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The TV Ratings Guide's Emmy Nomination Predictions: Outstanding Program Categories

Welcome to our Emmy collaborative article, where we will go through our predictions for which shows will be nominated in Emmys in some of the more prominent categories. Participating alongside myself will be JB, Full Boyle, Rebecca Bunch, and HV. Enjoy, and make sure to leave your own predictions in the comments below! This first edition highlights our picks for the categories that showcase shows, not actors.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Full Boyle

Veep
Modern Family
Black-ish
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Silicon Valley
Transparent
The Last Man On Earth

I picked these 7 shows as what I predict the nominees for best comedy will end up being. Now 5 of the 7 shows (Veep, Modern Family, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Silicon Valley, Transparent) were all nominated last year and Veep ended up winning the Best Comedy Emmy, ending Modern Family's five-year streak. So why would I pick 5 of the same shows? Because the Emmys love familiarity. Take Veep for example; it has been nominated in this category every year since the 2011-12 season, it's first; Modern Family has also been nominated for all six seasons, and won five; meanwhile Silicon Valley has been nominated for the past two years as well, so for those 3 it seems pretty much a no-brainer to expect these shows on the list. I picked Kimmy Schmidt and Transparent for the same reasons, both were nominated last year, and both have a ton of critical acclaim. But you can't use this method forever, even if you picked all the series that were nominated last time; two series, Parks and Recreation and Louie, both have not aired episodes this year. So I picked two logical candidates to fill in their slots. First, Black-ish. This one was not nominated in season 1, but since then has had controversial episodes about guns, police brutality, and most experts predict it to be nominated and I agree. Then, now this is more of a long shot, The Last Man On Earth. This was also not nominated last year, but hear me out, it's picking up steam. The series is very interesting as it balances humor with post-apocalyptic disaster, it is very experimental and unlike anything you would normally see in a half-hour sitcom, and I expect the Emmys to see it as the 7th nominee.

Rebecca Bunch

Veep
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Master of None
Black-ish
Modern Family
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Veep will continue to be nominated, and will probably win again. Transparent, Master of None, and Kimmy Schmidt are all critically-acclaimed streaming shows that have been nominated for major awards in the past. Modern Family was the champion for a long time, and will probably still get a nomination, though it's unlikely to win. Crazy Ex-Griflriend won a Golden Globe for Rachel Bloom, and may get a nomination.

HV

Black-ish
Girls
Master of None
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep

My big bold prediction here is that Modern Family won't get nominated. I'm sure the show will still show up in acting nominations, specifically for the much loved Ty Burrell, but I think that is quickly declining acclaim, ratings, an just overall attention will leave the five time winner  not nominated in its seventh season. In addition, Parks and Recreation has ended, and Louie is taking a break, so three spots are opened up, as I expect Silicon Valley to get nominated again, and there's no way that Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and last year's winner Veep aren't nominated. Master of None was loved by critics, so it will definitely fill a slot, and Black-ish was loved in its second season, so I think it will be represented at the awards in more categories than just lead actor like last year. Girls was nominated three years ago, but received only acting nominations in the last two years. I think that it will take over the third open slot, as it is still receiving positive reviews, in fact they are more positive this year than last.

theratingsjunkie

Black-ish
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Girls
Master of None
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep

I alongside others agree that Black-ish will see a nomination this season, most likely for the well-received police brutality episode. I also think that the HBO duo Veep and Silicon Valley are locks to return in the category, with Girls joining them solely because it's the final season. If not Girls, then I think Modern Family steps in, which has lost its mojo lately. Plus, I don't see a way that Modern Family AND Black-ish get nominated. Well-received Netflix entry Master of None is a show I'm betting on doing well at this year's ceremony, including a nod for Outstanding Comedy Series. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is my wild card here; it seems like the type of show these award shows like (see: Jane the Virgin) and has solid reviews, so I threw it in there as well. Finally, there's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It never really lost any steam since last year's nomination, so I figured there was no reason why it shouldn't return.


