“The Americans” was a critics’ darling throughout its six-year run, but the Television Critics Association lavished it with more nominations this year than it has since the show’s very first season. The FX espionage drama about undercover KGB spies is up for four TCA Awards, including its fourth bid for Program of the Year. That windfall could translate to Emmy wins for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Drama Actress (Keri Russell).
It took a while for “The Americans” to get on the Emmy radar. It received just five nominations over the course of its first three seasons combined. But season four was a breakthrough for the series in 2016, earning a nom for Best Drama Series for the first time, in addition to overdue bids for lead actors Rhys and Russell. The show dropped out of the Drama Series race in 2017, but Rhys and Russell stayed in. And with an increased burst of critical support for the show’s swan song, Emmy voters might get sentimental. It’s rare for a show to end on a creative high note, so academy members may take notice.
The series has always done well at the TCA Awards. It won three times before: Best New Program in 2013 and Best Drama in 2015 and 2016. A win for Program of the Year is very possible this year, especially since it has yet to win that prize after multiple tries. Similarly, the TCA finally gave top honors to “Battlestar Galactica” (2009) and “Friday Night Lights” (2011) as those shows left the airwaves. If “The Americans” can indeed pull off the same feat that could drive its momentum towards a top Emmy win too.
Four of the last five top TCA winners went on to win their respective program awards at the Emmys. “Breaking Bad” won Program of the Year twice (2013-2014) and claimed Best Drama Series Emmys in the same years. Then “The People v. O.J. Simpson” was the Program of the Year in 2016 before winning Best Limited Series at the Emmys. And “The Handmaid’s Tale” was the TCA’s choice in 2017 before sweeping the Emmys, including Best Drama Series.
Based on our predictions, which are calculated from the combined forecasts of thousands of Gold Derby users, “The Americans” is a likely nominee for Best Drama with 9/1 odds, but one of the Expert journalists we’ve polled, Robert Rorke (New York Post), says “The Americans” will actually win the top Emmy. Another Expert, Ben Travers (IndieWire), is betting on Russell to win Best Drama Actress. And Glenn Whipp (LA Times) is predicting a Best Drama Actor victory for Rhys.
If they’re right, Rhys and Russell would follow in the footsteps of other actors who finally won their first Emmys for their final seasons. Sarah Jessica Parker won Best Comedy Actress for the first time in 2004 for the last season of “Sex and the City” (though she had already won Best Comedy Series for producing the show in 2001). Kyle Chandler won Best Drama Actor for the last year of “Friday Night Lights” in 2011. And Jon Hamm finally won that same category for “Mad Men” in 2015 on his eighth and final try.
Though they had already won multiple Emmys by then, both Kelsey Grammer (Best Comedy Actor for “Fraiser,” 2004) and Bryan Cranston (Best Drama Actor for “Breaking Bad,” 2014) also won for their farewell seasons. So while the Russian spies were left out in the cold at the end of “The Americans,” Emmy voters might welcome them back in where it’s warm.
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.