Emmy Awards Predictions

Story posted September 20, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Jimmy Lu, Jack Freiser and Courtney McGinley.

* Nominees in italics are predicted to win while nominees in bold are believed to deserve the win in its category.


Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

“Dead to Me” (Netflix)

“The Good Place” (NBC)

“Insecure” (HBO)

“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video)

“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop TV)

“What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)

Should win: “Dead to Me” should take home the Emmy this year because of its cliff hanging, eerie performance. There were so many shocking revelations and scandals that kept viewers on the edge of their seat. Not only does this show have a mystery element but it also depicts a bond between two friends through the tragic events of life.

Will win: With “Schitt’s Creek” on its final season, it is a no brainer that it will win this year’s Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. The comedic performance by the cast has made it the beloved, critically acclaimed sitcom it is today. — Courtney McGinley



“Better Call Saul” (AMC)

“The Crown” (Netflix)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

“Killing Eve” (BBC America)

“The Mandalorian” (Disney+)

“Ozark” (Netflix)

“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

“Succession” (HBO)

Should win: “Killing Eve” has become one of the most critically acclaimed shows in recent years created by the mastermind behind “Fleabag,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The fresh take on the spy drama matched with Waller-Bridge’s signature wit and the outstanding performances by Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh is the reason why the show continues to be the most unique espionage thrillers out there.

Will win: Despite losing to “Game of Thrones” last year, the HBO show “Succession” will likely take home the Emmy this year for Outstanding Drama Series. The show’s second season returns with its dark humor, sharp writing and exceptional performances from the cast. With many critics praising this season to be even better than the first, it’s likely that “Succession” will walk away with a trophy. — Jimmy Lu



“Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)

“Mrs. America” (FX)

“Unbelievable” (Netflix)

“Unorthodox” (Netflix)

“Watchmen” (HBO)

Should win: “Little Fires Everywhere” takes viewers back to the 90s for this emotional, chilling story between two families who live in a small Ohio town. The strong female leads bring to light issues of social class, race and mother-daughter relationships. The fiery, unfiltered characters lure audiences in to find out the events that lead to the tragedy in Shaker Heights that is why it should take home the Emmy.

Will win: HBO’s “Watchmen” earned a whopping 26 nominations for this year’s Emmys. It will win this category for its chilling depiction of a white sepremacist attack. This show exemplifies overcoming racism after decades of fighting. It also depicts a love story, dark humor and is full of astonishing cliff-hangers. — Courtney McGinley



Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”

Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”

Ted Danson, “The Good Place”

Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”

Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Should win: Although there were many amazing comedic performances, Ted Danson’s role as Michael was the clear standout. Danson has been nominated, but has never won for best actor in a comedy for “The Good Place.” This is the last season of the critically acclaimed show and Danson deserves to be recognized for his stellar work.

Will win: Similar to “The Good Place,” this is the last season of “Schitt’s Creek” and Eugene Levy will most likely be recognized for six seasons worth of pure comedic genius. This is only his second time being nominated, and the second time will most likely be the charm. However, also don’t be surprised to see Ramy Youssef on that stage for his work on “Ramy.” — Jack Freiser



Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”

Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”

Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Issa Rae, “Insecure”

Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Should win: “Insecure” has been one of the most underrated and revolutionary comedy shows in recent memory and the creator, Issa Rae, deserves all of the credit. Her nuanced performance has always been the biggest highlight of the show. Whether it’s her awkward encounters or her hilarious freestyle rapping in front of the mirror, she can make you laugh just as quickly as she can make you cry. Rae continues to be one of the most innovative and versatile stars in the industry by simply being who she is, unapologetically.

Will win: Catherine O’Hara deserves the award for her iconic performance as the over-the-top diva, Moira Rose. From her hilarious pronunciations to her flamboyant outfits, O’Hara simply stole every scene that she is in, and as “Schitt’s Creek” comes to an end this year, she is the most likely winner for the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. — Jimmy Lu



Jason Bateman, “Ozark”

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

Steve Carell, “The Morning Show”

Brian Cox, “Succession”

Billy Porter, “Pose”

Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

Should win: Steve Carell’s arrogant, dominant performance in “The Morning Show” brings to light issues surrounding sexual coercion and misconduct in the workplace. He should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series because he has switched gears and shines as an actor in this show, especially through explicit monologues. While he excels in the world of comedy, this real-life drama exhibits his acting skills.

