All the acting Emmy acting frontrunners are still sitting pretty in our predictions, but it wouldn’t be a true Emmy ceremony without a surprise or two. Who will be this year’s Ben Mendelsohn or Tatiana Maslany or Ann Dowd? We asked which regular acting categories have the most upset potential, you voted, and here are the results, from most likely to least.
Best Drama Actor: 24 percent
Slowly but surely, the tides are turning away from reigning champ Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”), who swept the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards earlier this year. For a while, his TV dad Milo Ventimiglia, who had the most talked-about episode of the season with Jack’s death, was in second place, but he’s since been usurped by Matthew Rhys, who’s contending for the stellar final season of “The Americans,” which made it back into the drama series lineup. Brown and Ventimiglia could also split the vote, just like “Westworld” co-stars Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris. Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), who also has a directing nomination, is the only other nominee not nominated alongside a co-star. Plus, since 2011, every winner in this category prevailed for his first or final season; that only applies to Bateman and Rhys here.
Best Drama Actress: 23 percent
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) seems like the obvious choice for a repeat win, but her rivals all have compelling narratives that could overtake her. Already the first Asian nominee in the category, Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), who’s in second in our odds, would make further history as the category’s first winner of Asian descent. Claire Foy (“The Crown”), Maslany (“Orphan Black”) and Keri Russell (“The Americans”) are all up for their final seasons, and two of them, Foy and Russell, have never won before. Russell is also fresh off a Television Critics Association win, the same award Moss picked up last year en route to Emmy gold. Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”) is probably the least likely to upset, but she hails from the second most-nominated show.
Best Drama Supporting Actress: 20 percent
Dowd was as stunned as anyone when she won last year and could easily repeat; however, she finds herself against two co-stars, Alexis Bledel and Yvonne Strahovski, this time. The latter, who had a killer arc with her villainous Serena Joy, is on Dowd’s heels in second place. Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) similarly aced her sterling material in her final season as Princess Margaret, while Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) is still awaiting her first win on her fourth nomination. Two of last year’s favorites, Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) and Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), are in the mix, but both will sit out next year’s Emmys because of their shows’ delayed schedules.
Best Comedy Supporting Actress: 10 percent
This is one of the most divisive categories this year. Two-time defending champ Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) is still in front, but barely — she doesn’t have the same heat as she did last year for her Hillary Clinton impersonation, and again has two co-stars, Leslie Jones and Aidy Bryant, to overcome. Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), who is also nominated for her voiceover work on “Family Guy,” for which she’s won an Emmy, is racking up more support in second place. Former champs and scene-stealers Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”) and Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) could lean into the nostalgia and goodwill — especially the former who’s riding a lotta love from her Oscar nomination, Tony win and sympathy over “Roseanne”‘s stunning cancellation. Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”) and Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”) are the young’uns and fan favorites who can’t be counted out because you need 12.5 percent of the vote in an eight-person race.
Best Drama Supporting Actor: 9 percent
What a difference a year makes. John Lithgow (“The Crown”) was a stone-cold lock last year, but he isn’t back to defend his crown (no pun intended). David Harbour (“Stranger Things”), who won the Critics’ Choice, has topped the leaderboard all season, but his hold is tenuous at best. He’s got a popular two-time champ Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) and his co-star, first-time nominee Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Although the last time two “Game of Thrones” actors were nominated, Mendelsohn won. Joseph Fiennes could get swept up in the love for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Matt Smith is up for his final season of “The Crown” (though imagine if he won and Foy didn’t after the pay disparity controversy). And you can’t count out perennial nominee Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”), who continues to stick around even though voters have dumped his show practically everywhere else.
Best Comedy Supporting Actor: 6 percent
This is another divided race, but also the only one in which the defending champ is not favored to repeat. Alec Baldwin (“SNL”) is way down in fifth place, but never underestimate the laziness of Emmy voters. Henry Winkler has set up camp in first place and the “Barry” star could work his legend status and the fact that he’s never won an Emmy. Tony Shalhoub (“Mrs. Maisel”) was an Emmy fave during his “Monk” days, winning three statuettes, and also has buzz from his recent Tony win. Brian Tyree Henry got his first nomination for “Atlanta,” but he already broke through last year in guest for his appearance on “This Is Us.” Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Louie Anderson (“Baskets”) are a former nominee and winner, respectively, while Kenan Thompson (“SNL”) should definitely hammer it home to voters that he is the show’s longest-running cast member.
Best Comedy Actor: 5 percent
All signs are pointing to a Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) title defense, but Bill Hader (“Barry”), against whom Glover is competing in five categories, is closing the gap on him. “Barry” netted 13 nominations for its first season, just three shy of “Atlanta”‘s Season 2 total. Ted Danson (“The Good Place”) set a nomination record, and since “The Good Place” has never contested at the Emmys before, it’s hard to gauge how voters will react to it, or if they’re just checking off Danson’s name because he’s Danson, which is entirely possible. Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and reigning SAG champ William H. Macy (“Shameless”) are back, but they feel more like “the nomination is the reward,” while Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) might be affected by a sexual assault case, which the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirmed last week it’s reviewing.
Best Comedy Actress: 5 percent
Even without six-time reigning champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the race, Best Comedy Actress is the least likely to see an upset. Rachel Brosnahan has already snagged the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards for her winning turn in “Mrs. Maisel.” You gotta feel for Tracee Ellis Ross(“Black-ish”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”) and Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), all of whom have lost to JLD. Issa Rae (“Insecure”) gets the benefit of having her show air during final voting, but there’s too big of a gap between her and Brosnahan to make up.
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. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. 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.