Emmy Predictions: No Sweeps as ‘Succession,’ ‘Squid Game,’ ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Abbott Elementary’ Battle It Out

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The Primetime Emmy Awards are coming, but this year you can leave the brooms at home.

True, the Emmys are coming off two consecutive years of sweeps. In 2020, the final season of “Schitt’s Creek” won all four comedy acting categories plus writing, directing and Outstanding Comedy Series, the first series to ever go 7-for-7 in its field. And last year, “The Crown” did the same thing in the drama-series categories, becoming the first drama to ever sweep all its top categories.

Especially in recent years, voters in the Television Academy have shown a curious tunnel vision in their choices, giving nominations and awards to the same shows over and over. This year’s nominations were no exception, with HBO’s “Succession” landing a record 14 acting nominations and shows like Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” and HBO’s “The White Lotus” also piling up the noms.

Also Read:
Creative Arts Emmys: ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Euphoria’ and ‘The White Lotus’ Among Big Winners on Night 2

But when it comes to the awards that’ll be handed out this Monday night, genre sweeps are impossible because there’s not a single drama, comedy or limited series nominated in all seven top categories. “Succession,” the odds-on favorite in drama, is missing a lead actress nomination; “Ted Lasso,” the reigning champ in comedy, is similarly missing lead actress; and “The White Lotus,” the most honored limited series, only has acting contenders in the supporting categories.

So voters will have no choice but to spread the love this year. As a result, “Succession” could find itself in a battle with Netflix’s Korean sensation “Squid Game,” “Ted Lasso” will be up against the formidable first-year comedies “Abbott Elementary” from ABC and “Only Murders in the Building” from Hulu — while “The White Lotus” can’t sweep aside Hulu’s “Dopesick.”

Here are our best guesses as to which shows and people will emerge triumphant on Emmy night, with the caveat that the Emmys almost always throw in a handful of real surprises.

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
“Abbott Elementary”
“Barry”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“Hacks”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Only Murders in the Building”
“Ted Lasso”   
“What We Do in the Shadows”

“Ted Lasso” won last year; “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a past winner; “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Barry,” “Hacks” and “What We Do in the Shadows” have been here before; and “Abbott Elementary” and “Only Murders in the Building” were the cream of a very strong freshman class. You’d think the favorite would have to be the reigning champ, even if its second season wasn’t quite as much of an across-the-board favorite as its first – but Quinta Brunson’s “Abbott Elementary” could get a boost from the Television Academy’s old guard because it brought a broadcast network, ABC, back to a category that has been the province of cable and streaming for years. “Abbot” also won an award at the Creative Arts Emmys, which “Ted Lasso” did not do. (And “Only Murders in the Building” and “Barry” each won three.)

Overall, though, “Ted Lasso” received 20 nominations, while “Abbott Elementary” got seven. It seems as if “Abbott” has a lot of momentum, but that’s a big gap to cover.

Predicted winner: “Ted Lasso”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Bill Hader, “Barry”  
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”  
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Four of the last five winners in this category are nominated again this year: Donald Glover, who won in 2017; Bill Hader, who did it in 2018 and 2019; and Jason Sudeikis, who took the prize last year. If the defending champ is to repeat, his strongest competition is probably Hader – although we shouldn’t underestimate the popularity of “Only Murders in the Building” and Steve Martin, who has been talking about retirement lately (is that his version of campaigning?) and who could accomplish the remarkable feat of winning his second Emmy a full 53 years after he won his first, which came for his writing on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1969.

Predicted winner: Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Quinta Brunson, “Abbot Elementary”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Elle Fanning, “The Great”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Jean Smart, “Hacks”

Jean Smart was an extremely popular winner last year for the first season of “Hacks,” and she had such a strong second season that she’s probably the favorite once again. But the popularity and significance of “Abbott Elementary,” and the urge to recognize its creator, producer, writer and star Quinta Brunson, might make this the best category in which to recognize her achievement. In a very close race, we’re going for the beloved newcomer over the beloved vet.

Predicted winner: Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”
Toheeb Jimoh, “Ted Lasso”
Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso”      
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Tyler James Williams, “Abbott Elementary”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”    
Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live”

Of the four “Ted Lasso” nominees in this category last year, it was clear that Brett Goldstein was the one attracting most of the attention, and he won. The show has three this year, and Nick Mohammed had Season’s 2 key arc and Toheeb Jimoh many of its most affecting moments. But Goldstein is still the scene-stealing Roy Freakin’ Kent, so he probably has an edge over his castmates.

