These Are the Most Likely Winners at the 2018 Emmys Right Now
The 2018 Emmy Awards are now just a few weeks away, which means it’s officially not too early to start locking in some predictions.
It’s looking to be a pretty interesting year overall, as there’s really only a single major category in which there isn’t much competition. With most of the awards, there seems to realistically be two or possibly even three potential winners, with the experts not all being in agreement about who will win. It looks like we’ll also be seeing a decent combination of repeat and first-time winners, especially because Veep isn’t eligible in the comedy categories for the first time since 2011.
Let’s take a look at the people and shows who are generally thought to have the best chance at the Emmys right now. We’ll be focusing primarily on the findings of Gold Derby, a website that combines predictions from experts and readers, as well as the predictions from critics at The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and IndieWire; we’ll be adding in our own commentary and personal predictions as well. Keep in mind that this information is accurate as of September 1st; the odds may swing in another show or person’s favor in the coming weeks. All of the nominees will be listed in order from best odds to worst odds based on Gold Derby’s current standings.
Outstanding Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Game of Thrones
- The Americans
- This Is Us
- The Crown
- Stranger Things
This is a particularly tough category to predict this year, but right now, the odds are leaning in The Handmaid’s Tale‘s favor. That was the winner in 2017, and the recently-concluded second season continued to earn the show rapturous reviews, although the season finale was somewhat divisive. The fact that the Hulu series is the most relevant to modern times of anything in this category certainly gives it a bit of a boost.
On Gold Derby, The Handmaid’s Tale currently has the best odds of winning, with 16 experts and 1014 users selecting it. Deadline also predicts The Handmaid’s Tale will win, pointing to the fact that it earned 20 nominations this year as opposed to 13 last time, a sign that the Television Academy loved Season 2 even more than the first one and is ready to recognize its achievement once again. IndieWire also thinks it will be The Handmaid’s Tale.
We shouldn’t totally count out Game of Thrones, though, the runner-up on Gold Derby and the show that won the last two times it was eligible; The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones haven’t actually gone head to head yet, as Game of Thrones missed the eligibility deadline last year. The Hollywood Reporter predicts a Game of Thrones victory, straying from most experts’ opinions.
But it has been a while since Season 7 of Game of Thrones actually aired, whereas the buzz for The Handmaid’s Tale is still fairly fresh in Emmy voters’ minds, so we think that will give it the edge. The rest of the nominees don’t seem to really have much of a shot, although if we had to give it to one of the others, it would probably be The Americans, if only because this was that series’ final season.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss
- Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
- Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
- Keri Russell (The Americans)
- Claire Foy (The Crown)
- Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
- Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Elisabeth Moss is once again favored to win in the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series category, with 15 experts picking her on Gold Derby. This is also both Deadline’s and The Hollywood Reporter’s prediction. If Moss is indeed victorious, this would be her second time taking home this award in a row.
However, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to Sandra Oh, who comes in behind Moss with four experts picking her on Gold Derby. She was magnificent on Killing Eve, and if she won, believe it or not, she would be the first Asian woman to take home this prize in the history of the Emmys. Four experts also picked Keri Russell, who has never won for The Americans before but could get a boost due to this being her last shot. For Variety, Cynthia Littleton makes the argument that this could happen. She writes:
“Voters may opt to reward Russell’s body of work in the critical darling that has oddly never been a big Emmy magnet. From the start, Russell’s Elizabeth Jennings defied convention as the harder, tougher and more ruthless spouse in a sham marriage for espionage purposes that gradually evolved into love, under the most trying of circumstances. A triumph for Russell would also be a hat-tip to the talent and maturation of an actress who got her start while still in her teens.”
In fact, Rusell is also IndieWire’s prediction, although they point out that Moss has a strong chance as well. Moss is the frontrunner at the moment, but don’t be surprised to see Oh or Russell inch up the list in the coming weeks.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown
- Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
- Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
- Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
- Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)
- Jason Bateman (Ozark)
- Ed Harris (Westworld)
Prognosticators currently see this race as coming down between two actors: Sterling K. Brown from This Is Us and Matthew Rhys from The Americans.
In fact, when we’re just looking at the experts’ votes on Gold Derby, it’s actually a tie, with both actors earning 11 votes. When looking at the user votes, Brown has the advantage, and we tend to agree with them. This is also what The Hollywood Reporter is predicting. Deadline, however, is going with Rhys, and so is IndieWire.
Brown is the defending champion, having won in this category last year and having had another great season on This Is Us. Rhys has never won in this category, but like with Rusell, there’s always an increased chance of winning when the show has just ended, with the Television Academy sometimes deciding that the person’s time has finally come. Still, we don’t quite see the Americans buzz out there in the way it would need to be for Rhys to win over Brown.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Ann Dowd
- Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
- Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
- Thandie Newton (Westworld)
- Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
- Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)
- Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)
- Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
If these early predictions are right, expect to experience a lot of deja-vu while watching the 2019 Emmys. Ann Dowd is currently favored to win in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series once again, with 11 experts picking her on Gold Derby.
That does seem like a safe bet considering how magnificent her performance continues to be on that show; it’s certainly just as memorable and deserving of praise as Moss’, and Dowd is one of those actresses who has been doing great work for so long that voters are inclined to recognize her for all of her achievements.
