Every awards season, journalists are asked to predict the winners in TV and film’s biggest awards programs. The difficulty is in separating who you think the respective academies’ members will vote for and your personal feelings about who deserves to win.
For the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, we’re giving you both: who we think will win and who we think should win. What we’ve learned? Our office watches a lot of FX.
Visit our nominations page to see the full list of nominees. The winners will be announced live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sunday, September 17 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) on NBC.
Be sure to also check out: “The Emmy Formula: Which Roles and Actors Win the Most Gold”
The Results: An equal number of RT staffers agreed that the FX comedy should win, but that the Amazon Prime series will win. You may recall that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won the Golden Globe earlier this year for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. But that was the Hollywood foreign press voting; we’ll see how the Television Academy voters swing. Runners-up: While Atlanta got two RT staff votes for will win, HBO’s Barry took two votes for should win.
Should and Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (4 and 6 votes)
The Results: Brosnahan also took the Globes award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy, but she should thank her stars that Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won this category for the past six years running for her role in Veep and has seven total in the category, isn’t competing. Runners-up: Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) and Pamela Adlon (Better Things) each got one should-win vote.
Should Win: Tie — Bill Hader, Barry, and Donald Glover, Atlanta (3 votes each)
Will Win: Donald Glover, Atlanta (6 votes)
The Results: Glover has a ridiculous number of fans here at RT HQ; that said, Hader does too. But the kids are pretty confident that Glover’s got this one — again (he won in this category last year).
The Results: McKinnon won in this category last year and is expected to do so again, while Gilpin took the most should-win votes. Runners-up: Two RT staffers think Alex Borstein will win for her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while two also think Zazie Beetz should win for her role on Atlanta.
Should and Will Win: Henry Winkler, Barry (3 and 4 votes)
The Results: There’s a lot of love for the Fonz. However… Runner-up: Two should-win votes went to Brian Tyree Henry for his work in season 2 of Atlanta.
Should Win: Hiro Murai, “Teddy Perkins,” Atlanta
Will Win: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “Pilot,” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Results: In this year’s Emmys beauty and the beast tale, Atlanta‘s Teddy Perkins battles Mrs. Maisel‘s pilot for directing supremacy. Our money is on Sherman-Palladino, but our hearts (and possibly some viscera and various body parts) are with Murai for his American horror story. Runners-up: One staffer thinks that Bill Hader should take the comedy directing award for Barry episode “Chapter One: Make Your Mark,” while another thinks “Teddy Perkins” will win (the same staffer had said Brian Tyree Henry should win for supporting actor in a comedy — just noting a pattern and that it’s possible this staffer only watches Atlanta).
Should Win: Tie — Liz Sarnoff, “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going,” Barry, and Amy Sherman-Palladino, “Pilot,” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2 votes each)
Will Win: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “Pilot,” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (5 votes)
The Results: The writing category proved a bit tricky for our staff, leading to a couple of abstentions, but Sherman-Palladino is looking good for this award.
The Results: Our staff voted that HBO’s dragon tale deserves a trophy for its seventh season, while most think that Hulu’s dystopian future–set drama — last year’s winner in this category — will take the award again. Runners-up: Two panelists think The Americans deserves the win, while one thinks that Game of Thrones actually will take the prize in this category.
The Results: Moss won this in this category last year and a majority of our panelists think she’ll win again, while three think Russell will finally be rewarded for her work on the FX spy drama. Runners-up: Two RT staffers think Moss not only will win, but should win. Another thinks that Claire Foy will win for her role in Netflix series The Crown.
The Results: Not pointing fingers (you know who you are), but someone on staff is a big Americans fan and has maybe possibly been lobbying other panelists to recognize the series and its stars — “It’s their last chance!” Others think Brown will take this award for the second year in a row. Runners-up: One staffer thinks Brown’s costar Milo Ventimiglia deserves the trophy.
Should Win: Thandie Newton, Westworld (3 votes)
Will Win: Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale (4 votes)
The Results: The Handmaid’s Tale split the vote with so many actresses giving exceptional performances, including Dowd (who we predict as the winner), Yvonne Strahovski (who received one will-win vote), and Alexis Bledel (who got a should-win vote). Runners-up: Two staffers feel Lena Headey deserves an award for wicked Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones.
