Emmy Awards Predictions 2017: Four Races That Are Currently Too Close To Call

Are you ready for two more weeks of Emmy madness? The final round of Emmy voting has officially begun and the networks and streaming services have lined a ton of Q&A’s and events to try and sway Television Academy voters.

Netflix has already held events for “The Crown” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” with panels for “The Keepers” and “Stranger Things” on deck for Tuesday and Thursday nights. This morning FOX held a cooking demonstration for kids with “MasterChef Junior” Reality Host nominee Gordon Ramsay.  NBC is putting on a massive Q&A with the cast of “This Is Us” tonight on the Paramount Pictures lot which is scheduled opposite Amazon’s conversation with “Transparent’s” Jeffrey Tambor. On Wednesday NatGeo will host a screening and Q&A for “Genius” with Ron Howard and star Geoffrey Rush skyping in. Also on Wednesday night, I’ll be moderating a Q&A for potential Outstanding Reality Competition program “RuPaul’s Drag Race” with some of the cast and crew. And those are just some of the events announced over the past few days.  Voting doesn’t end until Monday, August 28 at 10:00 PM.  We’ve got a long way to go.

One of the reasons for a deluge of major public events for voters is the fact there are a number of major races that are too close to call.  Let’s take a moment and review the major ones shall we?

READ MORE: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is A Superb, Necessary Show For 2017 (And For Hulu) [Review]

Outstanding Drama Series: “Stranger Things” vs. “Handmaid’s Tale” vs…?
A drama series category filled by “Stranger Things,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Crown,” “Better Call Saul,” “Westworld,” “This Is Us” and “House of Cards”? That’s pretty stacked. The question is whether Netflix’s “Stranger Things” or Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” will take, um, the crown. Or, is there a split vote and NBC’s upstart “This is Us” becomes the first network nominee to win since Fox’s “24” surprised in 2006. Right now the better money is on “Stranger,” which won the SAG and PGA awards (although the Television Academy can be markedly different than those voting bodies) and “The Handmaid’s Tale” which is arguably the most critically acclaimed series of the year and recently won Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association. “Stranger” also has 18 individual nominations (only “Westworld” and “Saturday Night Live” have more) which indicates broad support across the membership. “Handmaid’s Tale” is no slouch with 13 nods, but it’s missing an editing nod (only “Stranger Things,” “Better Call” and “Westworld” made that cut) so you look for indicators where you can. Beyond “This Is Us” you can’t discount “Westworld” either. The HBO phenomenon has four acting nods as well as directing, writing, editing and almost every possible creative category (visual effects, makeup, etc.) it could garner. At this point we’re sticking with our own personal prediction of the Duffer Bros.’ “Stranger Things,” but “Handmaid’s” winning wouldn’t surprise.

Outstanding Comedy Series: “Veep” vs. “Atlanta”
Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” was one of of the most heralded series of 2016 and has earned nearly universal acclaim with Golden Globe, PGA, and WGA Awards as well as a Peabody and TCA honor earlier this month. “Veep” is the back-to-back winner in this category and star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has taken the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy the past four years and is a favorite to win an incredible fifth time in a row in September. “Veep” had an outstanding season and is still beloved by the the Television Academy based on its 17 nominations (that’s more than “Big Little Lies,” “Fargo” or “The Crown”). “Atlanta” earned six nominations with Glover earning four of them (Series, Actor, Writing, Directing). Does the fact that the Television Academy didn’t honor any of Glover’s ensemble tell us something about its overall support? If you recognize that four of Louis-Dreyfus’ co-stars earned nods it might. “Atlanta” may deserve it more this year, but just as it took the HBO comedy four nods to finally win, FX’s jewel might need a few shots at the title to win that belt.  And if “Veep” does win, the reaction on social media won’t be kind.

READ MORE: ‘Veep’ Is Still At Its Peak As Season 6 Gets Off To A Roaring Start [Review]

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie: Nicole Kidman vs. Jessica Lange
Listen, it’s absolutely possible “Big Little Lies” standout Nicole Kidman could win this Emmy over “Feud: Bette and Joan’s” Jessica Lange. In a jaw-dropping category boasting four Oscar winners (two-time winner Lange, Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Susan Sarandon) and another Academy Award nominee (Felicity Huffman) it’s easy to see either actress winning. That being said, “Big Little Lies” should take the Outstanding Limited Series or Movie Emmy. We believe that will allow just enough of a split vote for Lange to squeak it out. It also doesn’t hurt that Lange earned her seventh nomination in this category and has already won twice while this is Kidman’s first Emmy nod. Of course, there’s the very remote possibility they all split the vote and “Fargo’s” Carrie Coon is the surprising winner. Dare to dream.

READ MORE: FX’s ‘Feud: Bette And Joan’ Is Ryan Murphy At His Best [Review]

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie: Judy Davis vs. Laura Dern vs. Regina King
If Lead Actress is a tough call, Supporting Actress is pretty much a pick ’em.”Feud: Bette and Joan’s” Judy Davis is the likely frontrunner because of her 12 total nominations and the fact she’s a three-time winner. “Big Little Lies'” Laura Dern, on the other hand, could benefit from a “BLL” wave (it’s may take Directing and Writing Emmys alongside the top category win). She’s also now a six-time nominee who has never won, is part of Hollywood royalty and found her career on an upswing since the second and final season of “Enlightened” in 2013. No one should over look “American Crime’s” Regina King, however. She’s the winner in this category the past two ceremonies and has beaten formidable competition including Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and Olivia Colman. This category is such a toss up that even “The Wizard of Lies'” Michelle Pfeiffer has a legitimate shot to win. Again, pick ’em.

Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan

What do you think about these categories?  And what do you think of current predictions of most of the major categories listed below?

Best Drama Series
Best Comedy Series
Best Limited Series
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Best Reality-Competition Series
Best Variety Talk Series
Best Writing for a Drama Series
Best Directing for a Drama Series
Best Writing for a Comedy Series
Best Directing for a Comedy Series
Best Writing for a Limited Series or TV Movie
Best Directing for a Limited Series or TV Movie