Will win: “Succession” has been the hot topic for awards talk this year. Both critics and audiences seem to love everything about this show and it is predicted to be taking home many awards on Emmy’s night. One award that they will most definitely win is best actor. Jeremy Strong had an incredible performance, however Brian Cox is the standout that everyone is talking about. Except one of the two actors to take the stage on awards night. — Courtney McGinley and Jack Freiser



Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”

Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”

Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”

Zendaya, “Euphoria”

Should win: Zendaya had a breakout performance this year defining herself as one of the best actors to come from Disney. Her performance in “Euphoria” was incredible and she deserves all the recognition for her efforts. However, this is her first year being nominated and she will encounter many more challenges to reach the stage giving her acceptance speech.

Will win: Jennifer Aniston is likely to win this year's Emmy Award for her outstanding, raw performance in “The Morning Show.” She makes a triumphant return to television and portrays a character we have never seen her play before. Her character, Alex Levy is polished and has to pull herself together for all America to see as a well renowned morning news anchor. On the inside, she is falling apart and the audience begins to see the demise of the world around her. The bold power she exerts in the show even through the damaging pain makes this performance one of her best.  — Courtney McGinley and Jack Freiser



Jeremy Irons, “Watchmen”

Hugh Jackman, “Bad Education”

Paul Mescal, “Normal People”

Jeremy Pope, “Hollywood”

Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True”

Should win: “Normal People” exceeded people’s expectations this year upon release. Newcomer Paul Mescal turned in a vulnerable yet strong performance and an electrifying chemistry with his co-star, Daisy Edgar-Jones. As his first TV series, Mescal is already making a mark as a serious contender for the award seasons.

Will win: Mark Ruffalo has been consistently putting out great performances outside of his Marvel role as The Hulk. He played two completely different characters in the HBO limited series “I Know This Much Is True.” Although the show is hard to watch at times, Ruffalo’s powerful acting carried the series. His dual performance should get him an Emmy this year for Lead Actor in a Limited Series. — Jimmy Lu



Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”

Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”

Regina King, “Watchmen”

Octavia Spencer, “Self Made”

Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere”

Should win: Regina King has been destroying the competition the last two years. She’s taken home Emmys, Golden Globes and an Oscar. The streak should continue with her magnificent work in “Watchmen.” She is a standout in the show and truly exhibits that she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood.

Will win: Although King has a shot of taking home the award, Cate Blanchett is most likely taking the accolade for playing Phyllis Schlafly in “Mrs. America.” She delivers a stellar performance that will attract award voters. “Mrs. America” received many nominations and Blanchett has the highest chance of them all to take home an award for the show. — Jack Freiser



Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”

D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”

Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”

Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

Should win: D’Arcy Carden has many memorable moments on “The Good Place.” Her character, Janet, has some of the funniest scenes throughout the whole show and delivers every single line with so much nonchalance and great comedic timing. Even when she is standing next to Kristen Bell and the legendary Ted Danson, she still shines through as the brightest star on the show.

Will win: Dating back to 2014, Kate McKinnon has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series each year. Her hilarious roles on “Saturday Night Live” showcase her pure talent. The unhinged energy she exerts on stage and willingness to transform into multiple characters a night proves dedication and passion. She is a beloved face on the show, continues to make people laugh and deserves to take the Emmy home. — Jimmy Lu and Courtney McGinley


Mahershala Ali, “Ramy”

Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”

Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”

Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

Should win: William Jackson Harper brought so much life and heart into the moral philosophy professor. As the creator Michael Schur said — even with strong writing, Chidi is a role that is very hard to play without boring the audience out. Harper’s heartfelt performance as Chidi during the final season of “The Good Place” is truly a remarkable work.

