Emmy Predictions: With ‘Veep’ Gone and ‘Game of Thrones’ Back, Expect a Real Dogfight

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Two huge moves could lead to one of the most intriguing Primetime Emmys ceremonies in recent memory on Monday, as two “reigning champions” go head-to-head for the top drama Emmy and a batch of first- and second-year shows vie to take an open spot in comedy.

In the Emmys drama categories, “Game of Thrones” is back after a one-year absence, creating a potential power struggle with “The Handmaid’s Tale” for the top spot. In the comedy categories, three-time winner “Veep” has dropped out for a year, vacating the title and clearing the way for a pitched battle between newer shows anxious to replace it at the top.

As always, the Emmys’ voting rules — everybody votes for the program awards, but only specific peer groups cast ballots in other categories — make sweeps unlikely and upsets a regular occurrence. The Emmys are the hardest of the major awards to accurately predict, but these are our best guesses in all 26 categories that will be handed out on this year’s show.

Also Read: 10 Notable Emmy Hosting Teams: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Photos)

DRAMA SERIES CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

“The Americans”
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”
“Westworld”

Two of the nominees can legitimately be called defending champions: “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which won last year, and “Game of Thrones,” which won the last time it was eligible, two years ago. But Season 2 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” wasn’t as acclaimed as Season 1, and the season of “Game of Thrones” that voters are being asked to consider aired in July and August of 2017, which might make it only a distant memory. (Admittedly, they have screeners to refresh their memory if they want.)

Those factors could open the door for the final season of “The Americans,” a series that was always underappreciated by voters, but one which ended its seven-year run with a bang. Still, “Handmaid’s” and “Thrones” are probably the leaders — and while it’s hard to imagine that the latter show won’t win again after its final season airs next year, the showdown over Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee makes “The Handmaid’s Tale” feel timely and important.

Predicted winner: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Also Read: The 17 Most Important Political TV Series of All Time, From ‘West Wing’ to ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ (Photos)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Ed Harris, “Westworld”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

Sterling K. Brown won last year for the first season of “This Is Us.” Milo Ventimiglia had what was arguably the crucial storyline for this year’s second season of that show. Matthew Rhys ended his run on “The Americans” and received only his third nomination for that show. One of those actors will probably win, and the big question is whether the voters will want to give Rhys a shiny parting gift.

Brown should probably be the front runner, but you can’t rule out Rhys: In the past decade, Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) have all won for the final season of their shows, making this a category more prone to sentiment than most.

Predicted winner: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Elisabeth Moss won last year, and she’s the favorite to do so again; Emmy voters, after all, are creatures of habit. But Sandra Oh, the first actress of Asian descent ever nominated in the category, would be a historic win. And Claire Foy has finished her second and final season playing Queen Elizabeth on “The Crown,” which would make her a sentimental favorite … if it wasn’t for Keri Russell finishing her seventh and final season on “The Americans.”

Predicted winner: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Also Read: Constance Wu, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey Among 70th Emmy Awards Presenters

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Matt Smith, “The Crown”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Of this year’s nominees, only two — Mandy Patinkin and David Harbour — were nominated last year, with Harbour feeling like a shaky front runner this year. But Peter Dinklage is a six-time nominee and a two-time winner, and Matt Smith will benefit from the fact that this was the last season of “The Crown” in which he’ll play Prince Philip. (That show provided last year’s winner, John Lithgow.) Here’s guessing that Dinklage will win again, but not until next year.

Predicted winner: David Harbour, “Stranger Things”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown”
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

A wide-open category. Ann Dowd is the reigning champ, but that means less in this category than in some others. (In the last decade, only Anna Gunn from “Breaking Bad” has gone back-to-back.) Dowd is also facing two other actresses from her show, with Yvonne Strahovski in particular coming off a year in which her character had one of the defining storylines of the season. Vanessa Kirby from “The Crown” and Thandie Newton from “Westworld” can’t be overlooked. And Millie Bobby Brown had a great second season on “Stranger Things,” though she was considered the front runner last year at this time before losing to Dowd. We think a minor upset is in the works here.

Predicted winner: Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Also Read: How ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Yvonne Strahovski Made ‘Ice Queen’ Serena Sympathetic

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

“The Crown” (Episode: “Paterfamilias”), Stephen Daldry
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “Beyond the Wall”), Alan Taylor
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), Jeremy Podeswa
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “After”), Kari Skogland
“Ozark” (Episode: “The Toll”), Jason Bateman
“Ozark” (Episode: “Tonight We Improvise”), Daniel Sackheim
“Stranger Things” (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), the Duffer brothers

Forget about vote-splitting: The last three winners for drama directing came from shows that had two separate nominations in the category. If that streak holds, the Emmy will go either to one of the two “Game of Thrones” nominees, or one of the two “Ozark” ones. But the episode of “The Crown” directed by Stephen Daldry and the one of “The Handmaid’s Tale” directed by Kari Skogland (the only female director in the category) are formidable contenders — and the haunting memorial ritual in the snow that opens Skogland’s episode might be enough to take this one.

