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2022 Emmys: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Succession, Ted Lasso and The White Lotus scored the most noms — but who's set up to win?
  • Photos: HBO, Hulu, ABC
    Photos: HBO, Hulu, ABC

    Joe Reid isn't just Primetimer's managing editor. He's also an awards expert and one half of the popular podcast, This Had Oscar Buzz. Today Joe puts his prognostication skills to the test with his final picks for who will win (and who should win) in each of this year's major categories.

    If recent history holds true, the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards are poised to honor a handful of TV's most-praised shows many, many times. Recent years have seen sweeps or near-sweeps by the likes of Schitt's Creek and The Crown, and if that trend holds true, Succession may very well follow in their footsteps this year.

    But recent Emmy history has also seen face-offs like last year's Queen's Gambit/Mare of Easttown battle, or even the Ted Lasso/Hacks scrum that mostly went Ted Lasso's way.


    Predicting the Emmys is a balancing act between repeat winners and the handful of surprises that arise every year. Which categories will fall which way? And who would triumph in the perfect world where we picked the winners?

    Outstanding Drama Series

    • Better Call Saul (AMC)
    • Euphoria (HBO)
    • Ozark (Netflix)
    • Severance (Apple TV+)
    • Squid Game (Netflix)
    • Stranger Things (Netflix)
    • Succession (HBO)
    • Yellowjackets (Showtime)

    This is an incredibly strong group of shows that includes some recently concluded Emmy faves (Better Call Saul and Ozark), buzzy titles like Severance, Euphoria and Yellowjackets, Netflix flexing its fast-atrophying muscle with Stranger Things and Squid Game, and of course HBO's behemoth series about rich people being very mean to each other. Given the dynamic way Succession ended its third season, it deserves everything that's (likely) coming to it on Emmy night.

    Will Win: Succession
    Should Win: Succession


    Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

    • Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde on Ozark
    • Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession
    • Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun on Squid Game
    • Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul
    • Adam Scott as Mark Scout on Severance
    • Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy on Succession

    Jeremy Strong is going for his second Emmy for playing tragic failson Kendall Roy, but his biggest opponent might be his on-screen pop, Brian Cox. Still, don't count out sentimental favorite Bob Odenkirk, Emmy nominated for the first time since his on-set heart attack.

    Will Win: Brian Cox
    Should Win: Jeremy Strong

    Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

    • Jodie Comer as Villanelle on Killing Eve
    • Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde on Ozark
    • Melanie Lynskey as Shauna Sadecki on Yellowjackets
    • Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri on Killing Eve
    • Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson on The Morning Show
    • Zendaya as Rue Bennett on Euphoria

    This category feels like it could go just about any direction, including to either of the Killing Eve stars, even though their show a) ended months ago with b) a flurry of bad reviews. Zendaya could definitely repeat her 2020 upset victory, but it feels like things could be leaning to another breakthrough nominee whose performance in Yellowjackets was the latest in a career's worth of excellent (if unheralded) work.

    Will Win: Melanie Lynskey
    Should Win: Melanie Lynskey


    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

    • Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch on Succession
    • Billy Crudup as Cory Ellison on The Morning Show
    • Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy on Succession
    • Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans on Succession
    • O Yeong-su as Oh Il-nam on Squid Game
    • Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo Squid Game
    • John Turturro as Irving Bailiff on Severance
    • Christopher Walken as Burt Goodman on Severance

    It's Billy Crudup versus the Succession boys again, with a Squid Game wrinkle and an unlikely Severance romance thrown in to keep things interesting. Once again, we think the Succession season finale episode will tip the scales, this time to the man who came out on top.

