Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2020 Emmy Winners

Who will emerge a winner on Sunday? We're betting on Schitt's Creek, Watchmen, and Succession to dominate.

by | September 17, 2020 | Comments

Watchmen keyart Regina King (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

When the Television Academy announces winners for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, HBO’s Watchmen and Succession and the final season of Schitt’s Creek are sure to dominate — in the world according to us.

We’ve weighed the variables — including Tomatometer scores (critical reception), Audience Scores, industry buzz, competition in each category, and our own wild (but educated) hunches — to come up with our list of who we think will take home awards this weekend.

Check out our Emmy award predictions below and come back on Sunday when we reveal the winners of the 2020 Emmy Awards.

Disagree? Let us know who you think will win in the comments.

Read also: Rotten Tomatoes’ 2020 Fall TV Reader Survey — The Mandalorian and The Stand Lead Our Top Categories

Outstanding Comedy Series

Schitt's Creek the final season keyart

(Photo by Pop TV)

What’s nominated?

What will win? Schitt’s Creek

And why? The sixth and final season of Pop series Schitt’s Creek climbed from four nominations last year to a whopping 15 this year, and its cast is likely to dominate in their respective categories. With 20 nominations this year and 17 past Emmy wins, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the title to beat, but its Certified Fresh third season scored an 82% compared to Schitt’s Creek season 6’s Certified Fresh 100% score. Meanwhile, a win by What We Do in the Shadows, another title whose most recent season is Certified Fresh at 100%, would be a big category upset.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Catherine O'Hara in Schitt's Creek, s6

(Photo by Pop TV)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? O’Hara

And why? O’Hara will ride the Schitt’s Creek wave and take the category for her role as the Rose family’s wig-loving matriarch, Moira. Brosnahan, with three Emmy nominations in her career, won this category once for her as Midge Maisel. The stars of Dead to Me are likely to have split their vote, while Ross was the surprise nomination for the category, despite having been nominated three previous times for her role as Rainbow Johnson.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Eugene Levy in season 6 of Schitt's Creek

(Photo by Pop TV)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Levy

And why? We’re betting on Levy and that Schitt’s Creek love, though we felt that Youssef was a strong contender for the award. They face Danson, who’s been nominated in this category for the past two years, and Douglas, while Cheadle and Anderson’s nominations came as a surprise.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who will be nominated?

Who will win? Borstein

And why? Borstein won this category the past two years in a row for her role as Susie Myerson in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and, we think, is again the front runner this year. Seven-time nominee, two-time winner McKinnon and nomination newcomer Strong, may split votes for their Saturday Night Live work. Meanwhile, Emmy-nomination newbies Murphy and Carden have strong support for the final seasons of their respective shows — but this is a tough category.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Tony Shalhoub in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 3

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Shalhoub

And why? Emmy heavyweight Shalhoub (11 career nominations, four wins) will defend his title in this category against Schitt’s Creek executive producer, co-creator, and star Levy. (We’re thinking the Television Academy will reward Levy’s producer role with the comedy series win.) Braugher and Harper’s nominations were a nice surprise, but they’re facing an uphill battle against the two favorites; that said, Ali could provide an even bigger surprise and knock everyone out come awards time.

Outstanding Drama Series

Succession s2

(Photo by HBO)

What is nominated?

What will win? Succession

And whyThe strength of Succession’s first season seemed to take some off-guard, but series creator Jesse Armstrong (Oscar nominated for 2009’s In The Loop) went on to win a writing Emmy for it. The HBO show’s story was on steroids in season 2, setting the series itself up for an award this year. Still, the category offers a few questions to ponder: Could all that Baby Yoda love carry surprise nominee The Mandalorian into the winners’ circle? Or will Better Call Saul take revenge for its stars’ snubs in the acting nominations and spank everyone in the category? We’re sticking with Succession in our predictions.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Laura Linney in Ozark SEASON 3 EPISODE 6 PHOTO CREDIT Steve Dietl/Netflix

(Photo by Steve Dietl/Netflix)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Linney

And why? Colman seemed the actress to beat for her highly-anticipated turn as Queen Elizabeth II in season 3 of The Crown, but Linney and Aniston are Emmy favorites, now with seven nominations each in their careers, with Linney winning four times and Aniston winning once. Comer is the incumbent here, but Killing Eve Tomatometer score took a dive in season 3 at 80%, compared to season 1’s 96% and 2’s 92% (all were Certified Fresh), and then there’s the nomination of Oh in the category that further dilutes the Killing Eve duo’s individual chances. Zendaya’s nomination surprised many (not us), but with so many awards-veteran challengers, a win seems out of reach. We’re giving it to Linney for the buzz on her chances — but wouldn’t be surprised at all if Colman snagged it from her.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession

(Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Cox

And why? Forgive us, we’re still reeling from the nomination snub of Bob Odenkirk in this category for his work on season 5 of Better Call Saul. That leaves Cox in the strongest position; though Strong may have split the vote among Succession fans, leaving Bateman in the lead. Porter won this category last year for his role as Pray Tell in the FX series, and there’s every reason to think he could take it again. Brown and Carell were the surprise nominations for us, and we don’t see them overtaking the front runners. We’re betting Cox will prevail for his epic performance as the Roy family patriarch.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Helena Bonham Carter in season 3 of The Crown

(Photo by Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Carter

And why? Carter clearly had a ball playing aging Princess Margaret in season 3 of The Crown, but the big question is how she will fare against last year’s winner in the category, Garner, for her role as Ruth Langmore in Ozark. The category’s competition is wickedly strong across the board, but we think it’s down to those two, and we’ll give it to Carter for her surprising and delightful portrayal.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Billy Crudup in The Morning Show

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Crudup

And why? Our guess is that Crudup and Culkin battled it out for supremacy; though both must contend with the possibility that their costars siphoned off votes, and maybe Whitford, Wright, or Esposito will have realized an advantage because of it. Team Succession probably collectively won, but we’re betting on Crudup in a category that could really go to any of the nominees.

Outstanding Limited Series

Watchmen, season 1 Regina King. Andrew Howard. Photo: Mark Hill.

(Photo by HBO)

What is nominated?

What will win? Watchmen

And why? Mrs. America and Unbelievable may have higher Tomatometer scores, but we think the category is going Watchmen, Damon Lindelof’s timely and tense examination of history, race, and justice within the superhero milieu.

TV Movie

The winner in this category will be announced on Saturday, September 19 as part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards presentation, airing at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on FXX.

Bad Education

(Photo by Ben Rothstein / Netflix )

What is nominated?

What will win? Bad Education

And why? The power of Bad Education, with its Certified Fresh 93% score and outstanding performances led by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, is undeniable. Jesse Pinkman and his El Camino may not go down without a fight, but we think they’re going to get schooled.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Watchmen Season 1, Episode 9 (season finale) Regina King. photo: Mark Hill/HBO

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? King

And why? Though Blanchett is a front runner, we think 2018 category winner King will emerge victorious once more for her powerful performance in HBO’s alternate-history, vigilante-superhero drama.

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True

(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Ruffalo

And why? Ruffalo turned in a stellar dual performance in I Know This Much Is True, and his biggest competition is fellow film star Jackman. We can’t help thinking, however, that Ruffalo did twice the work.

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Jean Smart in Watchmen

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Smart

And why? This is a tough category chock full of superb performances. For one, we expect the three Mrs. America stars to divide the Academy, leaving Smart — with her buzzy performance in a timely genre series — as the favorite for the win.

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Watchmen

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Abdul-Mateen II

And why? The odds favor four-time Emmy winner Parsons, but — feel that breeze? That’s the wings of Watchmen and the winds of change.

The 72nd Emmy Awards winners will be announced on Sunday, September 20, at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

