Emmy Predictions: Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie – Can ‘Small Axe’ Score Two Supporting Actor Noms?

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON

2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES

UPDATED: June 3, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: “Star Wars” star John Boyega has confidently added layers to his acting resume over the years and his work as Leroy Logan in “Red, White and Blue” from Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” series is a tour-de-force, leaving any doubt that he is the future of this industry. With a boost from a Globe win, he could be the leading option of the five-film limited series that has a smorgasbord of talent.

It’s been heavily agreed that “Mangrove,” the first entry of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” is the best of the five-film limited series, feeling the most cinematic and layered narrative structure. Shaun Parkes as Frank Crichlow delivers purity in his portrayal, and with his counterpart Letitia Wright likely one of the favorites in supporting actress, he could sneak in alongside her.

Veteran actor Donald Sutherland has had his dance with the Emmys before, winning supporting actor miniseries in 1995 for “Citizen X.” A standout of the HBO limited series, he brought the quintessential stature that has made him integral in the Hollywood industry. While his co-stars Édgar Ramírez and Noah Jupe could siphon some votes; he could garner enough support.

A pillar for Black cinema and audiences, the Emmy-winning actor is off a year that included a standout role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and now he’s jumping into the FX’s hit anthology series “Fargo” as Doctor Senator, the consigliere to the African American crime syndicate Cannon Limited. The TV Academy loves recognizing a veteran.

The Emmys finally recognized the greatness of Courtney B. Vance in 2016 for his work as Johnnie Cochran in “American Crime Story.” Back in the hunt as C.L. Franklin for National Geographic’s “Genius: Aretha,” his reputation and reverence in the industry could bring him into the fold for an afterglow nomination that no one will seem to mind.

The eligibility period ends on May 31 before nomination-round voting begins on June 17, concluding on June 28. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, 2021.

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Bill Camp
    "The Queen's Gambit" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Mr. Shaibel

    CREATOR: Scott Frank, Allan Scott
    SYNOPSIS: Orphaned at the tender age of nine, prodigious introvert Beth Harmon discovers and masters the game of chess in 1960s USA. But child stardom comes at a price.
    STARRING: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Isla Johnston, Christiane Seidel, Rebecca Root, Chloe Pirrie, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling, Patrick Kennedy, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Marcin Dorociński

  2. John Boyega
    "Small Axe" (Amazon Prime Video)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Leroy Logan

    CREATOR: Steve McQueen
    SYNOPSIS: "Small Axe" is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.
    STARRING: Letitia Wright, John Boyega, Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, Rochenda Sandall, Alex Jennings, Jack Lowden, Micheal Ward

  3. Chase W. Dillon
    "The Underground Railroad" (Amazon Prime Video)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Homer

    CREATOR: Barry Jenkins
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman named Cora makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in the deep south.
    STARRING: Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Aaron Pierre, Joel Edgerton

  4. Daveed Diggs
    "Hamilton" (Disney Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson

    CREATOR: Lin-Manuel Miranda (book), Thomas Kail (director)
    SYNOPSIS: The real life of one of America's foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Captured live on Broadway from the Richard Rodgers Theater with the original Broadway cast.
    STARRING: Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo

  5. Donald Sutherland
    "The Undoing" (HBO)


    EMMY HISTORY: Two nominations, one win (supporting limited series/TV movie actor for "Citizen X" in 1995)
    ROLE: Franklin Reinhardt

    CREATOR: David E. Kelley
    SYNOPSIS: A modern twist to a classical "whodunnit" tale, when the life of a wealthy New York therapist turns upside down after she and her family get involved with a murder case.
    STARRING: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Édgar Ramírez, Noah Jupe, Lily Rabe, Matilda De Angelis, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Edan Alexander, Michael Devine, Donald Sutherland

  6. William Jackson Harper
    "The Underground Railroad" (Amazon Prime Video)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Royal

    CREATOR: Barry Jenkins
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman named Cora makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in the deep south.
    STARRING: Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Aaron Pierre, Joel Edgerton

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. Brendan Gleeson
    "The Comey Rule" (Showtime)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination, one win (lead limited series/TV movie actor for "Into the Storm" in 2009)
    ROLE: Donald Trump

    CREATOR: Billy Ray
    SYNOPSIS: Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson star as former FBI Dir. James Comey and President Donald J. Trump in this limited series of the story of two powerful men, whose strikingly different ethics and loyalties put them on a collision course.
    STARRING: Jeff Daniels, Holly Hunter, Michael Kelly, Jennifer Ehle, Scoot McNairy, Jonathan Banks, Oona Chaplin, Amy Seimetz, Steven Pasquale, Brendan Gleeson

  2. Courtney B. Vance
    "Genius: Aretha" (National Geographic)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination, one win (lead limited series/TV movie actor for "The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story" in 2016)
    ROLE: Johnnie Cochran

    CREATOR: Suzi-Lori Parks
    SYNOPSIS: The life stories of history's greatest minds. From their days as young adults to their final years we see their discoveries, loves, relationships, causes, flaws and genius.
    STARRING: Cynthia Erivo, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Rebecca Naomi Jones, David Cross, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Shaian Jordan, Courtney B. Vance

  3. Shaun Parkes
    "Small Axe" (Amazon Prime Video)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Frank Crichlow

    CREATOR: Steve McQueen
    SYNOPSIS: "Small Axe" is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.
    STARRING: Letitia Wright, John Boyega, Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, Rochenda Sandall, Alex Jennings, Jack Lowden, Micheal Ward

  4. Glynn Turman
    "Fargo" (FX)


    EMMY HISTORY: Two nominations, one win (guest drama actor for "In Treatment" in 2008)
    ROLE: Doctor Senator

    CREATOR: Noah Hawley
    SYNOPSIS: Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
    STARRING: Chris Rock, Jessie Buckley, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Jack Huston, Salvatore Esposito, E'myri Crutchfield, Andrew Bird, Anji White, Jeremie Harris, Matthew Elam, Corey Hendrix, James Vincent Meredith, Francesco Acquaroli

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Supporting Actor in a Limited Series)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television's most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: The rules for this category has changed many times over the years, but as it stands, Beau Bridges is the only actor ever to win this race more than once - "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom" (1993) and "The Second Civil War" (1997).

For nominations: The late Brian Dennehy is the most nominated actor in this category with four nods, followed by Beau Bridges, John Gielgud, John Malkovich, Joe Mantegna and Michael K. Williams with three apiece.

2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, is given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards recognize 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 73rd Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 pm est on CBS and on-demand on sister streamer Paramount Plus.

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