Outside of the “Lasso” crew, meanwhile, the strongest contender is likely past winner Henry Winkler for a season of “Barry” in which his Gene Cousineau played an enormously important role. It’s a showdown between the acting teacher and the soccer coach.

Predicted winner: Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks”
Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Sarah Niles, “Ted Lasso”
Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary”
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

Last year, this category was a battle of the two Hannahs, with Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) winning over Hannah Einbinder (“Hacks”). This year, those two remain in the thick of it, but they’re facing a real challenge from a pair of actresses from “Abbott Elementary,” Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph. James’ character is such a hoot that she could take this, and Einbinder had a great season on “Hacks.” But Waddingham was at the center of a lot of the best moments in Season 2 of “Ted Lasso,” which ought to be enough for her to defend her crown.

Predicted winner: Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

barry-season-3-finale-bill-hader
“Barry” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
“Atlanta” – “New Jazz,” Hiro Murai
“Barry” – “710N,” Bill Hader
“Hacks” – “There Will Be Blood,” Lucia Aniello 
“The Ms. Pat Show” – “Baby Daddy Groundhog Day,” Mary Lou Belli
“Only Murders in the Building” – “The Boy from 6B,” Cherien Dabis
“Only Murders in the Building” – “True Crime,” Jamie Babbitt
“Ted Lasso” – “No Weddings and a Funeral,” MJ Delaney

In the only directing category where the majority of nominees are women, contenders include the most emotional episode of “Ted Lasso” and the most adventurous (and dialogue-free) one of “Only Murders in the Building.” But the ridiculous chase scene alone might be enough to put Bill Hader’s “710N” episode of “Barry” over the top.

Predicted winner: “Barry” – “710N,” Bill Hader

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Nominees:
“Abbott Elementary” – “Pilot,” Quinta Brunson
“Barry” – “710N,” Duffy Boudreau
“Barry” – “starting now,” Alec Berg and Bill Hader
“Hacks” – “The One, the Only,” Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky
“Only Murders in the Building” – “True Crime,” Steve Martin and John Hoffman
“Ted Lasso” – “No Weddings and a Funeral,” Jane Becker
“What We Do in the Shadows” – “The Casino,” Sarah Naftalis
“What We Do in the Shadows” – “The Wellness Center,” Stefani Robinson

This category feels as if it’s a good place to recognize a new show, which would mean either “Abbott Elementary” or “Only Murders in the Building.” The season finale of “Barry” (“starting now”) or the “No Weddings and a Funeral” episode of “Ted Lasso” are definitely in the running, but it makes sense that the affection for “Only Murders” that showed up in its three Creative Arts wins will surface somewhere at the Primetime Emmys, too.

Predicted winner: “Only Murders in the Building” – “True Crime,” Steve Martin and John Hoffman

Also Read:
Women Scored Only One-Third of Emmy Nominations in Non-Acting Categories This Year (Charts)

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
“Better Call Saul”
“Euphoria”
“Ozark”
“Severance”              
“Squid Game”           
“Stranger Things”
“Succession”                         
“Yellowjackets”

If there’s a consensus choice for The Best Show on Television these days, it’s pretty clearly “Succession.” Its second season cleaned up at the Emmys two years ago, and initial mutterings that maybe it’d lost a step in its third season were quieted as the season got stronger as it went along. And while it’s facing contenders that include the final season of “Ozark,” the first half of the final season of “Better Call Saul” and the strong newcomer “Severance,” there really seems to be only one series with a chance to score an upset in this category.

That would be “Squid Game,” which has already made history as the first non-English language series ever to be nominated for a top series award. Could the imaginative drama do what its fellow South Korean production “Parasite” did at the Oscars a couple of years ago, and win the big one? Yes, it could. (At the Creative Arts Emmys, it won four awards to one for “Succession.”) Still, it’s probably a stretch to think it’ll topple Logan Roy and crew. More likely, “Squid Game” will win in some other categories, and “Succession” will take the big one.