Tag Cloud

BET all-time Apple TV Plus universal monsters Winter TV Action Emmy Nominations Mindy Kaling sequels vampires Rocketman Fox Searchlight Academy Awards child's play Paramount stop motion USA political drama Elton John Quiz spider-man Heroines History Star Wars tv talk Film Festival Lionsgate Hear Us Out video Lucasfilm Premiere Dates sequel San Diego Comic-Con RT History fresh canceled Grammys SXSW MCU ESPN GIFs TV psychological thriller boxing Kids & Family supernatural blockbuster El Rey witnail Spring TV Black History Month ghosts slashers indie sag awards based on movie james bond ratings Thanksgiving TCA Winter 2020 superhero MSNBC Netflix nbcuniversal Sundance TV Marathons Fantasy politics Comic Book diversity Chilling Adventures of Sabrina aliens Avengers Rocky comics quibi casting Pop kids 007 Extras Esquire Election reviews BBC One comiccon chucky Spectrum Originals latino cops SundanceTV BAFTA spy thriller Marvel Studios elevated horror Hallmark revenge independent versus Shondaland a nightmare on elm street OWN Nominations Pop TV police drama Reality Competition VH1 canceled TV shows animated concert harry potter technology Fox News Rock zombie TCM Reality Black Mirror Food Network book halloween tv Country YouTube Red mockumentary documentaries Musical Cannes Emmys Pet Sematary TIFF Box Office spinoff movie anime Spike space Countdown Crunchyroll PaleyFest Vudu Sci-Fi Brie Larson Western hollywood LGBTQ Baby Yoda Disney streaming service dogs zero dark thirty ITV transformers LGBT FX on Hulu sitcom Mary Poppins Returns jamie lee curtis doctor who Lifetime Christmas movies Arrowverse Lifetime Stephen King Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled asian-american Mudbound Year in Review Masterpiece cancelled TV shows TCA emmy awards New York Comic Con satire name the review Polls and Games Binge Guide Best and Worst Tubi Turner Classic Movies adventure richard e. Grant video on demand NYCC worst movies WGN Television Academy halloween Walt Disney Pictures YA Classic Film Musicals comic blaxploitation GLAAD The Purge christmas movies TV Land sports series finale romantic comedy 24 frames werewolf Bravo Teen USA Network Writers Guild of America parents Freeform Toys Funimation Summer reboot CW Seed A&E screen actors guild strong female leads Infographic SDCC 21st Century Fox dragons Amazon Studios TruTV TCA Awards CBS period drama mission: impossible what to watch VICE 71st Emmy Awards E! 2020 Video Games scary movies stoner 20th Century Fox docudrama films historical drama foreign YouTube Disney+ Disney Plus television unscripted Ellie Kemper golden globes Apple TV+ The Arrangement worst Film Biopics IFC screenings franchise Universal Peacock cooking Super Bowl Red Carpet Pride Month TNT cars DC streaming service critics DC Universe boxoffice obituary Cartoon Network stand-up comedy toy story hispanic rotten movies we love YouTube Premium batman FOX facebook Martial Arts cancelled television MTV fast and furious Animation remakes justice league laika dramedy nature American Society of Cinematographers Dark Horse Comics Amazon Prime spanish X-Men The Academy CMT RT21 Drama joker crime drama VOD GoT true crime Podcast Creative Arts Emmys travel comedies Sony Pictures Adult Swim Sneak Peek cats First Look spain crossover disaster WarnerMedia romance TV renewals The CW scorecard Song of Ice and Fire best Acorn TV science fiction robots Watching Series Fall TV Paramount Network Horror Crackle Disney Channel classics The Witch directors BBC mutant Shudder Star Trek NBC Nat Geo dceu Superheroes discovery Music dark Sundance Now Television Critics Association zombies Turner BBC America Chernobyl AMC festivals Netflix Christmas movies indiana jones theme song social media Photos Marvel Pixar deadpool psycho Comics on TV Tomatazos Trailer HBO Max TBS hist President HBO ID IFC Films Warner Bros. TCA 2017 war Sundance Mary Tyler Moore black CBS All Access twilight Anna Paquin Nickelodeon nfl Rom-Com Discovery Channel Holidays Ovation E3 45 OneApp 2016 toronto Apple Hulu Holiday Awards movies PlayStation Travel Channel Interview Endgame children's TV crime FXX adaptation Ghostbusters binge biography Logo A24 Family Mystery FX 2019 Tumblr criterion comic books The Walking Dead breaking bad National Geographic 99% teaser news rt archives Disney 72 Emmy Awards 2017 japanese medical drama 2015 festival crime thriller australia Women's History Month APB 4/20 game show spanish language Superheroe Pirates 2018 HBO Go ABC cults Valentine's Day serial killer south america Disney Plus PBS Britbox streaming natural history DC Comics die hard BET Awards football Columbia Pictures cancelled TV series cinemax Set visit ABC Family Winners Tarantino green book anthology singing competition miniseries CNN italian french Calendar Showtime dc DirecTV Trivia Christmas cartoon Comedy Central Syfy thriller Marvel Television Amazon Cosplay rotten Oscars free movies Certified Fresh renewed TV shows Schedule Amazon Prime Video composers archives documentary game of thrones talk show DGA First Reviews See It Skip It Awards Tour Trophy Talk Mary poppins Starz Opinion TLC Alien Character Guide Epix award winner Hallmark Christmas movies Comedy venice Captain marvel