Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2020 Emmy Winners

Who will emerge a winner on Sunday? We're betting on Schitt's Creek, Watchmen, and Succession to dominate.

by | September 17, 2020 | Comments

Watchmen keyart Regina King (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

When the Television Academy announces winners for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards on Sunday, HBO’s Watchmen and Succession and the final season of Schitt’s Creek are sure to dominate — in the world according to us.

We’ve weighed the variables — including Tomatometer scores (critical reception), Audience Scores, industry buzz, competition in each category, and our own wild (but educated) hunches — to come up with our list of who we think will take home awards this weekend.

Check out our Emmy award predictions below and come back on Sunday when we reveal the winners of the 2020 Emmy Awards.

Disagree? Let us know who you think will win in the comments.

Read also: Rotten Tomatoes’ 2020 Fall TV Reader Survey — The Mandalorian and The Stand Lead Our Top Categories

Outstanding Comedy Series

Schitt's Creek the final season keyart

(Photo by Pop TV)

What’s nominated?

What will win? Schitt’s Creek

And why? The sixth and final season of Pop series Schitt’s Creek climbed from four nominations last year to a whopping 15 this year, and its cast is likely to dominate in their respective categories. With 20 nominations this year and 17 past Emmy wins, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the title to beat, but its Certified Fresh third season scored an 82% compared to Schitt’s Creek season 6’s Certified Fresh 100% score. Meanwhile, a win by What We Do in the Shadows, another title whose most recent season is Certified Fresh at 100%, would be a big category upset.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Catherine O'Hara in Schitt's Creek, s6

(Photo by Pop TV)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? O’Hara

And why? O’Hara will ride the Schitt’s Creek wave and take the category for her role as the Rose family’s wig-loving matriarch, Moira. Brosnahan, with three Emmy nominations in her career, won this category once for her as Midge Maisel. The stars of Dead to Me are likely to have split their vote, while Ross was the surprise nomination for the category, despite having been nominated three previous times for her role as Rainbow Johnson.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Eugene Levy in season 6 of Schitt's Creek

(Photo by Pop TV)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Levy

And why? We’re betting on Levy and that Schitt’s Creek love, though we felt that Youssef was a strong contender for the award. They face Danson, who’s been nominated in this category for the past two years, and Douglas, while Cheadle and Anderson’s nominations came as a surprise.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who will be nominated?

Who will win? Borstein

And why? Borstein won this category the past two years in a row for her role as Susie Myerson in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and, we think, is again the front runner this year. Seven-time nominee, two-time winner McKinnon and nomination newcomer Strong, may split votes for their Saturday Night Live work. Meanwhile, Emmy-nomination newbies Murphy and Carden have strong support for the final seasons of their respective shows — but this is a tough category.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Tony Shalhoub in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 3

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Shalhoub

And why? Emmy heavyweight Shalhoub (11 career nominations, four wins) will defend his title in this category against Schitt’s Creek executive producer, co-creator, and star Levy. (We’re thinking the Television Academy will reward Levy’s producer role with the comedy series win.) Braugher and Harper’s nominations were a nice surprise, but they’re facing an uphill battle against the two favorites; that said, Ali could provide an even bigger surprise and knock everyone out come awards time.

Outstanding Drama Series

Succession s2

(Photo by HBO)

What is nominated?

What will win? Succession

And whyThe strength of Succession’s first season seemed to take some off-guard, but series creator Jesse Armstrong (Oscar nominated for 2009’s In The Loop) went on to win a writing Emmy for it. The HBO show’s story was on steroids in season 2, setting the series itself up for an award this year. Still, the category offers a few questions to ponder: Could all that Baby Yoda love carry surprise nominee The Mandalorian into the winners’ circle? Or will Better Call Saul take revenge for its stars’ snubs in the acting nominations and spank everyone in the category? We’re sticking with Succession in our predictions.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Laura Linney in Ozark SEASON 3 EPISODE 6 PHOTO CREDIT Steve Dietl/Netflix

