With each passing year, the Emmy Award get harder to predict. The one aspect of this year's awards that most people can concur is this might be the year streaming usurped cable and broadcast TV. With the major networks struggling to stay relevant and perennial premium channel nominees like "Game of Thrones" sitting out the year, I expect Netflix and Hulu to fill the gaps and then some.
When I wrote my first fantasy Emmy ballot in May 2006, I was throwing a bone and hoping against hope that a number of overlooked performances and underappreciated shows would get some deserved gratification. It was an era that was light on quality TV comedy; it annoyed me ceaselessly that Jon Cryer and Tony Shalhoub would keep winning for good performances on mediocre TV shows, but a show like "Scrubs" barely made a dent. The drama categories were as cutthroat as they've ever been, but the made-for-TV movie and miniseries --er, uh, "limited series"-- were both on life support. Now it seems like the committee and their voters are more in simpatico with critical acclaim and all-around buzz. About 85 to 90% of the nominees below will very likely get a nod come July 13th; the other 10-15% are wishful thinking. I'll let you debate which is which.
Here is my 2017 Fantasy Emmy Ballot:
Supporting Actress, Drama: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black; Millie Bobbie Brown, Stranger Things; Chrissy Metz, This is Us; Thandie Newton, Westworld; Winona Ryder, Stranger Things; Maura Tierney, The Affair.
Supporting Actor, Drama: Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul; Jared Harris, The Crown; Michael Kelly, House of Cards; John Lithgow, The Crown; Christian Slater, Mr. Robot; Jeffrey C. Wright, Westworld.
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Zazie Beetz, Atlanta; Anna Chlumsky, Veep; Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Judith Light, Transparent; Andrea Martin, Great News; Kate McKinnon, SNL.
Supporting Actor, Comedy: Louie Anderson, Buckets; Alec Baldwin, SNL; Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Tony Hale, Veep; Matt Walsh, Veep.
Leading Actress, Drama: Christine Baranski, The Good Fight; Carrie Coon, The Leftovers; Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder; Elizabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale; Keri Russell, The Americans; Robin Wright, House of Cards.
Leading Actor, Drama: Sterling K. Brown, This is Us; Rami Malek, Mr. Robot; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Matthew Rhys, The Americans; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards.
Leading Actress, Comedy: Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Issa Rae, Insecure; Tracie Ellis Ross, Black-ish; Alia Shawkat, Search Party; Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie.
Leading Actor, Comedy: Anthony Anderson, Black-ish; Aziz Ansari, Master of None; Donald Glover, Atlanta; William H. Macy, Shameless; Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent.
Best Variety Talk Series: "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," TBS; "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC; "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," HBO; "The Late, Late Show with James Corden," CBS; "Late Night with Seth Meyers," NBC; "Late Show with Stephen Colbert," CBS.
Best Variety Sketch Series: "Billy on the Street," TruTV; "Documentary Now!," IFC; "Drunk History," Comedy Central; "Portlandia," IFC; "The President Show," Comedy Central; "Saturday Night Live," NBC.
Best Limited Series: "Big Little Lies," HBO; "Fargo," FX; "Feud: Bette and Joan," FX; "Guerrila," Showtime; "The Night Of," HBO.
Best Dramatic Series: "The Americans," FX; "Better Call Saul," AMC; "House of Cards," Netflix; "Orange is the New Black," Netflix; "This is Us," NBC; "Westworld," HBO.
Best Comedy Series: "Atlanta," FX; "Black-ish," ABC; "Silicon Valley," HBO; "Transparent," Amazon Prime; "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," Netflix; "Veep," HBO.