2018 Emmy predictions for Best Drama Series: What new shows could replace ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘House of Cards’?

Good news, freshman dramas! Perennial Emmy nominees “Better Call Saul” and “House of Cards” have taken the year off for creative reasons, opening the door for new shows to break through in Best Drama Series. As a refresher, last year’s seven nominees were “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown,” “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us,” “Westworld” and eventual winner “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “Game of Thrones” is expected to make a triumphant return to the category after being ineligible last year, but which brand new dramas could take advantage of the changing Emmy tides?

Netflix boasts a vast array of first-year gems, including “Altered Carbon,” “Mindhunter,” “Ozark” and “Seven Seconds.” “Ozark” looks to be a strong contender at the Emmys after earning nominations at the SAG Awards for leads Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and the Golden Globes for Bateman. The dark drama about money laundering also prevailed at the Motion Picture Sound Editors. “Mindhunter” could also be a major player thanks to showing up at the cinematography guild and production design.

SEE Emmys Best Drama Series Gallery: Every Winner in Emmy Awards History

Reigning network winner Hulu hopes that its pre-apocalyptic drama “Hard Sun” (co-produced by BBC) follows the same Emmy trajectory as “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Agyness Deyn and Jim Sturgess star as detectives who come to realize that the earth will be destroyed within five years.

Showtime, which won Best Drama Series in 2012 for “Homeland,” boasts “The Chi” and “I’m Dying Up Here” on its new roster. Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (“Master of None”) created “The Chi” about life in the Southside of Chicago, while Melissa Leo stars in “I’m Dying Up Here” about stand-up comedians in the early 1970s.

Another network familiar to the Emmy game is HBO, home to 2015 and 2016 Best Drama Series winner “Game of Thrones.” Two new shows could make a dent at the Emmys: “The Deuce,” starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal about the creation of the porn industry, and “Here and Now,” led by Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins and telling the story of a multi-racial family.

Other new drama contenders from this golden era of television include “The Good Doctor” (ABC), “Good Girls” and “Rise” (NBC), “9-1-1” (Fox), “Counterpart” (Starz), “McMafia” (AMC), “Trust” (FX) and “Mr. Mercedes” (Audience), just to name a handful. What are YOUR favorite new TV dramas?

PREDICT the Emmy nominees and winners now; change them until July 12

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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