“Schitt’s Creek” aired its series finale on April 7, “Mrs. America” premiered on April 15 and “Better Call Saul” ended its penultimate TV season on April 20, so we thought now would be a good time to take a fresh look at latest predictions in the top Emmy races. Who’s up and who’s down with a little more than a month left in the eligibility period? Watch Gold Derby editors Tom O’Neil, Marcus James Dixon, Zach Laws, Daniel Montgomery and Susan Wloszczyna clash in their slugfest video above. Or listen to the audio podcast below.
“Mrs. America” rises in the race for Best Limited Series thanks to its glowing reviews and its central performance by Cate Blanchett, who takes on the controversial role of conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly, who fought against women’s rights in the 1970s. Blanchett may be the presumed Emmy frontrunner for Best Actress in a TV Movie/Mini because voters (TV industry folks) are notorious suckers for Oscar champs (she’s won two — “Blue Jasmine,” “The Aviator”), but she’s up against a recent Oscar victor who’s almost invincible at the Emmys. Regina King (now in the running for portraying a crusading cop in “Watchmen”) has won three times out of her four nominations – and at least two of those victories were upsets. Blanchett has never won an Emmy, but she’s rarely done TV work and so now her candidacy may seem special and notable.
Meanwhile, “Schitt’s Creek” hopes to pull a “Fleabag” in comedy categories. It scored its first nomination for Best Comedy Series last year for its fifth season, and now it could actually win for its final season. It has tons of media buzz and admiration, and the affectionate show has a strong rooting factor. But “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is still a juggernaut with its sky-high production values, slick writing and beloved actors. The show set an Emmy record for the most wins in a single year by a comedy when it prevailed eight times, including as Best Comedy Series, in 2018. Then it matched that tally by claiming eight more Emmys in 2019. but, alas, got upset by “Fleabag” in the top race. Can “Mrs. Maisel” now reclaim that Best Series prize?
Among dramas, “Succession” was sitting pretty last fall and winter when its recently aired season won at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards and the Writers Guild Awards. It looked like it might coast to an easy Emmy win this September on a wave of great buzz and strong word-of-mouth after “Game of Thrones” left the airwaves last year. But “Ozark” premiered its third season this spring, and amid the coronavirus pandemic it has consistently ranked among Netflix’s top 10 most popular shows. It’s one of the few programs to challenge “Tiger King” for pop culture supremacy.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of our wide-ranging Emmys debate. And there’s more to come as May brings high-profile contenders like “Hollywood” and “I Know This Much is True.” Who do you think is out front?