Emmys predictions: Who will win
Pity the poor IT guy working on this year's virtual Emmy Awards.
In a sign of the times, the Television Academy has been forced to scrap the usual red carpet affair and socially distance its biggest stars, who will Zoom into the awards show, mostly from the safety of their own homes.
That's 138 stars, from 114 locations, across 10 countries to corral and connect to host Jimmy Kimmel, who will front the show in isolation from, appropriately, the Microsoft Theatre in downtown LA on Monday (AEST).
Making light of the COVID crisis and its impact on the gala prize night, a letter was sent to nominees and industry guests outlining the changes forced upon organisers, writing: "This year, it's still going to be TV industry's biggest night out … but we'll come to you!"
Adding a "top notch team of technicians," to its perennial crew of producers and writers who work with Kimmel, this time the emphasis was on making "sure we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice."
Besides a "come as you are, but make an effort" dress code, instead of black tie, the show's executive producers have promised to "use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique 'on screen' moments."
We're hoping Australia's hopefuls get plenty of screen time, with homegrown nominees including Mrs America star Cate Blanchett; Succession siren Sarah Snook; Toni Collette for Unbelievable; and Bad Education favourite, Hugh Jackman.
Nicole Kidman is expected to also make an appearance as part of the ensemble and production team behind limited series nominee, Big Little Lies.
Meanwhile, Hollywood's leading stylists have been thrown into a tizz over the casual fashion edict - throwing open the possibility of everything from PJs to couture.
As the letter read: "If you want to be in formal wear, we'd love that, but equally if you're in the UK and it's 3am, perhaps you want to be in designer pyjamas and record from your bed! "We want to work with you to style your moments, but want you to guide us on your levels of comfort - where you want to be, who you want to be with, what you want to wear etc."
Friends favourite and Morning Wars nominee Jennifer Aniston - long a red carpet queen - has already embraced 'pandemic chic' telling her Instagram followers all she had to do was "figure out what mask I'm gonna wear."
And so, the nominees are:
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid's Tale
Holly Byrnes: The Mandalorian was a triumph for Disney+ but I can't go past the evil genius of Succession. The entire cast deserve the recognition for sublime performances all round.
Lisa Woolford: While I'm a sucker for all things royal, and adore The Crown - it's a tussle between Succession and Ozark for me. Succession by a nose. Just.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dead to Me
The Good Place
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
What We Do in the Shadows
HB: Insecure was my iso find, but Schitt's Creek delivered the laughs we all needed, as well as a few tears as we said farewell.
LW: Dead to Me and The Good Place went a little off the boil this season. Schitt's Creek is probably the sentimental fave, but I can't go past The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Wars
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
HB: How do you go past the chilling brilliance of Jodie Comer? If anyone can, it would be five-time Emmy nominee, Jennifer Aniston who found a new gear in Morning Wars.
LW: What a line-up of talented, fabulous women - do I really have to pick just one? OK, OK, Aniston for playing against type in The Morning Wars.
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Wars
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
Jeremy Strong, Succession
HB: Jeremy Strong's fragility as the beaten-down, drug-addled billionaire's son, Kendall Roy in Succession was glorious to watch, I'd love to see him rewarded for it.
LW: Let's make it third-time lucky for Bateman, and seriously, he's got one of those portraits in his attic, hasn't he? Hasn't aged a day.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Billy Crudup, The Morning Wars
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Mark Duplass, The Morning Wars
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
HB: I'm going against the Succession plan and nominating Giancarlo Esposito for his intimidating performance in Better Call Saul. He was also great in The Mandalorian.
LW: I really, really, really want Crudup to scoop the pool for (almost) stealing The Morning Wars, with his surprisingly morally ethical but devilishly disruptive network exec. But it will probably come from the Succession trio - Macfadyen maybe.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Julia Garner, Ozark
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Sarah Snook, Succession
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale
HB: Can I just say 'for the record' our Nicole Kidman was robbed of a nod for her mesmeric performance in BLL - I mean, that court scene alone warranted a win. But Snookie can still fly the flag for Australia with another win for Succession.
