‘Mare of Easttown’ cracks our Emmy limited series top 5, and really, it was about time

Thursday, June 10 was “Mare of Easttown” Day, celebrating the opening of a new Wawa location in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania — complete with free coffee, a new “Mare”-inspired spicy cheesesteak in addition to free Wawa Delco T-shirts for the first 100 customers — so it’s fitting that it was also the day that the show moved into the top five in our Best Limited Series Emmy odds.

This climb, frankly, has been a long time coming and arguably should’ve happened sooner, considering how much of a phenomenon the HBO series became over its seven-week run, culminating with HBO Max crashing when the May 30 finale aired. (Don’t worry, it still set a viewership record on the year-old streaming service.) With 7/1 odds, “Mare,” which had been chilling in sixth place for a bit, is now in fifth, swapping spots with Small Axe.” It sits behind frontrunner “The Queen’s Gambit,” “I May Destroy You,” “The Underground Railroad” and “WandaVision.”

To be fair, Best Limited Series is a loaded category, which likely will only have five spots again, pending the number of submissions. But at this point it would be quite surprising if “Mare” were to be snubbed. It’s a well-received, critically and commercially, murder mystery that stuck the landing, topped by a tremendous performance by Kate Winslet. And unlike “Small Axe,” which went through the winter awards season as anthology series several awards groups tried to make happen as (a) film(s), it has recency bias in its favor. If you were to go by its last airdate, it’s the most recent of the top contenders as the next closest is “The Underground Railroad,” which dropped all 10 of its episodes on Amazon Prime on May 14.

SEE Julianne Nicholson on keeping the secrets of ‘Mare of Easttown’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“Mare’s” overall success could spell a hearty nomination windfall next month. Winslet, naturally, quickly entered the top five of the lead actress lineup shortly after the show premiered in April and is currently in third behind Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”) and Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”). But Winslet, who won the category 10 years ago for “Mildred Pierce,” is cutting into the former two’s support among pundits — she has eight Experts and four editors forecasting a victory; Taylor-Joy has nine Experts and four editors, and Coel has three Experts and one editor behind them.

In the supporting categories, Evan Peters, Jean Smart and Julianne Nicholson started rising in mid-May. Peters had a, um, pivotal fifth episode and is currently in eighth place, two spots out of the top six. Nicholson surged following her heartbreaking performance in the finale and is now one spot out of the top six in seventh. Smart, who delivered as always as one half of one of the most believable mother-daughter TV duos opposite Winslet, is in fifth. We’ve seen in recent years that when voters really like a show, the actors benefit (and also from unlimited nomination ballot slots), so don’t be shocked if they all make it in.

Emmy odds for Best Limited Series
The Queen's Gambit is the favorite

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