The actress who is seen as the next most likely winner is Dowd’s Handmaid’s Tale co-star Yvonne Strahovski, who is right behind her with eight expert votes on Gold Derby. But don’t underestimate Thandie Newton. After a strong Westworld season, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if she snuck in there and took the prize. In fact, Pete Hammond has an interesting prediction for Deadline: the three different Handmaid’s Tale actresses will essentially split the vote and allow Newton to win. IndieWire also predicts a Newton victory, pointing out that it’s actually somewhat rare for there to be a repeat winner in this category. But maybe Dowd is just that good.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter is going with an underdog: Millie Bobby Brown.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: David Harbour
- David Harbour (Stranger Things)
- Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
- Matt Smith (The Crown)
- Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale)
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
- Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Look, we’re not suggesting that David Harbour is going to win an Emmy entirely because of the Hopper dance scene from Stranger Things Season 2, but that certainly hasn’t hurt his chances.
Harbour was nominated in this category during Stranger Things’ first season, losing to John Lithgow in The Crown. But critics tend to think it’s Harbour’s year, with 16 experts picking him on Gold Derby. The actor with the next best odds is Peter Dinklage, who has already taken home this prize once before.
No disrespect to Dinklage and Coster-Waldau, but this seems like Harbour’s year. He already won at the Critics Choice Awards back in January and lit the crowd on fire with a fabulous acceptance speech, and he has really been impressing Emmy voters both in front of and behind the scenes.
Outstanding Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Silicon Valley
This category is yet another two-way race; it comes down to Atlanta and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. On Gold Derby, critics and users are split, with users picking Atlanta but with the experts picking The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s a close call, though; 13 critics picked Mrs. Maisel, while 10 picked Atlanta. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter predicts it will be Mrs. Maisel, as does Deadline, but IndieWire thinks it’ll be Atlanta.
What’s so interesting about this category is that it’s the first time any show has really had much of a chance of winning since Veep started, as that HBO series has taken home the prize every single year since it began. But with Veep not having aired a season this year, Atlanta and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are both gunning for the top prize. It’s really not even worth mentioning the other nominees, as no show seems to have a shot outside of these two.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover
- Donald Glover (Atlanta)
- Bill Hader (Barry)
- Ted Danson (The Good Place)
- Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
- William H. Macy (Shameless)
- Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
While the Emmys did not award Atlanta with Best Comedy Series last year, the Television Academy did give Donald Glover the Best Actor in a Comedy Series prize, and the momentum is again in his favor in 2018.
On Gold Derby, 16 experts currently predict a Glover repeat victory, with only five picking the next most likely winner, Bill Hader. The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and IndieWire have also all gone with Glover.
Hader’s performance on Barry has certainly received a lot of praise, but this really has been the year of Donald Glover in more ways than one, and we see the Television Academy recognizing his hard work once again.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Rachel Brosnahan
- Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
- Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
- Allison Janney (Mom)
- Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
- Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
- Issa Rae (Insecure)
This is the one category at the Emmys that is essentially completely locked up. If Rachel Brosnahan somehow did not take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy this year, it would be one of the most shocking Emmys upsets in recent memory.
Brosnahan is absolutely magnificent on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, delivering a stunning and hilarious performance. The casting of Mrs. Maisel really makes or breaks a show like this, and in this case, it makes it. On Gold Derby, 22 out of 23 experts predict her victory, which is the most overwhelming consensus of any of these categories. Naturally, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and IndieWire all think it will be Brosnahan, too.
This will be the first time in six years that Julia Louis-Dreyfus has not won this award, as once again, Veep did not air a season. Dreyfus will likely take home the prize once again in 2019 for Veep‘s last episodes, but after that, we could see Rachel Brosnahan essentially becoming her Emmys successor.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Henry Winkler
- Henry Winkler (Barry)
- Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
- Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta)
- Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
- Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live)
- Louie Anderson (Baskets)
- Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
The Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series is a bit more of a contest than Outstanding Lead Actress, and it looks like it will come down between Henry Winkler and Tony Shalhoub. On Gold Derby, Winkler has got the vote of 15 experts.
Oftentimes, an actor will be awarded both for their individual performance in a show as well as for their decades upon decades of work, and the fact that Winkler is such a beloved person certainly doesn’t hurt his chances. But he was also generally considered to be the best part of Barry, and we think this is the place where that show will be rewarded. The Hollywood Reporter agrees.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon
- Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
- Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
- Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne)
- Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
- Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
- Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live)
- Zazie Beetz (Atlanta)
- Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live)
Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon has been dominating in this category for the past two years, and at the moment, most think of the experts on Gold Derby predict she’ll win again.
However, there’s another major contender: Alex Borstein from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who is also a crucial ingredient in that show’s success and who eight of Gold Derby’s experts predict will win. The Hollywood Reporter is currently predicting a Borstein win, as are Deadline and IndieWire.
We’re going to have to throw our weight behind McKinnon, who had another fantastic season on SNL this year, introducing plenty of new impressions like Robert Mueller and Rudy Giuliani. Don’t be totally shocked if Borstein’s name is called, although anyone else winning would truly be a surprise.