2020 Emmy Award Predictions from Experts & Users

  • Publish Date: September 17, 2020
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Final Update (Sunday 9/20): All predicted winners remain the same except for Supporting Actor (Drama), where Billy Crudup has broken out of a tie with Kieran Culkin, Directing (Drama), where Succession has broken out of a tie with The Crown, and Supporting Actor (Movie/Miniseries), where Yahya Abdul-Mateen II now leads Jim Parsons.

Picks for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards

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If there's one sure thing, it's that this year's Emmy Awards will be unlike any of its predecessors. The most obvious difference is that the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted ceremony—which airs live Sunday night on ABC beginning at 8p ET (5p PT)—will be the first remotely-produced, audience-free, "virtual" broadcast in Emmy history. You'll see presenters and winners filming themselves from their own homes (or remote locations), with the exception of a few in-studio guests joining Kimmel. Expect glitches aplenty—but maybe some slightly more genuine moments than you'd find in a more typical broadcast—and more screentime for Kimmel. (And notify the affiliates: This ceremony is definitely running long.)

Another likely difference: The winners list. Recent Emmy stalwarts like Game of Thrones and Veep (plus last year's big winner Fleabag) are no longer on the air, making many of the races more competitive than they have been in years—theoretically, at least. The leading 2020 Emmy nominees heading into Sunday's ceremony are HBO's Watchmen (with 11 nominations) and Succession (10), and they are indeed predicted to be among the night's top winners, with Watchmen a virtual lock to dominate the limited series categories. Succession, too, is widely predicted to win many of the drama series categories (including the top prize), but there could be some upsets there—and in the comedy categories, where the just-ended Schitt's Creek now stands as the frontrunner in many races.

To help you make an informed decision when filling out your home-office Emmy pool (which, we assume, consists of you, your dog, and the ficus tree in your living room), we have collected predictions from nearly 80 professional entertainment and TV writers and critics. Remember that the so-called experts are hardly infallible. Last year, the pros were correct in just 65% of the categories, though that was an improvement over 2018's 54% success rate.

For the 11th straight year we also invited Metacritic users to submit their own picks, and the results of over 1,100 submissions are also displayed below. (Last year our users had a 46% accuracy rate.) Note that we asked our users to make selections in just 23 categories this year (three fewer than last year), since the Academy has (at least temporarily) shifted some categories from the main ceremony to the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies earlier in the week.

Comedy nominees

Outstanding comedy series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Schitt's Creek (Pop) 91% Schitt's Creek (Pop) 35%
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video) 4% The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video) 18%
Insecure (HBO) 3% The Good Place (NBC) 17%

Comedy lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Catherine O'Hara
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
94% Catherine O'Hara
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
42%
Issa Rae
Insecure (HBO)
4% Rachel Brosnahan
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
29%

Comedy lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Eugene Levy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
58% Eugene Levy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
36%
Ramy Youssef
Ramy (Hulu)
26% Ted Danson
The Good Place (NBC)
24%
Ted Danson
The Good Place (NBC)
13% Ramy Youssef
Ramy (Hulu)
20%

Comedy supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Alex Borstein
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
65% Alex Borstein
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
33%
Annie Murphy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
12% D'Arcy Carden
The Good Place (NBC)
20%
D'Arcy Carden
The Good Place (NBC)
10% Annie Murphy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
15%

Comedy supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Daniel Levy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
63% Daniel Levy
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
24%
Tony Shalhoub
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
18% Mahershala Ali
Ramy (Hulu)
22%
Mahershala Ali
Ramy (Hulu)
15% Tony Shalhoub
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
19%

Comedy directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Schitt's Creek
"Happy Ending" by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
77% Schitt's Creek
"Happy Ending" by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
31%
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
"It's Comedy Or Cabbage" by Amy Sherman-Palladino
16% The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
"It's Comedy Or Cabbage" by Amy Sherman-Palladino
21%
2 tied with ... 3% Ramy
"Miakhalifa.mov" by Ramy Youssef
16%

