ByD.C. Fenoff, writer at
Writer. Adult-ish. Oh, And I Really Like Crossword Puzzles. Twitter: OaODCFenoff
D.C. Fenoff

The 2017 Emmy nominations will be rolling out on Thursday, July 13th. There's no telling how the daunting evening is going to play out; this year it's Oscar winners and nominees galore (such as Robert De Niro, Reese Witherspoon, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Dern and Jessica Lange) going head to head with TV's most famous faces for that sweet, sweet Emmy gold.

Below, we'll tackle each major category for the upcoming broadcast, weigh in on who's most likely to take the gold, and pay respect to those who should be included but likely won't be.

Drama Series

  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • Westworld (HBO)
  • The Leftovers (HBO)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
  • This Is Us (NBC)

Most Likely Winner: Though most voters might assume the win will go to Netflix's celebrated new series, The Crown or Hulu's genre-defining, politically timely The Handmaid's Tale, I don't think it's safe to assume they will definitively beat out HBO's Westworld, which may come out as the surprise winner.

Deserving Long Shot: FOX's Gotham, though off to a rocky start, has definitely managed to come into its own — separating itself from the many, many superhero-themed series on TV today.

Best Actor - Drama

  • Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Caul Saul
  • Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
  • Justin Theroux, The Leftovers
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
  • Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Most Likely Winner: The best bet is to go with Sterling K. Brown, who's been churning that Emmy butter since his mesmerizing performance in American Crime Story.

Deserving Long Shot: Again with FOX's , Ben McKenzie has put out a fantastic performance as Jim Gordon.

Best Actress - Drama

  • Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
  • Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
  • Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Claire Foy, The Crown

Most Likely Winner: It's a really difficult decision, but will likely come down to Carrie Coon, Evan Rachel Wood and Claire Foy.

Deserving Long Shot: Lana Parrilla. ABC's Once Upon A Time really isn't known for many nominations outside of the People's Choice Awards. But Parrilla has showcased both incredible Emmy-worthy talent and beautifully orchestrated character development.

Best Supporting Actor - Drama

  • Michael McKean, Better Caul Saul
  • John Lithgow, The Crown
  • Jared Harris, The Crown
  • Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
  • Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

Most Likely Winner: This one is quite a bit easier to pick out an obvious favorite. John Lithgow's transformation into Winston Churchill was phenomenal to watch. Though I also wouldn't count out Jeffrey Wright to steal the spot.

Deserving Long Shot: Marshala Ali, Luke Cage. As his Oscar win for Moonlight proved, he's demonstrated his ability to captivate audiences — but a Marvel Netflix series probably isn't the stuff of Emmy nominations.

Best Supporting Actress - Drama

  • Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
  • Thandie Newton, Westworld
  • Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
  • Amy Brenneman, The Leftovers
  • Vanessa Kirby, The Crown

Most Likely Winner: I'm going to have to go with Thandie Newton. She was the obvious scene-stealer from Westworld. Simply amazing. Vanessa Kirby is in for a super close second pick.

Deserving Long Shot: Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead. This show isn't shown much Emmy love, a fact well known to its many fans. But if the day should come when that changes, Gurira's badass performance of Michonne should be the one standing at the ready.

Comedy Series

  • Veep (HBO)
  • Atlanta (FX)
  • Black-ish (ABC)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • Silicon Valley (HBO)
  • Master Of None (Netflix)

Most Likely Winner: It's hard to bet against Veep taking the win once again. The series might as well start manufacturing their own Emmys.

Deserving Long Shot: The Detour (TBS). This show has to be one of the funniest programs on TV. With the combination of incredible talent from Samantha Bee and her husband Jason Jones, it really deserves far more recognition.

Best Actress - Comedy

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
  • Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Most Likely Winner: This could go either way between Dreyfus and Tomlin. I wouldn't bet too hard against Dreyfus, but Tomlin is coming in pretty strong to this year's show.

Deserving Long Shot: Tig Notaro, One Mississippi. This dramedy almost falls more into the drama category than comedy, but Notaro's comedic chops and dry humor should never be ignored.

Best Actor - Comedy

  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
  • Donald Glover, Atlanta
  • Aziz Ansari, Master Of None
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Hank Azaria, Brockmire
  • Bruce Campbell, Ash vs. Evil Dead

Most Likely Winner: Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has been catching the eyes of Emmy voters ever since the show began, but he may have some stiff competition this year from Brockmire's Hank Azaria.

Deserving Long Shot: Andrew Overdahl, Those Who Can't. His plucky comic character is a radical difference from his co-stars on this TBS sitcom. He always manages to stur up laughs with his innocent and delightful disposition.

Best Supporting Actress - Comedy

  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Judith Light, Transparent
  • Carol Kane, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Most Likely Winner: If there's any justice in the world, it'll either be Carol Kane or Kate McKinnon. However, the strongest bet is with Judith Light, I wager.

