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Emmy Predictions 2018: Outstanding Animated Program

Is this the year "BoJack Horseman" or "Rick & Morty" (finally) break into the race? [Updated: July 9 — Final Predictions]

Bojack Horseman Season 4 Time's Arrow

Last Year’s Winner: “Bob’s Burgers”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Though “Bob’s Burgers'” win in 2017 marked the series’ second Emmy in this category, no series has won two years in a row since “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” won in 2004 and 2005, and that was when there were two categories: “one-hour or less” and “more than one hour.” (“South Park” did win in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009, but the first was in the “more than one hour” category for “Imaginationland: The Movie” and the next for “one-hour or less” for the series.)
Fun Fact: “The Simpsons” has won twice as many awards in this category than the second place series, “South Park,” 10 to five — and no other series have won more than two.

The Best Animated Series category is not known for a lot of year-to-year turnover, but there’s usually at least one big surprise among the nominees. Last year, “Elena and the Secret of Avalor (Sofia the First)” beat out a lot of big-name contenders; that’s not eligible in 2018, but the question remains, “What show will shock the world come July?”

That being said, these series are hoping for zero surprises come nominations’ day: “Archer,” “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” and last year’s winner “Bob’s Burgers” were all nominated in 2017 and all remain strong options. The FXX comedy has successfully reinvented itself yet again, while the long-running Fox comedy is still a favorite in the category. So is the oft-nominated Comedy Central classic, while “Bob’s Burgers” continues to push the envelope enough to make itself an easy pick yet again.

So what shows might sneak into that fifth slot? Pundits and critics alike have been calling for “BoJack Horseman” to land a nomination for at least three years, and its fourth season is right up there with the best of the series. Netflix could give it the push it needs after so many years spent building awareness, or voters could prefer the hot freshman entry, “Big Mouth.” Nick Kroll’s perceptive coming-of-age story may be too vulgar for some voters, but it’s got more than enough charm and laughs to make up for any cringe-inducing scenes.

Beyond Netflix, “Family Guy” has certainly tried to gain a bit of buzz with some experimental episodes in Season 16, while “Rick and Morty” hopes its passionate fanbase can infiltrate the TV Academy and snag the Adult Swim series its first nod. But if you’re looking for a wild card pick, don’t discount “Tales from the Tour Bus.” Mike Judge’s Cinemax docuseries has a few advantages in its sister company (HBO, beloved and respected at the Emmys) and its creator. (Judge has been nominated 14 times and won once.)

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Animated Series (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well.

Predicted Nominees:

  1. “Archer”
  2. “Bob’s Burgers”
  3. “Bojack Horseman”
  4. “The Simpsons”
  5. “South Park”

Spoilers: “Big Mouth,” “Family Guy,” “Rick and Morty”

In a Perfect World: “Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus,” “Neo Yokio”

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