Will ‘The Americans’ make an Emmy comeback for Best Drama Series like ‘Homeland’ did?

It took a while for “The Americans” to catch on at the Emmys. Over the course of its first three seasons the drama about deep-cover Soviet spies earned just a handful of nominations, but then in 2016 it earned five nominations including Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Drama Actress (Keri Russell). Unfortunately, it fell back out of the Drama Series race in 2017, but can it make a comeback in 2018 for its sixth and final season, which is currently airing? Another espionage drama managed to return to the top category after a gap year: “Homeland.”

Showtime’s “Homeland” had a markedly different Emmy trajectory. It was a huge hit with the TV academy right out of the gate, winning six Emmys in 2012 for its first season, including Best Drama Series and lead acting prizes for both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. It was nominated again in the top category in 2013. But season three was snubbed in 2014, though the show still received four nominations including Best Drama Actress for Danes and Best Drama Supporting Actor for Mandy Patinkin. It seemed Emmy voters might have been moving on from the show, but in 2015 the awards added a seventh slot to the Best Drama Series category, and instead of nominating a brand new show the academy brought “Homeland” back into the fold. And the show was nominated again in 2016.

So the 2017 snub of “The Americans” from Best Drama Series might not be the end of the world for the show, especially when you consider that it held on to all of its other major nominations last year: its lead acting bids for Rhys and Russell, and a Best Drama Writing nom for showrunners Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg for the episode “The Soviet Division.” The show even earned a first-ever Drama Guest Actress nom for Alison Wright, which indicates that the TV academy really was paying attention and maybe “The Americans” just barely missed out on a Drama Series bid.

This year “The Americans” is likely to return to the top category, according to our latest predictions. It ranks seventh with 14/1 odds based on the combined forecasts of more than 1,300 Gold Derby users who have entered their picks in our predictions center thus far. That includes 11 Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets, 8 of whom think “The Americans” will return to the category: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Chris Harnick (E!), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ben Travers (IndieWire) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

“The Americans” is helped by the fact that two of last year’s nominees, “House of Cards” and “Better Call Saul,” won’t air new episodes in time for this Emmy eligibility period. That leaves one spot up for grabs even if the academy nominates all of last year’s other returning contenders — “This is Us,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” “Westworld” and defending champ “The Handmaid’s Tale” — and also brings back “Game of Thrones,” which wasn’t eligible last year. So will the stars align for the hammer and sickle?

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 nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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