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Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2021 Emmy Nominees

The nominations for the 73rd Emmy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, and we're predicting a big morning for Ted Lasso, Hacks, The Underground Railroad, and even the MCU. See our expert picks ahead of the big announcement.

by | July 9, 2021 | Comments

Nominations for the 73rd Emmy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, July 13, and Rotten Tomatoes has a few thoughts on who will be contenders for the awards.

We’re looking at Hacks, Ted Lasso, The Queen’s Gambit, and The Crown and their lead cast members to take up the bulk of nominations for top awards. Read on to find out who we think has the best chances at scoring a nomination and who the dark horses are to upset our expectations.

The nominations will be announced at 8:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, with Emmy Award winners Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) and his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blindspotting), hosting the virtual event.

Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma will join them at the nominations announcement, which will stream live on Come back to on Emmys nominations morning to see the full list of nominess.

Who do you think will be nominated? Tell us in the comments!

Related: The Best TV Shows of 2021 (So Far)

Outstanding Comedy Series

Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso keyart

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who will be nominated?

And why? We won’t be the first to say that this category is Ted Lasso’s to lose this year, and though our bets that Made for Love and Mythic Quest will score nominations might be considered wild shots in the dark to some, we’re looking at their Certified Fresh Tomatometer scores. The eligible seasons of The Kominsky Method, Black-ish, Master of None, and Cobra Kai – all odds-on favorites – either don’t have the reviews and aren’t Certified Fresh or, if they are, don’t beat Made for Love and Mythic Quest‘s scores.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Jean Smart in Hacks (HBO Max)

(Photo by HBO Max)

Who will be nominated?

And why? We’re betting it’ll be a double-nomination year for Jean Smart: here and in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her turn in HBO’s Mare of Easttown. Smart has three Emmy Awards out of nine nominations, and she’ll definitely add to one or both of those tallies this year. We also think PEN15 stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle have the best chances of breaking through our nomination predictions in this category.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jason Sudeikis in Ted Lasso season 1

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who will be nominated?

And why? The Kominsky Method may not be among our Outstanding Comedy Series predictions, but we think Michael Douglas has a great shot at a nomination for his performance. Jason Sudeikis will be the one to beat come awards time. Two-time Emmy winner Ted Danson (Mr. Mayor) or one of the Cobra Kai stars, Ralph Macchio or William Zabka, could kick someone off our list and score the nomination.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple in ìTed Lasso"

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Come awards time in September, Ted Lasso could sweep the categories it has nominees in, and this should be one of them. SNL is poised to make a strong showing as well. If anyone sneaks on this list ahead of our picks, it’ll likely be Girls5Eva‘s Paula Pell – or maybe Mr. Mayor‘s Holly Hunter, who already has one Oscar and two Emmys.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


(Photo by NBC/Mary Ellen Matthews)

Who will be nominated?


And why? The Ted Lasso stars are going head-to-head with SNL talent for a spot in the Supporting Actor nominations. Good luck to them all! If any of our current picks don’t get the nomination, it’ll likely be because another Ted Lasso (Jeremy Swift) or SNL star (Pete Davidson) snatched it away.

Outstanding Drama Series

Pedro Pascal and Grogu in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2, Chapter 14

(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ô. All Rights Reserved.)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Yes, it’s true: The Mandalorian is a frontrunner in the Emmy Drama race this year. If you remember that very special guest appearance in season 2, then you know why we’re cheering for the series in this contest. We’re also expecting unusual suspects The Boys and Bridgerton to stake their claim in this category, but This Is Us and In Treatment could certainly knock them out of the running.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Anna Corrin in The Crown

(Photo by Des Willie / Netflix)

Who will be nominated?


