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Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2020 Emmy Nominations

Who's scoring a nomination next Tuesday? We're betting on Schitt's Creek, The Crown, Watchmen, and Mrs. America to dominate.

by | July 21, 2020 | Comments

Schitt's Creek the final season keyart
(Photo by Pop TV)

Updated July 26, 2020

The Television Academy announces nominees for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards next Tuesday. We’re feeling the love for the final season of Schitt’s Creek (pictured) — 2020’s top TV series (so far) by Tomatometer — and its stars in the comedy categories for the series’ sixth and final season on Pop TV. For drama, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and the season 3 cast of Netflix series The Crown promise to turn in a solid performance during the award nominations.

But what other shows and stars will make the grade and snag a nomination? Leading our bets in drama are season 2 of HBO’s Succession, and season 5 of AMC’s Better Call Saul, and season 3 of Netflix’s Ozark. In comedy, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3, season 2 of FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, and season 2 of Hulu’s Ramy. In the limited series category, FX on Hulu’s Mrs. America, HBO’s Watchmen, and Netflix’s Unbelievable, and those series’ respective casts are all strong contenders for awards.

Check out our Emmy nominations predictions below, and be here on Tuesday when we reveal who officially is nominated for the 2020 Academy Awards. An asterisk (*) indicates the top choice in a category selected by our staff in a poll.

Let us know who you think will be nominated in the comments.


Related: The Best TV Shows of 2020 (So Far)


Outstanding Comedy Series

 Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel s3
(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who will be nominated?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (2020) 100%*
The Good Place: Season 4 (2019) 100%
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 10 (2020) 95%
Dead to Me: Season 2 (2020) 95%
Ramy: Season 2 (2020) 97%
What We Do in the Shadows: Season 2 (2020) 100%*
Insecure: Season 4 (2020) 95%

And why? With 34 nominations and 16 Emmys, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the title to beat. We think beloved underdog comedy Schitt’s Creek and its cast will be recognized for the sixth and final season of the Pop series, which is Certified Fresh at 100% on the Tomatometer, compared to Maisel’s 82% for season 3. Schitt’s Creek has four previous nominations from last year. Our staff also has put its faith in FX’s vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows to break into the comedy series Emmy nominations this year (it was nominated for cinematography and sound editing last year).


Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Catherine O'Hara in Schitt's Creek, s6
(Photo by Pop TV)

Who will be nominated?

Catherine O’Hara – Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (2020) 100%*
Rachel Brosnahan– The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me: Season 2 (2020) 95%
Linda Cardellini – Dead to Me: Season 2 (2020) 95%
Issa Rae – Insecure: Season 4 (2020) 95%
Pamela Adlon – Better Things: Season 4 (2020) 100%

And why? O’Hara has been a strong focus of support for her role as Moira on Schitt’s Creek. Our staff agrees, voting overwhelmingly that O’Hara will see another nomination this year. Brosnahan has had three Emmy nominations in her career and won once, in this category, for her her role as Midge Maisel. Meanwhile, the stars of Dead to Me are likely to split their vote come award-voting time, though we predict that both Applegate and Cardellini will be nominated. That leaves one-time nominee Rae and Adlon, seven-time nominee, one-time Emmy winner (for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance) to face off for the final spots in this category’s nominations against other possible contenders like Awkwafina (Nora from Queens), Elle Fanning (The Great), Kristen Bell (The Good Place), and Zöe Kravitz (High Fidelity).


Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Ramy Youssef in Ramy -- "frank in the future" - Episode 208
(Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

Who will be nominated?

Eugene Levy – Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (2020) 100%*
Ted Danson – The Good Place: Season 4 (2019) 100%
Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 10 (2020) 95%
Ramy Youssef – Ramy: Season 2 (2020) 97%*
Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method: Season 2 (2019) 100%
Steve Carell – Space Force: Season 1 (2020) 38%

And why? Levy and Youssef tied for our staff votes as shoo-ins for nominations. They face Danson, who’s been nominated in this category for the past two years and six-time nominee David. We expect Douglas and Carell to round out nominations in the category.


Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3
(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who will be nominated?

Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%*
Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live: Season 45 (2019)
Jane Lynch – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Annie Murphy – Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (2020) 100%
Marin Hinkle – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Betty Gilpin – GLOW: Season 3 (2019) 86%
D’Arcy Carden – The Good Place: Season 4 (2019) 100%
Yvonne Orji – Insecure: Season 4 (2020) 95%

And why? Borstein has won this category the past two years in a row for her role as Susie Myerson in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and is again the front runner this year (the RT staff agreed). The category is chock full of strong supporting performances — including seven-time nominee, two-time winner McKinnon and 12-time nominee, five-time winner Lynch — from a diverse lineup of comedy programming. But can any of them best Borstein come awards time?


Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Mahershala Ali in Ramy -- "can you hear me now?" - Episode 202
(Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

Who will be nominated?

Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Dan Levy – Schitt's Creek: Season 6 (2020) 100%*
Alan Arkin – The Kominsky Method: Season 2 (2019) 100%
Sterling K. Brown – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 82%
Kenan Thompson – Saturday Night Live: Season 45 (2019)
Mahershala Ali – Ramy: Season 2 (2020) 97%*
James Marsden – Dead to Me: Season 2 (2020) 95%
John Malkovich – Space Force: Season 1 (2020) 38%

And why? With 10 nominations and four wins (including last year’s win in this category for his role as doting dad Abe Weissman), Shalhoub is an Emmy heavyweight. Our staff chose Levy and Ali as certain contenders in the category, while Arkin, Brown, and Thompson are odds-on nominees. Marsden and Malkovich are less certain in a category that may see Louie Anderson for Baskets, Nicholas Hoult for The Great, or Noah Reid for Schitt’s Creek show up in nominations instead.


Outstanding Drama Series

Succession s2
(Photo by HBO)

Who will be nominated?

Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%*
Ozark: Season 3 (2020) 97%
The Crown: Season 3 (2019) 90%
Better Call Saul: Season 5 (2020) 99%
The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 (2019) 81%
The Morning Show: Season 1 (2019) 60%
Pose: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Euphoria: Season 1 (2019) 82%

And whyThere’s no way Succession’s second season could be left out of nominations in this category. The HBO series is favored by odds and the RT staff. Every season of every show in our nomination predictions is Certified Fresh at over 80% except The Morning Show, but despite critical response to the Apple TV+ star vehicle, we think the Television Academy will want to recognize the title. We predict Pose and Euphoria will get nominations, but strong contenders like Big Little Lies, Westworld, Stranger Things, and Killing Eve all have a very good chance to knock them out of consideration. It’s a tough fight in the drama category for those last spots in nominations.


Lead Actress in a Drama Series

The Crown Season 3
(Photo by Sophie Mutevelian / Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

Olivia Colman – The Crown: Season 3 (2019) 90%*
Laura Linney – Ozark: Season 3 (2020) 97%
Jennifer Aniston – The Morning Show: Season 1 (2019) 60%
Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 (2019) 81%
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve: Season 3 (2020) 80%
Zendaya – Euphoria: Season 1 (2019) 82%

And why? Colman received her first Oscar for her starring role in The Favourite in 2018 and has been Emmy-nominated twice for supporting categories for Fleabag and The Night Manager. She is now the actress to beat for her highly-anticipated turn as Queen Elizabeth II in season 3 of The Crown. Moss has won twice on 11 nominations, including winning for her role as Offred / June Osborne and one producing award for season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale. In 2018, she lost out in this category to Claire Foy for playing young Queen Elizabeth in The Crown. Linney and Aniston, meanwhile are Emmy favorites with six nominations each in their careers, with Linney winning four times and Aniston winning once. Comer is the incumbent here, but with a bit of the shine off of Killing Eve — season 3 is Certified Fresh at 80% compared to season 1’s 96% and 2’s 92% — may have a harder time prevailing come awards time. Zendaya faces huge challengers for the last spot on the nominations list: Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder, Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies, Sandra Oh in Killing Eve, Claire Danes in Homeland, and Reese Witherspoon in The Morning Show. But we think the actress pulled off a phenomenal performance in season 1 of the HBO series and deserves the nomination, and we’re betting Academy members may agree with us. This is another tough category.


Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 9
(Photo by Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Who will be nominated?

Brian Cox – Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Jason Bateman – Ozark: Season 3 (2020) 97%
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul: Season 5 (2020) 99%*
Jeremy Strong – Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Billy Porter – Pose: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Tobias Menzies – The Crown: Season 3 (2019) 90%

And why? An Odenkirk nomination is a no-brainer for his titular role in season 5 of Better Call Saul, a season that saw the character move closer to being the Saul Goodman we remember from Breaking Bad, which won Emmys for all 16 of its nominations. Odenkirk has two previous Emmys for writing. Cox and Strong may split the vote for their exceptional performances in Succession, Bateman is considered a lock for a nomination, and Porter won this category last year for his role as Pray Tell in the FX series. Menzies is the wild card here. Can he grab that last spot from Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Al Pacino (Hunters), Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard), and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)? We’re betting on it.


Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler - Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 9
(Photo by Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Who will be nominated?

Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown: Season 3 (2019) 90%*
Julia Garner – Ozark: Season 3 (2020) 97%*
Meryl Streep – Big Little Lies: Season 2 (2019) 85%
Laura Dern – Big Little Lies: Season 2 (2019) 85%
Sarah Snook – Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul: Season 5 (2020) 99%
Thandie Newton – Westworld: Season 3 (2020) 74%
Ann Dowd – The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 (2019) 81%

And why? Mostly known for her film career, Bonham Carter is a newbie at the Emmys — but one to beat for her many-layered performance as aging Princess Margaret in season 3 of The Crown. She’s going head-to-head with last year’s winner in the category Julia Garner for her role as Ruth Langmore in Ozark. Streep and Dern are favored for their roles in Big Little Lies. Less certain, however, are the nominations for Snook and Seehorn with their major competitors including two former winners in this category, Newton (Westworld) and Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), as well as Janet McTeer (Ozark), previously nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Billy Crudup in The Morning Show
(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who will be nominated?

Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul: Season 5 (2020) 99%
Billy Crudup – The Morning Show: Season 1 (2019) 60%*
Kieran Culkin – Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%
Tom Pelphrey – Ozark: Season 3 (2020) 97%*
Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 (2019) 81%
David Harbour – Stranger Things: Season 3 (2019) 89%
Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul: Season 5 (2020) 99%
Matthew Macfadyen – Succession: Season 2 (2019) 97%

And why? Crudup and Pelphrey tied in our staff poll for nominees in the category. Banks and Culkin are also favorites. Whitford, Harbour, Esposito, and Macfadyen are challenged for the last nominations by Mandy Patinkin for Homeland, Josh O’Connor for The Crown, and Jeffrey Wright for Westworld.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Outstanding Limited Series

Watchmen keyart Regina King (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

Who will be nominated?

Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%*
Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020) 96%
Unbelievable: Season 1 (2019) 98%
Little Fires Everywhere: Season 1 (2020) 79%
Unorthodox: Miniseries (2020) 95%

And why? Watchmen, Mrs. America, and Unbelievable are locks for nominations in this category. While we think Little Fires Everywhere and Unorthodox will take a stand for the final two nominations, we also expect that Hollywood, Normal People, I Know This Much Is TrueThe Plot Against America, and Defending Jacob put up a strong fight.


TV Movie

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie SEASON A Netflix Television Event PHOTO CREDIT Ben Rothstein / Netflix PICTURED Aaron Paul COPYRIGHT © 2018 Vinton Productions. All rights reserved.
(Photo by Ben Rothstein / Netflix )

Who will be nominated?

