My Fearless, Somewhat Frightening 2016 Emmy Predictions

Last year it was Jane the Virgin that got screwed. This year I have a sinking feeling it’s going to be Mr. Robot.

Emmy Nominations will be announced Thursday at 11:30 am EST (stay glued to TVLine for the complete rundown/analysis!) and my gut is telling me that USA Network’s breakout hacker drama — and its sterling ensemble, led by Rami Malek and Christian Slater — will be completely shut out.

Speaking of egregious snubs, FX’s long-overlooked The Americans will come up empty again, while TV’s best drama — HBO’s The Leftovers — will likely have to make do with one single nod, for best actress contender Carrie Coon (and believe me, I’ll be happy with that).

But Thursday’s announcement is also poised to feature some pleasant surprises, including the CW’s first-ever acting nod (for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom) and an impressive showing for Aziz Ansari’s rookie Netflix Comedy Master of None.

Scroll down to review my fearless predictions in the major drama and comedy categories, and then hit the comments with your own Emmy forecast. And remember — these are predictions not endorsements. To get a sense of who we’d like to see nom’d on Thursday, view TVLine’s Dream Emmy Nominations.

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

House of Cards
Orange Is the New Black

Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Paul Giamatti, Billions
Damien Lewis, Billions
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Maura Tierney, The Affair

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

The Big Bang Theory
Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Anna Faris, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Allison Janney, Mom
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Hugh Laurie, Veep

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kiki says:

    I’d replace Taraji with Kerry (Washington). I might not have liked Scandal this back half of the season but KW gave a nuanced and good performance

    • Elizabette says:

      I love K.erry. W , but her performance was horrible in the back half of season 6
      The back half of the season , was trash. she was yelling and crying , she was a bad monster. Scandal no longer deserve emmy or golden globe. the writer has burry this show with stupid plots, monologues ,nobody in scandal deserve emmy and golden. when the writer will give to her , smart and good scripts, she will win but now she is loser . I really hope for next year she will be better

    • Lenie says:

      Sorry, but IMO Kerry was not deserving of an Emmy nod for Scandal. She’s a good actress, but her performance was so erratic probably because Liv is an underdeveloped and badly written character. Scandal writers seem to have no interest in Liv. Liv has gone through several transformations/personalities simply to fit whatever plotline the writers want to pursue. S:1-2 we had brilliant, sharp sophisticated, caring, flawed Liv; s:3-4 we had the incompetent, confused, immature daddy’s girl and s:5 we had the cold, murderous, power driven sociopath, with no reasons and no backstory regarding her personality changes. It is quite evident that her illness is related to her relationship with her father, but writers have no interest in exploring the origins of their relationship. It is quite evident that it has become the Jake Ballard Show. Why else would Liv’s murderous rage and PTSD inspire a Jake backstory, and not Liv’s backstory. It is obvious that Scott Foley the real star of this show. Trouble with that is Foley is a boring and bland actor unable to instill Jake with the kind of complexity needed to make his damaged character truly interesting. S:5B consisted of the show characters totaling concerned with saving poor Jake. Eli makes speeches about Jake being his son, Huck/Quinn, who didn’t like Jake, go on about saving poor Jake and Liv has crying jags about how Daddy is gonna slit Jake’s throat is she tries to save him. Jake is in his forties, a former Navy Admiral and supposedly the most capable, brilliant B6-13 field agent that Eli ever trained, so why can’t he save himself? Story makes no sense. Think that Shondra Rhimes and writers want to make Scott Foley another Patrick Dempsey type star. If viewers don’t find Jake Ballard fascinating then there is really no reason to tune into Scandal. Show has lost it’s way and half its audience.

  2. spindae2 says:

    I just need American Crime to score as many as possible, the rest is really pretty much irrelevant to me.

    Also would be really happy if Donna from CeG would scored one, she made CeG really great.

    • KLS says:

      American Crime should get something. Seems like the same actors/characters/shows get nominated every year. Some of the shows praised are unwatchable.

    • flutiefan says:

      i never got to see how AC ended… my cable company dropped it from OnDemand. the last episode i saw was the mom calling the police on her son after he shot the bully. i’d like to hear from a fan (not from a blog) how it ended!

  3. Ralph says:

    Yea for Vera Farmiga but my hope would be Freddie Highmore as well.

  4. Mike says:

    No nomination for Tatiana Maslany would be a crime.

  5. Leo Wyatt says:

    If Taraji gets nominated I will be pissed off ,she wasn’t given good material at all! Ellen Pompeo deserves to be nominated and to actually win it ,I would also swap Carrie with Krysten Ritter

  6. Tina says:

    This list is so typical, so boring, and so very very WHITE.

