Emmy Nominations Predictions: WandaVision, Ted Lasso, M.J. Rodriguez

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. It simply can’t be helped, but as we consider the nominees for the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards, it must be acknowledged that the overall Comedy Series field is embarrassingly weak. Sure, there are great programs that will be lauded by the Television Academy including “Ted Lasso,” “The Flight Attendant” and “Hacks. Unfortunately, when you start drilling down to previously expanded acting categories, well, let’s just say there may be some unprompted raised eyebrows when the nominees are finally revealed next week.

READ MORE: Nine big questions as 2021 Emmy nomination voting begins

This “off-year” in the comedy and, to some extent, the drama categories is predominantly due to delays in production due to the COVID pandemic over the past 12 months. That should be rectified in 2022 which promises a return to an abundance of worthy contenders. That being said, the Limited Series field is once again historically competitive and features three programs (“I May Destroy You,” “The Underground Railroad” and “Small Axe”) that will be lauded and screened for decades to come. And if you know anything about the Emmy Awards, the fact that “The Amazing Race” may find itself snubbed in the Competition Series category tells you there are still all sorts of storylines still worthy of your attention.

Here are our predictions for the major program and acting categories for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series

“The Flight Attendant”
“The Kominsky Method”
“Master of None”
“Ted Lasso”

Category Crashers: “Mythic Quest,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Cobra Kai, “Emily in Paris,” “Made For Love”
Quick Thought: Have a sinking feeling that “Emily in Paris” is gonna crash the party.

Billy Porter Pose Season 3, Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Drama Series

“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian”
“This Is Us”

Category Crashers: “In Treatment,” “The Boys,” “Yellowstone,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Perry Mason,” “Ratched”
Quick Thought: O.K., maybe “P-Valley” is wishful thinking, but if not now, when? The other seven though are “likely” locks. There’s just one slot that’s still open.

Outstanding Limited Series

“I May Destroy You”
“Mare of Easttown”
“The Queen’s Gambit”
“The Underground Railroad”

Category Crashers: “Small Axe,” “It’s A Sin,” “The Undoing,” “The Good Lord Bird,” “A Teacher,” “Halston”
Quick Thought: “Mare,” “Destroy You” and “Queen’s Gambit” are safe. “Small Axe” could easily take either “Underground” or “WandaVision’s” place.

Outstanding Competition Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“The Masked Singer”
“The Voice”
“Top Chef”
“Nailed It”

Category Crashers: “The Amazing Race,” “Full Bloom,” “American Ninja Warrior,” “Legendary”
Quick Thought: The legendary “Amazing Race” wasn’t eligible last year, but is the standard-bearer in this category having been nominated every year since this award was conceived. It also has won this category 10 times. Is it really missing out this time around? If it does end up landing in the five, then “Top Chef” or “Nailed It” might be in trouble.

Outstanding Television Movie

“Christmas on the Square”
“Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia”
“Sylvie’s Love”
“Uncle Frank”

Category Crashers: “Unpregnant,” “Wendy Williams: The Movie,” “Godmothered”
Quick Thought: I mean, yeesh. Two of these titles are Sundance 2020 pickups that were originally intended for theatrical release. Either networks and streamers need to start campaigning this category more accurately or the Television Academy needs to consider chucking it.

Jason Sudeikis, Comedy Series, Ted Lasso, Emmys, Emmys 2021

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Ted Danson, “Mr. Mayor”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Keenan Thompson, “Keenan”

Category Crashers: Rob McElhenney, “Mythic Quest,” Ralph Macchio, “Cobra Kai,” Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Quick Thought: One of many weak Comedy Series categories this year, but not convinced it’s weak enough for “Cobra Kai’s” actors to make the cut. Happy to be proven wrong, however.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Rege-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”
Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason”

Category Crashers: Pedro Pascal, “The Mandalorian,” Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us,” Justin Theroux, “The Mosquito Coast,” Anthony Mackie, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Nicco Annan, “P-Valley”
Quick Thought: Gut says Theroux will make it over Majors or Rhys, but if he couldn’t get nominated once for three seasons of “The Leftovers” will he make it for “Mosquito Coast”?