Comedy writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Schitt's Creek
"Happy Ending" by Daniel Levy
74% The Good Place
"Whenever You're Ready" by Michael Schur
35%
The Good Place
"Whenever You're Ready" by Michael Schur
15% Schitt's Creek
"Happy Ending" by Daniel Levy
33%

Drama nominees

Outstanding drama series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Succession (HBO) 95% Succession (HBO) 50%
Better Call Saul (AMC) 3% Better Call Saul (AMC) 22%

Drama lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Laura Linney
Ozark (Netflix)
39% Olivia Colman
The Crown (Netflix)
31%
Jennifer Aniston
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
38% Laura Linney
Ozark (Netflix)
24%
Olivia Colman
The Crown (Netflix)
16% Zendaya
Euphoria (HBO)
16%

Drama lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Jeremy Strong
Succession (HBO)
44% Brian Cox
Succession (HBO)
33%
Brian Cox
Succession (HBO)
40% Jeremy Strong
Succession (HBO)
23%
Jason Bateman
Ozark (Netflix)
13% Jason Bateman
Ozark (Netflix)
22%

Drama supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Helena Bonham Carter
The Crown (Netflix)
54% Helena Bonham Carter
The Crown (Netflix)
26%
Sarah Snook
Succession (HBO)
33% Julia Garner
Ozark (Netflix)
17%
Julia Garner
Ozark (Netflix)
10% Sarah Snook
Succession (HBO)
17%

Drama supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Billy Crudup
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
39% Giancarlo Esposito *
Better Call Saul (AMC)
26%
Kieran Culkin
Succession (HBO)
36% Kieran Culkin
Succession (HBO)
26%
Giancarlo Esposito
Better Call Saul (AMC)
10% Billy Crudup
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
14%

* Ahead by exactly 1 vote

Drama directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Succession
"This Is Not for Tears" by Mark Mylod
44% Succession
"This Is Not for Tears" by Mark Mylod
28%
The Crown
"Aberfan" by Benjamin Caron
41% Succession
"Hunting" by Andrij Parekh
16%
3 tied with ... 5% The Crown
"Aberfan" by Benjamin Caron
15%

Drama writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Succession
"This Is Not for Tears" by Jesse Armstrong
90% Succession
"This Is Not for Tears" by Jesse Armstrong
41%
Better Call Saul
"Bagman" by Gordon Smith
5% Better Call Saul
"Bagman" by Gordon Smith
19%
The Crown
"Aberfan" by Peter Morgan
5% Better Call Saul
"Bad Choice Road" by Thomas Schnauz
15%

Movie and miniseries nominees

Outstanding limited series (miniseries)

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Watchmen (HBO) 100% Watchmen (HBO) 76%
    Mrs. America (FX) 7%
    (TIE) Unbelievable (Netflix)
-AND- Unorthodox (Netflix)
6%

Movie/miniseries lead actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Regina King
Watchmen (HBO)
90% Regina King
Watchmen (HBO)
64%
Cate Blanchett
Mrs. America (FX)
8% Cate Blanchett
Mrs. America (FX)
21%

Movie/miniseries lead actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Mark Ruffalo
I Know This Much Is True (HBO)
42% Jeremy Irons
Watchmen (HBO)
37%
Hugh Jackman
Bad Education (HBO)
33% Mark Ruffalo
I Know This Much Is True (HBO)
23%
Paul Mescal
Normal People (Hulu)
17% Hugh Jackman
Bad Education (HBO)
21%

Movie/miniseries supporting actress

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Jean Smart
Watchmen (HBO)
60% Jean Smart
Watchmen (HBO)
44%
Toni Collette
Unbelievable (Netflix)
24% Toni Collette
Unbelievable (Netflix)
29%
Uzo Aduba
Mrs. America (FX)
13% Uzo Aduba
Mrs. America (FX)
10%

Movie/miniseries supporting actor

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Watchmen (HBO)
39% Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Watchmen (HBO)
35%
Jim Parsons
Hollywood (Netflix)
30% Louis Gossett Jr.
Watchmen (HBO)
19%
Louis Gossett Jr.
Watchmen (HBO)
23% Jim Parsons
Hollywood (Netflix)
16%