Will win: Dan Levy went all in with the final season of “Schitt’s Creek.” From creating the show with his father, Eugene Levy, to starring and producing it. The funny and touching show reached its final season this year. Levy has done a beautiful job bringing the light, the humor and the heart as David, and for that he is likely to win the Emmy this year for the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. — Jimmy Lu



Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”

Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

Julia Garner, “Ozark”

Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Sarah Snook, “Succession”

Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”

Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”

Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Should win:  The scene stealer in “Killing Eve” definitely goes to Fiona Shaw even in the midst of strong acting from her fellow cast members. Shaw plays the manipulative Carolyn Martens who has to deal with the death of her son in the most recent season, yet has to act like nothing's wrong in front of everyone. The layered performance by Shaw makes you sympathize with Carolyn yet still questions her intentions. Shaw should finally get her long overdue Emmy.

Will win: While Meryl Streep has been killing the game and sweeping the award shows for decades, she may shine through once more and take home the Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Her bold, nosy character is met during season two of “Big Little Lies.” Her passionate performance exhibits her ongoing love for acting. The infamous “Meryl Streep Scream” displayed in this jaw-dropping show will leave viewers speechless. — Courtney McGinley and Jimmy Lu



Nicholas Braun, “Succession”

Kieran Culkin, “Succession”

Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”

Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”

Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul”

Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”

Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

Should win: Mark Duplass deserves to win the Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in “The Morning Show” because he is the calm in the eye of the storm — for the most part. The different levels of stress portrayed throughout the show by his character, in the shadows allow us to feel his pain. But, in an instant, he is the one to reassure everyone that everything will be okay. Duplass exerts a different amount of power that stands out from the six other dominant men exhibited behind the scenes of a morning news program.

Will win: While the competition for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series is a tough category this year, Kieran Culkin in “Succession” is likely to take the Emmy home. His spectacular performance was unlike any other and his determination and chilling innuendos brought the character to life, especially in the second season. — Courtney McGinley



Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America”

Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”

Margo Martindale, “Mrs. America”

Jean Smart, “Watchmen”

Holland Taylor, “Hollywood”

Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America”

Should win: “Hollywood” was a very underrated show that premiered on Netflix this year. Although the show as a whole was incredible, Holland Taylor and Dylan McDermott gave standout performances that were truly some of the best this year. Although she doesn’t have much of a chance to win, Taylor's nomination was very well deserved.

Will win: Uzo Aduba gave an excellent performance on “Mrs. America.” Uzo has already won awards for her work on “Orange is the New Black,” so the voters love her. Ultimately, she is expected to make yet another acceptance speech on Sunday night. — Jack Freiser


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Watchmen”

Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”

Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”

Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”

Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”

Jim Parsons “Hollywood”

Should win: “Hollywood” was a very underrated show that had standout performances by Holland Taylor and Dylan McDermott. McDermott’s character, Ernie, is one of the best characters on television this year. McDermott did an absolutely phenomenal job and deserved to be recognized on awards night.

Will win: “Watchmen” was insanely successful this year, and one of those reasons was because of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s character. Yahya has been getting recognition for his latest roles and this role in particular has had many people talking. Yahya will have a long and successful career and no one should be surprised to see him on that stage on Sunday. — Jack Freiser


Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu

Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in either media studies or telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.

Courtney McGinley is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email cbm5861@psu.edu

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About the Contributors

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu's photo

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu

Senior / Telecommunications

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior from Taiwan majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. He is a contributing writer for the CommRadio arts & entertainment department. If you’d like to contact him, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Courtney McGinley's photo

Courtney McGinley

Sophomore /

Courtney McGinley is a Sophomore from Pittsburgh, PA, and is majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Business. She serves as a News Reporter for CommRadio. In addition to CommRadio, she is a Field Reporter for PSNtv and an Entertainment Reporter for the Nittany Lion Red Carpet Network. Her twitter handle is @court_mcginley.

Jack Freiser's photo

Jack Freiser

Second-Year / Telecommunications

Jack Freiser is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying telecommunications. He is very passionate about both music and film. He aspires to impact the music business as a successful A+R by signing artists who will be culturally relevant and will leave an impact on the world, and through keeping a strong relationship with the artist and their team. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).