Emmys reminder: Only 3 of last year’s 8 Best Drama Series nominees are eligible to return

That sound you hear are dozens of TV networks and streaming sites shouting for joy over the amount of open slots in this year’s drama races. Indeed, of last year’s eight Best Drama Series Emmy nominees, only three are eligible to return: HBO’s “Succession,” AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and Showtime’s “Yellowjackets.” The other five shows either ended last year (“Ozark”) or did not air within the 2022-23 eligibility period (“Euphoria,” “Severance,” “Squid Game” and “Stranger Things”).

Of course, there is a slight caveat here in that last year’s Best Limited Series champion, HBO’s “The White Lotus,” is switching genres over to drama, where it’s strong for a nomination. Also, there were several dramas last nominated in 2021 that didn’t contend in 2022, but are now eligible to reclaim their slots in 2023. Those former Best Drama Series nominees are Netflix’s “The Crown,” Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.”

According to Gold Derby’s Emmy odds, the eight shows with the best chance of making the Best Drama Series line-up for 2023 are a mix of 2021 and 2022 contenders, plus new shows. They are, in predictions order, “Succession” (4/1 odds), “The White Lotus” (11/2 odds), “Better Call Saul” (15/2 odds), “The Last of Us” (8/1 odds), “The Crown” (9/1 odds), “House of the Dragon” (19/2 odds), “Yellowjackets” (11/1 odds) and “The Mandalorian” (20/1 odds). Rounding out the Top 12 are “Andor,” “Yellowstone,” “The Boys” and “The Old Man.”

“Succession” is the favorite to prevail at this early stage, based on the predictions of our Experts, Editors and Users. And for good reason: it won Best Drama Series the last two times it was eligible, in 2022 and 2020, and we know the Emmys just love to repeat in the top races. Also in the HBO show’s favor is the fact that Season 4 will be its final season on the air, so it’s the last chance for voters to shower it with love.

If “Succession” does win, it will join the likes of “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Sopranos” as dramas that prevailed for their final episodes. “Better Call Saul” is in that same boat, as its series finale aired last summer. A potential third victory for “Succession” in Best Drama Series would put it one win behind the all-time leaders, which are all tied at four wins apiece: “GoT,” “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing.”

Also note that “The Crown” won Best Drama Series the last time it was eligible, in 2021. In fact, it went undefeated at the Primetime Emmys that night, claiming all seven categories (series, lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, writing and directing). However, Netflix’s regal show didn’t dominate the recent winter guild awards for Season 5 as it has done in the past. The good news is that “The Crown” is eligible at the next two Emmy Awards, 2023 and 2024, as its final episodes aren’t expected to air until the fall.

PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominees through July 12

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