Predicted winner: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

“The Americans” (Episode: “START”), Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
“The Crown” (Episode: “Mystery Man”), Peter Morgan
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “June”), Bruce Miller
“Killing Eve” (Episode: “Nice Face”), Phoebe Waller-Bridge
“Stranger Things” (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), the Duffer brothers

“The Americans” was nominated for the final episode of its final season, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more acclaimed episode of television this past year. “The Handmaid’s Tale” won in this category last year and “Game of Thrones” won twice before that, but this seems a likely place to honor the show about Russian spies that only got timelier over the years.

Predicted winner: “The Americans”

Also Read: ‘The Americans’ Stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys on That Quiet Finale: ‘Just as Devastating’

COMEDY SERIES CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

“Atlanta”
“Barry”
“black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

With “Veep” on hiatus because of star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ cancer treatment, the category is missing the show that won for the last three years in a row — and with “Modern Family” not nominated, it’s also missing the one that won for the five consecutive years before that. So the winner is going to be something new, most likely either the second-year show “Atlanta” or one of the three rookie shows in the category: “Barry,” “GLOW” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” (The sole broadcast-network nominee, “black-ish,” also has a shot at sneaking in.)

For the most part, this feels like a race between “Atlanta,” which won acting and directing Emmys last year and could well do so again, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the best regarded of the new shows and a timely entry in this year of female empowerment. Showbiz voters may give the latter show, about a New York housewife going into standup comedy, a slight edge.

Predicted winner: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Also Read: Why ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Loves Torturing Actors

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace & Frankie”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

None of the nominated shows were even on the air in 2011, which was the last time somebody who wasn’t Julia Louis-Dreyfus won this award. But with the “Veep” star temporarily sidelined, the field is open. Allison Janney could join Helen Mirren and Helen Hunt as the only actresses to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same calendar year, and she’s won twice before for “Mom” (although those wins were in the supporting-actress category, before she shifted to lead in 2017). Tracee Ellis Ross and “black-ish” could be due, and Issa Rae is a real threat. But it’s hard to bet against Mrs. Maisel, because, you know, she’s marvelous.

Predicted winner: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”

Do not underestimate Ted Danson, a three-time winner for “Cheers” and a beloved TV icon with a great part in a show, “The Good Place,” that didn’t get as many nominations as it should have. And do not underestimate the appeal of a late-breaking hot show, “Barry,” with just the right actor, Bill Hader, in the lead role.

But this award usually goes to somebody who’s already won it. Donald Glover won it last year, and he didn’t get any worse this year. I’m really tempted to predict an upset for Danson, but only once in the last decade has the winner in this category come from a show that wasn’t nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. The smart money is probably on Glover.

Predicted winner: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Also Read: How Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ Season 2 Stayed ‘Weird’ While Confronting Success – and Trump

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta”
Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”
Leslie Jones ,”Saturday Night Live”
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Megan Mullally, “Will & Grace”

Last year, there was virtually no question that Kate McKinnon was going to win her second consecutive Emmy, mostly for playing Hillary Clinton on “SNL.” This year, McKinnon has a real shot at making it three in a row, but she’s facing still competition from Laurie Metcalf (who gets bonus points for surviving “Roseanne”), Zazie Beetz (a scene-stealer on “Atlanta”), Betty Gilpin (ditto on “GLOW”) and especially Alex Borstein, who is essential to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Borstein already won an Emmy this year for voiceover on “Family Guy,” and she might be on a roll.

By the way, the eight nominees make this the biggest Emmy acting category ever, tying the same category in 2015.

Predicted winner: Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”
Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Voters have always loved Tony Shalhoub, who has a great new role on “Mrs. Maisel.” They’ve loved Alec Baldwin, but even he’s getting tired of playing Donald Trump on “SNL.” They’ve loved Louie Anderson, a surprise winner in this category two years ago. And they’ve never quite loved Henry Winkler enough, giving him six nominations but no wins over 40-plus years on television, including his iconic part on “Happy Days.” But everybody loves Winkler on “Barry,” where he got a fabulous part and knocked it out of the park.

