Emmys 2021 predictions slugfest: Best Drama Series

“I will say, right now, with complete certainty, that ‘The Crown’ will win for the first time,” declares Rob Licuria. “Season four has been so acclaimed and has won everything across the board so far,” he says. Licuria joins fellow Gold Derby editor Riley Chow and contributors Charles Bright and Tony Ruiz for an early debate on who’s in and who’s out in this year’s drama races at the Emmys. Watch the video above.

“The Crown” just swept at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, winning Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor and Actress (for Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin) and Best Drama Supporting Actress (Gillian Anderson). The Netflix flagship drama is favored to win big at the SAG Awards next month as well. So it’s no surprise that it is the early Emmy frontrunner to win Best Drama Series for its fourth season, having been nominated its previous three.

With incumbent champ “Succession” out of the running this season (as no new episodes will have aired on HBO), the only previous Drama Series winner in contention is Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” with its fourth season set to premiere April 28. Finally, Netflix has a real chance to break its uncanny curse at the Emmys, having never won a series trophy in any genre.

If “The Crown” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” return along with “The Mandalorian,” which is the only other series that is eligible to hold onto its nomination from last year, then there are six open slots (out of a total of eight) in Best Drama Series this year, as “Better Call Saul,” “Killing Eve,” “Ozark” and “Stranger Things” are sitting out this season (having not aired or streamed this season).

NBC’s “This is Us” and FX’s “Pose” might mount a comeback in this category after missing out last year, while Amazon’s blockbuster hit “The Boys,” which was snubbed last year for its debut, might finally break through this time around. HBO’s previous nominee “In Treatment,” which is being revived after 11 years off air, could also return to the fold despite that its last nomination in the series race was back in 2009. Otherwise, there are a bunch of new dramas waiting in the wings for their debut nod, including Netflix’s “Bridgerton” and “Ratched,” HBO’s “Industry,” “Lovecraft Country” and “Perry Mason,” and AppleTV+’s “The Mosquito Coast.”

“People are really passionate about ‘The Crown,” but people are also really passionate about ‘Bridgerton’,” Chow argues. “What really surprised me was the Directors Guild nomination. You know, the directors are so snooty, they’d never go for this even if the producers do and even if the actors do, but I guess it’s all in,” he explains. “What’s going to be really interesting about ‘The Crown’,” Bright says, is that “there’s going to be a lot of coattail momentum. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s going to be some ‘out of the blue’ person in one of the supporting categories or even in guest, where Netflix decides to put them in there and because of the simple fact that they’re in ‘The Crown,’ they get in. We should have a lot of fun trying to predict who that will be.”

“Everyone knows I’m a big fan of ‘Pose,'” Ruiz opines when reflecting on how his favorite show missed out on a Drama Series nod last year but could make a comeback. “What helps ‘Pose’ this time,” he explains, “is that the first two seasons of ‘Pose’ aired about a year before their respective Emmy ceremonies. In this case, the final season of ‘Pose’ is airing pretty much right at the end of the season, so it’ll be fresher in voters’ minds.”

Nominations for the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced July 13 while the Primetime Emmy ceremony is scheduled to air live on September 19 on CBS (also streaming on Paramount+).

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UPLOADED Mar 31, 2021 6:16 pm