2024 Emmys Lead Actor Drama Predictions

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Emmys: Lead Actor (Drama) – Will Gary Oldman Get His Second Nom 23 Years After His Guest Acting Work on ‘Friends?’
Emmys: Lead Actor (Drama) – Will Gary Oldman Get His Second Nom 23 Years After His Guest Acting Work on ‘Friends?’

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:


2024 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

The Crown Dominic West
The Crown Dominic West

Weekly Commentary (Updated: April 24, 2024): Will Donald Glover, as John Smith in Amazon Prime Video’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” secure Emmy recognition?

Glover, a versatile talent in acting, writing, producing, and music, has left a significant mark on television, notably with his acclaimed series “Atlanta.” There, he bagged two Emmys in 2017 for lead comedy actor and directing. An 11-time Emmy nominee, his latest nom was for writing the limited series “Swarm” with Janine Nabers. With Amazon’s robust campaign and the current state of the drama field, Glover might land his first drama series nomination.

The competition, though not crowded with frontrunners, includes notable contenders.

Other actors from freshman series entering the race alongside Glover include Nathan Fielder from Showtime’s black dramedy “The Curse,” Colin Farrell headlining Apple’s genre-bending “Sugar” and possibly Walton Goggins from the Amazon’s video game adaptation “Fallout,” contingent on category choice.

Veteran actors from longstanding shows are also vying for recognition. Dominic West, portraying Charles, the Prince of Wales in “The Crown’s” final season, aims for his first Emmy nod, despite acclaimed roles in “The Wire” and “The Affair.” With “The Crown” concluding in December 2023, this year represents the TV Academy’s last chance to nominate him.

Gary Oldman, star of Apple’s “Slow Horses,” is in a strong position to earn his inaugural Emmy nod for his role as Jackson Lamb. Although Oldman won an Oscar for “Darkest Hour,” his Emmy nominations are sparse, with just one for a guest role in “Friends.”

Others hoping for Emmy acknowledgment include Morgan Spector from “The Gilded Age,” having a successful second season, and Tom Hiddleston from “Loki,” who stands as the Marvel actor with the highest Emmy prospects this season. Variety will present Hiddleston with the Variety Virtuoso Award at the Miami Film Festival on Tuesday, April 9 for his career achievements across film, theater and television.

The dynamic nature of the awards season means that new developments can emerge, influencing the race for noms (and wins).

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

And the Predicted Nominees Are




Gary Oldman — “Slow Horses” (Apple TV+)


Dominic West — “The Crown” (Netflix)


Walton Goggins — “Fallout” (Prime Video)


Tom Hiddleston — “Loki” (Disney+)


Donald Glover — “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)


Nathan Fielder — “The Curse” (Showtime)

Next in Line




Morgan Spector — “The Gilded Age” (Max)


Colin Farrell — “Sugar” (Apple TV+)


John C. Reilly — “Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (Max)


Ben Mendelsohn — “The New Look” (Apple TV+)

Also In Contention




John Leguizamo — “The Green Veil” (The Network)


Idris Elba — “Hijack” (Apple TV+)


Quincy Isaiah — “Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (Max)


Ramón Rodríguez — “Will Trent” (ABC)


Freddie Highmore — “The Good Doctor” (ABC)


Zahn McClarnon — “Dark Winds” (AMC)


Omar Sy — “Lupin” (Netflix)


Timothy Olyphant — “Justified: City Primeval” (FX)


Paul Giamatti — “Billions” (Showtime)


Iñaki Godoy — “One Piece” (Netflix)

Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actor)

Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actor)
Eligible Performances (Lead Drama Actor)

**The list below is not complete and have been confirmed as officially submitted. All information is subject to change. Grouped by network that airs each series.

  • Peter Krause — “9-1-1” (ABC)

  • Freddie Highmore — “The Good Doctor” (ABC)

  • Ramón Rodríguez — “Will Trent” (ABC)

  • Jacob Anderson — “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” (AMC)

  • Zahn McClarnon — “Dark Winds” (AMC)

  • Giancarlo Esposito — “Parish” (AMC)

  • Norman Reedus — “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” (AMC)

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan — “The Walking Dead: Dead City” (AMC)

  • Lakeith Stanfield — “The Changeling” (Apple TV+)

  • Joel Edgerton — “Dark Matter” (Apple TV+)

  • Jared Harris — “Foundation” (Apple TV+)

  • Idris Elba — “Hijack” (Apple TV+)

  • Ben Mendelsohn — “The New Look” (Apple TV+)

  • Kurt Russell — “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” (Apple TV+)

  • Gary Oldman — “Slow Horses” (Apple TV+)

  • Colin Farrell — “Sugar” (Apple TV+)

  • Ncuty Gatwa — “Doctor Who” (BBC One)

  • Tom Selleck — “Blue Bloods” (CBS)

  • Justin Hartley — “Tracker” (CBS)

  • Jared Padalecki — “Walker” (The CW)

  • Tom Hiddleston — “Loki” (Disney+)

  • Timothy Olyphant — “Justified: City Primeval” (FX)

