Pre­dic­tions: Who will win, who de­serves to win and who could sur­prise us all

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - A + E - By Emily Yahr

The Emmy Awards are tonight, and the most ex­cit­ing cat­e­gories this year may all in­volve the lim­ited se­ries, as HBO’s ad­dic­tive “Big Lit­tle Lies” (and its cast of A-list stars) are up against heavy hit­ters like HBO’s “The Night Of” and FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan.” But don’t for­get about NBC’s weepy “This Is Us,” the first broad­cast TV show to land a best drama se­ries nod in six years.

NBC’s “Satur­day Night Live” is tied with HBO’s “West­world” for the most nom­i­na­tions, with 22. Here are our pre­dic­tions for what will prob­a­bly win, who ac­tu­ally de­serves to win, and who could sneak through and sur­prise ev­ery­one:

Out­stand­ing drama se­ries

“The Crown” (Net­flix), “The Hand­maid’s Tale” (Hulu), “West­world” (HBO), “Stranger Things” (Net­flix), “This Is Us” (NBC), “Bet­ter Call Saul” (AMC), “House of Cards” (Net­flix) Will prob­a­bly win: “This Is Us” This is the toughest field of the night, but Post TV critic Hank Stuever said it best — Amer­ica needed a hug and a good cry this year, and broad­cast TV’s big break­out hit de­liv­ered. De­serves to win: “The Hand­maid’s Tale” The oddly rel­e­vant se­ries, based on the ter­ri­fy­ing 1985 dystopian novel, will linger with you long af­ter you’ve watched it.

Dark horse: “The Crown” Be­cause you can never count out a pres­tige se­ries about Brits, es­pe­cially one on Net­flix.

Out­stand­ing lead ac­tor in a drama se­ries

Ster­ling K. Brown, “This Is Us” (NBC), Matthew Rhys, “The Amer­i­cans” (FX), Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Net­flix), Liev Schreiber, “Ray Dono­van” (Show­time), An­thony Hop­kins, “West­world” (HBO), Milo Ven­timiglia, “This Is Us” (NBC), Bob

Odenkirk, “Bet­ter Call Saul” (AMC) Will prob­a­bly win: Ster­ling K. Brown In a show filled with dev­as­tat­ing mo­ments, Brown steals nearly ev­ery episode with the por­trayal of a man re­con­nect­ing with his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. De­serves to win: Ster­ling K. Brown See above.

Dark horse: Bob Odenkirk He might turn out to be the guy who’s al­ways nom­i­nated and never wins — yet you can’t count him out, es­pe­cially with his ex­cel­lent por­trayal a shady lawyer.

Out­stand­ing lead ac­tress in a drama se­ries

Claire Foy, “The Crown” (Net­flix), Keri Rus­sell, “The Amer­i­cans” (FX), Elis­a­beth Moss, “The Hand­maid’s Tale” (Hulu), Vi­ola Davis, “How to Get Away with Mur­der” (ABC), Robin Wright, “House of Cards” (Net­flix), Evan Rachel Wood, “West­world” (HBO)

Will prob­a­bly win: Elis­a­beth Moss Even post-”Mad Men,” Moss is still an Emmy fa­vorite, and she made the most headlines for her per­for­mance. De­serves to win: Keri Rus­sell The fact that she’s fi­nally nom­i­nated for “The Amer­i­cans” (two years in a row now) doesn’t ex­cuse the academy for over­look­ing her dur­ing the show’s peak.

Dark horse: Claire Foy Again, it’s Net­flix — and Foy has earned raves for her work as Queen El­iz­a­beth.

Out­stand­ing sup­port­ing ac­tor in a drama se­ries

Jonathan Banks, “Bet­ter Call Saul” (AMC), John Lith­gow, “The Crown” (Net­flix), Mandy Patinkin, “Home­land” (Show­time), Michael Kelly, “House Of Cards” (Net­flix), David Har­bour, “Stranger Things” (Net­flix), Ron Cephas Jones, “This Is Us” (NBC), Jef­frey Wright, “West­world” (HBO)

Will prob­a­bly win: John Lith­gow His Win­ston Churchill per­for­mance al­ready net­ted him a Golden Globe nom­i­na­tion and SAG Award prize.

De­serves to win: Jef­frey Wright Crit­ics love him on “West­world” — he has a mag­netic screen pres­ence and the abil­ity to de­liver a big twist.