    Will Win: Matthew Macfadyen
    Should Win: Kieran Culkin

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

    • Patricia Arquette as Harmony Cobel on Severance
    • Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore on Ozark
    • HoYeon Jung as Kang Sae-byeok on Squid Game
    • Christina Ricci as Misty Quigley on Yellowjackets
    • Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler on Better Call Saul
    • J. Smith-Cameron as Gerri Kellman on Succession
    • Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy on Succession
    • Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard on Euphoria

    Underestimate Patricia Arquette at your peril. It's a lesson that Emmy watchers have learned time and again. Will we be so foolish as to bet against the woman who's already won for Medium and The Act? That said, it's not like the Emmys haven't also established their fondness for Julia Garner, with two Emmy wins in the last three years. A Succession sweep would mean Snook or Smith-Cameron triumphs, but there's also the sentimental fave factor for finally-nominated Rhea Seehorn. A real conundrum here...

    Will Win: Julia Garner
    Should Win: Sarah Snook


    Outstanding Comedy Series

    • Abbott Elementary (ABC)
    • Barry (HBO)
    • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
    • Hacks (HBO Max)
    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
    • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
    • Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
    • What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

    Is this a Ted Lasso vs. Barry battle, or will Hacks and Only Murders in the Building crash that party? Top to bottom it's an incredibly strong category that could go a lot of different ways.

    Will Win: Barry
    Should Win: Abbott Elementary

    Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

    • Donald Glover as Earn Marks on Atlanta
    • Bill Hader as Barry Berkman on Barry
    • Nicholas Hoult as Peter III on The Great
    • Steve Martin as Charles-Haden Savage on Only Murders in the Building
    • Martin Short as Oliver Putnam on Only Murders in the Building
    • Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso on Ted Lasso

    As in Comedy Series, this feels like it could boil down to a Ted vs. Barry face-off. Sudeikis and Hader are both SNL alums and both former winners in this category, but the momentum of Barry's long-awaited return could carry Hader.

    Will Win: Bill Hader
    Should Win: Martin Short


    Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

    • Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues on Abbott Elementary
    • Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden on The Flight Attendant
    • Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great on The Great
    • Issa Rae as Issa Dee on Insecure
    • Jean Smart as Deborah Vance on Hacks

    Absolutely no disrespect intended to the incredibly talented nominees in this category, but there does not look to me much reason to doubt that Emmy fave Jean Smart is going back-to-back Emmy wins here.

    Will Win: Jean Smart
    Should Win: Jean Smart

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

    • Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank on Barry
    • Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent on Ted Lasso
    • Toheeb Jimoh as Sam Obisanya on Ted Lasso
    • Nick Mohammed as Nathan Shelley on Ted Lasso
    • Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie on Abbott Elementary
    • Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau on Barry
    • Bowen Yang as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live

    Another wild tossup of a category with several past winners in Goldstein, Shalhoub, and Winkler in contention. If the Barry momentum is as strong as it could be, Winkler takes it.

    Will Win: Henry Winkler
    Should Win: Bowen Yang


    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

    • Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels on Hacks
    • Janelle James as Ava Coleman on Abbott Elementary
    • Kate McKinnon as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live
    • Sarah Niles as Dr. Sharon Fieldstone on Ted Lasso
    • Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbrara Howard on Abbott Elementary
    • Juno Temple as Keeley Jones on Ted Lasso
    • Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton on Ted Lasso

    Another category with three former winners in Borstein, McKinnon, and Waddingham. Do Emmy voters feel nostalgic enough to give McKinnon one for the road now that she's exited SNL? Can Waddingham repeat? Will Einbinder win like she was expected to last year? Have these voters even seen how great Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph are on Abbott Elementary??

    Will Win: Hannah Einbinder
    Should Win: Janelle James

    Outstanding Limited Series

    • Dopesick (Hulu)
    • The Dropout (Hulu)
    • Inventing Anna (Netflix)
    • Pam & Tommy (Hulu)
    • The White Lotus (HBO)

    The White Lotus's historic levels of dominance in the supporting acting categories somewhat obscures the fact that Emmy voters went big on Dopesick too. If there's a split, you could see voters giving White Lotus the acting awards and honoring the important subject matter with Dopesick. Or perhaps we're overthinking this.

