Predicting the 2020 Emmy winners
HBO

Predicting the 2020 Emmy winners

This has been a strange, unsettling year for entertainment, and TV has been no different. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Emmy Awards aren’t going to have the usual level of pomp and circumstance. It won’t even have the usual ceremony. Nevertheless, the nominees are out, and winners will be named. There is nominee bloat this year, as it feels like the categories have more nominated names than ever. We aren’t deterred from making predictions, though. Here are our thoughts on who will win some of the biggest categories of the year.

 
1 of 19

Outstanding Comedy Series

Outstanding Comedy Series
Amazon Prime

It’s possible “The Good Place” or “Schitt’s Creek” will get some final season love. In fact, “The Good Place” might get the nod simply because it’s a network sitcom, and those shows are increasingly an afterthought. That being said, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won this category last year, and the Emmys tend to stick with their guns. “Mrs. Maisel” is likely to win yet again.

 
2 of 19

Outstanding Drama Series

Outstanding Drama Series
HBO

If the Emmys want to go trendy, they could go with “The Mandalorian” or “Stranger Things.” Those kind of shows don’t tend to win Emmys, though. “Better Call Saul” would have been a good pick, but it barely got any acting nominations. Instead, we’re going with “Succession” to get its first win.

 
3 of 19

Outstanding Limited Series

Outstanding Limited Series
HBO

There are a lot of interesting choices here, but “Watchmen” has the most total nominations with 11. Using that as an indicator, we’re figuring “Watchmen” will take this category. It’s also a very “of the moment” show in terms of its discussion of race in America, which won’t hurt its chances of winning.

 
4 of 19

Outstanding TV Movie

Outstanding TV Movie
Netflix/AMC

The Emmys loved “Breaking Bad,” and with good reason. It’s the best drama of the last 20 years. “El Camino,” the recent Netflix movie, may be the Emmys’ last chance to reward Vince Gilligan’s master work. It feels like a lock to win.

 
5 of 19

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
HBO

When Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show,” it basically ceding its annual Emmy win to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” While “The Daily Show” has its first nomination since Trevor Noah took over as host, Oliver’s juggernaut is going to get another victory.

 
6 of 19

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
NBC

With all due respect to “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Drunk History,” the other two nominees, this is going to go to “Saturday Night Live.” What show could possibly compete with the show with the most Emmy wins of all time?

 
7 of 19

Outstanding Competition Program

Outstanding Competition Program
FOX

How amazing would it be if “Nailed It!” won? It’s definitely the best show of the nominees. It’s not impossible that it will win, but “The Masked Singer” feels more in the zeitgeist. We’re giving the not to “The Masked Singer” in this category, but this one is maybe the most up in the air of the bunch.

 
8 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Amazon Prime

Tony Shalhoub won last year for “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and he’s up for it this year. However, he’s competing with two Oscar winners in Alan Arkin and Mahershala Ali. The Emmys love Shalhoub, though. He was winning for “Monk” when guys like Steve Carell were getting nominated. If Shalhoub can beat Michael Scott, he can beat Arkin and Ali.

 
9 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
HBO

First, it’s very funny that two different actors from “The Morning Show” got nominated. Apple TV only had one show to throw its weight behind, and they got their actors a lot of nominations. Don’t expect wins here, though. It probably comes down to one of the three “Succession” actors. We’re tipping the odds in the favor of Matthew Macfayden.

 
10 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
HBO

Jim Parsons won four Emmys for “The Big Bang Theory,” but “Hollywood” isn’t as popular a show. Plus, he didn’t say “Bazinga!” once. While “Watchmen” strayed from the source material, Dr. Manhattan did show up, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was well-received in the role. Playing an iconic character and doing a good job will win him an Emmy.

 
11 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
NBC

This is where a network show is going to get some love. D’Arcy Carden was excellent as Janet on “The Good Place.” While she didn’t get a nomination for the episode where she impersonated her castmates, she got one now. “The Good Place” was a popular network show, and Carden was a breakout performer. She will get the show an Emmy win in its final season.

 
12 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
HBO

There are some big names in this category. Laura Dern who just won an Oscar is here. So is Helena Bonham Carter playing a member of the British royal family. However, we have one name for you: Meryl Streep. Do you think Streep somehow won’t win this category?

 
13 of 19

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
FX

If playing famous historical figures is the way to win awards, the three nominees from “Mrs. America” are in luck. Personally, we feel that Margo Martindale’s turn as Bella Abzug stuck out the most, and she’s no stranger to Emmy voters. Don’t be surprised if Uzo Aduba wins, but we’re picking Martindale.

 
14 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Showtime

There’s a chance that Ted Danson will win. He’s sitcom royalty, and “The Good Place” just ended. On the other hand, he hasn’t won yet for this show. We’re going to take a bit of a big swing here and say that Don Cheadle wins for “Black Monday.” The show hasn’t really struck big with viewers yet, but Cheadle is a star and he’s the one known thing about the show.

 
15 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
FX

Just because “The Morning Show” was largely panned, don’t rule out Steve Carell. This could be a chance for the Emmy voters to make up for never giving him a win for “The Office.” However, Billy Porter won for “Pose” last year and we think he’s going to do it again.

 
16 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
HBO

Mark Ruffalo played dual roles in “I Know This Much Is True.” That’s award catnip. We could see Hugh Jackman winning for “Bad Education,” but Ruffalo is a respected actor and the two performances in one show is going to put him over the top.

 
17 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
CBC/Pop TV

Catherine O’Hara is a legend. She’s a beloved comedy performer. When people talk about “Schitt’s Creek” she’s usually the first name that comes up. This is the last chance for the Emmys to reward O’Hara, if not for the show then for her career. O’Hara’s going to walk away with a much-deserved Emmy.

 
18 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Netflix

Much like with Carell, Jennifer Aniston has enough star power to win for “The Morning Show” even though it was barely watched and critically panned. She’s competing against Jodie Comer, who won last year. That being said, Olivia Colman, who has an Oscar, is nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth II on “The Crown.” If anything has ever screen “award bait,” it’s that.

 
19 of 19

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
HBO

Cate Blanchett is an amazing actor, and she’s the ostensible star of “Mrs. America.” That being said, Regina King is also a great actor, and she got a ton of love for “Watchmen.” That show was more in the zeitgeist, and her performance has gotten more attention. This feels like a tossup, but in the end we’re going with King.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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