Crowning TV royalty
Expect big night for ‘This Is Us,’ star Sterling K. Brown
And you thought the battle for the Iron Throne was brutal.
On Sept. 17, they’ll be crowning television royalty at the annual EmmyAwards, and several of the marquee races feature formidable contenders. Making things even more intriguing is the absence of drama powerhouse “Game of Thrones,” which is ineligible this year because its latest season arrived too late.
Of course, predicting what will go down on Emmy night is always an iffy deal. Just when you think voters are stuck in a rut, they stun you by showering their love on a newbie or two.
Still, there’s no harm in trying. Here’s a breakdown of the major categories, along with our best guesswork. Wager at your own risk.
“Better Call Saul” (AMC); “The Crown” (Netflix); “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); “House of Cards” (Netflix); “Stranger Things” (Netflix); “This Is Us” (NBC); “Westworld” (HBO).
Should win: “The Handmaid’s Tale” Will win: “This Is Us” With “Game of Thrones” sidelined, the field appears to be wide open with five freshman series taking on established veterans “Better Call Saul” and “House of Cards.” Hulu’s riveting adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian thriller struck a nerve amid a year of political tension. It’s certainly a worthy candidate. But my gut tells me that the heartwarming blockbuster hit “This Is Us” will take the prize. If it does, it would be the first broadcast network series to prevail in the category since “24” did in 2006.
“Atlanta” (FX); “Blackish” (ABC); “Master of None” (Netflix); “Modern Family” (ABC); “Silicon Valley” (HBO); “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix); “Veep” (HBO). Should win: “Atlanta” Will win: “Veep” It’s great to see the voters recognize the work of actor-
auteurs, as represented by Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” and Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None.” Both are outstanding shows that reject the predictable pace and rhythms of the standard sitcom in favor of a naturalistic, indie film-like approach. “Atlanta,” in particular, has some momentum after being honored by the Golden Globes and the TV critics. Still, it’s difficult to imagine that the consistently brilliant “Veep” — with its biting political satire — won’t pull off a three-peat.
Best actress, drama
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder,” ABC); Claire Foy (“The Crown”); Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”); Keri Russell (“The Americans,” AMC); Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”); Robin Wright (“House of Cards”).
Should win: Elisabeth Moss Will win: Elisabeth Moss It’s hard to believe that Moss has racked up seven Emmy nominations over her career and never won. That shut-out streak should end on Sunday. Yes, she’s part of an impressive field that includes a previous winner (Davis), but Moss hit new peaks with her stunningly magnetic performance as Offred. It’s time for the voters to make amends for failing to honor her all those years for “Mad Men.”
Best actor, drama
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”); Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”); Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”); Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”); Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan,” Showtime); Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”);
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”).
Should win: Sterling K. Brown
Will win: Sterling K. Brown
Brown was a winner last year for his remarkable work in “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” The Stanford grad has been just as good, if not better, in “This Is Us” — especially through his arc as the adopted son bonding with his cancer-stricken birth father. He simply has a way of cracking your heart open. Then again, the “This Is Us” vote possibly could be split between Brown and co-star Ventimiglia, which would most likely leave the door open for Odenkirk.
Elisabeth Moss, shown as Offred in a scene from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.
Donald Glover portrays Earnest Marks in the comedy “Atlanta.” Glover is nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series.