Predicted winner: Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Also Read: ‘Barry’ Star Henry Winkler on Why He’s ‘Very Proud’ He Jumped That Shark – Twice (Video)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

“Atlanta” (Episode: “FUBU”), Donald Glover
“Atlanta” (Episode: “Teddy Perkins”), Hiro Murai
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), Bill Hader
“The Big Bang Theory” (Episode: “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”), Mark Cendrowski
“GLOW” (Episode: Pilot), Jesse Peretz
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: Pilot), Amy Sherman-Palladino
“Silicon Valley” (Episode: “Initial Coin Offering”), Mike Judge

While vote splitting doesn’t seem to be a problem in the drama-directing category, things are trickier on the comedy side. The last four shows to receive multiple nominations in the category — “Veep” in 2016 and 2017 and “Silicon Valley” both of those years as well — lost the directing Emmy to a show that only had a single nomination. Will that hurt “Atlanta” this year, since that show is the only one with more than one nomination? It might, even though either of its two episodes, “FUBU” and especially “Teddy Perkins,” would be favorites if only one of them had been nominated.

If the Donald Glover and Hiro Murai episodes split the “Atlanta” vote, the beneficiary could well be the pilots for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Barry” or even “GLOW,” all of which launched those shows on a high note. We’ll go with the first of those shows, even though that brings us perilously close to predicting a “Maisel” sweep of the sort that rarely if ever happens at the Emmys.

Predicted winner: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

“Atlanta” (Episode: “Alligator Man”), Donald Glover
“Atlanta” (Episode: “Barbershop”), Stefani Robinson
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), Alec Berg and Bill Hader
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”), Liz Sarnoff
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: Pilot), Amy Sherman-Palladino
“Silicon Valley” (Episode: “Fifty-One Percent”), Alec Berg

Although “Barry” and “Atlanta” are formidable, this category seems even likelier than directing to go to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” If that show is going to win the Outstanding Comedy Series award, then Amy Sherman-Palladino should be rewarded for the episode that launched it.

Predicted winner: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

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LIMITED SERIES AND TELEVISION MOVIE CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES

“The Alienist”
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
“Genius: Picasso”
“Godless”
“Patrick Melrose”

Ryan Murphy’s shows have been nominated for seven years in a row in this category, but he’s only won once, for “The People v. O.J. Simpson” in 2016. His nomination this year, though, is for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the second installment in the “American Crime Story” franchise that was kicked off with “O.J.” That’s enough to make it the category favorite, though we definitely shouldn’t write off Netflix’s dark Western “Godless” or Showtime’s Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle “Patrick Melrose.”

Predicted winner: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”
Darren Criss, “Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”
Jeff Daniels, “The Looming Tower”
John Legend, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”
Jesse Plemons, “USS Callister”/”Black Mirror”

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” isn’t really about the guy whose name is in the title — it’s about the assassin, and Darren Criss is magnetic enough in that role that he’s the clear front runner here. Watch out, though, because Emmy voters do love a little Benedict Cumberbatch. Plus, the three acting nominations for “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (the first ever for the recent spate of live musicals) show that they really responded to that show as well.

Predicted winner: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

Also Read: How the Cast of ‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Followed a Killer’s Spiral Into Madness

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
Laura Dern, “The Tale”
Michelle Dockery, “Godless”
Edie Falco, “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”
Regina King, “Seven Seconds”
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Cult”

You’d be foolish to overlook Edie Falco (13 nominations, four wins) or Regina King (four noms, two wins) or Sarah Paulson (seven noms, one win) or Michelle Dockery (three noms, no wins). But somehow, this feels like a battle between Jessica Biel in an eight-hour miniseries and Laura Dern in a movie, both of them exploring childhood trauma. Voters have more of a history with Dern, who won last year for “Big Little Lies,” and that may give her a slight edge.

Predicted winner: Laura Dern, “The Tale”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Ricky Martin, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Finn Wittrock, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
John Leguizamo, “Waco”
Brandon Victor Dixon, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”
Edgar Ramirez, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “The Looming Tower”

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” has a good chance of taking three of the four movie/mini acting categories, with Edgar Ramirez the likeliest to prevail in this one. But Brandon Victor Dixon was the revelation of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in which Judas always did have the best songs. Still, Jeff Daniels’ fearsome performance in “Godless,” in which he embodies that title as the implacably baddest of bad guys, casts a shadow over everybody else in the category.

Predicted winner: Jeff Daniels, “Godless”

Also Read: How Jeff Daniels Landed 2 Emmy Nominations for Playing a Hero and a Villain: Both ‘Wildly Complex’

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Adina Porter, “American Horror Story: Cult”
Merritt Wever, “Godless”
Penélope Cruz, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Letitia Wright, “Black Museum”/”Black Mirror”
Sara Bareilles, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”
Judith Light, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”

There’s no obvious winner in this category, with Merritt Wever, Letitia Wright, Sara Bareilles and Judith Light all definitely in the mix. But as the beleaguered Donatella Versace in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” Penélope Cruz may have enough to put her over the top.