    Will Win: The White Lotus
    Should Win: The White Lotus


    Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series

    • Toni Collette as Kathleen Peterson on The Staircase
    • Julia Garner as Anna Delvey on Inventing Anna
    • Lily James as Pamela Anderson on Pam & Tommy
    • Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp on Impeachment: American Crime Story
    • Margaret Qualley as Alex Russell on Maid
    • Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes on The Dropout

    A talented category with some great options, but the buzz has been solidly with Amanda Seyfried since The Dropout premiered, and there's no reason to think she won't pull through.

    Will Win: Amanda Seyfried
    Should Win: Amanda Seyfried

    Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series

    • Colin Firth as Michael Peterson on The Staircase
    • Andrew Garfield as Detective Jeb Pyre on Under the Banner of Heaven
    • Oscar Isaac as Jonathan Levy on Scenes from a Marriage
    • Michael Keaton as Dr. Samuel Finnix on Dopesick
    • Himesh Patel as Jeevan Chaudhary on Station Eleven
    • Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee on Pam & Tommy

    An absolutely stacked category with some primo acting talent on display. But Michael Keaton has been cleaning up the acting awards since last winter, and given that his top competitors here — Firth and Garfield primarily — are representing shows that the Emmys decidedly did not take a shine too, it's hard to imagine he'll falter.

    Will Win: Michael Keaton
    Should Win: Colin Firth


    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series

    • Murray Bartlett as Armond on The White Lotus
    • Jake Lacy as Shane Patton on The White Lotus
    • Will Poulter as Billy Cutler on Dopesick
    • Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier on Pam & Tommy
    • Peter Sarsgaard as Rick Mountcastle on Dopesick
    • Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler on Dopesick
    • Steve Zahn as Mark Mossbacher on The White Lotus

    It's The White Lotus versus Dopesick in an absolute tossup of a category. With some great character actors in play, you could see this going in a ton of different directions.

    Will Win: Murray Bartlett
    Should Win: Murray Bartlett

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series

    • Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher on The White Lotus
    • Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid on The White Lotus
    • Alexandra Daddario as Rachel Patton on The White Lotus
    • Kaitlyn Dever as Betsey Mallum on Dopesick
    • Natasha Rothwell as Belinda on The White Lotus
    • Sydney Sweeney as Olivia Mossbacher on The White Lotus
    • Mare Winningham as Diane Mallum on Dopesick

    Stop us if you've heard this one: it's The White Lotus versus Dopesick! Much like Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Coolidge has been under a cloud of Emmy buzz since this show premiered. It would be a huge letdown if she lost, even if the rest of the category is full of deserving performances as well.

    Will Win: Jennifer Coolidge
    Should Win: Connie Britton


    Outstanding Competition Program

    • The Amazing Race (CBS)
    • Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Prime Video)
    • Nailed It! (Netflix)
    • RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
    • Top Chef (Bravo)
    • The Voice (NBC)

    RuPaul's Drag Race is on an epic winning streak, and there's no reason it should stop now.

    Will Win: RuPaul's Drag Race
    Should Win: Top Chef

    Outstanding Variety Talk Series

    • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
    • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
    • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
    • Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)
    • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is on an epic winning streak, and there's no reason it should stop now.

    Will Win: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
    Should Win: Late Night with Seth Meyers


    Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program

    • Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness for Queer Eye (Netflix)
    • Nicole Byer for Nailed It! (Netflix)
    • Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary for Shark Tank (ABC)
    • Padma Lakshmi for Top Chef (Disney+)
    • Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman for Making It
    • RuPaul for RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)

    RuPaul is also on an epic winning streak and should probably prevail, but it does feel like maybe the voters are thinking about moving on. Could this be the moment for Padma Lakshmi to ascend? (Probably not, but it would be fun!)

    Will Win: RuPaul
    Should Win: Nicole Byer

    The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards air September 12th on NBC and Peacock.

    People are talking about the Emmys in our forums. Join the conversation.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, Abbott Elementary, Barry, Better Call Saul, Dopesick, The Dropout, Hacks, Only Murders In The Building , Succession, Ted Lasso, The White Lotus, Yellowjackets