LW: Bonham Carter is zero for two at the Oscars, zero for four at the SAGs and winless at the Emmys, where she's up for her fourth trophy this year. You'd think it's her turn. But perhaps she should watch out for a "shiv" from Snook.
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
HB: I love me some Issa Rae, but think Catherine O'Hara should seal this for Schitt's Creek.
LW: Applegate and Linda are in danger of cancelling each other out. Much as I hope Brosnahan will take home Midge's second gong, it's likely to be O'Hara for her last dance as Moira Rose.
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy
HB: Pundits have Eugene Levy ahead of this race, and I can't see him being beaten. Ramy Youssef would be my roughie from an outside lane.
LW: Danson and Levy are both nominated for the last time in these roles, so it might just come down to the battle of the final seasons. Coin toss says Danson.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Mahershala Ali, Ramy
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place
Daniel Levy, Schitt's Creek
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
HB: All the digital data tells us Aussies would want Andre Braugher to medal for Brooklyn Nine-Nine (a top streamer here), but I think Arkin will bag it for The Kominsky Method.
LW: Shaloub won last year and the Emmys love him (as do I), there's stiff competition from Ali and Arkin. But I reckon he's got it in the bag.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
D'Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Annie Murphy, Schitt's Creek
Yvonne Orji, Insecure
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
HB: It's a throw of the dice in this strong crowd, but I think Betty Gilpin from GLOW would be a worthy winner, ahead of Yvonne Orji and Alex Borstein.
LW: Just hand it to Alex Borstein now, giving her three-from-three. She's absolutely marvellous.
Little Fires Everywhere
HB: Watchmen was unexpectedly relevant for our times, but I think Unorthodox was so powerful, so compelling it deserves the nod.
LW: Judging from the sheer volume of overall award nods alone - 26, for those playing along at home - Watchmen is likely to go all the way. Honourable mention to the divine Unorthodox.
Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend
HB: It's good to be bad sometimes … Bad Education for mine.
LW: Now Black Mirror's gone to the drama category after nabbing the trophy for the past three years, Bad Education with its heavy-hitting ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney has got to be the frontrunner.
LEAD ACTRESS, TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere
HB: Cate was as great as always, but I'd love to see Kerry Washington take it for Little Fires Everywhere (and recognition for her years of incredible work on Scandal).
LW: Tough choice for voters with Oscar winners Blanchett and Spencer, and academy favourites King and Washington. Wish I could give it to Haas for her simple, understated performance in Unorthodox.
LEAD ACTOR, TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
HB: Hugh loves ya, baby. Mr Jackman is always a winner to me, but he really was riveting in this role; arguably a career best.
LW: I'm his Hugh-est fan, Jackman all the way for me. Or, taking my blinkers off briefly, Ruffalo for two performances in one show.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Jean Smart, Watchmen
Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America
HB: It's not pure patriotism (okay, maybe a little), but Toni Collette was, ahem, unbelievable, in Unbelievable.
LW: If playing famous historical figures is the way to win, the three nominees from Mrs. America are in luck. Critics seem to be favouring Martindale though.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
HB: This is as open a race as we get this year, but my nod goes to Louis Gossett Jr. for Watchmen.
LW: Jim Parsons already has a bag of Emmys thanks to The Big Bang theory, time for a new face - pundits are tipping Abdul-Mateen II so who am I to disagree?
VARIETY TALK SERIES
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
HB: This year has needed the comic relief of all of the above, but for political punch, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert had them covered. Oliver to go back to back.
LW: It's the same exact nominees as last year, so it's likely the winner will be the same as well: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Although it is hard to rule out anyone, except perhaps Jimmy Kimmel after he came under fire recently for performing in blackface.
HOST FOR A REALITY OR COMPETITION PROGRAM
Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye
Nicole Byer, Nailed It
Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary, Shark Tank
RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, Making It
HB: This is like picking a favourite child … my beloved Queer Eyes v my hilarious Making It hosts, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman? For all the good they put in the world, I vote Fab 5.
LW: Four-time defending champ RuPaul is almost impossible to go past. But how cool would it be for Poehler and Offerman to make it theirs?
* The Emmy Awards air from 10am on Monday via Fox Arena and are streaming on Foxtel NOW.
Originally published as Emmys predictions: Who will win