Predicted winner: Penélope Cruz, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (Episode: “The Man Who Would Be Vogue”), Ryan Murphy
“Godless,” Scott Frank
“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski
“The Looming Tower” (Episode: “9/11”), Craig Zisk
“Paterno,” Barry Levinson
“Patrick Melrose,” Edward Berger
“Twin Peaks,” David Lynch

The category mixes directors who were nominated for a single episode (“Gianni Versace,” “The Looming Tower”) with one nominated for a movie (“Paterno”), one for a special (“Jesus Christ Superstar”) and three for entire miniseries (“Godless,” “Patrick Melrose,” “Twin Peaks”). It’s apples and oranges for sure, and it would not be a surprise if almost any of the nominees won, though Ryan Murphy is probably the favorite.

But even though voters didn’t really go for “Twin Peaks,” it’s impossible not to be drawn to the unprecedented daring and sheer scale of David Lynch’s work on the surreal 18-episode, 17-hour reboot. This may be wishful thinking more than canny prognostication, but I refuse to believe voters will ignore what the so-far Emmyless Lynch did.

Predicted winner: “Twin Peaks”

Also Read: Kyle MacLachlan: Yes, Even I Was Confused by David Lynch’s Return to ‘Twin Peaks’

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL

“American Vandal” (Episode: “Clean Up”), Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace – American Crime Story” (Episode: “House by the Lake”), Tom Rob Smith
“Black Mirror: USS Callister,” William Bridges and Charlie Brooker
“Godless,” Scott Frank
“Patrick Melrose,” David Nicholls
“Twin Peaks,” Mark Frost and David Lynch

OK, “Twin Peaks” is probably just too damn weird to win this one. “Gianni Versace,” “Black Mirror” and “Patrick Melrose,” on the other hand, could easily win. But the dark and doomy revisionist Western “Godless” feels as if it has the heft and style to take the prize.

Predicted winner: “Godless”

VARIETY AND REALITY CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

“At Home with Amy Sedaris”
“Drunk History”
“I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman”
“Portlandia”
“Saturday Night Live”
“Tracey Ullman’s Show”

Over the years, Emmy voters gradually warmed to the Fred Armisen/Carrie Brownstein sketch series “Portlandia,” which has been nominated for its last four seasons but has never won. With the show ending last March, this is its final chance to land the big prize — but standing in its way is “Saturday Night Live,” the most nominated program in Emmy history. While its past season was perhaps not as acclaimed as the election-year one before it, “SNL” still landed 21 nominations, which is three times as many as every other show in this category combined.

Predicted winner: “Saturday Night Live”

Also Read: Why Carrie Brownstein Wants Another Season of ‘Portlandia,’ Too

OUTSTANDING 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 Late Show With James Corden”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”

Ever since 10-time winner Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show” and two-time champ Stephen Colbert moved from “The Colbert Report” to “The Late Show,” John Oliver has won in this category. Hitting his stride after the election of Donald Trump, Colbert seemed ready to take back his crown last year — but as we’ve said, Emmy voters are creatures of habit. So in a category in which winning streaks are the norm, we’ll stick with Oliver until voters give us a reason to think otherwise.

Predicted winner: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

“Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” Stan Lathan
“Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld,” Michael Bonfiglio
“The Oscars,” Glenn Weiss
“Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” Marcus Raboy
“Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake,” Hamish Hamilton

Three of the nominees are built around standup acts, the other two around the year’s biggest entertainment broadcast and its biggest broadcast of any kind. But in the nine-year history of this category, the award has gone to four awards shows, no standup comedy shows and no Super Bowl halftime shows. So we give the edge to the awards show.

Predicted winner: “The Oscars”

Also Read: Steve Martin and Martin Short Explain Why They Keep Making Comedy Together (But Not Movies)

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated),” Samantha Bee, Pat Cassels, Mike Drucker, Eric Drysdale, Mathan Erhardt, Miles Kahn and Nicole Silverberg
“John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City,” John Mulaney
“Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady,” Michelle Wolf
“Patton Oswalt: Annihilation,” Patton Oswalt
“Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” Steve Martin and Martin Short

The big questions here: Will Samantha Bee’s recent dust-up over the phrase she lobbed at Ivanka Trump hurt her or help her — and if so, will Steve Martin and Martin Short be the safe choice? Emmy voters haven’t been afraid to be political in recent years, but that C-word of Bee’s just might be a bridge too far.

