2018 Emmy predictions: ‘The Americans’ takes the lead for Best Writing, but Top Users still bet on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

With the Emmys telecast around the corner on Monday night, September 17, “The Americans” has moved into the lead in our predictions for Best Drama Writing for its series finale episode, “START,” penned by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. But don’t be so sure. Our top users are still predicting a repeat win for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

As of this writing “The Americans” has a narrow advantage with odds of 13/10. That’s thanks in large part to the Expert journalists we’ve polled, who have really rallied around the FX spy drama. Currently 13 of our 24 Experts think it will win: Jen Chaney (Vulture), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Chris Harnick (E!), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com), Ben Travers (IndieWire), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

This is the fourth straight nomination in this category for “The Americans,” but it has yet to win. It’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of “Friday Night Lights,” which won its first and only Emmy for Best Drama Writing for its own series finale episode, “Always,” in 2011. But voters aren’t always sentimental. Even four-time Best Drama Series winner “Mad Men” couldn’t claim this award for its series finale, which lost this prize in 2015 to “Game of Thrones,” which also won Best Drama Series that year.

So we probably need to be wary of the current defending champ for both Best Drama Series and Best Drama Writing, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It ranks a close second in our predictions with 27/20 odds for its second season premiere episode “June” by series creator Bruce Miller. Our Experts place it behind “The Americans,” and so do Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round. But “Handmaid’s” is still the favorite according to the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmys: 15 of them are putting their money on the Hulu dystopian drama, compared to just 5 who think it will be “The Americans.”

So who’s right? Will those Russian agents overthrow Gilead this year?

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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