  7. Brian says:

    Rooting like crazy for Vera Farmiga to get a nomination. But worried she won’t make the cut. And it’s a damn shame Freddie Highmore didn’t get much support within the media & critics for a nomination. He was amazing this season. And I have to mostly agree about Taraji and Kerry. Don’t think Taraji did anymore than Kerry did this season, but between the 2, Taraji’s show is still much more hotter even with less buzz than last season.

    • Elizabette says:

      Nope ,Kerry did nothing to have a nomination this back half season 6 on the show , her acting was horribe with bad scripts. Kerry deserve better and i hope next year she will get better script, because she is a wonderful actress. she is losing a place as lead in this show. the show is horibe now. bad plots and bad scripts

  8. Daphne says:

    Quick mention that there’s a typo: Tituss Burgess (Titus should have 2 “S”)

  9. Jennifer says:

    If this is even close to the real list, the Emmys will be very boring for me. I watch MAYBE 2 of these. I have to go back to my soapbox. We need to break apart the network vs. non-network shows. Non-network has so much more to work with. Network actors / shows get overlooked – for the most part.

  10. My picks:

    Drama–Downton Abbey

    Lead Actress in Drama–Vera (Robin is a close second)

    Lead Actor in Drama–Freddie Highmore (not listed)

    Supporting Actress in Drama–Maggie Smith (would also be happy with Christine Baranski)

    Supporting Actor in Drama–Alan Cumming

    Outstanding Comedy–anything but Big Bang and Modern Family. They’ve already won plenty.

    Lead Actress in Comedy– Lily Tomlin

    Lead Actor in Comedy–Aziz Ansari

    Supporting Actress in Comedy–Allison Janney

    Supporting Actor in Comedy–Andre Braugher

  11. Sam says:

    Can the entire cast of Bates Motel be nominated? Pretty Please?!!!

  12. damroberts744 says:

    And the trio of Phil, Claire, and oddly Haley were pretty much the standouts.

  13. JRStewart says:

    I’d replace any of the Best Actress nominees for Shiri Appleby and make room for UnREAL in the best drama list. That show deserves some Emmy attention!

  14. Hellastyle says:

    I’m surprised by quantity of Billions in the predictions, it passed so quietly for me. I don’t even know, did it score the second season?..

  15. I would replace every Modern Family nomination with anything else that is on TV right now. That show has become completely unwatchable.

  16. JenJ says:

    I don’t watch any of these shows. Haven’t watched the Emmys since the 1980s, don’t really care about awards shows. Happy for those who like these things, though.

  17. N!loofar says:

    The list is boring and so is the Emmys, its like they decided Homeland is the only espionge thriller and should be nominated every year until the end of its run. The Americans doesn’t need Emmy to be exceptional every season.

  18. wrstlgirl says:

    It’s the same year after year unfortunately.

  19. Jared says:

    I LOVE Taraji but her Empire material just wasn’t as good as last season. I’d much rather see Tatiana Maslany get some love(even though I won’t hold my breathe).

  20. HAP says:

    Just curious whether Shameless is in the comedy or drama category. Never understood why the wonderful Emmy Rossum has never received a nomination.

  21. Simon says:

    If it’s Billions over Mr. Robot, I will puke, also Freddie Highmore’s name better be called for Bates Motel.

  22. Spence says:

    Sincerely hoping Danielle Brooks gets nominated for her portrayal of Taystee in the last two episodes of season 4 of Orange. Uzo was great too, but Suzanne just didn’t have as much impact this season as Taystee did.

  23. Simon Jester says:

    Surprised to see so much love for the pedestrian final season of Downton Abbey… but then again, the Emmy’s have been equally over-effusive in their praise for this glossy soap.

  24. S g says:

    It’s time for Jonathan Tucker or Matt Lauria to get some love for Kingdom as supporting actor drama.

    Tj Miller in silicon valley for supporting comedy.

    Love to see Casual get some love. Probably the best show on Hulu.

  25. James says:

    What about Eva Green for Penny Dreadful?!

  26. Laurie says:

    I’m surprised to see no Outlander love.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Totally and completely agree. I think this is the first pundits list I’ve seen to snub the show, and in particular, Caitroina Balfe. I doubt she’d win, but I’m a little bit shocked Ausiello didn’t have her listed at all. Then again, it *is* the Emmys, or as I like to call it, Groundhog Day Feat. Increased Irrelevance.

      • ekolint48 says:

        Well these are his predictions, not the dream list that they put out a month or so ago. But, I agree with the sentiments.

    • Laura de la Calzada says:

      I totally agree. Outlander and its lead performers all deserve Emmy nominations – and wins!

  27. Courtney says:

    I think you’ll be right on most of this, sadly. It’s a lot of repeats. However, I think if some of your choices are too “fresh” for this silly academy. I can’t see Carrie Coon or Vera Farmiga being nominated this year, even though they completely deserve it. It’s also really interesting to see Billions pop up so much, we’ll see.

