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Who's Poised to Win at the 2020 Daytime Emmys?

It's the night when soap stars and talk show hosts shine, but who's getting trophies?
  • Katherine Kelly Lang, Kelly Clarkson and Alex Trebek are among our favorites to win at the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards.
    Katherine Kelly Lang, Kelly Clarkson and Alex Trebek are among our favorites to win at the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards.

    The Daytime Emmy Awards make their return to network television tonight on CBS as a socially distant awards show, with the winners accepting their trophies at home. With the Tony Awards cancelled, and the Primetime Emmy Awards still a few months away, this makes thee Daytime Emmys the guinea pig award ceremony. The hosts will be Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Eve, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Marie Osmond from The Talk, whose show will compete with upstart The Kelly Clarkson Show for Talk Show superiority. But as always, the Daytime Emmys will be headlined by the soaps, with the four remaining network dramas competing for this year's trophies across multiple categories.

    Since Daytime doesn't have the audience it used to, curious awards-watchers may be in the market for some rooting interests or a lay of the land in the major categories. This way, you can cheer, boo or shed a tear as if you've been invested in the melodrama for years, just like a real soap fan. Here's a look at who's nominated in each of the major categories, who's favored to win and why:

    Outstanding Drama Series
    The Bold and the Beautiful
    Days of Our Lives
    General Hospital
    The Young and the Restless

    Ever since All My Children and One Life to Live were cancelled on ABC, there have been only four daytime soap operas left on network TV. So you can throw the "it's an honor just to be nominated" thing out the window for this category. In the years since, Days, GH, and Y&R have each won twice. The oddsmakers at Gold Derby list The Young and the Restless as favorites to repeat last year's win, but with 23 total nominations, General Hospital has to be considered a strong contender as well. Prediction: General Hospital

    Outstanding Talk Show/Informative
    The 3rd Hour of Today
    Rachel Ray
    Red Table Talk
    Today with Hoda & Jenna
    The View

    Ever since 2007, when the Outstanding Talk Show category split into two categories — Informative and Entertainment — The View has competed in the Entertainment division … and lost every single time, including seven times to The Ellen DeGeneres Show and twice to their hated rival and copycat The Talk. This year, The View has migrated to the Informative category, which had been dominated by The Dr. Oz Show up until last year when the good doctor was beaten by Rachel Ray (another show that had migrated over from the Entertainment category). Looking at this category, you'd have to imagine The View would be the favorite, but they've experienced years of futility in the Talk Show category, so maybe voters will continue to seek out something else. Prediction: The View

    Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment
    The Ellen Degeneres Show
    GMA3: Strahan, Sara and Keke
    The Kelly Clarkson Show
    Live with Kelly and Ryan
    The Talk

    Ellen has dominated this category over the years, although The Talk has won twice since 2016. The big story in this category this year is The Kelly Clarkson Show, which is eligible for its debut season. No daytime talk show has gotten the kind of immediate praise and recognition that Kelly's has since probably Ellen herself, and this feels like the perfect time for a changing of the guard. Prediction: The Kelly Clarkson Show

    Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
    Finola Hughes, General Hospital
    Katherine Kelly Lang, The Bold and the Beautiful
    Heather Tom, The Bold and the Beautiful
    Maura West, General Hospital
    Arianne Zucker, Days of Our Lives

    A few points of interest if you're looking to follow some storylines: Maura West is a three-time winner in this category, while Heather Tom is a Daytime Emmys magnet, having won five Emmys in total off a whopping 19 nominations in her career. Finola Hughes's only win in this category came all the way back in 1991. Meanwhile, if you're looking for a reason to root for Arianne Zucker, you could note that she was the actress Donald Trump crudely ogled in the infamous Access Hollywood tape, so she probably deserves something good to happen for her, karmically speaking. But the story in this category may well be Katherine Kelly Lang, who's played Brooke Logan since 1987 and only ever got her first Daytime Emmy nomination in 2013. She's never won, so expect a big whoop if her name gets called. Prediction: Katherine Kelly Lang

    Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
    Steve Burton, General Hospital
    Thorsten Kaye, The Bold and the Beautiful
    Jon Lindstrom, General Hospital
    Thaao Penghlis, Days of Our Lives
    Jason Thompson, The Young and the Restless

    Unless Burton (the 1998 and 2017 Supporting Actor champ) wins, somebody will be taking home their very first Daytime Emmy when this category gets called. Thorsten Kaye has the distinction of having been nominated in this category for three different roles in his career (after stints on Port Charles and All My Children), and Jason Thompson was a five-time nominee for General Hospital before getting this, his first nomination in the role of Billy Abbott on Y&R. The Young and the Restless holds the record for most actors to have won in this category, and Thompson would be the sixth. (Ironically, the last Y&R cast member to win the category was Billy Miller, the previous actor to play Billy Abbott.) Prediction: Jason Thompson

    Outstanding Game Show Host
    Wayne Brady, Let's Make a Deal
    Steve Harvey, Family Feud
    Alfonso Ribeiro, Catch 21
    Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune
    Alex Trebek, Jeopardy!

    The three most recent winners in this category are Trebek, Harvey, and Brady, with six-time winner Trebek as the obvious sentimental favorite. He won last year's award mere months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and gave a wonderfully touching acceptance speech. It's hard to imagine anyone not voting for him again. Prediction: Alex Trebek

    Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host
    Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, and Ana Navarro, The View
    Tamron Hall, Tamron Hall
    Larry King, Larry King Now
    Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Today with Hoda & Jenna
    Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Red Table Talk

    Much like in the Talk Show category, the ladies of The View couldn't pull out a win in the Entertainment category, so maybe they'll have better luck here in Informative. They'll have to beat out last year's champ Hoda Kotb, who won with her old partner in wine Kathie Lee Gifford and is now partnered with former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager. But this is a tough category, with Tamron Hall a hugely respected presence, not to mention a dark horse bid from Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk, which benefits from the star power of the Smith family. Look for an upset here! Prediction: Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris

    Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host
    Michael Strahan, Sara Haines, and Keke Palmer, GMA3: Strahan, Sara and Keke
    Kelly Clarkson, The Kelly Clarkson Show
    Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, Live with Kelly and Ryan
    Maury Povich, Maury
    Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Eve, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Marie Osmond, The Talk

    The ladies of The Talk may be hosting this year, but Kelly Clarkson has all the momentum to take this trophy. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that historically, Emmy voters love to category-split in the Talk Show categories, with the show winners and the host winners rarely matching up, especially in recent years. So while the smart money is on Kelly Clarkson winning both categories to hedge your bets, don't be surprised if she gets upset in one of them, though how tragic would it be if she gets bested by her old American Idol host Ryan Seacrest? It's worth watching to find out. Prediction: Kelly Clarkson

    The 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards air on CBS tonight at 8:00 PM ET.

    Joe Reid is the Managing Editor 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, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: The Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Red Table Talk, The Talk, The View, The Young and the Restless, Alex Trebek, Kelly Clarkson