This year’s Emmys are nearly upon us, TV fans, as this Sunday on ABC Jimmy Kimmel will host the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The Creative Arts Emmys were held last weekend, with many big-name shows, such as Game of Thrones, The Americans, and Jessica Jones, winning awards for technical achievement, guest performances, and musical score. But will these shows be able to find the same type of success on Sunday in the major categories? Which shows will win the biggest categories of them all: Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Comedy, and Outstanding Drama? Blaise Hopkins and I are here to give you our picks for this year’s Emmys, sharing who we think will win and who should win at the ceremony this Sunday.
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Chris: Ultimately, this year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Drama comes down to three shows for me: The Americans, Game of Thrones, and Mr. Robot. Despite the critical acclaim and wide popularity Mr. Robot‘s first season received, I believe that Game of Thrones will win Outstanding Drama for the second year in a row, as Season 6 of the HBO series was a stronger and more satisfying chapter than last year’s Emmy-winning fifth season. However, it’s The Americans that should win for its incredible fourth season, which I found even more emotional, exhilarating, and excellent than Game of Thrones Season 6.
Blaise: The category of Outstanding Drama comes down to two shows for me: Mr. Robot and Game of Thrones, which were both incredible all the way through. While I think Mr. Robot should take the award, I believe that Game of Thrones will edge it out due to the way the show built off of its previous season and only got better.
LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Rami Malek, Mr Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Chris: Matthew Rhys should win the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama. He’s been fantastic on The Americans ever since the show’s very first episode, and he gave his best performance yet in the show’s terrific fourth season. However, I see the Emmys giving the award to Rami Malek, who has done some fine work on Mr. Robot and will win for Lead Actor in a Drama.
Blaise: This year, the Lead Actor category is pretty stacked, and I think that category really comes down to Matthew Rhys for The Americans and Rami Malek for Mr. Robot. While I thought Rhys was fantastic this season, I believe Rami Malek should and will win the award thanks to his hard work on Mr. Robot.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Taraji P Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Keri Russell, The Americans
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Chris: Everything I said about Matthew Rhys can also be said for his Americans co-star, Keri Russell, who was even more electric than Rhys in Season 4 of the FX drama and should win the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama. If not Russell, my other personal choice would be Tatiana Maslany, who deserves some type of recognition for the amazing work she consistently does on Orphan Black. However, I expect the Emmys to honor Viola Davis, who will win the Lead Actress in a Drama award for the second year in a row.
Blaise: While I am not as well-versed with the amazing women in this category, I think that Keri Russell was an absolute standout in The Americans this season and should win the Emmy with her diverse and intense performance. Yet, in the competitive category, I believe that Viola Davis will win for the second year in a row for her work on How to Get Away With Murder.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL
Chris: It has to be Lena Headey, right? No offense to any of the other actresses (many of whom I love and am happy to see nominated, especially Constance Zimmer for UnREAL), but Headey did outstanding work during Game of Thrones’ sixth season as Cersei finally got her vengeance against the faithful in King’s Landing and ascended to the position of Queen of Westeros. She should win and will win.
Blaise: This year, Game of Thrones was carried by a few specific characters, one of which was Lena Headey’s Cersei. Headey displayed the wide array of emotions her character expressed throughout the season and was a part of many pivotal scenes that took the show to the next level. Headey should and will win.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Chris: As much as I enjoyed what both Peter Dinklage and Kit Harrington did with their characters during Game of Thrones Season 6, I’d have to give my pick for who should win to Jonathan Banks, who remained tremendous in Better Call Saul‘s second season. Banks deserves to win at least one award for playing Mike Ehrmantraut, and while the Academy didn’t honor him last year (when they should have), I hope they’ll make up for it at this year’s Emmys. Somehow, though, something in my gut is telling me that Kit Harrington will win when the award is given out on Sunday night.
Blaise: While it would be nice to see Better Call Saul snag an award for Jonathan Banks, who should win, I think that the award will go to either Kit Harrington or Peter Dinklage for their outstanding performances in this season of Game of Thrones.
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Chris: For this category, it’s the two Netflix series, Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that should win. Master of None‘s first season is a funny, insightful, and authentic look at what life today is like for young adults still trying to figure out what they want to and should do. Meanwhile, Kimmy Schmidt‘s second season may have been even funnier than its first, and it was also more deep and soulful, as the comedy explored Kimmy’s relationship with her mother and Titus’ new romance with Mikey. What I want doesn’t really matter, though. Veep will win again, and I can’t really argue with that.
Blaise: This category has a lot of great contenders, but for me there is only one choice. Master of None should and will win the Emmy. This show was a brilliantly written display of the different stages of a relationship as well as important topics, such as stereotyping races and genders in culture. Aziz Ansari really created a well-rounded show that deserves the award.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Laurie Metcalfe, Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Chris: A big reason why Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 was as good as it was is because of Ellie Kemper’s committed performance. As Kimmy, Kemper finds the perfect balance between innocent enthusiasm and deep-rooted sadness. Kimmy may be an upbeat, positive-thinking character, but she also has some real demons and Kemper was always at her best when exploring them in Kimmy Schmidt‘s second season. She should win this Sunday, but there’s no chance that she’ll be beating Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who will win.
Blaise: I think that Ellie Kemper should win the award for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because she gave a very thorough performance as the titular character. Kemper really brings it all to the table with Kimmy, a role that allows her to explore an interesting character in a fun show. While I believe she should take it, I’m expecting Julia Louis-Dreyfus will win the award for her role on Veep.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Masters of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H. Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Chris: Aziz Ansari brought an honesty and authenticity to his character of Dev in Master of None that I didn’t know he was capable of doing, and Thomas Middleditch proved yet again how great he is at both comedic and dramatic work in Silicon Valley Season 3. Both of them should win, or at least should be the top two candidates, but Jeffrey Tambor will win again for his wonderful performance on Transparent. And I can’t really argue with that, can I?