Dark horse: Ron Cephas Jones He’s the other half of the dev­as­tat­ing fa­ther-son “This Is Us” story, so if vot­ers re­ally liked to cry this year, they could give him the win.

Out­stand­ing sup­port­ing ac­tress in a drama se­ries

Ann Dowd, “The Hand­maid’s Tale” (Hulu), Samira Wi­ley, “The Hand­maid’s Tale” (Hulu), Uzo Aduba, “Or­ange is the New Black” (Net­flix), Mil­lie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things” (Net­flix), Thandie New­ton, “West­world” (HBO), Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us” (NBC) Will prob­a­bly win: Thandie New­ton Her char­ac­ter went through a lot (that’s an un­der­state­ment), and New­ton ex­pertly tack­led ev­ery emo­tion. De­serves to win: Chrissy Metz Metz de­serves all the praise she’s re­ceived as she nails a role that TV doesn’t usu­ally do very well — the story of a woman strug­gling with her weight. Dark horse: Mil­lie Bobby Brown While it would be un­usual for the 13-year-old to take the prize from the vets, Brown was riv­et­ing as the young girl with a scary se­cret on “Stranger Things.”

Out­stand­ing com­edy se­ries

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

Will prob­a­bly win: “Veep” It’s “Veep’s” world and we’re just liv­ing in it — ex­pect the po­lit­i­cal satire to take home the tro­phy for the third year in a row. De­serves to win: “At­lanta” Don­ald Glover’s in­ven­tive take on the rap scene in

At­lanta was a de­light in its fresh­man sea­son. Dark horse: “Black-ish” Could broad­cast TV win best drama and best com­edy?! If any show could pull it off, “Black-ish” can.

Out­stand­ing lead ac­tor in a com­edy se­ries

Don­ald Glover, “At­lanta” (FX), An­thony An­der­son, “Black­ish” (ABC), Jef­frey Tam­bor, “Trans­par­ent” (Ama­zon), Aziz An­sari, “Mas­ter of None” (Net­flix), Wil­liam H. Macy, “Shame­less” (Show­time), Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis, “Bas­kets” (FX) Will prob­a­bly win: Don­ald Glover If “At­lanta” doesn’t take the main prize, like it did at the Golden Globes, Glover will cer­tainly win — just like he did at the Golden Globes. De­serves to win: Don­ald Glover He’s great in this show, but let’s also think of it as re­venge for the Em­mys snub­bing “Com­mu­nity.” Dark horse: Jef­frey Tam­bor He’s won for his ground­break­ing role in “Trans­par­ent” for two years run­ning, and could eas­ily con­quer a third time. Out­stand­ing lead ac­tress in a com­edy se­ries Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus, “Veep” (HBO), Tracee El­lis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC), Lily Tom­lin, “Grace and Frankie” (Net­flix), Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie” (Net­flix), El­lie Kem­per, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt” (Net­flix), Al­li­son Jan­ney, “Mom” (CBS), Pamela Ad­lon, “Bet­ter Things” (FX) Will prob­a­bly win: Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus Selina Meyer will likely land her sixth (!) Emmy in a row to­day. De­serves to win: El­lie Kem­per Se­ri­ously, has a part ever fit an ac­tress bet­ter than Kem­per with Kimmy Sch­midt? Dark horse: Pamela Ad­lon She was the sur­prise nom­i­nee here, so she just might eke out a sur­prise vic­tory, too.

Out­stand­ing sup­port­ing ac­tor in a com­edy se­ries

Louie An­der­son, “Bas­kets” (FX), Ty Bur­rell, “Modern Fam­ily (ABC), Alec Bald­win, “Satur­day Night Live” (NBC), Ti­tuss Burgess, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt” (Net­flix), Tony Hale, “Veep” (HBO), Matt Walsh, “Veep” (HBO) Will prob­a­bly win: Alec Bald­win Well, clearly. Don’t you want to see his speech? De­serves to win: Alec Bald­win He dom­i­nated the zeit­geist last fall with his Trump im­pres­sion. Dark horse: Louie An­der­son Be­cause he won last year, and the Em­mys al­ways throw a few sur­prises in there.

