Will ‘The Americans’ win Best Drama Series Emmy for Season 5, just like ‘Game of Thrones’ & ‘Breaking Bad’?

Since 2000, we’ve noticed an intriguing pattern with all of the Emmy winners for Best Drama Series: every champ has taken home its first series trophy for either Season 1 or Season 5. This unique statistic suggests that Emmy voters either really love a show out of the gate — as they did with “Mad Men” or “The West Wing” — or they’re forced to play catch-up exactly five seasons later — as with “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad.” After “The Americans” broke through last year with Emmy nominations for Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Actress (Keri Russell), we’re left to wonder whether FX’s rising program, which has premiered its fifth season to critical acclaim, will be the next to follow this pattern.

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As a refresher, here are the shows since 2000 that won Best Drama Series for their first seasons:

“The West Wing” in 2000 — Also won for Season 2 in 2001, Season 3 in 2002 and Season 4 in 2003

Lost” in 2005

“Mad Men” in 2008 — Also won for Season 2 in 2009, Season 3 in 2010 and Season 4 in 2011

Homeland” in 2012

And here are all the programs that won their first Best Drama Series trophy on their fifth seasons:

The Sopranos” in 2004 — Also won for Season 6 in 2007

24” in 2006

“Breaking Bad” in 2013 — Also won for Season 5B in 2014

“Game of Thrones” in 2015 — Also won for Season 6 in 2016

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Since no drama series in the past 16 years has prevailed for the first time outside of either Season 1 or Season 5, that bodes well at this season’s Emmy Awards for freshman shows like “This Is Us,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “Westworld,” and fifth-season dramas like “The Americans” and “House of Cards.”

But what about this year’s other Emmy contenders? The most recent show to win its first Best Drama Series trophy for Season 2 was “The Practice” (1998), suggesting “Mr. Robot’s” second season may have its work cut out for it. And the last time a drama won its first series trophy for Season 3 was “Northern Exposure” (1992), which is bad news statistically for third-season drama “Better Call Saul.”

According to Gold Derby’s early Emmy racetrack odds for Best Drama Series, “The Americans” is in third place to win with 4/1 odds, behind predicted champ “The Crown” (3/1 odds) and second-place contender “Stranger Things” (7/2 odds). While “The Americans” is a favorite with critics’ groups, “The Crown” recently prevailed at the Golden Globes while “Stranger Things” won at the SAG Awards.

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