2018 Emmy Predictions for Drama: Matt Roush's Picks For Best Actress, Actor, Series & More

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emmys-drama-2018
THIS IS US --
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

CATEGORY: Drama Series

The Americans

The Crown

Game of Thrones

The Handmaid’s Tale

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Westworld

game-of-thrones
HBO

Most Likely to Win

It’s a toss-up between the previous two winners in this category: Hulu’s provocative and relevant Handmaid’s Tale, which won last year when Game of Thrones sat out; and HBO’s spectacular Thrones, which upped its game in its penultimate season by moving beyond the source material to bring key players together with pivotal payoffs. Plus: evil dragon badness! The award could go to either, but I’m betting the epic scale of Game of Thrones will return it to the winners’ circle.

THE AMERICANS - Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell
FX

Should Win

FX’s The Americans, for a flawless final season that kept the tension and emotions high as the Russian spies’ family fractured when it was time to return to the Motherland.

Rellik
Sophie Mutevelian/BBC America

Should Have Been Nominated

BBC America’s sexy breakout spy thriller, Killing Eve.

westworld-bernard-jeffrey-wright
John P. Johnson/HBO

CATEGORY: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Ed Harris, Westworld

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Most Likely to Win

Sterling K. Brown is a new Emmy favorite, scoring consecutive wins in 2016 (as Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and 2017 (as Randall in NBC’s tear-jerking hit This Is Us). He’s also nominated this year for a knockout guest performance on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. With another terrific storyline involving Randall becoming a foster parent, Brown’s chances for a repeat win are strong. He faces a strong challenge from Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, who moved from supporting to lead actor as the sci-fi drama’s most compellingly conflicted “host.”

TA_610_PH_0897
Patrick Harbron/FX

Should Win

The AmericansMatthew Rhys, for his complex portrayal of a spy who struggled to stay true to his mission, eventually giving up the game (albeit temporarily) for the sake of his tormented soul.

FREDDIE HIGHMORE
ABC/Jeff Weddell

Should Have Been Nominated

The Good Doctor’s Freddie Highmore, for playing an autistic surgeon with intense sensitivity. Dr. Shaun Murphy couldn’t be more different from Bates Motel’s loony Norman Bates, and Highmore’s range deserves acknowledgment.

westworld-delores-evan-rachel-wood
John P. Johnson/HBO

CATEGORY: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy, The Crown

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Keri Russell, The Americans

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Women's Work
Hulu

Most Likely to Win

The Emmys have a habit of rewarding actors repeatedly once they land a meaty role like embattled Handmaid heroine Offred/June, and Elisabeth Moss made the most of a grueling second season of pregnancy, resistance and sacrifice. Though this is one of the year’s most competitive categories, it’s hard to imagine Moss not repeating.

the-crown-claire-foy
Stuart Hendry/Netflix

Should Win

Hard to argue against Moss, but this is Claire Foy’s last opportunity to be rewarded for her majestic and nuanced performance as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown — she’ll be replaced by Olivia Colman in Season 3, to reflect the monarch’s maturity. Foy set a high bar with her mixture of vulnerability and regal resilience.

Ozark_101_Unit_00279R_CC3
Netflix

Should Have Been Nominated

Ozark’s Laura Linney, as a wife on the lam who’s too smart, sharp and cunning to ever be seen as a damsel in distress.

HOMELAND_712_1561.R
Kata Vermes/SHOWTIME

CATEGORY: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Matt Smith, The Crown

Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale

A012_C008_1109BT_001.1926952r
Netflix

Most Likely to Win

Emmy precedent favors two-time winner Peter Dinklage as scene-stealer Tyrion, but David Harbour seems a safe bet as Stranger Things’ stalwart lawman.

EN-US_ST2_Darkness_3840x2160_Still02
Netflix

Most Likely to Win

Emmy precedent favors two-time winner Peter Dinklage as scene-stealer Tyrion, but David Harbour seems a safe bet as Stranger Things’ stalwart lawman.

TA_609_PH_0199
Eric Liebowitz/FX

Should Have Been Nominated

The AmericansNoah Emmerich as FBI Agent Stan Beeman. We’ll long remember his masterful control in the breathtaking climactic scene when he confronts the friends he now knows to be the villains he’s tracked for so long.

3d0e221e7db52fa0f50276ab0b83fea77deb926ea3da79512fa4229a38b5f159f732ca8e50ce8e0de75cd401b65cc8ff
HBO

CATEGORY: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things

Vanessa Kirby, The Crown

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Thandie Newton, Westworld

THE HANDMAID'S TALE - Yvonne Strahovski
Sabrina Lantos/Hulu

Most Likely to Win

In a category that features two former Handmaid winners (Dowd for supporting, Bledel for then-guest actress), Yvonne Strahovski came into her own this year as we learned what made the monstrous mistress Serena Joy tick. She earned unexpected empathy as she was punished for trying to speak her mind, then made the ultimate maternal sacrifice to keep her (and June’s) daughter safe from Gilead’s horrors.

THE HANDMAID'S TALE
HULU

Should Win

Yvonne Strahovski (although Thandie Newton is fierce as Westworld’s rebellious replicant).

Episode 411
Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

Should Have Been Nominated

Ray Donovan’s Paula Malcomson for her haunting death throes as Ray’s long-suffering spouse, Abby.

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Are you ready for the 2018 Emmys?! We sure are, as this year's nominees are so evenly-matched, it's sure to be an exciting night come September 17.

In anticipation of TV's biggest night — this year airing on NBC — we got our own top critic Matt Roush to share his predictions for who will take home statues in all of the major categories. (Plus, he's talking who actually should win and who was totally snubbed from nomination.)

2018 Emmy Predictions for Comedy: Matt Roush Gives His Series & Acting PicksSee Also

2018 Emmy Predictions for Comedy: Matt Roush Gives His Series & Acting Picks

Which series and funny guys and gals will go home with statues in 2018?

Today, we're onto the drama contenders: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress in a Drama Series. With stars from shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, and Game of Thrones, we have no idea where this one will bring us — but Matt does!

Click through the gallery above for his picks, and sound off with your own in the comments below!