5 reasons why Emmy voters will finally embrace ‘The Americans’

While the clever spy duo on the FX drama “The Americans” can outwit just about anybody, they haven’t quite figured out one group yet: Emmy voters. However, that could all change with the recently concluded third season. Below, five reasons why this compelling period piece will reap major bids this year. 

Related: Emmy longshots to bet on include ‘The Americans,’ ‘Outlander’

1. Timing and positioning
New rules see the Best Drama Series category expanding from six to seven nominees starting this year. Had there been seven slots in its first two seasons, “The Americans” would most likely have made the cut. Only four of last year’s six nominees are still in contention “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards,” and “Mad Men” (winner “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective” are both gone). Even if “Orange is the New Black” makes a successful transition from the comedy side, that still leaves two slots open.

2. Rave reviews and critical support
Third season reviews on Metascore sit at a lofty 92. Brian Lowry of Variety called it the “best” and “most satisfying” season yet. Other critics offered such praise as “the best show on television” (Vox.com), “new creative heights” (Hollywood Reporter), and “every season gets more complicated, and is all the better for it” (New York Times). It reaped four Critics’ Choice TV nominations: Best Drama Series, leads Matthew RhysKeri Russell and guest star Lois Smith.

3. Secrets are spilling out everywhere
Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Rhys and Russell) are two long-embedded Russian spies living in America. They have thrived on nobody knowing about their secret identities, but a major third season arc forces them to reveal all to their teenage daughter Paige (Holly Taylor). The brisk storytelling pace set by that mid-season revelation provided A+ performances from everybody involved. The season ends with the daughter confessing those sins to her pastor over the phone, setting up a powerful fourth season next spring.

4. The rise of the anti-hero
The anti-hero as a leading character on television began with “The Sopranos” at the start of this century. That lead to many villainous and morally questionable central characters on such Emmy-nominated shows as “Big Love,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Boston Legal,” “Breaking Bad,” “Damages,” “Deadwood,” “Dexter,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife,” “House,” “House of Cards,” “Mad Men,” and “24.” Philip and Elizabeth are two such characters on a show that actually asks its audience to root for Russian spies during the Cold War.

5. Emmy voters love period pieces
Set in the early 1980s, the show boasts top-notch costumes, makeup, hair, production design, and music. Emmy voters have embraced other period pieces over the years. “Mad Men” won this category four straight years (2008-2011). Other recent nominees in this top category have included “Boardwalk Empire,” “Deadwood,” and “Downton Abbey.”

Related: Did ‘The Americans’ and Lois Smith just jump into the Emmy race?

Best predictions will win $1,000 (see our contest rules). And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year – and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds. The Top 24 Users did the best at predicting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) when competing against Gold Derby’s Editors (77.68%), all Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). Which group will be victorious this year?

Register/log in to your account (or create an account with one click using Facebook, Twitter, or Google) so you can also compete to predict the Tony Awards winners and Critics Choice TV Awards winners.

More News from GoldDerby