Emmys slugfest: Bradley Whitford is still the drama guest actor favorite, but you ‘Better’ watch out for Michael McKean [WATCH]

Bradley Whitford has been the wall-to-wall favorite to win the Best Drama Guest Actor Emmy for “The Handmaid’s Tale” ever since the series entered its three orphaned episodes from the second season. A two-time Emmy winner already, the “West Wing” alum would make history as the first person to win both drama and comedy guest actor Emmys, after prevailing for “Transparent” in 2015. And he has a lot of things working in his favor.

“I just think Bradley Whitford is so strong in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and he’s nominated for his guest-starring role last year, but … he was basically in every episode of Season 3, which was airing while they were voting,” Gold Derby Senior Editor Marcus James Dixon said in our slugfest covering the guest races (watch above). ‘That’s really, really going to help him. And he’s playing this character that’s half villain, half hero. It’s a very complicated character and Emmy voters love that type of thing.’

Our entire panel of Editors, Chris Beachum, Daniel MontgomerySusan Wloszczyna and myself, all have Whitford prevailing. But if there were to be an upset, it’s clear who some of us are personally pulling for: “Better Call Saul’s” Michael McKean, who was snubbed in the supporting category for the third season, at the end of which his character, Chuck McGill, was killed off. McKean is in second place in our odds.

“I have Bradley winning, but I’ve been so close to switching to Michael McKean because I feel like everything I’ve heard in this slugfest alone is like, ‘Yeah, Bradley’s winning, but I would give it to Michael McKean,'”  Montogmery noted. “So maybe a lot of people would vote for Michael McKean.”

This would follow the classic “make-up win in guest” formula, which just worked last year for Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”), who’s looking to defend his crown. And as Montgomery pointed out, McKean and Jones have a lot more common than just being demoted from supporting to guest. “[Jones] was nominated in supporting, they killed him off, he came back as a guest and he won his Emmy. Michael McKean never got the supporting nomination for ‘Better Call Saul,’ but this could be one of the cases where the hardest thing is getting the nomination,” he argued. “And in softer competition, in guest as opposed to supporting, which is a lot more crowded, I imagine that voters … are going to be considering not just the guest spot but his work on the show up to this point.”

Jones is in third place in our odds, followed by his co-star Michael Angarano, Glynn Turman (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Kumail Nanjiani (“The Twilight Zone”).

PREDICT the Emmys now; change them until September 22

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 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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