Should Win: Tie — Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, and David Harbour, Stranger Things (3 votes each)
Will Win: David Harbour, Stranger Things (4 votes)
The Results: Dinklage previously won this category twice for his role as Tyrion Lannister (in 2011 and 2015). Only one of our staffers thinks he will take the trophy from Harbour. Runners-up: In addition to the Dinklage vote, Mandy Patinkin received a vote to win in this category for Homeland.
Should Win: Alan Taylor, “Beyond the Wall,” Game of Thrones (3 votes)
Will Win: Kari Skogland, “After,” The Handmaid’s Tale (3 votes)
The Results: These directors are also runners-up to each other: Taylor received one vote that he will win for “Beyond the Wall,” and Skogland received one should-win vote.
Should and Will Win: Bruce Miller, “June,” The Handmaid’s Tale
The Results: The season premiere Miller delivered for the Hulu series packed a punch. Runners-up: The will-win projection is by unanimous vote, but Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg got a should-win vote for The Americans episode “Start,” and Phoebe Waller-Bridge got a should-win vote for Killing Eve episode “Nice Face.”
Should and Will Win: American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018) 89% (5 votes each)
The Results: Unanimous.
Should and Will Win: USS Callister: Black Mirror: Season 4 (2017) 86%
The Results: It’s possible that someone forgot to include this category on the staff ballot. It’s also possible that the result above reflects the opinion of only that person. UPDATE: three other panelists have agreed.
Should Win: Tie — Laura Dern, The Tale, and Jessica Biel, The Sinner (2 votes each)
Will Win: Tie — Jessica Biel, The Sinner, and Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult (2 votes each)
The Results: Not one, but two ties!
Should Win: Jesse Plemons, Black Mirror: USS Callister (3 votes)
Will Win: Darren Criss, The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (5 votes)
The Results: Our panel is confident that Criss will win for his emotionally disturbed serial killer, but Plemons got the popular vote for his emotionally disturbed computer genius.
Should Win: Letitia Wright, Black Mirror: Black Museum (2 votes)
Will Win: Penelope Cruz, The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (4 votes)
The Results: The should vote here was split among four of the nominees, leaving Wright the winner with only two votes. Cruz, meanwhile, gave up only one will-win vote — to her costar Judith Light.
Should Win: Tie — Someone in The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (3 votes split across three costars)
Will Win: Jeff Daniels, Godless (3 votes)
The Results: This is the only category in which a should-win vote was split evenly across multiple nominees with one vote each: Edgar Ramirez, Finn Wittrock, and Ricky Martin of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Runners-up: The will-win prediction was more decisive, though Ramirez followed Daniels closely with two votes.
Should and Will Win: Ryan Murphy, “The Man Who Would Be Vogue,” The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (3 and 4 votes)
The Results: Murphy is well known for his unique creative choices, but in the season 2 premiere of American Crime Story, he engineered a TV masterwork. Runner-up: One staffer threw a should-win vote to David Lynch for his Twin Peaks revival.
Should Win: William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: USS Callister (2 votes)
Will Win: Tie — William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: USS Callister and Tom Rob Smith, “House by the Lake,” The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2 votes each)
The Results: It’s no surprise that USS Callister and “House by the Lake” would split the will-win vote. Runners-up: What is a surprise is that one of our panelists threw a should-win vote to Kevin and Matthew McManus for American Vandal episode “Clean Up” over the two will-win frontrunners.
Should and Will Win: RuPaul’s Drag Race (3 and 4 votes)
The Results: The series dominated the will-win vote, but The Voice and Top Chef each got a should-win vote.
Should and Will Win: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (4 and 5 votes)
The Results: The American Vandal dissenter above also cost John Oliver a should-win vote by throwing his vote to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
Should Win: Portlandia (3 votes)
Will Win: Saturday Night Live (4 votes)
The Results: Portlandia‘s should-win dominance says a lot about our office. That Drunk History also got a should-win vote elaborates on that observation.
Should Win: Stan Lathan for Dave Chappelle: Equanimity (4 votes)
Will Win: Tie — a four-way tie between Stan Lathan for Dave Chappelle: Equanimity; Glenn Weiss, The Oscars; Michael Bonfiglio for Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld , and Marcus Raboy for Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life. (1 vote each)
The Results: The Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake is the only nominee to not get a vote. People are still blaming the fashion.
Should and Will Win: Full Frontal: Great American Puerto Rico (3 votes and 3 votes)
The Results: Samantha Bee and her team of writers should own this one, according to RT staff.