Outstanding Drama Series
HV

Better Call Saul
Bloodline
Downtown Abbey
Empire
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Orange is the New Black

After another less enjoyed season of House of Cards, I think that it will be replaced by fellow Netflix drama Bloodline, which received nominations in acting categories last year. I also think that Empire will make it this season, despite only getting an acting nomination for Taraji P. Henson last season. This is replacing the ended Mad Men. I almost put The Good Wife in this slot, but figured that they would rather vote for the more hyped Empire. The rest of the nominees are repeats from last year.

JB

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Orange is the New Black
The Good Wife
Mr. Robot
UnREAL

Most of these are pretty obvious, but UnREAL is my wildcard pick. For the obvious ones, The Good Wife will more than likely get nominated for its final season. I also could see Orphan Black be a contender because this will be super close.

Rebecca Bunch

Game of Thrones
Downton Abbey
Mr. Robot
Better Call Saul
Orange is the New Black
Homeland
The Good Wife

Game of Thrones will receive a nomination because it is Game of Thrones. The Good Wife and Downton Abbey finished their final seasons, and may get nominations because this is it for them. OITNB, Mr. Robot, and Better Call Saul are all newer shows with a lot of acclaim, and will probably receive nominations. Homeland is a reliable nominee, but may not get a nomination this year due to all the competition. I think that UNReal and House of Cards are contenders, though.

theratingsjunkie

Game of Thrones
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
House of Cards
Orange is the New Black
The Good Wife
Homeland

I don't foresee all that much interesting going on in this category. The Emmy like to nominate familiarity, which is why I included many of these shows, like House of Cards and Homeland. I do think that The Good Wife will receive a nomination for it being the final season, though, as will Downton Abbey.



Outstanding Limited Series

HV

11.22.63
American Crime
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
American Horror Story: Hotel
The Night Manager

American Crime was nominated last year, and American Horror Story has been nominated every year that it has been on, so I think both will get nominated again. The People v. O.J. Simpson is a lock, while I think that 11.22.63 will get nominated because the academy loves streaming, and it had big names associates with it 9James Franco, Steven King, JJ Abrams). I chose The Night Manager for the last spot because I feel like I have heard more about it than the other potential nominees.

Rebecca Bunch

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Fargo
Roots

Fargo and American Crime were both nominated last season, and will likely be nominated again. AHS was not as acclaimed as previous seasons, but it could be nominated. Roots and American Crime Story are both new Limited Series that had a lot of acclaim, and I think they may have a chance at nomination.

theratingsjunkie

11.22.63
American Crime
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
American Horror Story: Hotel
Fargo

Agree with HV and Rebecca Bunch here on the 3 "American" shows. The People v. O.J. Simpson is a virtual lock considering how well-received it was, and while I haven't heard as much about American Horror Story this year (I think the former definitely overshadowed it), it seems granddaddy-ed in. The only one I'm unsure of is ABC's American Crime, but this season did get more attention than the first when it got its rather-surprising nomination (to me, at least). If it doesn't get nominated, ABC may be thinking about giving the third season a very low-priority time slot. I've heard nothing but great things about 11.22.63 on Hulu, and think that it will be nominated for both the reasons HV mentioned, and Fargo had another critically acclaimed season as well.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Full Boyle

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Late Late Show with James Corden

Last year's winner was Jon Stewart, but that was also his final year on The Daily Show, but I suspect new host Trevor Noah probably doesn't make the list. There's also a spot open due to Letterman retiring, that should go to his successor, Stephen Colbert. I also predict that Full Frontal with Samanta Bee will get on the ballot, simply because it has gotten mountains of critical acclaim. Besides those, returning shows Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon should return along with John Oliver, who has been praised for his take on Trump and the election. Corden is more of a wildcard pick, but the Carpool Karaoke is wildly popular with fans and critics, so it has a chance of making it on the ballot.

HV

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Late Show with James Corden
Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

I think that Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last week Tonight with John Oliver, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will all return, as they have all kept the same hosts. Late Show will also probably return, even with Stephen Colbert as host, as The Colbert Report was nominated last year. The Daily Show lost Jon Stewart, and as a result I think it will be replaced by Late Late Show with James Corden, as he is popular.

