2017 Emmy predictions: Best Drama Series will see a revolution thanks to absences of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Downton Abbey’

With two-time reigning Emmy Awards champ “Game of Thrones” and perennial nominee “Downton Abbey” both ineligible this year, which new and returning dramas might benefit the most? Not only does the “Game of Thrones” absence suggest that we’ll likely see a brand new winner for Best Drama Series, but it also means there could be first-time recipients in the writing, directing and below-the-line races. Get ready for an Emmy revolution!

No less than five new dramas are in the running to take the Emmys by storm in 2017: “The Crown” (Netflix), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “Stranger Things” (Netflix), “This Is Us” (NBC) and “Westworld” (HBO). And five returning dramas from last year’s Emmy slate are also back in the running: “The Americans” (FX”), “Better Call Saul” (AMC), “Homeland” (Showtime), “House of Cards” (Netflix) and “Mr. Robot” (USA).

A new shift in voting could result in many unexpected surprises at the 2017 Emmys. In the nominations phase, the entire membership of 21,000 were encouraged to vote for as many achievements as they felt were worthy, meaning they could have picked anywhere from one drama series to every single eligible contender. However, in the final round of voting TV academy members no longer rank the choices and must pick only one winner.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” boasts two precursor victories from the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Producers Guild Awards that make it a threat to inherit the title from “Game of Thrones.” As for the other major TV precursors, the Golden Globes opted for “The Crown,” the Writers Guild Awards picked “The Americans,” and the Directors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards honored “Game of Thrones.”

Many of the top Emmy contenders are listed below for Best Drama Series.

Leading Contenders

“The Crown”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”
“The Americans”
“Better Call Saul”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Westworld”
“House of Cards”
“The Leftovers”
“Homeland”

Strong Contenders

“13 Reasons Why”
“The Good Fight”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Mr. Robot”
“Legion”
“Bates Motel”
“Queen Sugar”
“American Gods”
“Billions”
“Ray Donovan”

Possible Contenders

“Designated Survivor”
“Scandal”
“Empire”
“Victoria”
“Vikings”
“Sense8”
“Narcos”
“Bloodline”
“Sneaky Pete”
“Shades of Blue”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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