Movie/miniseries directing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Watchmen
"This Extraordinary Being" by Stephen Williams
54% Watchmen
"This Extraordinary Being" by Stephen Williams
41%
Watchmen
"It’s Summer And We’re Running Out Of Ice" by Nicole Kassell
28% Watchmen
"It’s Summer And We’re Running Out Of Ice" by Nicole Kassell
23%
Little Fires Everywhere
"Find a Way" by Lynn Shelton
15% Watchmen
"Little Fear of Lightning" by Steph Green
11%

Movie/miniseries writing

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Watchmen
"This Extraordinary Being" by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson
90% Watchmen
"This Extraordinary Being" by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson
68%
3 tied with ... 3% Unbelievable
"Episode 1" by Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, and Ayelet Waldman
9%
    Mrs. America
"Shirley" by Tanya Barfield
9%

Other shows

Outstanding competition program

Experts   Users
Image   Image
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1) 83% RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1) 52%
The Masked Singer (Fox) 15% Top Chef (Bravo) 15%
Top Chef (Bravo) 2% The Masked Singer (Fox) 13%

Outstanding variety talk series

Experts   Users
Image   Image
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) 69% Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) 61%
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) 24% The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) 13%
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS) 5% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS) 11%

Who are the experts?

Experts included in our survey this year are: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Erik Anderson (AwardsWatch), Kristen Baldwin and Darren Franich (Entertainment Weekly), Chuck Barney (San Jose Mercury News), Judy Berman (Time), Jennifer Bisset and Sean Keane (CNET), Alec Bojalad (Den of Geek), Danette Chavez (A.V. Club), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Michael Cuby (Nylon), Daniel D’Addario (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR*), Kevin Dillon (Awards Daily), Lynn Elber (Associated Press*), Gregory Ellwood (Awards Campaign/Playlist), Stuart Emmrich (Vogue), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Kate Feldman (New York Daily News), Caroline Framke (Variety), Verne Gay (Newsday), Matthew Gilbert (Boston Globe), Tom Gliatto (People), Tim Gray (Variety*), Jalal Haddad (Awards Daily), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Libby Hill (Indiewire*), Julie Hinds (Detroit Free Press), Dan Holloway (Variety), Adrian Horton (The Guardian), Angelique Jackson (Variety), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo*), Kevin Jacobsen (AwardsWatch), Allison Keene (Paste), Mark Kennedy (Associated Press), Justin Kirkland (Esquire), Shadan Larki (Awards Daily), Kelly Lawler (USA Today*), Ed Martin (MediaVillage), Megan McLachlan (Awards Daily), Bruce R. Miller (Omaha World-Herald), Liz Shannon Miller (Collider), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine*), Wilson Morales (BlackFilmAndTV*), Joey Morona (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Joey Moser (Awards Daily), Clarence Moye (Awards Daily), Philiana Ng‍, Meredith B. Kile‍ and Stacy Lambe‍ (Entertainment Tonight), Hanh Nguyen (Salon*), Nikki Novak (Fandango*), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Joe Otterson (Variety), David Phillips (Awards Daily), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Lauren Puckett (Elle), Ben Randall (Awards Daily), Joe Reid (Primetimer), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly*), Matt Roush (TV Insider/TV Guide Magazine*), Michael Schneider (Variety), Alan Sepinwall (Rolling Stone), Amanda Spears (AwardsWatch), Michael Starr (New York Post), Brian Steinberg (Variety), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com*), Anne Thompson (Indiewire*), Will Thorne (Variety), Ben Travers (Indiewire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone*), Ken Tucker (Yahoo*), Danielle Turchiano (Variety), Kristi Turnquist (The Oregonian), Emily VanDerWerff (Vox*), Vanity Fair staff (Vanity Fair), Adam B. Vary (Variety), Jordan Walker (Awards Daily), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times), and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

* Predictions made all or in part at goldderby.com (updated as of September 19, 2020).
Note that many experts did not make predictions in every category. Click on any link above to view individual predictions.

After the ceremony

Check our site again late Sunday night after the Emmy ceremony for reviews of the telecast from a selection of professional TV critics. We'll also reveal which experts and users had the most accurate predictions this year.

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