Predicted winner: “Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life”

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM

“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

In the 15 years of this category’s existence, only three shows have ever won, and all three are nominated again this year: “The Amazing Race,” which has 10 wins but none since 2014; “The Voice,” with four wins, including the last three in a row; and “Top Chef,” with a lone win in 2010. The race may well be between “The Voice” and “The Amazing Race” — except that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” seems to get more popular with voters every year, and this year it came out of the Creative Arts Emmys with four awards, more than any other show in the category. Is it time for a new show to join the winners’ circle?

Predicted winner: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

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Those are among the things we expect to see Sunday at the Microsoft Theatre, where Stephen Colbert will host the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards — and “Thrones,” to the relief of its competitors, won’t eligible for anything, because it didn’t air during the nomination period.

While we would never abdicate our responsibility as prognosticators, it’s worth pointing out that predicting the Emmys can be maddening and fruitless. Almost every year, someone wins who no one saw coming — like last year’s supporting actor winner for “Baskets,” Louie Anderson.

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Here are our predictions in the 27 categories that will be announced Sunday.

DRAMA SERIES CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“House of Cards”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”
“Westworld”

It’s rare for a first-year drama series to win this award — but unless “Better Call Saul” or “House of Cards” can pull off an upset, one of the record five rookie nominees will join “Homeland,” “Mad Men,” “Lost” and “The West Wing” as the only new shows to turn the trick in the last 20 years.

“Stranger Things,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “This Is Us,” “The Crown” and “Westworld” all have a legitimate shot at taking the top prize. “This Is Us” would be a triumph for the broadcast networks, which haven’t even been nominated in the category for years, while “The Handmaid’s Tale” could ride a wave of politically conscious voting. The race could be very close between those two and “Stranger Things,” which may have captured the zeitgeist in a way that the other shows didn’t quite manage. “Stranger Things” also landed five Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, so we know it has strength with voters.

Predicted winner: “Stranger Things”

Also Read: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Will Focus on Hopper’s Daughter, David Harbour Says

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”
Anthony Hopkins, “Westworld”

The first four in that list are returning nominees, while the last three hail from first-year shows. Bob Odenkirk could have a shot at winning his first acting Emmy (to go with the writing ones he’s won for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Ben Stiller Show”), and some voters might figure it’s time for Kevin Spacey to finally win for “House of Cards,” for which he’s been nominated every year.

But they’ll face strong competition from Anthony Hopkins and especially Sterling K. Brown, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie last year for “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” If Brown’s “This Is Us” castmate Milo Ventimiglia doesn’t siphon votes away, Brown should do it again.

Predicted winner: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Jon Hamm had to wait until the final year of “Mad Men” to finally win an Emmy for acting, but that show’s co-star Elisabeth Moss had to wait even longer — after going 0-for-6 in Emmy nominations for that show, she’s poised to finally win in her first season on “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Claire Foy is Moss’ biggest competitor for “The Crown,” followed perhaps by Evan Rachel Wood for “Westworld,” but this appears to be one of the easier acting races to call.

Predicted winner: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Also Read: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Elisabeth Moss Talks Show’s Politics, Teases Season 2

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
John Lithgow, “The Crown”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Ron Cephas Jones, “This Is Us”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

If John Lithgow wins for his performance as Winston Churchill in “The Crown,” he’d become the third actor in 16 years to win for playing the British statesman, after Albert Finney in 2002 and Brendan Gleeson in 2009. And in an unprecedented twist, Gary Oldman is currently considered the current Oscar frontrunner for his role as Churchill in “Darkest Hour.”

Ron Cephas Jones, David Harbour and Jeffrey Wright will stand in his way, but Lithgow’s Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards suggest that there’s something irresistible to voters about a fine actor portraying Churchill.

Predicted winner: John Lithgow, “The Crown”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

While I’m tempted to predict an upset winner in this category, the smart money says it will come down to two of the year’s unlikeliest breakout stars, Chrissy Metz for “This Is Us” and Millie Bobby Brown for “Stranger Things.” Metz is considered the favorite, but Brown is the offbeat heart of a singular show, and at 13 she’d become the youngest acting winner in Emmy history.

But watch out for Ann Dowd, unforgettably fearsome in “The Handmaid’s Tale” and perhaps poised to sneak in here.

