After five seasons on the air, will AMC’s “Better Call Saul” win Best Drama Series at the Emmy Awards? One of Gold Derby’s Experts is feeling s’all good, man about her gutsy prediction: Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com). She picks this “Breaking Bad” spinoff to win ahead of the other front-runners, HBO’s “Succession” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” which translates to third-place odds of 7/1. Don’t forget, “Breaking Bad” didn’t win Best Drama Series until its fifth year, so there is precedent for “Better Call Saul” to prevail late in its run.
Season 5 of “Better Call Saul” just aired this spring, which puts it top of mind as TV academy members begin marking their ballots. Also in its favor? The new episodes received a remarkably strong reception from critics and audiences alike; it has a 99% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes and a 92% rating at MetaCritic.
This year, lead actor contender Bob Odenkirk continued his dramatic transformation from slimy lawyer Jimmy McGill to the drug cartel’s #1 go-to attorney Saul Goodman. In the memorable eighth episode, “Bagman,” Saul and Mike (Jonathan Banks) are stranded in the desert as they struggle to survive against the elements and the cartel’s hit men. Meanwhile, Kim (Rhea Seehorn) tries to convince drug kingpin Lalo (Tony Dalton) to tell her the location of her missing husband. The Vince Gilligan-directed episode is sure to rake in a boatload of Emmy noms, both above the line and behind the lens.
“Succession” is currently the winner prediction for 18 of our 20 Experts: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Chris Harnick (E!), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Ed Martin (Media Village) Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Ent. Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Ben Travers (Indiewire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).
Despite not airing since last summer, “Succession” is still red-hot and extremely popular. This show about a corrupt rich family who owns a media empire claimed two Emmys last year for its inaugural season: Best Drama Writing and Best Main Title Theme Music. Season 2 is coming off major wins at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actor (Brian Cox won the Globe, Jeremy Strong took the critics’ prize), which gives it an edge heading into the 2020 Emmy ceremony.
The final Expert is Anne Thompson (Indiewire), who predicts a victory for “The Crown.” The third season of the regal drama aired last fall and continued the ongoing story of Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign, this time between the years 1964 and 1977. Of note, the entire cast was overhauled in Season 3 to reflect the aging of the royal characters, so Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter are now hoping to replace Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby in the Emmy nominations.
Rounding out our Emmy Experts’ predictions for Best Drama Series are “Ozark,” “The Morning Show,” “Westworld” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” with potential dark horses being “Killing Eve,” “Pose, “Big Little Lies” and “The Outsider.”
Be sure to make your Emmy nominations predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Emmy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.