The nomination-round voting period for the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards closes on Monday, which means there’s still time. Rumor has it 80 percent of of Academy members wait until the very last minute to fill out their ballots, which is a statistic I literally just made up. But, let’s face it, the only thing Hollywood loves more than recycling is procrastinating, so there’s a good chance a lot of Emmy voting will be going on this weekend. To all you dilly-dalliers, I urge you — no, I beg you — to keep top of mind these three insanely deserving, yet underdog, contenders (all of ’em TVLine Dream Emmy finalists), because I have a bad feeling I won’t hear any of their names called out at the nomination announcement on July 13. Please prove wrong my gut (which has an accuracy rate of up to 72 percent, another statistic I just pulled out of thin air).
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel (LISTEN: PODCAST Q&A)
It’s crazy that Emmy has yet to recognize Highmore for his revelatory performance as Norman Bates on the A&E drama. Luckily, he was never better than in the show’s fifth and final season, so it’s the perfect time for voters to right this egregious wrong.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers (LISTEN: PODCAST Q&A)
Emmy has inexplicably never had much of an appetite for The Leftovers, with the acclaimed HBO drama getting completely shut out during its first two seasons. So even a single nod for the show’s brilliant third and final season would be seen as a major victory. And that will be especially true if said nomination goes to Coon, who, in the show’s finale, delivered one of the great dramatic performances of the past decade.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (LISTEN: PODCAST Q&A)
Yep, I’m still beating this drum, and here’s why: Gilmore Girls is not as sexy as Big Little Lies. And it doesn’t have the awards cachet of FEUD: Bette and Joan. Which makes A Year in the Life a long shot. But Emmy voters can’t ignore the overwhelming data: One-hundred percent of the world’s population is in agreement that Graham’s career-best work in the Netflix revival should be recognized along with the performances of Lead Actress in a Limited Series shoo-ins (and Oscar winners) Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. And no, I didn’t make that stat up. I conducted the poll myself. It was a lot of work.
OK, now your turn: Which three dark horse contenders will you be pulling for on July 13? Hit the comments!