Emmys Awards: Our predictions for who will win in the series and acting categories

The Emmys are here!

The Emmys are here?

Yes! The Emmys are here! And this year, television’s biggest night is arriving a little late, honoring its best and brightest shows … long after they aired.

Do you remember who won “Succession”? Kendall? Roman? Tom? Shiv? The Ghost of Logan Roy?

Can you recall if you cried during the “Ted Lasso” finale? Or were you too preoccupied still trying to make Nate’s character arc make a lick of sense?

Do you know that “The Bear” is up not for its second season, which aired last summer, but for its first season that ran in the summer of 2022 — 18 months ago! Carmy was still in diapers, I think, dreaming of his first tattoo and perfecting a killer recipe for a prune puree with just a hint of garlic aioli. Sounds terrible? Try it! You’ll be surprised!

If your memories of the past television season have been lost to the mists of time, don’t worry. Ahead of the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, I’m going to sweep out the cobwebs and take a run through the 15 primary categories that will be handed out when the show airs on Fox on Jan. 15.

Drama series

“Andor”
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“House of the Dragon”
“The Last of Us”
“Succession”
“The White Lotus”
“Yellowjackets”

Two men and a woman stand during a conversation

Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin in the fourth season of “Succession.”

(Claudette Barius/HBO)

Winner: “Succession”

Who won “Succession”? We did. The wildly entertaining series saved its best season for last, delivering a parade of landmark episodes leading up to a finale that satisfied in every possible way. If it’s not the best series in television history, it at least earned its place in the conversation. Be prepared to hear Nicholas Britell’s earworm theme song — haven’t you missed it? — repeatedly as the show will nearly run the table in the drama categories.

Lead actor, drama

Jeff Bridges, “The Old Man”
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Pedro Pascal, “The Last of Us”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

1

A man in blue blazer and white shirt holds his hand at his mouth.

2

Jeremy Strong (in character as Kendall Roy) looks out over a body of water while wearing a winter coat.

1. Kieran Culkin in “Succession.” (Graeme Hunter/HBO) 2. Jeremy Strong in the finale of “Succession.” (HBO)

Winner: Culkin
Possible upset: Strong

Will it be Culkin or Strong? You could even make a case for Cox, who, though only in two episodes, leaned into Logan’s loneliness and disappointment and hatred of being forced to listen to people singing “Happy Birthday” to him. It’s unfortunate he won’t win an Emmy for this role. But that’s where we’re at because we are serious people, and Cox’s castmates had the whole season to find new ways to convey desperation and existential angst. Give the slight edge to Culkin. Once again, the Eldest Boy will be left to ponder what might have been.

Lead actress, drama

Sharon Horgan, “Bad Sisters”
Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Bella Ramsey, “The Last of Us”
Keri Russell, “The Diplomat”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”

A woman in a dark blazer and top sits at an office desk.

Sarah Snook in HBO’s “Succession.”

(David M. Russell/HBO)

Winner: Snook

Tom and Shiv’s collapsing marriage was a driving force for the final season of “Succession.” Their brutal fight in the seventh episode managed to be both poignant and emotionally devastating, the culmination of so many (too many!) withheld feelings finally being expressed in the worst possible way. Emmys for both of them!

Supporting actor, drama

F. Murray Abraham, “The White Lotus”
Nicholas Braun, “Succession”
Michael Imperioli, “The White Lotus”
Theo James, “The White Lotus”
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
Alan Ruck, “Succession”
Will Sharpe, “The White Lotus”
Alexander Skarsgård, “Succession”

A man in a grey jacket stands in a room with a pair of sconces behind him.

Matthew Macfadyen in HBO’s “Succession.”

(Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Winner: Macfadyen

See above. Plus, Tom won “Succession.” (See, I do remember. It just took a minute.)

Supporting actress, drama

Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”
Elizabeth Debicki, “The Crown”
Meghann Fahy, “The White Lotus”
Sabrina Impacciatore, “The White Lotus”
Aubrey Plaza, “The White Lotus”
Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”
J. Smith-Cameron, “Succession”
Simona Tabasco, “The White Lotus”

A man in gray jacket kisses the cheek of a blonde woman.