And why? Relative newcomer Corrin will find herself alongside awards vets Colman, Moss, and Aduba in this race. If anyone is knocked off of our list, it’ll likely be by Mj Rodriguez or Sarah Paulson of Ryan Murphy’s Pose and Ratched, respectively.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series


(Photo by Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Can the smoldering Duke of Hastings hold off cheating Prince Charles in this contest? We’ll see come awards time – they’re both guaranteed a spot among the nominees for Lead Actor in a Drama. Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) may also turn up as nominees.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

The Crown

(Photo by Des Willie / Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

And why? The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lovecraft Country stars will dominate nominations here. Cynthia Nixon is also a favorite among awards watchers for her performance in Ratched, but we think Pose‘s Indya Moore or Dominique Jackson would be most likely to break up our predictions for who will be nominated.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

The Handmaid's Tale, 401, Bradley Whitford

(Photo by Sophie Giraud/Hulu)

Who will be nominated?

And why? In contrast to the Drama Supporting Actress category, the Supporting Actor in a Drama category is spread across more titles. We’re out on a limb with our bets on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier nominations this year. If anyone threatens Brühl and Russell’s spots in the nominations, we expect it is O-T Fagbenle for the most recent season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Outstanding Limited Series


(Photo by Netflix)

Who will be nominated?

And why? This is the category with the strongest contenders and the most threatening titles waiting in the wings: WandaVision, It’s a Sin, and/or The Good Lord Bird could swoop in and grab a nomination away from anyone.

TV Movie


(Photo by Amazon Studios)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Sylvie’s Love, with its 93% Certified Fresh Tomatometer score, stands as the strongest contender in the “TV Movie” category followed by HBO Max’s Unpregnant, which is Certified Fresh at 91%. With so many films finding a home on streaming in the past year, it’s hard to understand why the category isn’t overflowing with meaty titles. The short story: Most of those splashy films you watched from the comfort of your couch during the pandemic were either submitted for Academy Awards or somehow managed a theatrical release, and thus are ineligible for an Emmy.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

I May Destroy You star Michaela Coel

(Photo by Laura Radford/HBO)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Another highly competitive category, and the talent here is inspiring. Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha) and Nicole Kidman (The Undoing) are most likely to disrupt our predictions, but Tessa Thompson (Sylvie’s Love), Amanda Peet (Dirty John), Ruth Wilson (Oslo), Deborah Ayorinde (Them), and others are just as worthy of nominations.

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Ethan Hawke as John Brown in THE GOOD LORD BIRD

(Photo by William Gray/Showtime)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Series Halston and Them perhaps didn’t perform quite as well on the Tomatometer as The Good Lord Bird or the filmed version of stage show Hamilton, but their lead performances were top tier. Other experts bet hard on Hugh Grant for The Undoing and Jeff Daniels for The Comey Rule, but we would just as easily add Joel Edgerton (The Underground Railroad) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton) to the names that could show up among the nominees come Tuesday.

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie


(Photo by ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Hahn’s charismatic Marvel witch charmed viewers everywhere this year and left us wanting more, while Buckley and Smart completely lost themselves in their quirky characters. In a category overstuffed with nomination options, Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown), Teyonah Parris (WandaVision), and Weruche Opia (I May Destroy You) could upset our list.

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Small Axe

(Photo by Amazon Studios)

Who will be nominated?

And why? Boyega’s work in Small Axe cannot be ignored, while Camp, Peters, Harper, and Sutherland each turned in nuanced and acclaimed performances. Diggs already has a Tony for his role in Hamilton, which feels a bit like double dipping. Who could surprise us here? Brendan Gleeson (The Comey Rule), Courtney B. Vance (Genius: Aretha), and Paapa Esiedu (I May Destroy You) are all contenders for a nomination.


Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program

Who will be nominated?

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Who will be nominated?

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Who will be nominated?

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Who will be nominated?

Home Town Takeover: Season 1

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

Who will be nominated?

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked!: Season 13

Outstanding Competition Program

Who will be nominated?

Nominations for the 2021 Emmy Awards will be announced 8:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday July 14, 2021.  

Thumbnail image courtesy HBO, Netflix, Disney+

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