Emmy Predictions: Directing (Comedy Series) – Palestinian American Director Cherien Dabis Could Be the First Woman of Color to Win the Category

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

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UPDATED: August 11, 2022



Cherien Dabis, “The Boy From 6B” – “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)

For what many feel is the episode of the year, Dabis’ dialogue-free episode is a tour de force of directorial achievement heightened by the incredible performances from Deaf actor James Caverly and guest actor comedy nominee Nathan Lane. It’s hard to find a more worthy selection. Dabis already made history in this category becoming the first woman of Arabic descent ever nominated for directing, and the first Palestinian-American. If she wins, she would be the first woman of color ever to win in the directing comedy race in 74 years. What a feat.

Jamie Babbit, “True Crime” – “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)

The nominated pilot of the Hulu mystery series is one of the bright spots in all the lineups. With Steve Martin contending for lead actor comedy and writing, this only helps Babbitt be one of the leading contenders for her first Emmy. That is if she doesn’t vote split with her other nominated director.

Lucia Aniello, “There Will Be Blood” – “Hacks” (HBO Max)

Last year, Aniello walked away with the Emmy for helming the pilot episode of the HBO Max series. This year she’s back and could be a viable threat for back-to-back wins, which would be the first since Joey Soloway back in 2016 for “Transparent.”

MJ Delaney, “No Weddings and a Funeral” – “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

Learning once again you can never count out the power of the Apple TV+ hit, “Ted Lasso” looks to take home the directing trophy. Duplicating its exact nomination tally as last year, it’s a viable threat again.


Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

Mary Lou Belli, “Baby Daddy Groundhog Day” – “The Ms. Pat Show” (BET+)

If you were looking for a jaw-dropper in any of the directing categories, don’t look much further than Belli’s shocking inclusion for the BET+ series, “The Ms. Pat Show.” She’s a good indication that the TV Academy can still look outside the conventional contenders and find a gem among the other names.

Hiro Murai, “New Jazz” – “Atlanta” (FX)

Along with Murai’s nom for “Station Eleven” in limited series directing, the helmer landed one of the coveted Emmy spots in this category, although he faces really tough competition. The nom may be the reward, though.

Bill Hader, “710N” – “Barry” (HBO)

Hader has been nominated for an astounding 25 Emmys, winning multiple awards for his work as Barry Berkman on the HBO black comedy series for acting. However, he’s yet to win a trophy for directing. Could this be his moment to finally gain recognition behind the camera?

The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Oscars Predictions Hub

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

2021 category winner: Lucia Aniello for the episode “There Is No Line” from “Hacks” (HBO Max)


. - Credit: Courtesy Mary Lou Belli
. - Credit: Courtesy Mary Lou Belli

Courtesy Mary Lou Belli

And The Nominees Are:






“Only Murders in the Building”


Cherien Dabis

Episode submission: “The Boy from 6B”




Lucia Aniello

Episode submission: “There Will Be Blood”


“Only Murders in the Building”


Jamie Babbit

Episode submission: “True Crime”


“Ted Lasso”

Apple TV+

MJ Delaney

Episode submission: “No Weddings and a Funeral”


“The Ms. Pat Show”


Mary Lou Belli

Episode submission: “Baby Daddy Groundog Day”




Hiro Murai

Episode submission: “New Jazz”




Bill Hader

Episode submission: “710N”

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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