Emmy Awards experts: ‘The Americans’ coming on strong against top-ranked ‘Game of Thrones’

Not so fast, “Game of Thrones.” Despite a leading 23 nominations, this HBO fantasy is no longer the unanimous choice to claim its second consecutive victory for Best Drama Series according to Gold Derby’s Emmy experts drawn from major media outlets. Yes, 11 of our 13 prognosticators predict a repeat for “Game of Thrones,” giving it leading odds of 3/10, But two of them forecast an upset by FX’s acclaimed period drama “The Americans,” which translates into odds of 23/10.

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The 11 experts backing the bid by “Game of Thrones” are: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).

The two experts who foresee a win by “The Americans” are Eric Deggans (NPR) and Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes). It’s nominated in the writing race for the episode “Persona Non Grata” and also contends in three acting races: lead actor Matthew Rhys, lead actress Keri Russell, and last year’s surprise guest actress champ Margo Martindale.

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The writing and directing races at the Emmys often foretell what’ll win the top program prizes. “Game of Thrones” leads its competitors with two directing bids and one in writing. “Downton Abbey” (66/1 odds) is the only other drama series contender to appear in both of these key categories. “Mr. Robot” (33/1 odds) contends in writing while “Homeland” (80/1 odds) pops up in directing.

Does that mean “House of Cards” (66/1 odds) and “Better Call Saul” (100/1 odds) are out of this race completely? The last time a show won Best Drama Series at the Emmys without either a writing or directing bid was “The Practice” in 1999.

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