  • J. D. Pardo — “Mayans M.C.” (FX)

  • Damson Idris — “Snowfall” (FX)

  • Titus Welliver — “Bosch: Legacy” (Freevee)

  • Morgan Spector — “The Gilded Age” (Max)

  • Jamie Dornan — “The Tourist” (Max)

  • Ansel Elgort — “Tokyo Vice” (Max)

  • Andrew Koji — “Warrior” (Max)

  • Quincy Isaiah — “Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (Max)

  • John C. Reilly — “Winning Time: Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (Max)

  • Forest Whitaker — “Godfather of Harlem” (MGM+)

  • Iain De Caestecker — “The Winter King” (MGM+)

  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar — “Found” (NBC)

  • Jesse L. Martin — “The Irrational” (NBC)

  • Ryan Eggold — “New Amsterdam” (NBC)

  • Raymond Lee — “Quantum Leap” (NBC)

  • Gordon Cormier — “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Netflix)

  • Dominic West — “The Crown” (Netflix)

  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo — “The Lincoln Lawyer” (Netflix)

  • Omar Sy — “Lupin” (Netflix)

  • Iñaki Godoy — “One Piece” (Netflix)

  • Henry Cavill — “The Witcher” (Netflix)

  • John Leguizamo — “The Green Veil” (The Network)

  • Pablo Schreiber — “Halo” (Paramount+)

  • Anson Mount — “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (Paramount+)

  • Édgar Ramírez — “Dr. Death” (Peacock)

  • Walton Goggins — “Fallout” (Prime Video)

  • Donald Glover — “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)

  • Josh Brolin — “Outer Range” (Prime Video)

  • Alan Ritchson — “Reacher” (Prime Video)

  • John Krasinski — “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Prime Video)

  • Paul Giamatti — “Billions” Showtime)

  • Nathan Felder — “The Curse” (Showtime)

  • Daryl McCormack — “The Woman in the Wall” (Showtime)

  • Sam Heughan — “Outlander” (Starz)

  • Joseph Sikora — “Power Book IV: Force” (Starz)

  • Zackary Arthur — “Chucky” (Syfy)

  • Brad Dourif — “Chucky” (Syfy)

More Information (Lead Drama Actor)

More Information (Lead Drama Actor)
More Information (Lead Drama Actor)

2023 category winner: Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy — “Succession” (HBO) — Season 4

2024 Emmy Awards Calendar and Timeline (all dates are subject to change)

  • Eligibility period: June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024

  • Feb. 29: Submissions open

  • May 9: Deadline for programs that identify as Primetime programming to upload all entry materials.

  • June 13: Nominations-round voting begins

  • June 24: Nominations-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PT

  • June 28 – July 8: Voting for peer group-specific top ten rounds panels (if applicable)

  • July 17: Primetime Emmy nominations are announced.

  • July 24: Deadline for errors and omissions to the nominations.

  • August 5: Find-round videos available for viewing.

  • August 15: Final-round voting begins.

  • August 26: Final-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PST.

  • Sept. 7-8: Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Governors Gala

  • Sunday, Sept. 15: 76th Primetime Emmy Awards to air on ABC.

Emmy Awards Predictions




Drama Series

Comedy Series

Limited or Anthology Series

Lead Actor (Drama)

Lead Actor (Comedy)

Lead Actor (Limited, Movie)

Lead Actress (Drama)

Lead Actress (Comedy)

Lead Actress (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actor (Drama)

Supporting Actor (Comedy)

Supporting Actor (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actress (Drama)

Supporting Actress (Comedy)

Supporting Actress (Limited, Movie)

Directing (Drama)

Directing (Comedy)

Directing (Limited, Movie)

Writing (Drama)

Writing (Comedy)

Writing (Limited, Movie)

Guest Actor (Drama)

Guest Actor (Comedy)

Television Movie

Guest Actress (Drama)

Guest Actress (Comedy)

Casting (Limited, Movie)

Casting (Drama)

Casting (Comedy)

Other Awards Predictions

Talk Series

Reality Competition Program

Animated Program

Scripted Variety

Game Show

Character Voice-Over Performance

Variety Special (Live)

Host for a Reality or Competition Program


Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

Structured Reality

Documentary (Series)

Directing (Series, Special)

Unstructured Reality

Documentary (Special)

Writing (Series, Special)

Directing (Reality Program)

Hosted Nonfiction (Series or Special)

Music (Limited, Movie, Special, Series, Documentary, Direction, Theme Music, Lyrics, Supervision)

Main Title Design

Writing (Nonfiction)

Short Form Series

Short Form (Actor/Actress)

Exceptional Merit

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, commonly known as the Emmys, are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Established in 1949, these celebrate outstanding achievements in American primetime television. The Emmys are categorized into three divisions: the Primetime Emmy Awards for performance and production excellence, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards recognizing achievements in artistry and craftsmanship, and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards, which honor significant engineering and technological advancements. The eligibility period typically extends from June 1 to May 31 each year. The Television Academy, which hosts the Emmys, consists of over 20,000 members across 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans and executives.

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