Deserving Long Shot: Lucy Lawless, Ash vs. Evil Dead. This has to be one of the most underrated comedic performances on TV right now. I can't believe she's gone this long without a nomination for what is truly some of her best work.

Best Supporting Actor - Comedy

  • Tony Hale, Veep
  • Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
  • Louie Anderson, Baskets
  • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta

Most Likely Winner: My bet is on Alec Baldwin; his Donald Trump impersonation has become one of the most memorable series of skits the series has or will ever produce.

Deserving Long Shot: Colin Mochrie, Whose Line Is It Anyway? This man's impeccable comedic improv skills are unparalleled. He's been deserving of a nom for many, many years now. Along with his co-star, Ryan Stiles.

Limited Series

  • Feud: Bette And Joan (FX)
  • Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Fargo (FX)
  • The Night Of (HBO)
  • The Missing (Starz)

Most Likely Winner: This has to be one of the most difficult categories here. There's so much talent in these programs. Best guess is Feud: Bette And Joan. Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon's spot-on portrayals of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford — and their tempestuous relationship — just can't be beat here.

Deserving Long Shot: When We Rise (ABC). It should be on the list, but it isn't. So much talent this year has left this series in the dark. A real pity, if you ask me.

TV Movie

  • The Wizard Of Lies (HBO)
  • The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks (HBO)
  • Sherlock: The Lying Detective (BBC America)
  • Churchill's Secret (PBS)
  • Black Mirror (Netflix)

Most Likely Winner: HBO appears to have this category as a deadlock for the win. If The Wizard Of Lies doesn't take the gold, you can bet Henrietta Lacks will.

Deserving Long Shot: Looking: The Movie. Fans of the series loved, loved, loved this film. It was one of HBO's better projects based on one of their shows. It really should be thrown a bone here.

Best Actress - TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette And Joan
  • Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette And Joan
  • Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Roanoke
  • Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
  • Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Most Likely Winner: This one is super tough. I don't know if the Emmys have ever had this much unpredictability in a category before. This one may just be Sarandon's to lose. Kidman and Witherspoon should also be considered heavy hitters. It will come down to those three Oscar-winners.

Deserving Long Shot: Kathy Bates's performance in the latest chapter was both terrifying and hysterical. It's a shame we likely won't see her join her co-star on the nominees list.

Best Actor - TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Jude Law, The Young Pope
  • Robert De Niro, The Wizard Of Lies
  • Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
  • Ewan McGregor, Fargo

Most Likely Winner: De Niro and Riz Ahmed will go head to head in this battle. The likely winner though will be Ahmed; his performance and series were a bit more well-recieved than De Niro's Bernie Madoff story.

Deserving Long Shot: Geoffrey Rush, Genius. While the series may not have been one of the most-watched programs, it did provide us with one helluva performance from Rush as Albert Einstein.

Best Supporting Actor - TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
  • Martin Freeman, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
  • Hank Azaria, The Wizard Of Lies
  • Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette And Joan
  • Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette And Joan

Most Likely Winner: Tough battle between Azaria and Tucci. Voters may also lean a bit towards Molina as he had the more compassionate and empathetic role in the miniseries.

Deserving Long Shot: Michael K. Williams, When We Rise. Quite the step from The Wire to this ABC miniseries and so deserving of some Emmy love.

Best Supporting Actress - TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Fargo
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard Of Lies
  • Judy Davis, Feud: Bette And Joan
  • Regina King, American Crime

Most Likely Winner: It's down to the two coming in from HBO: Laura Dern and Michelle Pfeiffer. Both deserving, both incredible, both multiple Oscar-nominees. I think it really should go to Pfeiffer; her career is on the way to a fantastic comeback, but she's earned this having been snubbed by the Oscars twice.

Deserving Long Shot: Anna Paquin for Roots.

Talk Show

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Most Likely Winner: Please let it be Samantha Bee. No offense to the men here, but she takes the cake and mops the floor with you guys on a weekly basis.

Deserving Long Shot: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. It's been really hard for the Comedy Central series to pick up more Emmy love since the departure of Jon Stewart. That's not likely to change this year.

Sketch Show

  • Saturday Night Live (NBC)
  • Billy On The Street (truTV)
  • Portlandia (IFC)
  • Documentary Now (IFC)
  • Drunk History (Comedy Central)

Most Likely Winner: SNL, for sure. It's had one of its best seasons yet and I don't think anything will be standing in the way of this juggernaut come Emmy night.

Deserving Long Shot: Whose Line Is It Anyway? The CW brought back this comedy favorite and viewers have never been happier. It's a true gem, always passed over for the big boys of primetime TV.

The 2017 Emmys will air on Sunday, September 17, 2017 on CBS. Who's on your dream ballot? And who do you think is most likely to take home the gold on September 17?


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