Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Predicting The 2021 Emmy Award Winners: Outstanding Comedy, Drama & Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor

By Amanda Spears 

If you remember from last year’s Emmys and my Golden Globe, SAG Awards, and Oscars predictions, I try my best to leave emotion out of making my predictions. I’m going to take you television fans through how to make your Emmy predictions and win your pool methodically. Next up in this series of articles is Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Drama, and Limited Series/TV Movie.​


Six years ago, the Emmys moved to a plurality vote replacing the more level playing field of 80-100 person panels ranking the nominees. Since we spend more time watching television than a film, it’s easier to let our personal preferences affect our predictions as we try to manifest a win for our favorites.

The acting categories are where stats can only take you so far – instinct and buzz also matter. Let’s look at how to predict the winners for Outstanding Comedy, Drama, and Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor. A trend in the Supporting Actor races has emerged across the board—”Has Their Time Come?”

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor Nominees
Carl Clemons-Hopkins – “Hacks”
Brett Goldstein – “Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt – “Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed – “Ted Lasso
Paul Reiser – “The Kominsky Method”
Jeremy Swift – “Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live”
Bowen Yang – “Saturday Night Live”

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor Nominees
Giancarlo Esposito – “The Mandalorian”
O-T Fagbenle – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
John Lithgow – “Perry Mason”
Tobias Menzies – “The Crown
Max Minghella – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chris Sullivan – “This Is Us”
Bradley Whitford – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Michael K. Williams – “Lovecraft Country”

Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor Nominees
Thomas Brodie-Sangster – “The Queen’s Gambit
Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton
Paapa Essiedu – “I May Destroy You”
Jonathan Groff – “Hamilton
Evan Peters – “Mare of Easttown
Anthony Ramos – “Hamilton


Since 2017 on the Drama side, and 2018 on the Comedy side, we’ve seen a dominance of the performers from nominated series winning the acting Emmys except for “Saturday Night Live” on the Comedy Side and “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” hanging episodes in 2019. Then last year, on the Drama side, three of their six winners were from non-nominated series, but if you look at the 42 acting awards handed out that give a performer from a nominated series a 92% chance of winning, that leaves us with…

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor Nominees
Giancarlo Esposito – “The Mandalorian”
O-T Fagbenle – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Tobias Menzies – “The Crown
Max Minghella – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chris Sullivan – “This Is Us”
Bradley Whitford – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Michael K. Williams – “Lovecraft Country”

I don’t feel great eliminating Lithgow, as he is an Emmy favorite, but “Perry Mason” does not have any buzz or momentum, which should torpedo his chance of making history as the first person to win this category twice for two different series/characters.

Let’s trim the lists some more by eliminating the actors who should just be happy to be amongst the nominees—i.e.; they’re not going to win. This leaves the race as…

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor Nominees
Brett Goldstein – “Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt – “Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed – “Ted Lasso
Paul Reiser – “The Kominsky Method”
Jeremy Swift – “Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live”
Bowen Yang – “Saturday Night Live”

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor Nominees
Giancarlo Esposito – “The Mandalorian”
O-T Fagbenle – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
John Lithgow – “Perry Mason”
Tobias Menzies – “The Crown
Max Minghella – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Bradley Whitford – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Michael K. Williams – “Lovecraft Country”

Sullivan has been in this position before (2019), but he’s still a two-time Emmy nominee. Clemons-Hopkins shocked us with his nomination showing just how much support “Hacks” has amongst the Academy. Here’s hoping Clemons-Hopkins gets even more to do on the next season.

Next to be eliminated are those actors from series with multiple nominees that do not have the buzz/episode to be factored in their respective races.

Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor Nominees
Brett Goldstein – “Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed – “Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live”
Bowen Yang – “Saturday Night Live”

Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor Nominees
Giancarlo Esposito – “The Mandalorian”
Tobias Menzies – “The Crown
Michael K. Williams – “Lovecraft Country”

Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor Nominees
Thomas Brodie-Sangster – “The Queen’s Gambit
Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton
Evan Peters – “Mare of Easttown

Don’t feel too sorry for Hunt; he’s got two more chances in the Comedy Writing categories to win his first Emmy. Typically, Swift would be considered more of a threat to win on his pedigree alone— he’s appeared in everything from “Downton Abbey” and “Doctors” on television to “Gosford Park” and “Mary Poppins Returns” on the film side. But unfortunately for Swift, this isn’t his year. This is Reiser’s 11th nomination, and he’s still looking for his first win. Reiser never won for his most prominent role on “Mad About You.” But “The Kominsky Method” seems better at getting nominations than winning—the series has yet to win its first Emmy in any category. Unfortunately for the trio of actors from “The Handmaid’s Tale,” none have an episode or the buzz to win this race. Fagbenle has the best chance as his character Luke was reunited with his wife June (Elisabeth Moss). Ramos got nominated thanks to his film “In the Heights” but in the wrong category (Supporting Actor—”In Treatment”), which unfortunately means he’ll walk away empty-handed—but he wasn’t nominated for a Tony, so this is still a win. Groff also won’t play much of a factor in this race, and it’s a shame given his television credentials “Mindhunter” and “Looking” that this is his first Emmy nomination.


