2018 Emmy Award Predictions from Experts & Users

  • Publish Date: September 14, 2018
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Updated Monday 9/17. Only one predicted winner has changed: Drama Lead Actor, where Sterling K Brown is now ahead of Matthew Rhys.

Picks for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards

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Who will win the first head-to-head matchup between Game of Thrones and The Handmaid's Tale? Will Amazon take home its first outstanding comedy series trophy with newcomer The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or will Atlanta win the category for the first time? Will FX's The Assassination of Gianni Versace dominate the limited series awards? We'll know the answers to these and many more questions when SNL's Michael Che and Colin Jost host the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast live coast-to-coast on NBC this Monday evening beginning at 8pm ET (5pm PT).

To help you make an informed decision filling out your office Emmy pool, we have collected predictions from nearly 60 professional entertainment and TV writers and critics. Keep in mind that this "expert" consensus typically gets anywhere from a quarter to a half of its picks incorrect, though last year they performed unusually well with an 84% success rate. (In other words, you can't even predict how predictable the Emmys will be.) For the ninth straight year, we also invited Metacritic users to submit their own picks, and the results of over 2,300 submissions are also displayed below.

Comedy nominees

Outstanding comedy series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video) 54% Atlanta (FX) 59%
Atlanta (FX) 44% The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video) 17%
Barry (HBO) 2% GLOW (Netflix) 6%

Comedy lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Rachel Brosnahan
(The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
98% Rachel Brosnahan
(The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
53%
Allison Janney (Mom) 2% Allison Janney (Mom) 12%
    Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) 10%

Comedy lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Donald Glover (Atlanta) 81% Donald Glover (Atlanta) 58%
Bill Hader (Barry) 14% Bill Hader (Barry) 18%
Ted Danson (The Good Place) 5% Ted Danson (The Good Place) 10%

Comedy supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Kate McKinnon (SNL) 57% Kate McKinnon (SNL) 26%
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) 31% Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) 22%
Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) 4% Betty Gilpin (GLOW) 17%

Comedy supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Henry Winkler (Barry) 79% Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) 25%
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) 9% Alec Baldwin (SNL) 20%
2 tied for ... 6% Henry Winkler (Barry) 18%

Comedy directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Atlanta, "Teddy Perkins" by Hiro Murai 69% Atlanta, "Teddy Perkins" by Hiro Murai 37%
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, "Pilot" by Amy Sherman-Palladino 29% Atlanta, "FUBU" by Donald Glover 23%
Barry, "Chapter One: Make Your Mark" by Bill Hader 3% The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, "Pilot" by Amy Sherman-Palladino 15%

Comedy writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, "Pilot" by Amy Sherman-Palladino 94% Atlanta, "Alligator Man" by Donald Glover 35%
Atlanta, "Alligator Man" by Donald Glover 6% The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, "Pilot" by Amy Sherman-Palladino 25%
    Atlanta, "Barbershop" by Stefani Robinson 18%

Drama nominees

Outstanding drama series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) 68% The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) 36%
Game of Thrones (HBO) 24% Game of Thrones (HBO) 24%
The Americans (FX) 8% The Americans (FX) 21%

Drama lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) 71% Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) 46%
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) 21% Keri Russell (The Americans) 17%
Keri Russell (The Americans) 7% Claire Foy (The Crown) 15%

Drama lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) 51% Matthew Rhys (The Americans) 30%
Matthew Rhys (The Americans) 46% Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) 26%
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) 3% Ed Harris (Westworld) 16%

Drama supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid's Tale) 51% Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid's Tale) 22%
Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale) 25% Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) 18%
Thandie Newton (Westworld) 9% Thandie Newton (Westworld) 14%

Drama supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
David Harbour (Stranger Things) 65% Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) 30%
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) 15% David Harbour (Stranger Things) 21%
Matt Smith (The Crown) 15% Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid's Tale) 20%

Drama directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Handmaid's Tale, "After" by Kari Skogland 54% Game of Thrones, "The Dragon and the Wolf" by Jeremy Podeswa 30%
Game of Thrones, "Beyond the Wall" by Alan Taylor 34% The Handmaid's Tale, "After" by Kari Skogland 24%
Game of Thrones, "The Dragon and the Wolf" by Jeremy Podeswa 11% Game of Thrones, "Beyond the Wall" by Alan Taylor 21%

Drama writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Americans, "Start" by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg 54% The Handmaid's Tale, "June" by Bruce Miller 27%
The Handmaid's Tale, "June" by Bruce Miller 29% Game of Thrones, "The Dragon and the Wolf" by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss 25%
Killing Eve, "Nice Face" by Phoebe Waller-Bridge 9% The Americans, "Start" by Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg 23%

Movie and miniseries nominees

Note that one category from our user poll, TV Movie, was shifted to the Creative Arts ceremony this year and was handed out last weekend and thus is excluded below. (Our users correctly predicted that winner, the "USS Callister" episode of Black Mirror.)

