Our 2020 Emmy Predictions, Hopes, and Dreams

The 2020 Emmy nominations will be announced Tuesday, July 28, and we have a few thoughts on what shows and stars could be in the running for this year's big TV awards.

By Lauren Piester 25 Jul, 2020 6:12 PMTags
Emmys predictionsE! Illustration

It may seem strange since time no longer has any meaning, but the 2020 Emmys are just around the corner. 

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 28 with this year's ceremony scheduled to take place on September 20, and no matter what, it's guaranteed to be an interesting year. Not only is it possible the ceremony will be entirely virtual due to the pandemic, but most members of the Television Academy have likely been holed up in their homes since March with ample time to watch more TV than ever. There are also more slots in multiple categories, all of which means there could be some surprising names appearing in the list of nominations. 

We wouldn't be so quick to say that the usual suspects won't be making an appearance this year, but we'd bet there are some new faces to be seen at this award show, however it ends up being broadcast. 

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This is the first Emmys in a post-Game of Thrones and Veep world but there is absolutely no shortage of eligible shows. In fact, there are far, far too many deserving shows this year—both new shows making their Emmys debut, and favorites that are still killing it well into their runs. (Hello, This Is Us season 4.) 

We're not going to try to predict all the nominees in every category, but we can share what we feel are a few safe bets, along with the shows and actors whose names we hope to hear on Tuesday morning, even if it feels like chances are slim it will actually happen. We're not saying our dream nominees have no chance, but we are saying that we will be slightly surprised but absolutely delighted if they do make the list. 

DRAMA SERIES

Succession (HBO)

Better Call Saul (AMC)

Ozark (Netflix) 

The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

The Crown (Netflix)

Pose (FX)

The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) 

Big Little Lies (HBO)

Dream Nominees:

This Is Us (NBC): Season four of the NBC drama was, if you ask us, the best season of the entire series, and deserves all the accolades the show got early on and more. 

Stranger Things (Netflix): Another drama where the latest season was the best so far, with series-best performances from the ever-growing cast. 

The Outsider (HBO): One of few new dramas to hit this season, in the most terrifying ways.  

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve 

Laura Linney, Ozark 

Dream Nominees: 

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve: Be honest, has Sandra Oh ever not deserved every single award? Comer won in 2019, and Oh had better be in that list of nominees again. 

Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder: Say what you want about that show's ups and downs over the years, but you can never say Viola Davis wasn't absolutely magnificent. 

Zendaya, Euphoria: Teen shows and their stars don't often get recognized at the Emmys, but we've all go to agree that Euphoria and Zendaya's performance on it went far beyond the typical teen drama. 

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us 

Billy Porter, Pose

Jeremy Strong, Succession

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul 

Jason BatemanOzark

Dream Nominees: 

Penn Badgley, You: The best part of this soapy Netflix drama is Penn Badgley's performance, because he knows exactly who he's playing, and exactly how to make a stalker/serial killer work as a main character without being at all sympathetic. It's terrifying and fantastic. 

Mike Colter, Evil: CBS' Evil was a bit of a surprise last year, but we already knew Colter is a force to be reckoned with. He just kept proving it over and over again. 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Sarah Snook, Succession

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Julia Garner, Ozark

Half the cast of Big Little Lies

Dream Nominees: 

Cynthia Erivo, The Outsider: Let's get this superstar of stage and screen one step closer to her EGOT! 

Hunter Schafer, Euphoria: An absolutely captivating performance that we're still thinking about a year later. 

Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies: Let's be real: Meryl will probably be nominated. But we'd just like to imagine that it's entirely for the scene where she puts her necklace around her chin. So this dream nominee is really Meryl's Necklace. 

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Kieran Culkin, Succession

Billy Crudup, The Morning Show

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale

Tom Pelphrey, Ozark

Dream Nominee: 

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland: Patinkin has never won an Emmy for his work on Homeland, but he at least deserves one more nod. 

COMEDY SERIES

Schitt's Creek (Pop)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime Video)

Dead to Me (Netflix)

Insecure (HBO) 

The Good Place (NBC)

Ramy (Hulu) 

Dream Nominees:

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC): One of the most delightfully surprising shows of the year. 

Never Have I Ever (Netflix): Mindy Kaling's teen comedy was fresh, necessary, and most importantly of all, funny. 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek

Issa Rae, Insecure 

Christina Applegate and/or Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 

Dream Nominees: 

Jane Levy, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Levy had a hell of a story to tell and a lot to do, and she did it all with what appeared to be ease. 

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Dream Nominees: 

Ben Platt, The Politician: We'd like to give an Emmy to Ben Platt specifically for that performance of "River." But he was funny, too. 

Don Cheadle, Black Monday: Give Don Cheadle his Emmy already! 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Annie Murphy, Schitt's Creek

Yvonne Orji, Insecure

Betty Gilpin, Glow

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live 

Dream Nominees: 

Emily Hampshire, Schitt's Creek: While Annie Murphy is likely to get a nomination, Emily Hampshire is more of a question mark. Stevie may be a little more subtle than Alexis, but her final season journey to motel entrepreneur was one worth celebrating. 

D'Arcy Carden, The Good Place: D'Arcy Carden's performance as not a girl, not a robot Janet is, simply put, the show's best comedic performance. 

Regina Hall, Black Monday: Boy does Regina Hall know how to read a line! Season two of the Showtime comedy gave her even more space to show off her acting talents, and she used that space well.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Dan Levy, Schitt's Creek

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Mahershala Ali, Ramy

Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Dream Nominees: 

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live: Kenan Thompson holds that show together and has only been nominated in an acting category once before! Once! In 16 years! 

James Marsden, Dead to Me: James Marsden is the secret, unexpected weapon of Dead to Me and should be honored for it. 

Peter Gallagher, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: The role of a man dying of a neurological disease doesn't seem like an obvious choice for the comedy and musical category, but Peter Gallagher's performance deserves to be rewarded in some way. 

Manny Jacinto, The Good Place: Very few scenes involving Jason Mendoza do not make us at least giggle. One of the greatest characters of our time! 

LIMITED SERIES

Watchmen (HBO)

Unbelievable (Netflix)

Mrs. America (FX)

Normal People (Hulu)

The Plot Against America (HBO)

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Dream Nominees: 

Our only limited series dream is to see Regina King and Watchmen take home as many awards as possible, though this category is going to be incredibly difficult no matter what. 

The 2020 Emmy nominations will be announced Tuesday, July 28 at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET by Leslie Jones, Laverne Cox, Josh Gad, and Tatiana Maslany

Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the 2020 Emmys on September 20 on ABC.