2022 Emmy Predictions: Lead Actor (Drama Series)

After portraying Charles, Prince of Wales on the third and fourth seasons of “The Crown” and winning the 2021 Best Drama Actor Emmy for the latter, Josh O’Connor has passed the role on to Dominic West. That means that he won’t be eligible to collect a bookend trophy this year. However, two former champs – Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) and Jeremy Strong (“Succession”) — do have that chance. Scroll down to see our 2022 Emmy predictions for Lead Actor (Drama Series).

Brown is the only 2021 drama actor nominee who could return in 2022. Jonathan Majors (“Lovecraft Country”) and Billy Porter (“Pose”) are out because their shows ended during the last eligibility window, while Regé-Jean Page has exited the still-running “Bridgerton” and Matthew Rhys’s “Perry Mason” did not return in time.

Past nominees who are hoping for another shot at the gold are Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Brian Cox (“Succession”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”), and Sam Waterston (“Law & Order”). Michael C. Hall could also pick up his sixth bid for playing Dexter Morgan, a role he originated on “Dexter” and now plays on “Dexter: New Blood.”

Actors seeking recognition for new drama series include Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”), Adam Scott (“Severance”), and John C. Reilly (“Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”).

Brian Cox, “Succession”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”
Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Adam Scott, “Severance”

Strong Contenders
John C. Reilly, “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty”
Patrick Stewart, “Star Trek: Picard”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “The Man Who Fell to Earth”
Lee Min-ho, “Pachinko”
Tom Hiddleston, “Loki”
Jonathan Bailey, “Bridgerton”
Gary Oldman, “Slow Horses”

Possible Contenders
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”
Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”
Cillian Murphy, “Peaky Blinders”
Justin Hartley, “This Is Us”
Adrien Brody, “Chapelwaite”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter: New Blood”
Omar Sy, “Lupin”
Lee Pace, “Foundation”

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