When the Emmy Awards show is presented Sunday, it’ll be missing its most royal subject. “Game of Thrones,” winner for best drama two years in a row, was ineligible this time around because its season began too late, triggering some intriguing battles for the throne:
Best supporting actor in a comedy
Nominees: Louie Anderson, “Baskets”; Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”; Tituss Burgess, “Kimmy Schmidt”; Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”; Tony Hale and Matt Walsh, “Veep.”
Should win: It’s not just my Minnesota bias that has me rooting for Anderson to repeat. Of all the contenders, he had to dig the deepest.
Will win: Returning champs usually have an edge here, but liberal Hollywood will take the opportunity to stick it to President Donald Trump by voting for Baldwin’s impersonation on “SNL.”
Best comedy series
Nominees: “Atlanta,” “Black-ish,” “Master of None,” “Modern Family,” “Silicon Valley,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Veep.”
Should win: There’s plenty of opportunity for the Academy to show its commitment to diversity, with a slight edge for “Atlanta” over “Master of None.”
Will win: A three-peat from “Veep” wouldn’t be that unusual. Previous champ “Modern Family” won five times in a row.
Best drama series
Nominees: “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us,” “Westworld.”
Should win: “The Crown” pulled off the near-impossible: making Queen Elizabeth seem human.
Will win: With “Thrones” on the sidelines, all bets are off. Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is the favorite, but a streaming show has never taken the top prize in drama, or comedy, for that matter.
Nominees: “Big Little Lies,” “Fargo,” “Feud: Bette and Joan,” “Genius,” “The Night Of.”
Should win: Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon were terrific in “Feud,” but I’m still haunted by “Night.”
Will win: TV folks still get a little ga-ga over movie stars. That bodes well for “Big Little Lies.”
Actress in a movie or miniseries
Nominees: Carrie Coon, “Fargo”; Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”; Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”; Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, “Feud.”
Should win: Four of six contenders are Oscar winners, but Lange has two of them. “Feud” reminds us why.
Will win: If there were an award for Newcomer of the Year, Coon would win in a landslide. There isn’t. Kidman is the favorite, but look for Lange to pick up her fourth Emmy.
Actor in a drama
Nominees: Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”; Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”; Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”; Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”; Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards.”
Should win: Brown won last year for playing Christopher Darden in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” Expect him to be rewarded for something completely different.
Will win: The best chance for the Academy to recognize “This Is Us” is through the acting categories, an effort that will certainly benefit Brown and maybe Chrissy Metz as a supporting actress.