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Paul Bettany, “WandaVision”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”
Lin Manuel-Miranda, “Hamilton”
Ewan McGregor, “Halston”

Category Crashers: Leslie Odom, Jr., “Hamilton,” Jeff Daniels, “The Comey Rule,” Bryan Cranston, “Your Honor,” Joel Egerton, “The Underground Railroad”
Quick Thought: Emmy favorites Daniels and/or Cranston could easily sneak in here.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Girls5Eva”
Jane Levy, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Lena Withe, “Master of None”

Category Crashers: Robin Thede, “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” Christin Milioti, “Made for Love,” Allison Janey, “Mom,” Maya Erskine, “Pen15”
Quick Thought: In a category where anything could happen, it’s sad that the very deserving Ms. Robin Thede likely won’t make it.

Emma Corrin, The Crown

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
MJ Rodriguez, “Pose”
Sarah Paulson, “Ratched”

Category Crashers: June Smollett, “Lovecraft Country,” Mandy Moore, “This Is Us” Phoebe Dynevor, “Bridgerton,” Brandee Evans, “P-Valley”
Quick Thought: It’s been three years since Paulson, a seven-time nominee, was recognized by the Television Academy. Seems about time for number eight. Oh, and if Rodriguez is snubbed…

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”
Thuso Mbedu, “The Underground Railroad”
Elisabeth Olsen, “WandaVision”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”
Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown”

Category Crashers: Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha,” Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing,” Kate Mara, “A Teacher,” Tessa Thompson, “Sylvie’s Love”
Quick Thought: Only Tayor-Joy and Winslet are locks. Anything else can happen with the remaining three slots.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Brett Goldsten, “Ted Lasso”
Michiel Huisman, “The Flight Attendant”
Brendan Hunt, “Ted Lasso”
Alex Newell, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”
Paul Reiser, “The Kominsky Method”
Ray Romano, “Made for Love”
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”
Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live”

Category Crashers: Laurence Fishburne, “Black-ish,” Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso,” Jeremy Swift, “Ted Lasso,” Beck Bennett, “Saturday Night Live,” Chris Redd, “Saturday Night Live”
Quick Thought: This category could easily end up filled with just “Ted Lasso” and “SNL” stars. We’re not kidding and, if it wasn’t painfully obvious, that’s not a good thing.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Giancarlo Esposito, “The Mandalorian”
John Benjamin Hickey, “In Treatment”
O-T Fagbenle, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
John Lithgow, “Perry Mason”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Anthony Ramos, “In Treatment”
Michael K. Williams, “Lovecraft Country”
Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Category Crashers: Chris Sullivan, “This Is Us,” Jonathan Bailey, “Bridgerton,” Daniel Bruhl, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”
Quick Thought: Despite how thin this category is, there are some great performances that should get recognized (we’re looking at you Mr. Hickey, and Mr. Ramos).

John Boyega, Small Axe, Red White And Blue

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

John Boyega, “Small Axe”
Bill Camp, “The Queen’s Gambit”
David Diggs, “Hamilton”
Paapa Essiedu, “I May Destroy You”
Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown”
Donald Sutherland, “The Undoing”

Category Crashers: William Jackson Harper, “The Underground Railroad,” Brendan Gleeson, “The Comey Rule,” Thomas Brodie-Sangster, “The Queen’s Gambit,” Courtney B. Vance, “Genius: Aretha”
Quick Thought: Essiedu might be a stretch to some, but we think the love for “I May Destroy You” is stronger than many Emmy watchers think.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks”
Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”
Zosia Mamet, “The Flight Attendant”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Rosie Perez, “The Flight Attendant”
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”

Category Crashers: Chloe Fineman, “Saturday Night Live,” Naomi Ackie, “Master of None”
Quick Thought: Her time might not come until next year, but don’t be surprised if “SNL’s” Chloe Fineman somehow cracks the field earlier than expected.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched”
Tatiana Maslany, “Perry Mason”
Wunmi Mosaku, “Lovecraft Country”
Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Category Crashers: Judy Davis, “Ratched,” Emerald Fennell, “The Crown,” Erin Doherty, “The Crown,” Dominque Jackson, “Pose,” Nicola Coughlan, “Bridgerton”
Quick Thought: Just give the Emmy to Gillian Anderson now you cowards.

WandaVision Kathryn Hahn Agatha

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”
Marielle Heller, “The Queen’s Gambit”
Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”
Weruche Opia, “I May Destroy You”
Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown”
Letitia Wright, “Small Axe”

Category Crashers: Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton,” Teyonah Parris, “WandaVision”
Quick Thought: Unless Goldsberry surprises (and, hey, who knows in what context the Television Academy is gonna consider “Hamilton”), this should line up as your six nominees in this category.

The 2021 Primetime Emmy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 13 at 8: 30 AM PT, 11:30 AM ET. Look for full coverage on The Playlist.