Out­stand­ing sup­port­ing ac­tress in a com­edy se­ries Vanessa Bayer, “Satur­day Night Live” (NBC), Les­lie Jones, “Satur­day Night Live” (NBC), Kate McKin­non, “Satur­day Night Live” (NBC), Kathryn Hahn, “Trans­par­ent” (Ama­zon), Ju­dith Light, “Trans­par­ent” (Ama­zon), Anna Ch­lum­sky, “Veep” (HBO) Will prob­a­bly win: Kate McKin­non She earned the tro­phy last year, and her Hil­lary Clin­ton im­per­son­ation only cat­a­pulted her to fur­ther fame this year. De­serves to win: Kate McKin­non McKin­non was all over the place as Clin­ton, from the de­bate skits to that “Hal­lelu­jah” per­for­mance. Dark horse: Anna Ch­lum­sky You can’t over­look “Veep.”

Out­stand­ing lim­ited se­ries

“The Night Of” (HBO), “Big Lit­tle Lies” (HBO), “Fargo” (FX), “Feud: Bette and Joan” (FX), “Ge­nius” (Na­tional Ge­o­graphic) Will prob­a­bly win: “Big Lit­tle Lies” Some­thing tells us Emmy vot­ers can’t re­sist the Wither­spoon-Kid­man star power of “Big Lit­tle Lies.” De­serves to win: “Big Lit­tle Lies” “The Night Of” and “Feud” were also ir­re­sistible, yet all of the el­e­ments of “BLL” came to­gether un­usu­ally flaw­lessly. Dark horse: “The Night Of” The HBO se­ries had tons of crit­i­cal ac­claim — it just aired so long ago.

Out­stand­ing TV movie

“Black Mir­ror” (Net­flix), “Dolly Par­ton’s Christ­mas Of Many Col­ors: Cir­cle Of Love” (NBC), “Im­mor­tal Life of Hen­ri­etta Lacks” (HBO), “Sher­lock: The Ly­ing De­tec­tive” (PBS), “The Wizard of Lies” (HBO) Will prob­a­bly win: “The Wizard of Lies” Robert de Niro as Bernie Mad­off has the right el­e­ments for an Emmy vic­tory: rec­og­niz­able name, fa­mous story and on HBO. De­serves to win: “Black Mir­ror” Yes, it’s tech­ni­cally an episode of a TV show — just trust us, “San Ju­nipero” is that good. Dark horse: “Sher­lock: The Ly­ing De­tec­tive” Never bet against a solid PBS drama. Out­stand­ing va­ri­ety sketch se­ries “Billy on the Street” (truTV), “Doc­u­men­tary Now!” (IFC), “Drunk His­tory” (Com­edy Cen­tral), “Port­landia” (IFC), “Satur­day Night Live” (NBC), “Tracey Ull­man’s Show” (HBO) Will prob­a­bly win: “Satur­day Night Live” With the po­lit­i­cal news cy­cle, there’s no way it can be any­thing else. De­serves to win: “Satur­day Night Live” They de­serve it for the sheer vol­ume of events to par­ody this year. Dark horse: “Billy on the Street” Fi­nally, Billy Eich­ner is get­ting his due for more than vi­ral videos that re­sult from his show.

Out­stand­ing va­ri­ety talk se­ries

“Late Show With Stephen Col­bert” (CBS), “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO), “Jimmy Kim­mel Live” (ABC), “Full Frontal With Sa­man­tha Bee” (TBS), “Late Late Show With James Cor­den” (CBS), “Real Time With Bill Ma­her” (HBO) Will prob­a­bly win: “Late Show With Stephen Col­bert” This is an un­usu­ally tough cat­e­gory (don’t dis­re­gard John Oliver). But no one had a bet­ter sec­ond year — af­ter a solidly medi­ocre first year — than Col­bert. De­serves to win: “Jimmy Kim­mel Live” Kim­mel has proved him­self as a host who can in­ter­view po­lit­i­cal fig­ures with tough­ness and pull off an emo­tional mono­logue, which is no easy task — and he doesn’t al­ways get the credit he de­serves. Dark horse: “Full Frontal With Sa­man­tha Bee” Though she’s a newer host, Bee has lots of fans in the in­dus­try.

Out­stand­ing re­al­ity-com­pe­ti­tion program

“The Voice” (NBC), “The Amaz­ing Race” (CBS), “Top Chef” (Bravo), “Project Run­way” (Life­time), “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo), “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior” (NBC) Will prob­a­bly win: “The Voice” Once Emmy vot­ers get hooked on some­thing, it’s hard to stop the cy­cle. (See: all of the “Amaz­ing Race” vic­to­ries.) De­serves to win: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” There’s a rea­son RuPaul has won the re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion host award two years in a row. Dark horse: “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior” If you don’t watch it, you wouldn’t un­der­stand.

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