Predicted winner: Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”

Also Read: ‘Stranger Things’ Star Millie Bobby Brown on Winning Over Her Biggest Critic

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul”: “Witness” episode
Stephen Daldry, “The Crown”: “Hyde Park Corner” episode
Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale”: “Offred” (pilot) episode
Kate Dennis, “The Handmaid’s Tale”: “The Bridge” episode
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”: “America First” episode
The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”: “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers” episode
Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”: “The Bicameral Mind” episode

The Outstanding Drama Series winner has also taken the prize in the directing category the last two years, but before that the categories had different winners for seven consecutive years. If “Stranger Things” wins drama series, his could easily go to “Westworld” for its scale, or “The Handmaid’s Tale” for its scope. But it may well be irresistible to honor the Duffer brothers for creating the mood and the world of “Stranger Things” in its first episode.

Predicted winner: The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Nominees:
Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, “The Americans”: “The Soviet Division” episode
Gordon Smith, “Better Call Saul”: “Chicanery” episode
Peter Morgan, “The Crown”: “Assassins” episode
Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale”: “Offred” (pilot) episode
The Duffer Brothers, “Stranger Things”: “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers” episode
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld”: “The Bicameral Mind” episode

In contrast with the directing category, the writing winner has matched the drama-series champ in eight of the last 10 years. That presumably makes “Stranger Things” the favorite here, unless you think something else will win drama series. But I think it’ll be a split, with writing honors going to the literary adaptation.

Predicted winner: Bruce Miller, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Also Read: Common Wins Emmy Award, Just a Tony Shy of EGOT Status

COMEDY SERIES CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
“Atlanta”
“black-ish”
“Master of None”
“Modern Family”
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
“Veep”

In a category that loves repeat winners, “Veep” has taken this award for the last two years running. “Atlanta” is the hot newcomer, but the last one of those to win was “Modern Family” in 2010, the first of its five consecutive awards – and the only other freshman shows to in in the last 20 years were “30 Rock” in 2007 and “Arrested Development” in 2004.

Among the other contenders, “Silicon Valley” has more heat that it has in a while, while “black-ish” is increasingly timely and “Master of None” will get the adventurous vote. But “Veep” still feels fresh and funny, which means that it should keep winning this particular election.

Predicted winner: “Veep”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Zach Galifianakis, “Baskets”
Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

With nominations for acting, writing, directing and producing, Donald Glover will almost certainly win something for “Atlanta.” This category is one of his best bets for an Emmy, but Jeffrey Tambor has two consecutive wins for “Transparent,” and remains formidable. Remember, this is the category where voters embarrassed Jim Parsons by giving him the award for “The Big Bang Theory” year after year despite fresher, hotter competitors.

Predicted winner: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Also Read: ‘Star Wars’: See Donald Glover as Young Lando in Pic From Han Solo Set (Photo)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

You almost feel sorry for Tracee Ellis Ross, the heart of a hit show, or Lily Tomlin, every inch an icon, or Pamela Adlon, a surprise nominee who fully deserved the recognition. They all have the misfortune to be competing against Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who makes great comic acting look easy.

She can break the Emmy record for consecutive acting wins for the same show, with her sixth. That would also be a record for the most Emmys won for one role, and it would tie her with Cloris Leachman with the most acting wins ever, with eight. (She also won once for “Seinfeld” and once for “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”) It’s hard to imagine that she won’t do all those things.

Predicted winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Tony Hale, “Veep”
Matt Walsh, “Veep”

Tony Hale, Ty Burrell and Louie Anderson have won five of the last six awards in this category, with Hale and Burrell winning twice each and Anderson being the surprise victor last year. But Alec Baldwin was a two-time winner for “30 Rock,” and his “Saturday Night Live” appearances as Donald Trump were among the most viral moments of an enormously politicized television season.

“SNL” already swept the Creative Arts Emmys guest-acting categories; now it’ll probably do the same with the supporting-comedy awards.

Predicted winner: Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Watch Kate McKinnon Sing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ as Hillary Clinton (Video)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Vanessa Bayer, “Saturday Night Live”
Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Kathryn Hahn, “Transparent”
Judith Light, “Transparent”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump may have provided a plethora of viral moments, but its impact was arguably dwarfed by one moment on the first post-election episode of “SNL”: Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton sitting at the piano and singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as an elegy to the recently-deceased Cohen and to her political career. It wasn’t a particularly comic moment, but it was a devastating one – and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t win her a second consecutive Emmy, great work from Judith Light, Anna Chlumsky and Kathryn Hahn notwithstanding.

Predicted winner: Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”: “B.A.N.” episode
Jamie Babbit, “Silicon Valley”: “Intellectual Property” episode
Mike Judge, “Silicon Valley”: “Server Error” episode
Morgan Sackett, “Veep”: “Blurb” episode
David Mandel, “Veep”: “Groundbreaking” episode
Dale Stern, “Veep”: “Justice” episode

In the last 20 years, “Modern Family” and “Arrested Development” have been the only shows to take directing awards and Outstanding Comedy Series awards in the same year. And “Veep,” which has never won for directing, has the potential of splitting the vote, with three of the category’s six nominations. That should open the door for Donald Glover and “Atlanta,” the only nominee that doesn’t have to worry about vote-splitting.