​Final Outstanding Comedy Supporting Actor Predictions
1. Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live”
2. Nick Mohammed – “Ted Lasso
3. Bowen Yang – “Saturday Night Live”
4. Brett Goldstein – “Ted Lasso
5. Bowen Yang – “Saturday Night Live”
6. Jeremy Swift – “Ted Lasso
7. Carl Clemons-Hopkins – “Hacks”
8. Brendan Hunt – “Ted Lasso

Thompson, after finishing his 18th season on “SNL,” finds himself double nominated (Comedy Lead Actor: “Kenan”). Only Alec Baldwin in 2017 for his performance as then-President Donald Trump won Supporting Actor for “SNL.” Factor in his costar Yang and his mega-watt popularity, and they could easily split the vote. Yang, the first Asian cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” will factor into this race, but will he be enough of a hurdle to trip up Thompson? Yang’s sketch as the Iceberg that sunk the Titanic became an instant classic with millions of views. He may not win, but he could change the state of this race. Is Thompson overdue, or is this the narrative they’re pushing? Goldstein may be too stoic to win this race. On the other side of the coin, his costar Mohammed would’ve so easily won this race seven years ago under the panel system with his knock out episode, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” where his character Nate the Great tells off the team giving him the kind of standout moment that wins. Mix in his performance in his costars’ episodes, and this would be game, set match. When Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”) won Limited Supporting Actor last year, it proved that the Academy had seen the entire series. If this is the case again, there’s hope for Mohammed. Should Mohammed or Yang make history, they would be the first Asian actors in the category to do so. Should Thompson win, he would be only the second African American to win and the first in 41 years after Robert Guillaume for “Soap” made history (1979).

Final Outstanding Drama Supporting Actor Predictions
1. Michael K. Williams – “Lovecraft Country”
2. Tobias Menzies – “The Crown
3. Giancarlo Esposito – “The Mandalorian”
4. O-T Fagbenle – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
5. John Lithgow – “Perry Mason”
6. Max Minghella – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
7. Bradley Whitford – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
8. Chris Sullivan – “This Is Us”

As I said at the beginning of this article, a theme has emerged across the trio of categories: Has their time come? No race is this more evident than the three-way race for Drama Supporting Actor. Of the acting nominations for “Lovecraft Country,” Williams is the canceled series’ best chance at picking up a trophy. This is Williams’ fourth acting nomination. He’s previously only been nominated for his work in the Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting race. The big questions hanging over Williams: Will the Academy want to honor an actor from a canceled series? With Williams’ recent, untimely death, will there be a rally to award him? That will remain unclear as the television academy is not known to be a sentimental group as Fred Willard (“Modern Family,” 2020), Carrie Fisher (“Catastrophe,” 2017), and Kathryn Joosten (“Desperate Housewives,” 2012) were all nominated posthumously but did not win. Helping Williams, many believe he was the current frontrunner before his passing. But just how many voters have already voted? And of those left to vote, will they rally around Williams?

For Esposito, this is his fourth nomination in this category and fifth overall. Esposito was nominated for his work as Moff Gideon on “The Mandalorian” last year (2020) in Drama Guest Acting, and also for his Supporting work on “Better Call Saul.” “The Mandalorian” tied “The Crown” for most nominations (24). Esposito is at his wicked best in the season finale “The Rescue.” But will the acting branch embrace the series? It did receive two Drama Guest Acting nominations. However, the series star Pedro Pascal was snubbed. It could boil down to this being Esposito’s turn to win as it was for Ben Mendelsohn when he shocked most with his win in this category for “Bloodline” (2016). For either Williams or Esposito should they win, they would make history as the category’s first Black actor to do so. But standing in their way and not to be underestimated is Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in “The Crown.” Menzies is a long-working character actor who has appeared in everything from dramas and limited series “Rome” and “The Night Manager” to the comedy “Catastrophe.” But it’s his roles in the mega-popular “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” that made him one to watch. Helping Menzies’ cause is his series status as the frontrunner. Also helping or hurting is that performers from “The Crown” are favored to win multiple acting races—he could easily go along for the ride, or the voters could decide to spread the wealth. Either way, it appears someone is about to win their first Emmy. 

This is one of those rare times when I’m allowing my emotions and heart to make this prediction: Williams.

Final Outstanding Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor Predictions
1. Evan Peters – “Mare of Easttown
2. Thomas Brodie-Sangster – “The Queen’s Gambit
3. Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton
4. Paapa Essiedu – “I May Destroy You”
5. Anthony Ramos – “Hamilton
6. Jonathan Groff – “Hamilton

After starring in the “American Horror Story” franchise for years without receiving an Emmy nomination, Peters is now the presumed frontrunner to win. Peters wisely left the Ryan Murphy Universe to costar as Detective Colin Zabel partnering with Mare (Kate Winslet) to solve the series’ murder. Peters is at a career-best in “Mare of Easttown” and seems poised to win. Diggs has already won a Tony and Grammy Award and received a SAG Award earlier in the year for his performance in “Hamilton.” The Television Academy has had no problem nominating performers for their Tony-winning roles they just typically do not win an Emmy: Bryan Cranston (“All the Way,” 2016); Audra McDonald (“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” 2016); Cicely Tyson (“The Trip to Bountiful,” 2013) Phylicia Rashad (“A Raisin in the Sun,” 2004); and McDonald (“A Raisin in the Sun,” 2004). If not Peters or Diggs, then who? Look out for Brodie-Sangster, who surprised many by just scoring a nomination. Like Peters, Brodie-Sangster has been working for years in films from “Love Actually” to “The Maze Runner” and in television as Jojen Reed in “Game of Thrones,” “Wolf Hall,” and “Godless.” Brodie-Sangster is in the presumed frontrunner to win for Limited Series “The Queen’s Gambit,” and he could very comfortably go along for the ride. ​

Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Drama, and Limited Series/TV Movie categories? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. Stay tuned for more articles on the Emmys as I finalize my predictions for the 2021 Emmy Awards taking place on September 19th.

You can follow Amanda and hear more of her thoughts on the Emmys and TV on Twitter at @msamandaspears

Related Articles

Stay Connected

65,727FollowersFollow
5,315FansLike
3,692FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Reviews