Jennifer Coolidge in HBO’s “The White Lotus.”

(Stefano Delia/HBO)

Winner: Coolidge

Apologies to all the Rhea Seehorn truthers out there, but there is only one person capable of stopping a “Succession” sweep and that’s the woman who played a self-absorbed heiress who shot her way out of trouble in a death-defying blaze of glory and then executed a perfect comic pratfall that took her to her final resting place, the bottom of the sea. RIP Tanya. Long live Jennifer Coolidge.

Comedy series

“Abbott Elementary”
“Barry”
“The Bear”
“Jury Duty”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Only Murders in the Building”
“Ted Lasso”
“Wednesday”

A man and woman sit next to each other in an empty stadium with blue seats.

Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham in Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.”

(Colin Hutton/Courtesy of Apple)

Winner: “Ted Lasso”

Just about every television critic I know found “Ted Lasso’s” final season to be a mess. Just about every Emmy voter I know thought it ended perfectly. Guess who decides the winner?

Lead actor, comedy

Bill Hader, “Barry”
Jason Segel, “Shrinking”
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Jeremy Allen White, “The Bear”

1

A man in a polo shirt looks at a man in glasses.

2

A smiling man sits at a podium for a news conference

1. Jeremy Allen White in FX on Hulu’s “The Bear.” (Hulu) 2. Jason Sudeikis in Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.” (Apple TV+)

Winner: White
Possible upset: Sudeikis
The damn-near-perfect second season of “The Bear” dropped while Television Academy members were voting for nominations and it picked up a great many fans along the way, admirers who then circled back to watch its inaugural batch of episodes. It’s probably a year away from winning series, but it might not be too soon to reward White for his deeply felt lead performance. Then again, Emmy voters do like repeats, which could lead to a Sudeikis threepeat. I can see it going either way.

Lead actress, comedy

Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”
Natasha Lyonne, “Poker Face”
Jenna Ortega, “Wednesday”

1

A teacher stands in front of a chalkboard that reads "Open House! Parents' Night. Welcome."

2

A woman in a grey top and green skirt stands in front of man at a desk with her arms open.

1. Quinta Brunson in ABC’s “Abbott Elementary.” (Scott Everett White/ABC) 2. Rachel Brosnahan in Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” (Philippe Antonello/Prime Video)

Winner: Brunson
Possible upset: Brosnahan

Brosnahan won this Emmy for “Maisel’s” first season in 2018. It’d be unusual for voters to circle back four seasons later and reward her again, but series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino gave her a spectacular sendoff. Maybe the Emmys will too? That said, I think Brunson, who won a comedy writing Emmy for “Abbott Elementary” last year, will prevail for her appealing work on her terrific broadcast sitcom.

Supporting actor, comedy

Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”
Phil Dunster, “Ted Lasso”
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”
James Marsden, “Jury Duty”
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, “The Bear”
Tyler James Williams, “Abbott Elementary”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”

1

Actor James Marsden in a baseball cap at a coffee dispenser.

2

A man looks over his shoulder in a soccer stadium.

1. James Marsden in Freevee’s “Jury Duty.” (Amazon Freevee) 2. Brett Goldstein in Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.” (Apple TV+)

Winner: Marsden
Possible upset: Goldstein

An actor playing a heightened, jackass version of himself and flexing improv muscles we never knew he had? How can industry voters resist?

Supporting actress, comedy

Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear”
Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary”
Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary”
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”
Jessica Williams, “Shrinking”

Winner: Edebiri
Possible upset: Waddingham or Ralph

Ralph won last time, and who doesn’t want to see her onstage again after that rousing speech she delivered? Except for maybe “Ted Lasso” fans who adore Waddingham, the winner the year before. Yet, I think it might be Edebiri’s time — again, I could be a year too soon — for a breakout year that saw her starring in several films, including the audacious high school comedy “Bottoms,” and, of course, capturing our hearts for her turn as the anxious, optimistic aspiring chef in “The Bear.”

Limited series

“Beef”
“Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
“Daisy Jones & the Six”
“Fleishman Is in Trouble”
“Obi-Wan Kenobi”

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun sit on a blue couch.

Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, stars of the Netflix limited series “Beef.”

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Winner: “Beef”

Lee Sung Jin’s twisty character study came with the cachet of the A24 imprint and the best reviews of any of the contenders. It tackled depression, deprivation and influencer culture in a manner that was generous and darkly funny. It’s easily the best of this year’s nominees.

Lead actor, limited series/TV movie

Taron Egerton, “Black Bird”
Kumail Nanjiani, “Welcome to Chippendales”
Evan Peters, “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
Daniel Radcliffe, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”
Michael Shannon, “George & Tammy”
Steven Yeun, “Beef”

1

A man in a blue jackets leans his arm on a box with a grill pictured on it.

2

A man in a gray jumpsuit and glasses stands against a police lineup.

1. Steven Yeun in Netflix’s “Beef.” (Andrew Cooper/Netflix) 2. Evan Peters in Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” (Netflix)

Winner: Yeun
Possible upset: Peters

Voters can’t resist an actor playing a serial killer. Between Peters and “Black Bird’s” Paul Walter Hauser, they could double their, um, fun this year. But I like both the “Beef” leads — Yeun and Wong — to win because they were sensational as the protagonists engaged in an epic battle that showcased the actors’ comedic and dramatic range.

Lead actress, limited series/TV movie

Lizzy Caplan, “Fleishman Is in Trouble”
Jessica Chastain, “George & Tammy”
Dominique Fishback, “Swarm”
Kathryn Hahn, “Tiny Beautiful Things”
Riley Keough, “Daisy Jones & the Six”
Ali Wong, “Beef”

1

A woman with a bloody face in a white shirt and khakis sits near a tree with a stick in her hand.

2

A woman with blonde hair in a pink dress leans against a doorway.

1. Ali Wong in Netflix’s “Beef.” (Andrew Cooper/Netflix) 2. Jessica Chastain in Showtime’s “George & Tammy.” (Dana Hawley/Showtime)

Winner: Wong
Possible upset: Chastain

Too much “Beef”? Maybe. The talented and tireless Chastain cannot be taken lightly for her showstopping turn as country legend Tammy Wynette. And you know what voters like almost as much as actors playing serial killers? Actors playing real-life icons.

Supporting actor, limited series/TV movie

Murray Bartlett, “Welcome to Chippendales”
Paul Walter Hauser, “Black Bird”
Richard Jenkins, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
Joseph Lee, “Beef”
Ray Liotta, “Black Bird”
Young Mazino, “Beef”
Jesse Plemons, “Love & Death”

A man in a blue jumpsuit stands near a jail door.

Paul Walter Hauser in Apple TV+’s “Black Bird.”

(Apple TV+)

Winner: Hauser

One psycho killer has to win, and Hauser’s whispering murderous creep still haunts my dreams a good year after finishing the series.

Supporting actress, limited series/TV movie

Annaleigh Ashford, “Welcome to Chippendales”
Maria Bello, “Beef”
Claire Danes, “Fleishman Is in Trouble”
Juliette Lewis, “Welcome to Chippendales”
Camila Morrone, “Daisy Jones & the Six”
Niecy Nash-Betts, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
Merritt Wever, “Tiny Beautiful Things”

1

A woman in glasses with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

2

A woman in pink sleeveless top is seen through a window.

1. Niecy Nash-Betts in Netflix’s “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” (Netflix) 2. Claire Danes in FX’s “Fleishman is in Trouble.” (Matthias Clamer/FX)

Winner: Nash-Betts
Possible upset: Danes

I remember watching “Fleishman Is in Trouble” wondering why Danes signed up for the project. Then I witnessed her character’s emotional breakdown in the penultimate episode and I understood. That episode might be enough to win Danes a fourth Emmy. I suspect though that voters might reward Nash-Betts for her moving portrayal of Glenda Cleveland, the woman who alerted police about her neighbor, Jeffrey Dahmer. Nash-Betts has a showcase episode too, the one where Dahmer comes into Cleveland’s apartment and offers her a sandwich. I’ve gone veggie ever since watching it.

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