Predicted winner: “Succession”

Squid Game S1
Lee jung-jae in “Squid Game” (Netflix)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”                 
Brian Cox, “Succession”                              
Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”            
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”              
Adam Scott, “Severance”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

Bob Odenkirk, who’s almost always nominated but never wins, probably got a boost from the recently-aired final episodes of “Better Call Saul,” which ended its run to unanimous acclaim. But that final half-season is actually eligible for the Emmys next year; this year he’s up for the first half of the season, which may mean that voters can save their Odenkirk vote for next year if they want to recognize somebody else this year.

Of the other contenders, every one could plausibly win. Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox are obviously formidable contenders, and the award could go to either one of them. (Maybe Cox gets the edge because Strong won the last time “Succession” was eligible?) But during the SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards and guild awards early this year, it was hard not to notice the sheer enthusiasm in the rooms every time “Squid Game” won an award, particularly if that award went to its actors. Unless that enthusiasm has faded, which doesn’t seem likely, Lee Jung-jae could win this game, too.

Predicted winner: Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets”           
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”
Zendaya, “Euphoria”

“Euphoria” did unexpectedly well at the Creative Arts Emmys, reinforcing the fact that Zendaya has become the presumed front runner in a category she won two years ago (making her the category’s youngest-ever winner). It’s hard to bet against her, but we’re going to do just that – because just as the “Squid Game” actors were the toast of every awards show where they won last winter, so was “Yellowjackets” star Melanie Lynskey. The industry seems to be filled to the brim with people who, when you mention Lynskey’s name, say, “Oh, I love her!” And that just might be enough for her to squeeze out a victory here.

Predicted winner: Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
Nicholas Braun, “Succession”
Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Park Hae-soo, “Squid Game”
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
John Turturro, “Severance”
Christopher Walken, “Severance”
Oh Yeong-su, “Squid Game”

This category, which had more eligible actors (434) than any other category in Emmy history, is full of people competing against their co-stars: Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfayden from “Succession,” John Turturro and Christopher Walken for “Severance,” Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su for “Squid Game.” That leaves “The Morning Show” star Billy Crudup (who beat the same “Succession” trio two years ago) as the only nominee not vying with somebody else from his show, which might help him.

Still, Culkin probably has the best chance of standing out among the “Succession” nominees, as does Turturro for “Severance.” The real wild card might be 77-year-old Oh Yeong-su, whose performance as a dying old man might be the most moving thing about “Squid Game.”

Predicted winner: Oh Yeong-su, “Squid Game”

Rhea Seehorn in “Better Call Saul” (AMC)
Rhea Seehorn in “Better Call Saul” (AMC)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
Patricia Arquette, “Severance”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game”        
Christina Ricci, “Yellowjackets”
Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”
J. Smith-Cameron, “Succession”
Sarah Snook, “Succession” 
Sydney Sweeney, “Euphoria”

Is it time for Rhea Seehorn, who spent five seasons as the soul of “Better Call Saul” without even being nominated, to land an Emmy in her first nomination? It might well be, though this is another category where you could make a case for almost anybody, from two-time winner Julia Garner (“Ozark”) to double nominee Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”) to deliciously creepy Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets”) to soulful Jung Ho-yeon (“Squid Game”) and Patricia Arquette (“Severance”) to Sarah Snook and J. Smith-Cameron, both essential in “Succession.”

Even if voters are waiting for next year’s Emmys to give “Better Call Saul” its real parting gifts, it just might be too tempting not to give Seehorn an early prize.

Predicted winner: Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
“Ozark” – “A Hard Way to Go,” Jason Bateman
“Severance” – “The Way We Are,” Ben Stiller
“Squid Game” – “Red Light, Green Light,” Hwang Dong-hyuk
“Succession” – “All the Bells Say,” Mark Mylod
“Succession” – “The Disruption,” Cathy Yan
“Succession” – “Too Much Birthday,” Lorene Scafaria
“Yellowjackets” – “Pilot,” Karyn Kusama

The award for directing only matches the Outstanding Drama Series winner about half the time — and with three separate nominations potentially splitting the “Succession” vote, this seems to be a year when they won’t match. That means it could reward Jason Bateman for the final season of “Ozark,” or Karyn Kusama for the pilot of “Yellowjackets,” or, most likely, Ben Stiller for his stylish and dramatic work on “Severance.” But it’s also a good way to recognize the creator, writer and director of “Squid Game,” Hwang Dong-hyuk, who is responsible for the season’s one true sensation.