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) 91%
Bad Education (2019) 93%
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Vs. the Reverend (2020) 94%
Togo (2019) 91%
Blow the Man Down (2020) 98%

And why? The RT staff didn’t vote in this category, but they all would have voted for El Camino; that said, Bad Education, with its Certified Fresh 93% score and outstanding cast led by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, may be the stronger candidate when it comes to awards night. With an even higher 98% Certified Fresh score, Blow the Man Down is beloved by critics, but appears to have lower odds with Emmy voters. We would not be the first outlet — Variety, IndieWire — to lament that the category should have a larger number of strong contenders than it does.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett stars as Phyllis Schlafly in MRS. AMERICA
(Photo by Pari Dukovic/FX)

Who will be nominated?

Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020) 96%
Regina King – Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%*
Merritt Wever – Unbelievable: Season 1 (2019) 98%
Kaitlyn Dever – Unbelievable: Season 1 (2019) 98%
Shira Haas – Unorthodox: Miniseries (2020) 95%

And why? Blanchett and 2018 category winner King are the front runners here, with Dever and Haas close behind for their extraordinary performances in Netflix titles Unbelievable and Unorthodox, respectively. We also expect one of the two stars of Little Fires Everywhere will swoop in and spoil a nomination — it really is a toss-up between Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon — and their star power will sway voters to ditch either Dever or Haas.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True
(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/HBO)

Who will be nominated?

Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True: Miniseries (2020) 73%*
Aaron Paul – El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) 91%
Hugh Jackman – Bad Education (2019) 93%
Russell Crowe – The Loudest Voice: Season 1 (2019) 55%
Jeremy Irons – Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%

And why? Ruffalo was amazing in two vastly different roles in I Know This Much Is True, while Crowe has garnered high praise for his work in The Loudest Voice (even if the series itself didn’t win over critics). The odds are also in Paul and Jackman’s favor, while Iron’s fights for the last nomination in this category against Paul Mescal for Normal People, Chris Evans for Defending Jacob, Andre Holland for The Eddy, Jeremy Pope and David Corenswet for Hollywood, Matthew Macfadyen for Quiz, Sacha Baron Cohen for The Spy, and Nick Offerman for Devs.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

PATTI LUPONE in Episode 102 of HOLLYWOOD
(Photo by Saeed Adyana/Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

Allison Janney – Bad Education (2019) 93%
Toni Collette – Unbelievable: Season 1 (2019) 98%
Jean Smart – Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%*
Rose Byrne – Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020) 96%
Margo Martindale – Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020) 96%
Patti LuPone – Hollywood: Season 1 (2020) 58%

And why? It’s a hard Emmy season to be a woman. This category, for instance, is spread incredibly thin across a great selection of talent led by Janney, Collette and Smart as favorites for a nomination. Byrne, Martindale, and LuPone are all challenged by the likes of Holland Taylor for Hollywood and Sarah Paulson, Uzo Aduba, and Tracey Ullman for their performances in Mrs. America. Meanwhile, Hong Chau (Watchmen), Melissa Leo (I Know This Much Is True), Cherry Jones (Defending Jacob), and Emma Thompson (Years and Years) all deserve a mention.

Note this category has been updated since publication.


Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

JIM PARSONS in Episode 104 of HOLLYWOOD
(Photo by Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

Jim Parsons – Hollywood: Season 1 (2020) 58%
Tim Blake Nelson – Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%*
John Slattery – Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020) 96%
John Turturro – The Plot Against America: Season 1 (2020) 86%
Joe Mantello – Hollywood: Season 1 (2020) 58%
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Watchmen: Season 1 (2019) 95%

And why? Four-time Emmy winner Parsons is the favorite for a nomination by the odds, while our staff picked Nelson. Of the remainder, Abdul-Mateen II seems the most vulnerable with Emmy winner Darrin Criss (Hollywood) hot on his heels.


The 2020 Emmy nominations are announced Tuesday, July 28, at 11:30 a.m. EDT / 8:30 a.m. PDT. Check back at Rotten Tomatoes to see who gets a nod. 

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