Rarely do the Emmys make any sense to me, but I'm throwing out my predictions for the winners anyway!
Limited Series and Television Movie
Writing: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, The People v. OJ Simpson ("From the Ashes of Tragedy")
Directing: Ryan Murphy, The People v. OJ Simpson ("From the Ashes of Tragedy")
Supporting Actress: Jean Smart, Fargo
Supporting Actor: Sterling K. Brown, The People v. OJ Simpson
Lead Actress: Sarah Paulson, The People v. OJ Simpson
Lead Actor: Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Television Movie: All the Way
Limited Series: The People v. OJ Simpson
I feel like this is where the most competition is. So many TV films and limited series were among the best things on television this season: The People v. OJ Simpson, Fargo, Confirmation, The Night Manager, All the Way. It was an amazing year. A lot of these categories are nail-biters. I think People v. OJ walks away with the top prize. In the acting categories, I think it's a horserace between Bryan Cranston as LBJ (a role for which he already won a Tony), an actor who the Academy loves, and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. Actress is similarly close, with Paulson getting the edge over the magnificent Kirsten Dunst, who absolutely stole Fargo's second season away from everyone else on screen. A win for Kerry Washington or either woman from American Crime wouldn't suck either... basically anyone could win that category, and it would be a great choice. I think Fargo may get a trophy still for Jean Smart, though Melissa Leo, Olivia Colman, and last year's surprise winner Regina King are all equally just choices. Sterling K. Brown, David Schwimmer, and John Travolta may cancel each other out in supporting actor, but I think Brown stood out enough among his cast mates to lead the category. People v. OJ dominated the writing and directing categories (and the limited series categories, in general), so it's a safe bet it'll win there, though the question becomes for which episodes; I went with the season premiere in both cases.
Writing: Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang, Master of None ("Parents")
Directing: Dave Stern, Veep ("Mother")
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, Mom
Supporting Actor: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lead Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lead Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Comedy Series: Veep
This looks like it may be a lot of repeats from last year. I'm predicting Veep to take home the top prize, with Dreyfus winning yet again as well; don't be surprised if the episode "Mother" walks away with directing and writing awards as well, though I've predicted Aziz Ansari's Netflix series Master of None to take the latter, since many cite its writing as the show's strongest point. Allison Janney and Jeffrey Tambor will likely repeat their wins from last year as well, and maybe even Tony Hale in supporting actor too. For now, I'm hoping for a course-correction win for Tituss Burgess, though it's a tight race between those two and comedy vet Louie Anderson for playing the mother of a clown (you read that right) on FX's Baskets.
Writing: Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot ("eps1.0_hellofriend.mov")
Directing: Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones ("Battle of the Bastards")
Supporting Actress: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Supporting Actor: Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Lead Actress: Keri Russell, The Americans
Lead Actor: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Drama Series: Game of Thrones
I think we may be looking at a near-sweep for Game of Thrones, which is the clear frontrunner for best series after securing more nominations than any other show. The only non-conservative prediction I've made here is for Keri Russell to win a statue for her work on The Americans, which has never been nominated before and broke through in a big way with some major nominations this year. Russell seems like the most likely of those nominations to win, though she'll have to upset last year's winner, Viola Davis, who is probably the frontrunner right now. Otherwise, Rami Malek looks poised to take the award for lead actor, likely shutting Kevin Spacey out once again, though a win for Spacey or even Robin Wright wouldn't be a total surprise. Game of Thrones may clean house in supporting categories as well, and I'm also predicting it for directing and wouldn't be shocked if it took writing, too, but Esmail's script for Mr. Robot was more unique and current.
The Emmys air Sunday night, September 18, on ABC.