Emmy predictions: ‘Game of Thrones’ will set record, ‘Veep’ & ‘Olive Kitteridge’ will also rule

emmy predictions veep game of thrones olive kitteridge

Game of Thrones” is forecast to win three of its five races at the Primetime Emmys on Sunday, September 20. While that alone isn’t an overwhelming number, combined with the whopping eight it won at the Creative Arts Awards last Saturday and the HBO fantasy series will set a record for the most wins for a series in a single year with 11. The record is currently nine Emmys, won by the first season of “The West Wing” in 2000. (Click here for our complete predictions by category.)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and crazy puppet dish ‘Veep’ Emmy hopes (spoof video)

According to the combined predictions of our Experts, Editors, Users and Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best predicting last year’s winners), “Game of Thrones” will take Best Drama Series, Best Drama Supporting Actress (Lena Headey) and Best Drama Directing (“Mothers Mercy“).

Mad Men” will be next among dramas with two wins: Best Drama Actor (Jon Hamm) and Best Drama Writing (“Person to Person“). The two remaining categories are forecast to go to “How to Get Away with Murder” (Best Drama Actress for Viola Davis) and “Better Call Saul” (Best Drama Supporting Actor for Jonathan Banks). None of those shows were winners at last weekend’s Creative Arts Awards.

Among comedies, we’re expecting “Veep” to be the big winner with three prizes: Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Best Comedy Directing (“Testimony“). The HBO political satire also won Best Comedy Casting at Creative Arts, bringing its expected total to four.

Transparent” will win twice: Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor) and Best Comedy Writing for the Amazon series’s pilot episode. Added to its three wins at Creative Arts – Best Contemporary Costumes, Best Main Title Theme and Best Comedy Guest Actor (Bradley Whitford) – it would actually be the top comedy champ of the year with five Emmys.

Projected to win one apiece are “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Best Comedy Supporting Actor for Tituss Burgess) and “Mom” (Best Comedy Supporting Actress for Allison Janney). Those would be the only Emmy wins for those shows this year.

But the program we’re predicting to leave Sunday night’s telecast with the biggest haul is HBO’s miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” which will win five prizes: Best Limited Series, Best Movie/Mini Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Bill Murray), Best Movie/Mini Writing and Best Movie/Mini Directing. It won twice at Creative Arts – Best Movie/Mini Casting and Best Movie/Mini Editing – bringing its total to seven.

The other two longform awards will go to “Nightingale” (Best Movie/Mini Actor for David Oyelowo) and “American Horror Story Freak Show” (Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for Sarah Paulson). It would be the only win for “Nightingale,” but “Freak Show” won five times at Creative Arts, which would give it six Emmys in all.

The Emmys for variety programming will go to “Inside Amy Schumer” (Best Variety Sketch Series) and “Colbert Report” (Best Variety Talk Series). “Inside Amy” won once at Creative Arts (Best Music and Lyrics for “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup”), as did “Colbert” (Best Variety Editing). Meanwhile, “The Amazing Race” will claim Best Reality-Competition Series for the 11th time.

Our official predictions are based on a combination of four sets of forecasts at Gold Derby: ExpertsEditors, the Top 24 Users (at last year’s awards) and All Users. Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72%.

Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering the week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (one of 500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a long shot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points. As we use those point totals to break ties when more than one user tops our leaderboard with the same number of correct predictions, don’t take them for granted.

Last year, our top User was JSydel893, who predicted 65.52% of the winners. Do you have that kind of special insight into this year’s contest? If so, there’s still time to make or edit your predictions before Sunday’s awards. Click here to visit our predictions center, where you can enter your picks, or use the easy drag-and-drop menu at the bottom of this post to get started.

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And meet our previous contest champs. You could join them on our leaderboard.

Emmy predictions slugfest: Will Best Drama Actor go to Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey or …


(3 wins + 1 at Creative Arts = 4 total)
Best Comedy Series
Best Comedy Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
Best Comedy Directing (“Testimony”)

(2 wins + 3 at Creative Arts = 5 total)
Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor)
Best Comedy Writing (“Pilot”)

(1 win)
Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Allison Janney)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
(1 win)
Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Tituss Burgess)


“Game of Thrones”
(3 wins + 8 at Creative Arts = 11 total)
Best Drama Series
Best Drama Supporting Actress (Lena Headey)
Best Drama Directing (“Mother’s Mercy”)

Mad Men
(2 wins)
Best Drama Actor (Jon Hamm)
Best Drama Writing (“Person to Person”)

Better Call Saul
(1 win)
Best Drama Supporting Actor (Jonathan Banks)

How to Get Away with Murder
(1 win)
Best Drama Actress (Viola Davis)


Olive Kitteridge
(5 wins + 2 at Creative Arts = 7 total)
Best Limited Series
Best Movie/Mini Actress (Frances McDormand)
Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Bill Murray)
Best Movie/Mini Writing
Best Movie/Mini Directing

“American Horror Story: Freak Show”
(1 win + 5 at Creative Arts = 6 total)
Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Sarah Paulson)

(1 win)
Best Movie/Mini Actor (David Oyelowo)

Photos: “Veep,” “Game of Thrones,” “Olive Kitteridge.” Credit: HBO

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