Predicted winner: Hwang Dong-hyuk, “Squid Game”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

Nominees:
“Better Call Saul” – “Plan and Execution,” Thomas Schnauz
“Ozark” – “A Hard Way to Go,” Chris Mundy
“Severance” – “The We We Are,” Dan Erickson
“Squid Game” – “One Lucky Day,” Hwang Dong-hyuk
“Succession” – “All the Bells Say,” Jesse Armstrong
“Yellowjackets” – “F Sharp,” Jonathan Lisco, Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson
“Yellowjackets” – “Pilot,” Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson

“Succession” has won in this category for both of its previous seasons, and it seems likely to continue that streak. But the series finale of “Ozark” could be a sleeper, as could “Severance.”

Predicted winner: “Succession” – “All the Bells Say,” Jesse Armstrong

Murray Bartlett, Steve Zahn, and Connie Britton "The White Lotus"
Murray Bartlett, Steve Zahn and Connie Britton “The White Lotus” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES

Nominees:
“Dopesick”    
“The Dropout”
“Inventing Anna”
“Pam & Tommy”
“The White Lotus”

The big question: Will the white-privilege satire of “The White Lotus” seem too slight compared to the unflinching examination of the opioid crisis in “Dopesick”? It might, but the 20 total nominations for “White Lotus,” compared to 14 for “Dopesick” and 10 or fewer for every other nominee in the category, suggest that it’s a solid favorite. So do the results from the Creative Arts Emmys, where “Dopesick” won one award and “The White Lotus” won five.

Predicted winner: “The White Lotus”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
Colin Firth, “The Staircase”
Andrew Garfield, “Under the Banner of Heaven”
Oscar Isaac, “Scenes from a Marriage”
Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”
Himesh Patel, “Station Eleven”                                         
Sebastian Stan, “Pam and Tommy”

Colin Firth, Andrew Garfield, Oscar Isaac, Michael Keaton … Is this the Emmys or the Oscars? Actually, it’s a sign that major actors don’t really care about those tired film vs. TV comparisons. Andrew Garfield has a real chance and Himesh Patel could provide a shock if “Dopesick” feels like old news more than a year after its premiere – but really, Michael Keaton has been winning awards ever since “Dopesick” became eligible for them, and it’s unlikely his streak will end at the Emmys.

Predicted winner: Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
Toni Collette, “The Staircase”
Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna”    
Lily James, “Pam and Tommy”                                                     
Sarah Paulson, “Impeachment: American Crime Story”          
Margaret Qualley, “Maid” 
Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”

Like Keaton, Amanda Seyfried has been a favorite ever since her show premiered. You can’t rule out longtime Emmy favorite Sarah Paulson or, really, any of the other nominees, but Seyfried’s performance as disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has maintained the kind of heat that none of her competitors have shown.

Predicted winner: Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus”
Jake Lacy, “The White Lotus”
Will Poulter, “Dopesick”
Seth Rogen, “Pam & Tommy”
Peter Sarsgaard, “Dopesick”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Dopesick”
Steve Zahn, “The White Lotus”

There’s a big question in the two limited-series supporting categories: Will voters who loved “The White Lotus” split the vote or focus on one nominee? In the supporting-actor category, the choices are three from “White Lotus” and three from “Dopesick,” plus Seth Rogen from “Pam and Tommy.” And while that presents a ripe opportunity for a Rogen upset, there’s a pretty good chance that “Lotus” lovers will coalesce around Murray Bartlett, who runs the onscreen resort and gets more juicy scenes than his fellow “Lotus” nominees.

Predicted winner: Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
Connie Britton, “The White Lotus”
Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”
Alexandra Daddario, “The White Lotus”
Kaitlyn Dever, “Dopesick” 
Natasha Rothwell, “The White Lotus”
Sydney Sweeney, “The White Lotus”
Mare Winningham, “Dopesick”

Supporting actress is even riskier for “The White Lotus,” because the category consists of two actresses from “Dopesick” and five (!) from “Lotus.” You’d think that math was tailor-made to hand the Emmy to Kaitlyn Dever for “Dopesick” – except that one of the six “Lotus” nominees is Jennifer Coolidge, who might even be more beloved than Melanie Lynskey.

