the new Amazing Race.

NBranco@postmedia.com