2021 Emmys Predictions: Who Should Win And Who Will Win?

Ted Lasso Apple TV+ Emmys

It’s time to hand out some awards. The 2021 Emmys air live this Sunday night, Sept. 19, at 8 PM ET on CBS. This year will mark a return to an in-person event, but there will be a limited red carpet due to COVID concerns.

Streaming could dominate the Emmys as Netflix, Apple TV+, and Disney+ are all positioned to receive multiple awards in the biggest categories of the night. In particular, The Crown and Ted Lasso are poised to dominate in drama and comedy respectively.

Below are my predictions for the standout categories on who should win and who will win.

Outstanding Drama Series

  • The Boys (Prime Video)
  • Bridgerton (Netflix)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
  • Lovecraft Country (HBO)
  • The Mandalorian (Disney+)
  • Pose (FX)
  • This Is Us (NBC)

Do not adjust your glasses and look for an HBO program because it doesn’t exist. This marks the first time since 2008 where HBO does not have a nominee in Outstanding Drama. The show I enjoyed the most on this list was The Mandalorian. Yup, I said it. I don’t care if you stuff me in a locker. The ending to Season 2 was one of the most satisfying scenes of the last five years. However, there’s only one pick to make and that’s The Crown. This is a must-win category for Netflix. The streaming service has never won Outstanding Drama, and this is undoubtedly the best chance it will ever have.

  • Who Should Win: The Mandalorian (Disney+)
  • Who Will Win: The Crown (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
  • Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) 
  • Josh O’Connor (The Crown)
  • Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton)
  • Billy Porter (Pose)
  • Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)

Did anyone have a better year than Regé-Jean Page? I’d love for Page to win. Even though he’ll probably walk away empty-handed, Page will be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood within three years. This is a two-horse race between O’Connor and Porter, with the latter winning in 2019 in this very category. Does the Academy reward The Crown all night or can Porter and the final season of Pose receive some hardware? No actor in this category has won two Emmys for playing the same character since Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad. That changes on Sunday with Porter.

  • Who Should Win: Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton)
  • Who Will Win: Billy Porter (Pose)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Uzo Aduba (In Treatment)
  • Olivia Colman (The Crown)
  • Emma Corrin (The Crown)
  • Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Mj Rodriguez (Pose)
  • Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)

To Crown or not to crown. Both Corrin and Colman will be the favorites in this category. However, there’s always the chance that they split the vote. If that’s the case, MJ Rodriguez could follow in Porter’s footsteps and win for the shows’ final season. My pick is Corrin as Princess Diana. It’s a big year for Princess Di in entertainment as Kristen Stewart will probably receive a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of the late English princess.

  • Who Should Win: Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)
  • Who Will Win: Emma Corrin (The Crown)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian)
  • O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • John Lithgow (Perry Mason)
  • Tobias Menzies (The Crown)
  • Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Chris Sullivan (This Is Us)
  • Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)

If there’s ever been a time to demand a revote, it’s this year. Please give the award to Michael K. Williams. He would have been my pick anyway, but after his tragic passing, the legendary actor deserves this recognition. Give the man his first Emmy. RIP.

  • Who Should Win: Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)
  • Who Will Win: Michael K. Williams (Lovecraft Country)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Gillian Anderson (The Crown)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
  • Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country)
  • Emerald Fennell (The Crown)
  • Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)

I guess this is the perfect time to admit that I don’t watch The Crown so I can’t review the show. That being said, I know a splashy part when I see it, and the splashiest part in this category is Margaret Thatcher, played by Anderson. God Save The Prime Minister.

  • Who Should Win: Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
  • Who Will Win: Gillian Anderson (The Crown)

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Black-ish (ABC)
  • Cobra Kai (Netflix)
  • Emily in Paris (Netflix)
  • The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
  • Hacks (HBO Max)
  • The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
  • PEN15 (Hulu)
  • Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

At this year’s Emmys, out with Schitt’s Creek, in with Ted Lasso. The AppleTV+ comedy is a runaway hit for good reason. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring, and heartwarming show, a much-needed change of pace from this cynical world. Special shoutout to PEN15 and Cobra Kai, two of my favorite comedies.

  • Who Should Win: Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
  • Who Will Win: Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
  • Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
  • William H. Macy (Shameless
  • Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan)

Everything I said about Ted Lasso applies to the man who plays the titular role, Jason Sudeikis. Our American hero in England will win with the Emmy.

