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Emmy Predictions: Writing for a Drama Series – Can ‘The Boys’ or Misha Green Upset Peter Morgan’s Emmy Run?

Variety logo Variety 8/19/2021 Clayton Davis
Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty standing next to a person © Jasper Savage/Amazon Studios

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 WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: We’re not sure many pundits predicted that the one series to pick up multiple writing nods would be “The Mandalorian,” but here we are. Jon Favreau is up for “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” which is a different episode than the one he is nominated for in the directing category. The Television Academy seems more willing to embrace genre series, but vote-splitting is likely.

The Disney Plus “Star Wars” universe-set series’ other nomination in this category is Dave Filoni’s “Chapter 13: The Jedi.” The writer-producer has extra cachet in this space thanks to previous noms for other “Star Wars” TV spin-offs, children’s programs “Resistance” and “Rebels.” That could give him a slight edge, but it still won’t be easy to win when up against heavyweight Favreau and more traditional fare.

First-time Emmy nominee Misha Green could be a beneficiary of the groundswell of support surrounding her now-canceled HBO series “Lovecraft Country.” Her singular vision, rich metaphors and creative genre-blending has been the talk of the town for a full calendar year now. There’s also some potential history to be made: If she wins for “Sundown,” she will be the first Black woman to ever take the trophy in this category.

We always seem to be circling the name Peter Morgan and predicting an Emmy win, but out of nine previous noms (six for his Netflix royal family period piece “The Crown”), we have been wrong every time. Still, this time around the field looks tailor-made for Morgan’s “War” to get its due. The series is the top contender for the drama prize, and it is also one of the most nominated of the year (with 24 total, tied with “The Mandalorian”).

A previous Emmy nominee for producing “The Handmaid’s Tale” for the second and third seasons, Yahlin Chang nabbed two noms this year (for drama series and penning the episode “Home”). The show picked up an impressive tally of nominations overall (21), but it hasn’t won this category since its first season and unfortunately, 2021 doesn’t look to be breaking that streak. This mention could act as the reward.

The double-episode ender of FX’s ballroom culture period piece “Pose” packed an emotional punch. Add that to the fact that so many of these scribes (Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy, Our Lady J) are beloved by the Television Academy (with eight Emmys among the five) and a chance to make history (Canals and Mock are the first Black co-writers to be nominated here), and the buzz just keeps growing.

We always have to applaud progress, and the Emmys did a lot of that this year with its crop of nominees. One of them was the warm embrace of Amazon Prime Video’s superhero series “The Boys” in the top category and here for Rebecca Sonnenshine, who is enjoying her first nom (with the episode “What I Know”). As the show grows on voters, and with a hard push from its streamer, it will likely see some gold this year, and this could be a good place for that to start.

The viewing platform for Emmy nominees opens on Aug. 13, with final-round voting, beginning on Aug. 19 at 9 a.m. PT until Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. PT.

Check out the full rankings of the category’s nominees in the chart below.

ALL SUBMISSIONS & RANKINGS:

 

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.

2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

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