Blaise: I think that Aziz Ansari should win this category for the in-depth performance he gave as Dev in Master of None, but there are plenty of great actors up for this award. While it would really be nice to see Ansari get the recognition for his new show, I think Jeffrey Tambor will win for the great job he’s done on Transparent.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Kate McKinnon, SNL
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Chris: Allison Janney will win yet again for her stellar performance on Mom, and while I honestly don’t regularly watch any of the shows that are in this category, I would still argue that Janney should win because anytime I have tuned into Mom, she’s amazed me.
Blaise: I think that this category comes down to two women: Kate McKinnon for SNL and Allison Janney for Mom. I believe that McKinnon should win for the quirky and clever characters she helps create on SNL but think that Janney will win once again for Mom.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh Veep
Chris: Andre Braugher has consistently been one of the funniest actors on television over the past three years, and he still has no Emmys to show for it and that’s a crime. He should win for his hilarious and heartfelt performance as Captain Raymond Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. However, I expect that either Tony Hale or Matt Walsh from Veep will win when the award is handed out on Sunday night.
Blaise: In what is, once again, a fantastically stacked category, I think that either Andre Braugher or Tituss Burgess should win the Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Comedy. If either one of them took the award, I would be thrilled; however, I believe that Braugher will win because of the he plays character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who provides the show with a great balance of being goofy and serious.
A Very Murray Christmas
All the Way
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Chris: I honestly haven’t watched any of these nominees, but I have seen Luther before, so with that minimal knowledge, I’ll say that it should win and will win.
Blaise: I love both Sherlock and Luther but felt that The Abominable Bride was fairly average compared to some of the other Sherlock stories. Luther constantly brings intensity and thrills to each episode, and for those reasons, I think that it should and will win this Emmys category easily.
OUSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson
Chris: As magnetic as The People v. O.J. Simpson was, it still did not match the highs of Fargo‘s second season, which I believe should win at this year’s Emmys. Somehow, Noah Hawley and his team took everything that was so great about the show in Season 1 and made it more intense, hilarious, and thematically rich in Season 2. However, as outstanding as Fargo was, The People v. O.J. Simpson has even more buzz and has impressed even more people, and it will win at the Emmys this Sunday.
Blaise: I haven’t gotten to watch The People v. O.J. Simpson just yet, but I have heard nothing but great things about it. Although I believe The People v. O.J. Simpson will win at the Emmys this weekend, I think that Fargo should win. Fargo constantly finds ways to make the show better with each season due to careful planning and a clear path of where it wants to go. The show takes authentic characters and inserts them into strange situations that embody the tone and style.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Billie Holiday: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
Chris: The easiest pick of this year’s Emmys: Sarah Paulson should win and will win for her work in The People v. O.J. Simpson. As much as I loved Kirsten Dunst’s work in Fargo, go watch The People v. O.J. episode “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” and then tell me that Paulson doesn’t deserve it.
Blaise: Kirsten Dunst really blew me away with her work on Fargo this season as the crazy, hoarding Peggy. The character was seemingly adorable and innocent but eventually revealed her true colors and screwed-up mind, which is why she should and will win the Emmy.
LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba, Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr, The People v. O.J. Simpson
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson
Chris: And the second easiest pick of this year’s Emmys: Courtney B. Vance should win and will win for his work in The People v. O.J. Simpson. Just like Paulson, he was sensational throughout all 10 episodes of the series.
Blaise: I have only seen about half of the actors in this category, but I think it comes down to two of them. Bryan Cranston was a chameleon in All The Way and for his entire performance I believe he should win the award. Yet, I have mainly heard about Courtney B. Vance being one of the people to carry The People v. O.J. Simpson and for all the buzz, I believe he will win.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Melissa Leo, All The Way
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, Fargo
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Chris: This category is a tough one to pick. Part of me wants to pick Paulson again or Olivia Colman for her work in The Night Manager, but an even bigger part of me believes that Jean Smart should win for Fargo. And when it comes to who I think will actually take home the award, I’d say Regina King will win for American Crime, giving her back-to-back Emmy wins for the ABC series.
Blaise: The supporting actress category is extremely stacked this year, and all of the ladies would be deserving of a win in this category, but I think that Jean Smart should win for her great work as the mother of the Gerhardt clan on Fargo. I believe that Smart definitely has a chance, but I’m expecting Regina King will win for her role in American Crime.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson
David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson
Chris: This is a two-man race for me between Bokeem Woodbine for Fargo and Sterling K. Brown for The People v. O.J. Simpson. If I really have to choose, I’d say that Woodbine should win for his performance as the cool, calm, and collected Mike Milligan, but I believe that Brown will win for his almost equally outstanding work as Chris Darden, who, in many ways, became the heart and soul of The People v. O.J.
Blaise: This category is absolutely loaded, but I think that the award should and will go to Bokeem Woodbine for his fantastic job as Mike Milligan on Fargo. The character was one of the best hit men I’ve seen on TV, and he had an eerie quality to him that felt emotionless. Woodbine was one of the top performances on the show, and all of his scenes were fun, suspenseful, and interesting.
Who do you think will and should win at this year’s Emmys? Comment below and let us know.
[Photos via HBO, FX, USA Network, BBC America, AMC, Netflix, Amazon, CBS & FOX]