Emmy predictions slugfest: Will Best Drama Writing and Directing winners be a split or sweep? [WATCH]

Succession” has won Best Drama Writing trophies from the Emmys, Writers Guild and BAFTA in the last year, so it is the overwhelming front-runner to repeat its victory at the 2020 Emmy Awards on September 20. “This is one of the no-brainers of the night,” says senior editor Rob Licuria in a predictions slugfest with me and our fellow Gold Derby contributors Charlie Bright and Tony Ruiz (watch the video above). Ruiz agrees that “it has it in the bag” and even has some choices words to potential naysayers: “You don’t understand how writing works.”

Although “I’m definitely predicting it as well,” I caution that “Succession” has the potential to be upset by an “Ozark” sweep. I point to the outcome five years ago of “Game of Thrones” unexpectedly prevailing for its walk-of-shame episode over the “Mad Men” series finale as demonstrative of how a Best Drama Series winner can be so dominant that it triumphs over a show that has a better track record with writers. “Ozark” admittedly has to overcome vote-splitting between its three nominated episodes, but I also point out the precedent for this: Best Limited Series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” winning Best Movie/Limited Writing four years ago.

Best Drama Directing is less predictable. Licuria has “Succession” for this one too, Ruiz is sticking with front-running “The Crown,” I have “Ozark” and Bright has switched to “Homeland” since our slugfest. “Unlike the writing category, this one is so wide open,” explains Ruiz, who is betting on what he calls “too much of a directorial masterpiece to ignore.” He concludes about the race, “It’s going to depend on what people are drawn to. Are they drawn to the spectacle? We could have years between spectacle and non-spectacle, but maybe this is a spectacle year. Maybe it’s not! So it’s really anybody’s game here.”

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