Who Will Win at the 2021 Emmys?

Everything you need to know about this year's Emmys, airing Tuesday, September 21.

the queen's gambit, anya taylor joy
Netflix

Awards shows are back. And not the edited, pandemic awards shows of last year. These will be full-fledged awards shows with red carpets and stars. With that in mind: The 2021 Emmys are happening very soon. It's been a busy year for television, what with your queens gambits and your mares of Easttowns in the running. In fact, The Queen's Gambit has already won nine Emmys, following the Creative Arts ceremonies that happened over the weekend. So yes, you can expect a lot more gold for Anya Taylor-Joy's Beth Harmon. But who else will triumph in the Primetime Emmys? Expect lots of love for Ted Lasso and The Crown. (But hey, Emily in Paris is nominated—anything could happen.) Read on for our other predictions.

When are the 2021 Emmys airing?

Sunday, September 19, at 8 pm.
 

Where can I watch the 2021 Emmys?

CBS! Unlike the Oscars, which will remain on ABC until the end of time or the deal keeping them there finally expires, the Emmys rotate networks. This year, CBS has the show.
 

Who is hosting?

Cedric the Entertainer has the gig. Why? Well, Cedric's great, but also he's currently on the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood.

ted lasso
Apple TV+

Who will win at the 2021 Emmys?

Now this is where it all gets interesting. My predictions—and hopes and dreams and complaints—are below.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Blackish
Cobra Kai
Emily in Paris
The Flight Attendant
Hacks
The Kominsky Method
Pen15
Ted Lasso

Who we wish would win: Honestly this category is chaotic, to say the least. There are at least two shows that stretch the definition of comedy in here. I guess Netflix's Cobra Kai has its funny moments, but I associate it more with brutal fights. HBO's The Flight Attendant is an hour-long series about a woman in the throes of addiction. Just because The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco is in it does not make it a comedy. (For the record, I love The Flight Attendant. It's just weird to see it in this category.) And then, of course, there's Netflix's Emily in Paris, the laughingstock of Twitter that managed to get a nom. If I had my druthers, I would give this to either HBO's Hacks or Hulu's Pen15. The former features Jean Smart in one of the great performances of this era of TV, and the latter is a completely wild innovation.

Who will win: Ted Lasso. I'm not mad about it! Despite the internet hand-wringing over the currently airing second season, the first, which is nominated here, is pretty perfect.

Outstanding Drama Series
The Boys
Bridgerton
The Crown
The Handmaid's Tale
Lovecraft Country
The Mandalorian
Pose
This Is Us

Who we wish would win: It will absolutely never happen, but I would love to see The Boys take this. Far from just being another superhero series, it is some of the boldest, most challenging TV out there right now. Slightly more likely, but still a long shot, would be an award for the final season of Pose, honoring a groundbreaking show that came to a very moving conclusion.

Who will win: The Crown. Emmy voters love The Crown. How much do they love The Crown? Well, they gave Claire Foy an Emmy for guest star this year for briefly reprising her role as the younger version of the queen in Season 4.

Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series
I May Destroy You
Mare of Easttown
The Queen's Gambit
The Underground Railroad
WandaVision

Who we wish would win: The Underground Railroad is a cinematic achievement unlike anything else on television. Barry Jenkins' adaptation of Colson Whitehead's novel, which imagines the Underground Railroad as a literal system of locomotives, is stunning and unrelenting. Unfortunately, the Television Academy largely snubbed the production.

Who will win: It's The Queen's Gambit's year. Expect Netflix's chess drama to take basically every award for which it is nominated. And, hey, it's a great show, but it's a very crowded year.

the crown, emma corrin
Netflix

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Kenan Thompson, Kenan
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Who we wish would win: My answers are the same here. While I'd love to see Kenan Thompson finally get an Emmy, I think he should champion in the supporting actor category for his irreplaceable work on SNL. This one goes to Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. He turned a commercial into a phenomenon.

Who will win: Jason Sudeikis. May he accept his award wearing another tie-dye sweatshirt this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Jean Smart, Hacks
Allison Janney, Mom
Aidy Bryant, Shrill

Who we wish would win: Again, my Wish and Will picks are one in the same here. This is Jean Smart's award to lose. Her work on Hacks as the stand-up Deborah Vance is astounding.

Who will win: Jean Smart.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Regé Jean-Page, Bridgerton
Josh O'Connor, The Crown
Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason
Billy Porter, Pose
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Who we wish would win: Lovecraft Country was unceremoniously canceled by HBO after just one season—which, admittedly, was uneven—but it was just one of many projects that announced Jonathan Majors as a major talent. He probably won't win this, but it would be a nice coronation.

Who will win: Speaking of coronations, this is another area where The Crown could be unstoppable with Josh O'Connor winning for his turn as Prince Charles. Or Billy Porter, who has already won in this category, could be the victor for his Pose swan song.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
Uzo Aduba, In Treatment
Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country
Mj Rodriguez, Pose

Who we wish would win: Mj Rodriguez has been the grounding force for all three seasons of Pose and she makes history as the first trans performer ever nominated in this category.

Who will win: One might think The Crown ladies would cancel each other out, but I think this goes to Emma Corrin for her star-is-born-type performance as Diana.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie
Ewan McGregor, Halston
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton
Hugh Grant, The Undoing
Paul Bettany, WandaVision

Who we wish would win: Frankly, this is one of the weaker categories. I love Hamilton as much as the next theater nerd, but Miranda and Odom have already been awarded for these exact performances on Broadway. Halston was lower-tier Netflix and Ryan Murphy, and we all know the true star of The Undoing was the coats. So I have to give it to Paul Bettany, who took what started as a minor role in the MCU and turned it into a chance to show off his comedic chops and his big-heartedness in WandaVision.

Who will win: I'm going to say McGregor. It's a showy performance from a big star and the Emmys tend to love that in spaces like this, regardless of overall show quality.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie
Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha
Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen's Gambit
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision

Who we wish would win: Whereas the male version of this category is lacking, the female side is jam-packed. (And one of our favorites of the year, Thuso Mbedu in The Underground Railroad, was left off the final nominee list.) It would be a dream to see Michaela Coel triumph for her personal, devastating work in the show she created, I May Destroy You.

Who will win: Without a doubt, Anya Taylor-Joy will win this. 

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.