  • Who Should Win: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)
  • Who Will Win: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Aidy Bryant (Shrill)
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant)
  • Allison Janney (Mom)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
  • Jean Smart (Hacks)

When in doubt, pick Jean Smart. The critically-acclaimed actress is a double nominee, picking up a supporting nomination for Mare of Easttown in addition to her leading role in Hacks. Between those two shows and Watchmen, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who’s had a better two-year run than Smart. Watch out for Cuoco as a dark horse.

  • Who Should Win: Jean Smart (Hacks)
  • Who Will Win: Jean Smart (Hacks)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Hacks)
  • Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
  • Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso)
  • Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso)
  • Paul Reiser (The Kominsky Method)
  • Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso)
  • Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
  • Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live)

I wish this award could be split into pieces like the prom queen’s crown in Mean Girls. All four nominees from Ted Lasso are incredible. I’m still amazed at how well the show works. Out of the four nominees, Brett Goldstein, who plays Roy Kent, probably has the edge. However, I’m going to zag here and say SNL’s longest-tenured cast member, Kenan Thompson, finally wins an Emmy, which I won’t have a problem with.

  • Who Should Win: Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
  • Who Will Win: Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live)
  • Hannah Einbinder (Hacks)
  • Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
  • Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant)
  • Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)
  • Juno Temple (Ted Lasso)
  • Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)

There’s no other answer.

Ted Lasso / Apple TV+
  • Who Should Win: Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)
  • Who Will Win: Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso)

Outstanding Limited Series

  • I May Destroy You (HBO)
  • Mare of Easttown (HBO)
  • The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
  • The Underground Railroad (Prime Video)
  • WandaVision (Disney+)

This category deserves some profanity in the form of “holy shit.” This is the toughest category to predcit. All of these shows were so well done. It’s hard to pick a winner. I give the slight nod to Queen’s Gambit. If Queen’s Gambit came out in 2021, it would have been a runaway winner. However, Mare of Easttown dominated pop culture this past Spring so watch out for HBO.

  • Who Should Win: All five shows
  • Who Will Win: The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Paul Bettany (WandaVision)
  • Hugh Grant (The Undoing)
  • Ewan McGregor (Halston)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton)

Time for my Hamilton rant. I never saw the show on Broadway, but I loved watching Hamilton on Disney+. I still listen to “Alexander Hamilton,” “The Schuyler Sisters,” “You’ll Be Back,” and “Helpless.” It’s a fantastic Broadway show. However, Hamilton should not be allowed to win Emmys. It’s a broadway show that won numerous Tony Awards. It’s not a television movie. Out of all the nominees, Leslie Odom Jr. gave the best performance by far. Odom was incredible as Aaron Burr, but he already won the Tony for Best Actor. Something feels wrong about rewarding Hamilton with Emmys, and I mean that in the most respectful way possible. For these reasons, my pick to win is Paul Bettany. Marvel finally breaks through at the Emmys.

  • Who Should Win: Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) – He gave the best performance even though he shouldn’t win.
  • Who Will Win: Paul Bettany (WandaVision)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You)
  • Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha)
  • Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)
  • Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown)

I’m saying it again. Holy shit! This is the second toughest category to predict. It’s a three-headed monster with Coel, Taylor-Joy, and Winslet. Coel should win in the writing category so I’m going to cross her off the list. In any other year, Taylor-Joy wins this with ease. She’s a budding superstar that’s about to reach the A-list. However, the Emmys love rewarding big movie stars and Winslet is one of the best of her generation. Plus, Winslet was spectacular in Mare of Easttown, one of my favorite performances of the year. My heart says Taylor-Joy, but my head says Winslet.

  • Who Should Win: Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)
  • Who Will Win: Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster (The Queen’s Gambit)
  • Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson on Hamilton (Disney+)
  • Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You)
  • Jonathan Groff (Hamilton)
  • Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown)
  • Anthony Ramos (Hamilton)

For Wawa.

Mare of Easttown / HBO
  • Who Should Win: Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown)
  • Who Will Win: Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton)
  • Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision)
  • Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit)
  • Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown)
  • Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown)
  • Phillipa Soo (Hamilton)
Wandavision / Disney+

A coin flip between Hahn and Nicholson. I think Nicholson’s last scene in Mare is some of the best acting of the year. But, it was Agatha all along.

  • Who Should Win: Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown)
  • Who Will Win: Kathryn Hahn (WandaVision)

What are your predictions for the Emmys? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.