Film & TV

Who Will Win?: 2021 Emmys Predictions

Courtesy of CBSA&E writer Aqib Rasheed predicted who will win at this year's annual television event.

After last year’s Zoom ceremony, the 73rd Emmy Awards will be held in-person at an outdoor venue in Los Angeles Sept. 19. It will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and will air at 7 p.m. CT on CBS. 

Here are The Phoenix’s predictions for the major categories at the ceremony. 

Outstanding Drama Series

Projected Winner: “The Crown”

Nominees: “The Boys,” “Bridgerton,” “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” “Lovecraft Country,” “Pose,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “This Is Us”

Nominations for “The Mandalorian” and “The Boys” are exciting and confirm the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences isn’t ignoring cultural phenomena. However, this award has “The Crown” written all over it. Season four introduced the world to Emma Corrin’s complex Princess Di and became the series’ best season thus far.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Projected Winner: “Ted Lasso”

Nominees: “Black-ish,” “Cobra Kai,” “Pen15,” “Emily in Paris,” “Hacks,” “Ted Lasso,” “The Flight Attendant,” “The Kominsky Method”

Gone are the days of sitcoms and traditional comedies. That said, “Ted Lasso” is arguably the best piece of content released since the pandemic hit in March 2020 — a wonderful, feel-good show with a knock-out cast. “Hacks” and “The Flight Attendant” were enjoyable, but no one is out-scoring “Ted Lasso.” 

Courtesy of CBS The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards air Sept. 19 on ABC.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Projected Winner:  Josh O’Connor for “The Crown”

Nominees: Regé-Jean Page for “Bridgerton,” Sterling K. Brown for “This Is Us,” Billy Porter for “Pose,” Jonathan Majors for “Lovecraft Country,” Matthew Rhys for “Perry Mason,” Josh O’Connor for “The Crown” 

Page is a sensation — on screen and social media — and Majors is a rising star who will win many awards in the future. It’s unwise to bet against “The Crown,” which is why Josh O’Connor is the best pick here in a pitch-perfect, whiny performance as Prince Charles. It wouldn’t be shocking if Billy Porter pulled off the upset, but expect O’Connor to prevail. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Projected Winner: Emma Corrin for “The Crown”

Nominees: Emma Corrin for “The Crown,” Olivia Colman for “The Crown,” Uzo Aduba for “In Treatment,” Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Jurnee Smollett for “Lovecraft Country,” Mj Rodriguez for “Pose”

Once again, no one is stopping “The Crown.” Corrin’s incredible, heart-wrenching performance as Diana elevated the show from good to great, showing the wrinkles in the stylized lives of the Royals. She absolutely deserves the award as she embodies Princess Diana in every scene. No other role was as transformative as Corrin’s. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Projected Winner: Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso”

Nominees: Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso,” Anthony Anderson for “Black-ish,” Michael Douglas for “The Kominsky Method,” William H. Macy for “Shameless,” Kenan Thompson for “Kenan”

This category isn’t a contest — Jason Sudeikis will win the award. The other actors have little to no traction or conversation about their performances. There is no “Ted Lasso” without Sudeikis, who’s able to turn a silly commercial into one of the best shows on TV right now. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Projected Winner:  Jean Smart for “Hacks”

Nominees: Aidy Bryant for “Shrill.” Jean Smart for “Hacks,” Allison Janney for “Mom,” Kaley Cuoco for “The Flight Attendant,” Tracee Ellis Ross for “Black-ish”

Finally, a non “Ted Lasso” or “The Crown” award! This is Jean Smart’s world and we’re just living in it. “Hacks” is fun but it’s Smart’s performance that makes the show. Her Deborah Vance is crass, witty and lovable all at the same time. Cuoco would’ve been the pick in a year without “Hacks.” 

Outstanding Limited Series

Projected Winner: “The Queen’s Gambit”

Nominees: “Mare of Easttown,” “I May Destroy You,” “WandaVision,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Underground Railroad”

This lineup is one of the strongest in the ceremony. “The Queen’s Gambit” was a wildly popular show earlier in the pandemic  — expect it to prevail at the Emmys. 

While the chess miniseries was effective, “Mare of Easttown” was nothing short of an achievement. Suspenseful and the closest thing we’ve had to appointment viewing in a long time, this should be the winner. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Projected Winner: Paul Bettany for “WandaVision”

Nominees: Paul Bettany for “WandaVision,” Hugh Grant for “The Undoing,” Ewan McGregor for “Halston,” Lin-Manuel Miranda for “Hamilton,” Leslie Odom Jr. for “Hamilton”

Arguably the weakest category, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these men won the award. The “Hamilton” nominees truly make no sense — it’s a musical, not a movie! Grant playing against type was fascinating and should be the choice. Bettany, though, is the safe bet due to WandaVision’s immense popularity. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Projected Winner: Kate Winslet for “Mare of Easttown”

Nominees: Kate Winslet for “Mare of Easttown,” Michaela Coel for “I May Destroy You,” Anya Taylor-Joy for “The Queen’s Gambit,” Elizabeth Olsen for “WandaVision,” Cynthia Erivo for “Genius: Aretha”

This truly feels like a toss-up between Winslet and Taylor-Joy. The Best Limited Series winner could very well be a predictor for this category. A split with Taylor-Joy’s show taking that and Winslet winning this award seems likely, though. Winslet — already an Emmy winner — is an established actress and gave one of the best performances of her career in “Mare of Easttown.” 

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