Emmy for Best Drama Writing: Can ‘Mr. Robot’ pilot take down ‘Game of Thrones’ battle episode?

If you think “Game of Thrones” is going to sweep every category at this year’s Emmy Awards, you may be in for a surprise in the Best Drama Writing race say our experts derived from major media outlets. These 13 journalists are predicting an upset win for the pilot episode of USA’s “Mr. Robot,” instead of the fan-favorite “Battle of the Bastards” episode of “Game of Thrones.” Do you agree with our experts’ predictions?

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“Mr. Robot” showrunner Sam Esmail wrote the pilot episode, titled “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov.” This pilot has the backing of six experts who’ve piped in with their early Emmy predictions: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed). This is Esmail’s first time in the Emmy spotlight, and he has 6/5 odds to win.

With 23 nominations this year, more than any other TV program, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” enters Emmy night as the perceived frontrunner in most categories. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won this writing race last year for the episode “Mother’s Mercy,” and now they’re in the running again for “Battle of the Bastards.” Five experts predict the “GoT” duo to repeat, which translates to 21/10 odds: Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

Not to be outdone, a pair of experts — Eric Deggans (NPR) and Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo) — are banking on a win for “The Americans” scribes Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. This puts the “Persona Non Grata” episode in third place to win with 7/2 odds. This FX drama finally earned Emmy acclaim after four long years on the air, including bids for Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Actress (Keri Russell).

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In fourth place at 18/1 odds is “Episode 8” from PBS’s “Downton Abbey.” Julian Fellowes won an Oscar on his only career nomination for his screenplay of “Gosford Park” (2001). He has also prevailed twice at the Emmys, winning for writing and producing “Downton Abbey” in 2011 back when it was a miniseries. Can he now win bookend trophies for the drama’s farewell season?

Another drama that said goodbye this year was CBS’s “The Good Wife,” which contends here in the writing race for the series finale “End.” Oddly enough, showrunners Robert King and Michelle King were last nominated in this category for the pilot episode back in 2010. This duo has 20/1 odds to finally win Emmys for the show’s last hurrah.

Lifetime’s red-hot freshman drama “UnReal” earns 50/1 odds for its pilot episode. Written by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, “Return” details the manipulation that goes on in the reality television industry through the guise of a fictional dating show called “Everlasting.” Supporting player Constance Zimmer also earned an Emmy nomination for her breakout role.

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