Predicted winner: Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
“Dopesick” – “The People vs. Purdue Pharma,” Danny Strong
“The Dropout” – “Green Juice,” Michael Showalter
“The Dropout” – “Iron Sisters,” Francesca Gregorini
“Maid” – “Sky Blue,” John Wells
“Station Eleven” – “Wheel of Fire,” Hiro Murai
“The White Lotus” – entire series, Mike White

In a quirk of Emmy rules, the entire season of “The White Lotus” is going up against single episodes of “Dopesick,” “The Dropout,” “Maid” and “Station Eleven.” The last of those may get extra points for degree of difficulty – but like the Outstanding Limited Series category, this is probably down to “White Lotus” vs. “Dopesick.”

Predicted winner: Mike White, “The White Lotus”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOVIE

Nominees:
“Dopesick” – “The People vs. Purdue Pharma,” Danny Strong
“The Dropout” – “I’m in a Hurry,” Elizabeth Meriwether
“Impeachment: American Crime Story” – “Man Handled,” Sarah Burgess
“Maid” – “Snaps,” Molly Smith Metzler
“Station Eleven” – “Unbroken Circle,” Patrick Somerville
“The White Lotus” – entire series, Mike White

Again, the entire series of “The White Lotus” is up against individual episodes of the other nominees. The limited-series writing and directing Emmys have only matched three times in the last decade, but the writing typical goes to the cleverest nominee, which in this case probably means “The White Lotus,” and probably means a rare match.

Predicted winner: Mike White, “The White Lotus”

OUTSTANDING COMPETITION PROGRAM

Nominees:
“The Amazing Race”
“Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Girls”
“Nailed It!”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef” 
“The Voice”

Does it mean anything that “The Amazing Race” has won 10 Emmys in this category, more than twice as many as any other nominee? No, it doesn’t, because only one of those wins has come in the last decade. Voters here are creatures of habit, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has owned the category recently, with four wins in the last four years. Its biggest rival is probably the show that’s never been here before, “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” “Lizzo’s” has already become the first show to have its initial season nominated in the category since “Dancing With the Stars” in 2006, and it stands a real chance of pulling off an upset.

It’s interesting to note that Lizzo’s show beat RuPaul’s in two categories where they went head-to-head at the Creative Arts Emmys, directing and picture editing, but RuPaul’s won for production design and host, where Lizzo’s wasn’t nominated. The race is probably close, but it’s hard to bet against the show that’s on a streak.

Predicted winner: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES

Nominees:
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”     
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Again, voters are creatures of habit in the variety-talk category: five straight wins for “Late Night With David Letterman,” 10 straight for “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” and now six in a row for “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” Maybe it’s not fair to compare a guy who does one show a week with ones who do four or five a week, but the last time Oliver lost was also the last time Stewart was the host of “The Daily Show.”

Predicted winner: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

"Saturday Night Live" host Willem Dafoe as Belle’s father during the “Beauty and the Beast” sketch on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

Nominees:
“A Black Lady Sketch Show”
“Saturday Night Live”

“Saturday Night Live” has won more Emmys than any show in history. It’s definitely time for the Academy to figure out what to do with a category that has only had two nominees for the last two years, and it might also be time for “A Black Lady Sketch Show” to pull off a huge upset. But until voters show some sign that they’re ready to stop voting for “SNL,” there’s no reason to predict anything else.

Predicted winner: “Saturday Night Live”

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

Nominees:
“Ali Wong: Dong Wong,” Ali Wong
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Globe – Hungary for Democracy,” Ian Berger, Devin Delliquanti, Jennifer Flanz, Jordan Klepper, Zhubin Parang, Scott Sherman
“Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel,” Jerrod Carmichael
“Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo),” Nicole Byer
“Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special,” Norm Macdonald

In recent years, this category (which is often handed out on the Creative Arts Emmys rather than the primetime telecast) has mostly gone to specials by comedians, with Dave Chappelle, Hannah Gadsby, John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt and Bo Burnham all taking home awards. The sentimental choice would be the late Norm Macdonald for “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special,” but Emmy voters aren’t necessarily known for their sentiment. “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” is directed by last year’s winner, Burnham, and “Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo)” could honor a comic who was also nominated for hosting “Nailed It!”

Given the esteem with which Macdonald is held in the comic community, we’re thinking that sentiment might win out for once.

Predicted winner: “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special”