  28. abz says:

    I kind of wish Rebecca Wisocky would get a Comedy nomination for her work on Devious Maids. She has been absolutely hilarious this season.
    American Crime NEEDS to be nominated!!!

  29. Leona says:

    I think your picks are pretty good. They’re not what I want to see, but we all know that’s what the Emmys do…same and safe. I personally would love to see Caitriona Balfe (Outlander) nominated, but I’m not holding my breath.

  30. Though unlikely, I’d love to see Aya Cash nominated for You’re The Worst. Also, Constance and Shiri from UnReal are beyond deserving.

  31. Hoping for a Leftovers best drama nomination and Justin Theroux for actor. Agree on Kyle Chandler & Carrie Coon, plus it would be great to see Andre Braugher get a nom too. He is hilarious as Captain Holt!

  32. matty says:

    I would replace Anna Faris with Jane Fonda. I see no indication that “Mom” will get much more love outside of Allison Janney’s yearly nomination.

  33. Austin Book says:

    I love every post about the Emmy’s on TVLine. If you guys have time, it’d be great if you covered the major Miniseries/Movie categories as well. Overall, I think the nominations are pretty accurate. I think Michelle Dockery and even Laura Carmichael may make an appearance in Lead Actress. Also, I think that the Emmy’s won’t copy and paste the Drama Supporting Actor category. And, Transparent will get a few more nominations than predicted. I sincerely hope that Mr. Robot isn’t replaced for Billions, and I actually don’t think it will.

  34. unclelawwy says:

    Thank you for including Vera Green in your list of great actors with zero Emmys but I really wish you’d made the list great actors who have never even been nominated.

  35. Rob says:

    I just started watching Orphan Black last week. I am on S1 finale. Now that i’ve seen the show.. it is a travesty that she has not won or been nominated for more awards. She is very talented!!! I mean, the different characters and accents and emotions… spot on. She is a gem. I’ve heard the seasons only get better from here! Pretty excited for whats in store

  36. almostgeddon says:

    Shameless hasn’t been funny for years and neither has William H Macy’ Frank Gallagher. Why would you include such a stagnant character?

  37. Venti says:


  38. Me says:

    Where is ”The Knick”?
    I’m so frustated because real quality is always snubbed.

  39. John NYC says:

    0 for everything but TBBT and B99!

    SO close.

  40. Jessica Gibson says:

    What about Madam Secretary and Tea Leoni? So underrated. The writing and acting is exceptional. I barely watch any of the shows that get nominated every year. They really need some new variety.

  41. burnscindy says:

    Will this be televised? If so, what network?

  42. Shru says:

    You have to remember that Jane the Virgin only won a golden globe, hence was shut out at the Emmys. Mr Robot has won so many awards in the technical side as well, Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Peabody, etc. I highly doubt it’ll be shut out. Because that’s crazy even for the Emmys

  43. Tshepe says:

    Peter Dinklage did not have a very dynamic season, of course he is a lock in for a nomination, but it is Kit Harington who deserves the nod this year.

  44. hank ronson says:

    Tatiana Maslany come on really your going to leave her off the list yeah right

  45. Sara says:

    I’m sorry but I’d hardly call most of these predictions fearless.

  46. Lenie says:

    Kerry Washington is good actress but she did not deserve an Emmy nod for Scandal. Her performance was erratic and uninteresting. Liv is a badly written and poorly developed character. Scandal writers have no interest in Liv. The character has gone through several transformations/personalities, to fit into whatever plotline the writers want to pursue. s:1-2 we had brilliant, caring, sophisticated, professional, but flawed Liv; s:3-4 we had incompetent, immature, daddy’s girl, s:5 we had the cruel, murderous, power driven sociopath. Liv’s emotional instability seems to be tied in to child traumas suffered at the hands of her father, but writers have no interest in showing viewers the origins of the father/daughter relationship. Scandal has become the Jake Ballard Show. Eli goes on about Jake being his son, Huck/Quinn, who don’t even like Jake, worry about saving Jake, and Liv breaks into hysterics about how Daddy will slit Jake’s throat if she tries to save him. Liv is just the background to Jake’s foreground. Why else would Liv’s murderous rage and PTSD result in a Jake backstory and not a Liv backstory. Show wants to make Scott Foley’s Jake the leading character, but unfortunately Foley is a boring/bland actor that fails to give his damaged character the kind of complexity that is needed to make Jake truly interesting. Jake is about 40, a former Navy Admiral and supposedly the most brilliant, capable B6-13 field agent that ever existed, so why can’t this former commander save himself from an elderly man? Story makes no sense and show has lost its way and millions of viewers in attempt to make Scott Foley into another Patrick Dempsey type star. Major failure