(Photo by Steve Dietl/Netflix)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Linney

And why? Colman seemed the actress to beat for her highly-anticipated turn as Queen Elizabeth II in season 3 of The Crown, but Linney and Aniston are Emmy favorites, now with seven nominations each in their careers, with Linney winning four times and Aniston winning once. Comer is the incumbent here, but Killing Eve Tomatometer score took a dive in season 3 at 80%, compared to season 1’s 96% and 2’s 92% (all were Certified Fresh), and then there’s the nomination of Oh in the category that further dilutes the Killing Eve duo’s individual chances. Zendaya’s nomination surprised many (not us), but with so many awards-veteran challengers, a win seems out of reach. We’re giving it to Linney for the buzz on her chances — but wouldn’t be surprised at all if Colman snagged it from her.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession

(Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Cox

And why? Forgive us, we’re still reeling from the nomination snub of Bob Odenkirk in this category for his work on season 5 of Better Call Saul. That leaves Cox in the strongest position; though Strong may have split the vote among Succession fans, leaving Bateman in the lead. Porter won this category last year for his role as Pray Tell in the FX series, and there’s every reason to think he could take it again. Brown and Carell were the surprise nominations for us, and we don’t see them overtaking the front runners. We’re betting Cox will prevail for his epic performance as the Roy family patriarch.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Helena Bonham Carter in season 3 of The Crown

(Photo by Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Carter

And why? Carter clearly had a ball playing aging Princess Margaret in season 3 of The Crown, but the big question is how she will fare against last year’s winner in the category, Garner, for her role as Ruth Langmore in Ozark. The category’s competition is wickedly strong across the board, but we think it’s down to those two, and we’ll give it to Carter for her surprising and delightful portrayal.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Billy Crudup in The Morning Show

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Crudup

And why? Our guess is that Crudup and Culkin battled it out for supremacy; though both must contend with the possibility that their costars siphoned off votes, and maybe Whitford, Wright, or Esposito will have realized an advantage because of it. Team Succession probably collectively won, but we’re betting on Crudup in a category that could really go to any of the nominees.

Outstanding Limited Series

Watchmen, season 1 Regina King. Andrew Howard. Photo: Mark Hill.

(Photo by HBO)

What is nominated?

What will win? Watchmen

And why? Mrs. America and Unbelievable may have higher Tomatometer scores, but we think the category is going Watchmen, Damon Lindelof’s timely and tense examination of history, race, and justice within the superhero milieu.

TV Movie

The winner in this category will be announced on Saturday, September 19 as part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards presentation, airing at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on FXX.

Bad Education

(Photo by Ben Rothstein / Netflix)

What is nominated?

What will win? Bad Education

And why? The power of Bad Education, with its Certified Fresh 93% score and outstanding performances led by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, is undeniable. Jesse Pinkman and his El Camino may not go down without a fight, but we think they’re going to get schooled.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Watchmen Season 1, Episode 9 (season finale) Regina King. photo: Mark Hill/HBO

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? King

And why? Though Blanchett is a front runner, we think 2018 category winner King will emerge victorious once more for her powerful performance in HBO’s alternate-history, vigilante-superhero drama.

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True

(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Ruffalo

And why? Ruffalo turned in a stellar dual performance in I Know This Much Is True, and his biggest competition is fellow film star Jackman. We can’t help thinking, however, that Ruffalo did twice the work.

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Jean Smart in Watchmen

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Smart

And why? This is a tough category chock full of superb performances. For one, we expect the three Mrs. America stars to divide the Academy, leaving Smart — with her buzzy performance in a timely genre series — as the favorite for the win.

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Watchmen

(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)

Who is nominated?

Who will win? Abdul-Mateen II

And why? The odds favor four-time Emmy winner Parsons, but — feel that breeze? That’s the wings of Watchmen and the winds of change.

The 72nd Emmy Awards winners will be announced on Sunday, September 20, at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

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