Outstanding limited series (miniseries)

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX) 95% The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX) 54%
Godless (Netflix) 4% Patrick Melrose (Showtime) 19%
Patrick Melrose (Showtime) 2% Godless (Netflix) 16%

Movie/miniseries lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Laura Dern (The Tale) 86% Laura Dern (The Tale) 41%
Michelle Dockery (Godless) 8% Jessica Biel (The Sinner) 21%
Jessica Biel (The Sinner) 6% Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Cult) 18%

Movie/miniseries lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 86% Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 40%
Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose) 12% Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose) 30%
John Legend (Jesus Christ Superstar) 2% Jesse Plemons (Black Mirror, "USS Callister") 15%

Movie/miniseries supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Penélope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 49% Penélope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 39%
Judith Light (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 37% Letitia Wright (Black Mirror, "Black Museum") 26%
Merritt Wever (Godless) 14% Judith Light (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 14%

Movie/miniseries supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Jeff Daniels (Godless) 70% Jeff Daniels (Godless) 36%
Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar) 21% Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 24%
Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 9% Ricky Martin (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) 13%

Movie/miniseries directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
The Assassination of Gianni Versace, "The Man Who Would Be Vogue" by Ryan Murphy 57% Twin Peaks by David Lynch 37%
Godless by Scott Frank 20% The Assassination of Gianni Versace, "The Man Who Would Be Vogue" by Ryan Murphy 31%
Twin Peaks by David Lynch 11% Patrick Melrose by Edward Berger 10%

Movie/miniseries writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Black Mirror, "USS Callister" by William Bridges & Charlie Brooker 63% Black Mirror, "USS Callister" by William Bridges & Charlie Brooker 35%
The Assassination of Gianni Versace, "House by the Lake" by Tom Rob Smith 20% Twin Peaks by David Lynch & Mark Frost 22%
Godless by Scott Frank 9% The Assassination of Gianni Versace, "House by the Lake" by Tom Rob Smith 21%

Other shows

Outstanding reality competition program

Experts   Users
Image   Image
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1) 87% RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1) 38%
The Voice (NBC) 13% The Voice (NBC) 24%
    The Amazing Race (CBS) 12%

Outstanding variety talk series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) 89% Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) 44%
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS) 7% Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC) 20%
2 tied with ... 2% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS) 16%

Outstanding variety sketch series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Saturday Night Live (NBC) 98% Saturday Night Live (NBC) 65%
Portlandia (IFC) 3% Portlandia (IFC) 13%
    Drunk History (Comedy Central) 10%

For some reason, the Academy decided to make the Emmy broadcast even longer this year by shifting the writing and directing for a variety special awards from the Creative Arts ceremony to the main ceremony. We did not ask our users to make a prediction in those two categories, though if your office pool demands that you pick the winners, the expert consensus suggests that The Oscars broadcast will win for variety special directing, and Full Frontal's Puerto Rico special will win for variety special writing.

Who are the experts?

Experts included in our survey this year are: Erik Adams (A.V. Club), Erik Anderson (Awards Watch), Michael Baculinao (TV Overmind), Chuck Barney (San Jose Mercury News), Debra Birnbaum* (Variety), Matt Brennan (Paste), Consequence of Sound staff (Consequence of Sound), Tyler Daswick (Relevant), Eric Deggans* (NPR), Lynn Elber* (AP), Gregory Ellwood (Awards Campaign), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Bonnie Fuller* (Hollywood Life), Caitlin Gallagher (Bustle), Verne Gay (Newsday), Matthew Gilbert (Boston Globe), Jalal Haddad (Awards Daily), Pete Hammond* (Deadline Hollywood), Chris Harnick* (E!), Christopher Hooton (The Independent), Matthew Jacobs* (HuffPo), Christopher James (Awards Circuit), Brandon Katz (Observer), Mark Kennedy (AP), Justin Kirkland (Esquire), Kelly Lawler* (USA Today), Emily Longeretta (Us Weekly), Brian Lowry and Sandra Gonzalez (CNN), Ed Martin* (Media Village), Megan McLachlan (Awards Daily), Micah Mertes (Omaha World-Herald), Bruce R. Miller (Sioux City Journal), Matt Webb Mitovich* (TVLine), Joey Moser (Awards Daily), Clarence Moye (Awards Daily), Jake Nevins (The Guardian), Philiana Ng‍ (Entertainment Tonight), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Carissa Pavlica (TV Fanatic), David Phillips (Awards Daily), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Lynette Rice* (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke* (New York Post), Matt Roush* (TV Insider), Michael Schneider* (Indiewire), Alan Sepinwall (Rolling Stone), Jazz Tangcay (Awards Daily), Kaitlin Thomas* (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson* (Indiewire), Ben Travers* (Indiewire), Peter Travers* (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker* (Yahoo), Kristi Turnquist (The Oregonian), Vanity Fair staff consensus (Hillary Busis, Katey Rich, Joanna Robinson, Sonia Saraiya), Adnan Virk* (ESPN), Vulture staff consensus (Jen Chaney, Matt Zoller Seitz), Glenn Whipp* (Los Angeles Times), Carrie Wittmer (Business Insider), Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

* Predictions made all or in part at goldderby.com (updated as of September 17, 2018).
Note that most experts did not make predictions in every category. Click on any link above to view individual predictions.

After the ceremony

Check our site again late Monday night after the Emmy ceremony for reviews of the telecast from a selection of professional TV critics. We'll also reveal which experts and users had the most accurate predictions this year.

Comments (2)

  • mrstoked  

    Not one nomination for the best show of the year, The Terror? What were the Emmy nominators watching?

    Excellent writing, directing, acting (especially the Eskimo woman that never says a word), and cinematography.

    Plus, you not sure what's the scariest element of the situation... the monster... the freezing cold... the men.

    I saw Versace and thought it was overrated and I saw Godless which I thought was underrated. The Terror (with a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes) was much better than both.

  • LamontRaymond  

    Emmy voters just didn't get Twin Peaks Season 3. It's a monumental achievement - not surprised they couldn't figure it out.

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