Predicted winner: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Also Read: Tony Hale: If You Can’t Laugh at Trump, Laugh at ‘Veep’ (Video)

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Nominees:
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”: “B.A.N.” episode
Stephen Glover, “Atlanta”: “Streets on Lock” episode
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None”: “Thanksgiving” episode
Alec Berg, “Silicon Valley”: “Success Failure” episode
Billy Kimball, “Veep”: “Georgia” episode
David Mandel, “Veep”: “Groundbreaking” episode

This is the category that in the past has recognized the edgy likes of “Louie,” “Arrested Development” and last year’s winner, “Master of None.” While “Veep” and “Silicon Valley” have strong episodes in contention, the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” will probably make that show a repeat winner here.

Predicted winner: Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, “Master of None”

MOVIE AND LIMITED SERIES CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
Nominees:
“Big Little Lies”
“Fargo”
“FEUD: Bette and Joan”
“Genius”
“The Night Of”

At the Creative Arts Emmys, “The Night Of” edged out “Big Little Lies” and “Feud” for the most awards. It could also score an upset in this category, but it’s hard to bet against the stylish, star-powered “Big Little Lies,” which seemed to be more universally embraced than its competition.

Predicted winner: “Big Little Lies”

Also Read: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and ‘Big Little Lies’ Stars Detail Show’s ‘Tricky’ Journey

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
Nominees:
“Black Mirror: San Junipero”
“Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love”
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”
“Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
“The Wizard of Lies”

The less competitive side of the movies/minis divide is probably a battle between the British imports “Black Mirror” and “Sherlock” and the Bernie Madoff movie “The Wizard of Lies.” Last year’s “Sherlock” film, “The Abominable Bride,” won in this category, while “The Wizard of Lies” has the advantage of being on HBO, which usually wins here.

But “Black Mirror” is the hottest and trendiest nominee by a long shot, and the series’ “San Junipero” episode was particularly moving. (Emmy rules allowed the creepy anthology series to submit individual standalone episodes as made-for-television movies.)

Predicted winner: “Black Mirror: San Junipero”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Nominees:
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of”
John Turturro, “The Night Of”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”

Benedict Cumberbatch won for playing Sherlock three years ago, while Geoffrey Rush is an Oscar winner, Ewan McGregor is a movie star playing two roles and Robert De Niro is, well, Robert De Niro. But if voters feel real affection for the dark and dramatic “The Night Of,” which the Creative Arts Emmys results suggest they do, it could well be manifested in an Emmy for Riz Ahmed and his transformative performance at the heart of that miniseries.

Predicted winner: Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of”

Also Read: ‘The Night Of’ Star Riz Ahmed Was Just as Surprised About Show’s Twists

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Nominees:
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Carrie Coon, “Fargo”
Jessica Lange, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”

Bow your head in shame, all you other Emmy categories. This one has four Oscar winners (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon) and one Oscar nominee and Emmy winner (Felicity Huffman), along with “Fargo” star Carrie Coon, who if truth be told has a real chance to knock off all those big stars and take home the trophy.

Barring that, the race should come down to Kidman v. Lange, who have emerged as the top contenders from “Big Little Lies” and “Feud,” respectively. Lange delivers a delicious performance as the aging, desperate movie queen Joan Crawford, but Kidman’s role delves into hot-button issues like domestic abuse and might feel tougher and timelier.

Predicted winner: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Nominees:
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
David Thewlis, “Fargo”
Alfred Molina, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”
Stanley Tucci, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”
Bill Camp, “The Night Of”
Michael Kenneth Williams, “The Night Of”

Alfred Molina might have a slight edge over his fellow “Feud” nominee, Stanley Tucci; the two nominees from “The Night Of,” Bill Camp and Michael Kenneth Williams, are more evenly matched, which could hurt them. But Alexander Skarsgard, the one male acting nominee from the women-driven “Big Little Lies,” has a crucial part that really stands out – and no, we’re not talking about that prosthetic penis he flashes in one episode.

Predicted winner: Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

Also Read: ‘Big Little Lies’ Star Alexander Skarsgard on Abuse Scenes: ‘Those Days Were Horrible’ (Video)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Nominees:
Regina King, “American Crime”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”
Judy Davis, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”
Jackie Hoffman, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”

This race is probably between Regina King, the best chance for voters to support the final year of John Ridley’s “American Crime”; Laura Dern, a memorable antagonist in “Big Little Lies”; and Judy Davis, the venal gossip queen Hedda Hopper in “Feud.” The rest of Dern’s remarkable year, which also includes “Twin Peaks” and the films “Wilson,” “Downsizing” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” might help tip the scales.

