It’s official — Gold Derby’s Emmy experts from major media outlets have named a new presumptive winner for Best Drama Actress: Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The late-comer from Hulu is the new frontrunner to claim the top prize, unseating longtime leader Claire Foy from Netflix’s “The Crown,” according to our experts’ predictions. This marks the first big shakeup in this category of the entire 2017 Emmy season.
As of this writing we’ve polled 19 TV journalists for their early Emmy picks, and nine of them predict a victory for Moss: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed). Moss plays a handmaid named Offred, who tries to survive in the male-dominated regime of Gilead. This would be her eighth career Emmy nomination after seven bids for “Mad Men” and another for “Top of the Lake.”
Foy is now nipping at Moss’ heals, with the backing of eight Emmy pundits: Eric Deggans (NPR), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Anne Thomson (Indiewire) and Adnan Virk (ESPN). After winning the SAG Award and Golden Globe for her role as young Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s regal drama, will Foy wear the Emmy crown next?
Two outliers — Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) and Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly) — go rogue in predicting that Keri Russell will win for her long-running character of Elizabeth Jennings on FX’s Russian spy drama “The Americans.” It took four years for Emmy voters to nominate Russell, Matthew Rhys and “The Americans” in the drama races, and now increased buzz and attention could bring Russell her first victory.
None of our experts are currently predicting a victory for any other Best Drama Actress hopefuls, but 13 out of 19 believe that Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) will be back in the race for the third year in a row after prevailing in this category in 2015. Davis, of course, is a recent Oscar champ for “Fences,” which could help her prevail at the Emmys for portraying cunning lawyer Annalise Keating on the addictive ABC drama.
Twelve Emmy seers think that Evan Rachel Wood, who plays robot Dolores Abernathy on “Westworld,” will earn her second career Emmy nomination following her 2011 bid for “Mildred Pierce.” She recently took home the Critics’ Choice Award for her subtle yet impressive role.
The new season of “House of Cards” smartly steamed on Netflix just one day before the end of 2017 Emmy eligibility, and now 10 Emmy gurus predict that Robin Wright will earn her fifth consecutive bid for her role as First Lady-turned-Vice President Claire Underwood on the political thriller.
With the support of eight Emmy journalists, Christine Baranski is next in line as attorney Diane Lockhart on CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight.” A spinoff of “The Good Wife,” Baranski’s role has increased so she’ll be competing in the lead category this year. Will she earn an Emmy bookend to her 1995 “Cybill” victory?
NBC’s breakout hit “This Is Us” will earn a Best Drama Actress nomination for Mandy Moore, say seven of our prognosticators. The singer/actress has the benefit of playing family matriarch Rebecca Pearson in both of the show’s timelines, so voters get to see two vastly different performances from Moore.
Four pundits think that Carrie Coon (“The Leftovers”) will earn a nomination for the final season of “The Leftovers,” just one year after taking home the Critics’ Choice Award for her role as Nora Durst. Fans and critics alike praised Coon’s performance in the series finale, so the buzz is certainly there to warrant an Emmy notice.
Rounding out the Top 10 likeliest contenders, Claire Danes (“Homeland”) has three experts predicting her for another Emmy nomination. Danes is an Emmy fave who’s hoping to take home her third trophy for playing Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s long-running CIA drama.
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.