JB

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Real Time with Bill Maher
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

The first three are obvious. They seem like to be the shows most talked about online. Unlike most people, I think that this is the year that Stephen Colbert will likely get snubbed as Real Time with Bill Maher, Late Night with Seth Meyers, or Last Call with Carson Daly will get the fifth slot. But I'm going to guess that the final slot will go to Bill Maher. My wildcard picks are Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. I think that at least one of those will be in the mix.

Rebecca Bunch

Full Frontal with Sam Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Late Show with James Corden
Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

This is a hard category to predict. It always has been. Fallon and Oliver were both nominated last year, and I thought they both had a shot, even against some very tough competition. This year, Stewart is not around and Colbert's show is not nearly as good. Kimmel is a reliable nominee, but he won't win. Samantha Bee entered this year and got critical acclaim. It was hard to say that Bill Maher won't be nominated, but I think that Colbert will edge him out for a nomination.

theratingsjunkie

Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Late Late Show with James Corden
Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

I think Jimmy Kimmel is a lock because of how (relatively) long he's been around and how the show hasn't really changed since the last time he was nominated. I'm also taking a gamble on Seth Meyers here; not nominated last year, but I think the fact that he is keeping his late night show as a very relaxed, news-based and interview-based show just like Colbert will make them nominate both instead of just Colbert. And sure, Colbert's new Late Show hasn't exactly taken off the way CBS hoped it would, but I still think it will see Emmy support. Last Week Tonight is a lock because of the controversial material and the way it is presented; plus, it's HBO. Jimmy Fallon is the king of late night and I think they'll recognize that in the form of a nomination. My last pick is The Late Late Show with James Corden, as it's a very entertaining show that has garnered much online attention. It may not get nominated, but a viewer can dream. 

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
HV

Inside Amy Schemer
Key & Peele
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
W/Bob & David

Of last year's winners, I don't see why any of them wouldn't return, except for Drunk History. I think that Drunk History will get dropped in favor of W/Bob & David, where the Netflix love kicks in.

JB

Saturday Night Live
Portlandia
Robot Chicken
Inside Amy Schumer
Drunk History

This is a tough one to call. Inside Amy Schumer, Portlandia, and Saturday Night Live are obvious. Robot Chicken is a wildcard pick.

Rebecca Bunch

Inside Amy Schemer
Saturday Night Live
Key & Peele
Documentary Now
Portlandia OR Drunk History

Inside Amy Schemer is the only winner in this category's history and I think it mat stay that way. SNL will certainly be nominated, and Key and Peele's final season is also certain to be nominated. Documentary Now is a safe bet for a nomination. Last year, both Drunk History and Portlandia were nominated, but I think only one will be this year. I'll give Portlandia the edge.


theratingsjunkie

Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
W/Bob and David

Inside Amy Schumer will get nominated, as critics seem to absolutely love her. I also think that Key & Peele will see a nod for its final season, and Saturday Night Live because it always seems to squeak in. Portlandia and W/Bob and David are two shows with great reviews and loyal audiences, so I think they will also be nominated.


Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
HV

The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance?
Top Chef
The Voice

This category's nominees have been the same for the last four awards, and I don't see why that would change this year.

JB

American Idol
The Amazing Race
Big Brother
Dancing with the Stars
MasterChef
Survivor

I think American Idol deserves a proper send off for its final season. MasterChef is a wildcard, and so is Big Brother. This category is also a tough call.

Rebecca Bunch

The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Hollywood Game Night
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance?
The Voice

This will be a close race between reigning champion The Voice and long-time champion The Amazing Race, and they will certainly be nominated. DWTS and Project Runway are also safe nominees, as both have been nominated for a decade.

theratingsjunkie

The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
Survivor
The Voice

I agree that Project Runway will probably be granddaddy-ed in, as will Dancing with the Stars and The Amazing Race. The Voice won last year so I would be surprised to not see it this year. I also think it's time that Survivor gets recognized, as it really helped revolutionize what was considered reality programming. Finally, I think that American Idol will take So You Think You Can Dance?'s slot for its final season as a way to recognize how much Idol has given the masses for 15 years.