Predicted winner: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Nominees:
Jean-Marc Vallee, “Big Little Lies”
Noah Hawley, “Fargo”:”The Law of Vacant Places” episode
Ryan Murphy, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”: “And the Winner Is … (The Oscars of 1963)” episode
Ron Howard, “Genius”: “Einstein: Chapter One” episode
James Marsh, “The Night Of”: “The Art of War” episode
Steven Zaillian, “The Night Of”: “The Beach” episode

Is it fair to compare Jean-Marc Vallee’s direction of the entire season of “Big Little Lies” to the single episodes for which the other contenders were nominated? Maybe not, but that’s how it worked out. Steven Zaillian and Ryan Murphy have a shot, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s been six years since a director nominated for a single episode beat one nominated for an entire miniseries.

Predicted winner: Jean-Marc Vallee, “Big Little Lies”

Also Read: Double Emmy Nominee Ron Howard on Why the Beatles Are Like Albert Einstein

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Nominees:
David E. Kelley, “Big Little Lies”
Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror: San Junipero”
Noah Hawley, “Fargo”: “The Law of Vacant Places” episode
Ryan Murphy, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”: “And the Winner Is … (The Oscars of 1963” episode
Jaffee Cohen, Michael Zam and Ryan Murphy, “FEUD: Bette and Joan”: pilot episode
Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, “The Night Of”: “The Call of the Wild” episode

In the movie/mini writing category, on the other hand, movies or single episodes have beaten entire miniseries twice in the last three years. Given that, and the unlikelihood of a complete sweep for “Big Little Lies,” you have to figure that “The Night of,” the Oscar-night episode of “Feud” or the “San Junipero” episode of “Black Mirror” all have more than a fighting chance.

Predicted winner: Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror: San Junipero”

VARIETY AND REALITY CATEGORIES

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
Nominees:
“Billy on the Street”
“Documentary Now!”
“Drunk History”
“Portlandia”
“Saturday Night Live”
“Tracey Ullman’s Show”

In the Year of Trump, can anything beat “Saturday Night Live?” Probably not: For the first time in the show’s 42-season history, it tied (with “Westworld”) for the most nominations of any show this year, and at the Creative Arts Emmys it tied (with “Westworld” and “Stranger Things”) as the big winner.

Maybe it’s foolish to rule out the consistently funny and increasingly political “Billy on the Street,” but “SNL” can thank Donald Trump for more Emmy momentum than it’s ever had.

Predicted winner: “Saturday Night Live”

Also Read: ‘Billy on the Street’ Host Billy Eichner Talks Getting Political, Teases ‘American Horror Story’

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
Nominees:
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
“The Late Late Show With James Corden”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”

Speaking of Trump-related Emmy momentum, that’s the story of the variety-talk category. Trump’s cheery hair-musser, Jimmy Fallon, failed to get a nomination for the first time, while Stephen Colbert’s post-election ratings surge was matched by an Emmy surge.

The smart money is still on HBO’s acerbic “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” which is also tough on the president, but we think voters who gave “The Colbert Report” 10 nominations and two wins will want to welcome him back. Plus Colbert is hosting this year’s Emmy show, which ought to give him some kind of home-court advantage.

Predicted winner: “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Nominees:
Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, “Drunk History”: “Hamilton”
Andy Fisher, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”: “The (RED) Show”
Paul Pennolino, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”: “Multi-Level Marketing”
Jim Hoskinson, “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”: “Episode 0179”
Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”: Host: Jimmy Fallon

From 2010 to 2015, Don Roy King won five consecutive Emmys for directing “Saturday Night Live.” In the show’s Emmyest year ever, it figures he’ll win another.

Predicted winner: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”

Also Read: Emmys Reward Taking on Trump: ‘Saturday Night Live’ Surges, Fallon Gets Snubbed

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Nominees:
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
“Late Night With Seth Meyers”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”
“Saturday Night Live”

Maybe it’s that British accent, but John Oliver seems really smart. That should help him (and his writers) win in this category, though Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee seem pretty smart too.

Predicted winner: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Nominees:
“The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

“The Amazing Race” used to always win. Then “Top Chef” won once and “The Voice” won three of the last four. “Race” and “Voice” are definitely still in the mix – but after the Creative Arts show, where its three wins included the second consecutive one for its host, it feels as if the time is right for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which offers an entertaining message of tolerance at a time when it’s badly needed.

Predicted winner: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

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