Emmy experts nearly unanimous that John Lithgow (‘The Crown’) will win Best Drama Supporting Actor

After prevailing at the SAG Awards this year, our Emmy experts are now convinced that John Lithgow (“The Crown”) will win the Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actor. This would be Lithgow’s sixth Emmy triumph after winning for “Amazing Stories” (1986), “3rd Rock from the Sun” (1996, 1997, 1999) and “Dexter” (2010). Lithgow plays Prime Minister Winston Churchill on Netflix’s regal drama and as Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil reminds us, “Voters are suckers for rewarding actors for portraying famous folks.”

As of this writing we’ve polled 16 TV journalists from top media outlets for their Emmy picks, and 13 of them predict a victory for Lithgow: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

Two of our Emmy experts are betting on an upset victory for Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”): Robert Rorke (New York Post) and Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times). NBC’s family drama was the breakout hit of the season and if Emmy voters fall for it as much as America did, we should expect the show to clean up in nominations including for Jones who plays the cancer-stricken biological father of Sterling K. Brown‘s Randall. This would be Jones’ first awards notice after decades working in film and television.

The remaining pundit — Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed) — stands alone in forecasting that Ed Harris (“Westworld”) will win. The film star has a pair of Emmy nominations on his resume for “Empire Falls” (2005) and “Game Change” (2012), but this would be his first bid for a regular TV series gig. Harris plays the mysterious Man in Black on the HBO sci-fi drama, whose true identity was finally revealed in the season finale.

None of our experts are currently predicting a victory for any other Best Drama Supporting Actor hopefuls, but all 16 believe that Jonathan Banks, who plays hired gun Mike Ehrmantraut on “Better Call Saul,” will be nominated again. He’s actually in the Emmy record book for being nominated in this category for three different series: “Better Call Saul” in 2015 and 2016, “Breaking Bad” in 2013, and “Wiseguy” in 1989.

Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”) is next in line with 12 Emmy seers believing he’ll be nominated for playing stand-out character Bernard. Wright prevailed at the Emmys and Golden Globes for his supporting role in “Angels in America” (2003), so he’s clearly an industry favorite.

Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Coming Home”) is predicted to return to the Emmy race by nine experts. The four-time also-ran (“Uprising” in 2002, “Pope John Paul II” in 2006, “Ray Donovan” in 2014 and 2016) hopes to have better luck this time around for the Showtime drama.

Six Emmy journalists have Michael Kelly getting nominated for his role as White House chief of staff Doug Stamper on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” While the new season doesn’t debut until May 30, Kelly has earned back-to-back Emmy bids and should be considered a frontrunner for a return nom.

Jared Harris (“The Crown”), though technically a guest star, must compete in the supporting race because he appeared in too many episodes to quality for the guest category. Four Emmy experts predict he’ll earn another nomination in this category after his 2012 bid for “Mad Men.”

Last year’s surprise Best Drama Supporting Actor winner, Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”), is back again for the final season of “Bloodline.” However, only three experts think he’ll earn a repeat bid for playing the deceased Danny Rayburn, the perennial black sheep of a prominent Florida keys family.

Predict the Emmy nominees now; change them until July 13

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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