2016 Emmy Awards: Who Will Win

game of thrones

(ABC)– It could be a changing of the guard at this year’s Emmy Awards.

As Ken Tucker, Yahoo! TV’s critic-at-large, pointed out to ABC News, the competition in many of the categories this year is between older, established hits and the “new blood.”

Game of Thrones,” the perennial favorite, leads the most nominations with 23, and could easily break the record held by “Frasier” for most awarded scripted show, but it could also get some competition in the acting categories from a show like “Mr. Robot,” which is having a pop culture moment.

Related: ‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 23 Emmy Award nominations

“Those races that will be interesting, because it could be a changing of the guard,” Tucker said. “In general with the Oscars and Emmys, it’s both in the back of minds and in the front of minds of people on the nominating committees that they want to get more diversity.”

Another show that Tucker expects to get some Emmy love is “The Americans,” which announced earlier this year that it will wrap after two more seasons on FX.

“I think this year could be breakthrough for ‘The Americans.’ This year was particularly strong and it’s the first time it’s gotten a significant numbers of nominations,” Tucker said pointing out its nods for best drama, best actor in a drama series and best actress in a drama series.

The other show that everyone has been talking about this year was also on FX — “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” It’s up for 22 awards, including best actress in a limited series or a movie for Sarah Paulson, who portrayed prosecutor Marcia Clark.

“If there’s one Emmy award that’s an absolute lock this year, it’s Sarah Paulson winning for ‘People v. O.J. Simpson,'” Tucker said.

Paulson even plans to bring a special date Sunday night — none other than Clark herself.

Said Tucker, “And that will make for great television.”

Here are Tucker’s predictions for who will take home a golden statue Sunday night — as well as who should.

Drama Series

  • “The Americans”
  • “Better Call Saul”
  • “Downton Abbey”
  • “Game of Thrones”
  • “Homeland”
  • “House of Cards”
  • “Mr. Robot”


While Tucker thinks “Game of Thrones” will win, he said, “if there’s an upset, it will be ‘The Americans.'”


Lead Actor in a Drama Series


“New blood” Rami Malek is having a breakthrough year with his lead performance in “Mr. Robot,” and Tucker predicts he will trump over more established actors. “If I was a betting man, I would say Rami will win,” Tucker said. “He was on a lot of people’s radars.” That said, Tucker would love to see Bob Odenkirk take home the award for “Better Call Saul.”


Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
  • Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
  • Claire Danes, “Homeland”
  • Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
  • Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
  • Keri Russell, “The Americans”


Keri Russell has a good chance of winning now that “The Americans” is finally getting some attention from the Emmys. “I’m hoping Russell takes the Emmy because it’s overdue,” Tucker said. But you can’t count out Robin Wright for “House of Cards.” “She’s just a powerhouse,” said Tucker.


Supporting Actor, Drama Series

  • Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
  • Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
  • Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
  • Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
  • Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
  • Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”


“Game of Thrones” is likely to have a strong showing in the supporting categories. “Peter Dinklage always has the inside track and this season was really, really strong,” said Tucker. But, he added, “I think that Jon Voight has been really excellent, and I kind of wish he would win it.”


Supporting Actress, Drama Series

  • Maura Tierney, “The Affair”
  • Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
  • Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
  • Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
  • Maisie Williams, “Game of Thrones”
  • Constance Zimmer, “Unreal”


With three nominations in this category, the winner once is likely to come from “Game of Thrones.” “Lena Headey has a strong chance,” Tucker said. “If not her, it will be Maisie Williams.”


Comedy Series

  • “Black-ish”
  • “Master of None”
  • “Modern Family
  • “Silicon Valley”
  • “Transparent”
  • “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
  • “Veep”


There could be another battle between the old and new guard for best comedy series. “‘Veep’ is always the one to beat,” Tucker said. “I was a very strong season for the show. My hope is that ‘Black-ish’ will make a breakthrough. There is so little network television showing up at the Emmys. And this season had a couple hot-button issue episodes. But it’s a very strong task to overcome the momentum of ‘Veep.'”


Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
  • Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
  • Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
  • Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
  • William H. Macy, “Shameless”
  • Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley”


The favorite to win is Jeffrey Tambor for “Transparent,” but that doesn’t stop Tucker from rooting for the underdogs, Aziz Ansari for “Master of None” and Anthony Anderson for “Black-ish.” “I think Anthony Anderson is doing a great job being the straight man to all the other people in the family,” Tucker said.


Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Getting On”
  • Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
  • Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”


Tucker doesn’t see anyone beating Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep.” “She continues to be superb,” he said. “She showed not just comedy skills but real dramatic skills when she lost the election this season.” But his wish would be for Tracee Ellis Ross to win for “Black-ish.” “I think her performance is really underrated.”


Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

  • Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
  • Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
  • Keegan-Michael Key, “Key & Peele”
  • Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
  • Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
  • Tony Hale, “Veep”
  • Matt Walsh, “Veep”


Once again, “Veep” is most likely to score another win for supporting actor Tony Hale, but Tucker is really rooting for Louie Anderson in FX’s dark comedy “Baskets.” “Having Louie Anderson play Zach Galifianakis’ mother was one of the most pleasant surprises in the season,” Tucker said. “I want to hear that acceptance speech.”


Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

  • Niecy Nash, “Getting On”
  • Allison Janney, “Mom”
  • Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
  • Judith Light, “Transparent”
  • Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
  • Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”


Allison Janney won for “Mom” last year and she’s still the one to beat, according to Tucker. But he thinks Judith Light has a strong chance for her performance in “Transparent.” Niecy Nash is also a contender for the HBO show “Getting On.”


Limited Series or Movie

  • “American Crime”
  • “Fargo”
  • “The Night Manager”
  • “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • “Roots”


It’s O.J.’s year, at least for the FX series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” “I really think ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ is going to win,” Tucker said. “I feel bad for ‘Fargo,’ which I think had strong second season. But ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ had the big cast, caused a lot of buzz and got huge ratings. It’s just the kind of series that Emmy voters like to award.”


Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Bryan Cranston, “All the Way”
  • Idris Elba, “Luther”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager”


Even with two lead actor nominees from “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Tucker believes Bryan Cranston will take home the Emmy. “Cranston is terrific. He’s playing LBJ [President Lyndon Baines Johnson]. It’s a real showy role that he brought from Broadway to HBO,” Tucker said. “But I thought Courtney B. Vance played Johnny Cochran, a showy character, in a such a subtle way and I think he should win.”


Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

  • Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”
  • Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”
  • Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
  • Lili Taylor, “American Crime”
  • Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”


Sarah Paulson has the lock on this category. “She will win and she should win,” Tucker proclaimed.


Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie

  • Jesse Plemons, “Fargo”
  • Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”
  • Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
  • Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”


Even though Tucker wishes Bokeem Woodbine would win for “Fargo,” he knows it’s a “long, long shot,” especially with three nominees from “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” Tucker predicts John Travolta will win for the FX limited series. “He has a long history of not getting awards at the Emmys,” Tucker said. “And he’s making a kind of comeback and doing it in such a quirky way. That’s a whole little narrative that makes for a great speech.”

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie

  • Melissa Leo, “All the Way”
  • Regina King, “American Crime”
  • Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
  • Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
  • Jean Smart, “Fargo”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”


Regina King will most likely repeat her win for “American Crime,” Tucker said. “Her performance was beautifully nuanced,” he said. “In show that tipped over to melodrama, she really grounded that show with a realistic performance.” If King doesn’t win, Tucker believes Jean Smart will for her performance in “Fargo.” Then again, he said, “You can’t count out Sarah Paulson.”

The 68th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting, air tonight on ABC.

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