2016 Emmy Predictions, Part 3: Acting in a Drama Series

Okay, here comes drama! This is kind of my favorite category because I feel like I watch so many more dramas than comedies overall, and this year in particular because some of my pet faves actually got in! But, as a predictor, I do have to go with the old repetition rule for the most part. Still, I think there's room for some new blood this year.


  • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
  • Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Interestingly enough, aside from Bryan Cranston's Breaking Bad run, there hasn't actually been too many other repeaters in this category lately. But wisdom tells me it's probably going to be Kevin Spacey, because he hasn't won this yet (if that surprises you you're thinking of the Golden Globes and SAG awards he's already gotten for this role). It seems like it's his turn, although I wouldn't totally rule out Bob Odenkirk or even Rami Malek. I feel like this is a close race.

Winner: Kevin Spacey (gotta go with conventional wisdom)

Alternate: Bob Odenkirk (I bet he's next in line to win this after Spacey anyway)

Dark Horse: Rami Malek (the buzz for Mr. Robot is very high)


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

You know that I SO wish Maslany could take this award, and once again I bemoan the fact that she finally starts getting nominated right as they change the voting system so that the episode submission tapes are now rendered effectively meaningless. If only she'd gotten in there one year earlier, this would be hers. But, seeing as it's mostly a popularity contest now, I guess it's Davis again. Look, her show is mediocre at best, so it's kind of a shame the repeat rule applies here, but they don't usually go backwards, so that rules out Danes. Robin Wright might have a shot, but I kinda think they check off Davis for this.

Winner: Viola Davis

Alternate: Robin Wright

Dark Horse: Tatiana Maslany (I still wish this could happen and it would if they only watched the tape)


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

Game of Thrones is winning in Drama Series again, so that means it takes one or two actors along with it. Peter Dinklage has won twice, but I think he gets his third as the face of the show. At least he had more screentime this season than what he won for last year. Kit Harington is a possibility too, but I'm surprised he made it in in the first place. The "is Jon Snow dead?" buzz really carried him a long way. 

Winner: Peter Dinklage

Alternate: Kit Harington


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

This is probably my favorite category just based on the fact that Tierney and Zimmer got in as the sole representatives for their series, so it proves somebody was really watching those shows. I really don't want to go with Maggie Smith again, but this was the last season of Downton and it's the final chance to reward the dame once more- are they going to overlook that, even though she's more than gotten her due from them? Ugh. Not sure what to do here. My gut says Smith, but man do I want Headey to take this. She's so overdue, and in my opinion, really the one actor besides Dinklage who so deserves an Emmy for Thrones, especially this season. I'd love to see them rewarded together, but will the three Thrones women cancel each other out?

Winner: Lena Headey (this might be foolish but I'm taking the shot, assuming expanded voting rules will help her out)

Alternate: Maggie Smith

Dark Horse: Constance Zimmer (she might be enough of a scene stealer to sneak in amongst a split vote)