Pity the Peak TV Emmy voter. The job of choosing the cream of the TV crop used to be so easy. But in an age of hundreds — really, thousands — of TV programs, even the most well-versed viewer hasn’t seen everything. And as we’ve noticed in recent days via these anonymous ballots, sometimes it does come down to talent who have impressed in the past, or who are well-liked in the community. How much does that play a role in who ultimately wins? For one thing, it explains why so many incumbent winners manage to repeat.
IndieWire reached out to creatives across the industry this year to share their own Emmy ballots, anonymously, and explain why they made their choices. Performers, writers, producers, publicists, executives, and craftspeople from across the industry offered up their answers, and IndieWire has been posting some of those ballots this week and next week.
In this edition, an executive producer gives their take on this year’s Emmy race, and reason behind each pick. Read on below:
Outstanding Drama Series
☑ The Americans
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
THIS IS TOO HARD. I love them all. But I’m going with the one that is ending its fantastic run.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
It’s redefining what comedy is and I love how surprising every episode is.
Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Jeff Daniels. Western. Love.
Outstanding Television Movie
☑ The Tale
USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Saw it at Sundance. Loved it.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
☑ Claire Foy/The Crown
Tatiana Maslany/Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss/The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh/Killing Eve
Keri Russell/The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood/Westworld
While I am not a huge fan of the series – her performance has been extraordinary over multiple seasons.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
☑ Jason Bateman/Ozark
Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
He might be the underdog in this category, but he was fantastic! And I love the show.
Justina Mintz/courtesy of HBO
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon/Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
☑ Issa Rae/Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie
I am just a huge Issa Rae fan.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ Donald Glover/Atlanta
William H. Macy/Shameless
Such a wonderful nuanced, grounded, dramatic performance that evokes such deep, uncomfortable laughter. That is an art.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie
☑ Jessica Biel/The Sinner
Laura Dern/The Tale
Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult
It was great to see Jessica Biel in this highly conflicted, challenging role.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series/Movie
Antonio Banderas/Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Benedict Cumberbatch/Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels/The Looming Tower
John Legend/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Jesse Plemons/USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Honestly, I haven’t watched enough of these series to have a great understanding of who had the best performance so I voted for the person I know always delivers.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alexis Bledel/The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown/Stranger Things
☑ Ann Dowd/The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Headey/Game Of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby/The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale
Ann Dowd is extraordinary in “Handmaid’s Tale.” I hate her so much, but totally understand where her character is coming from.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Game Of Thrones
☑ Peter Dinklage/Game Of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes/The Handmaid’s Tale
David Harbour/Stranger Things
Matt Smith/The Crown
Peter Dinklage every single day of the week. always. forever.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
☑ Betty Gilpin/GLOW
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace
I think I’m really voting for her because of her performance in Season 2. That fight in the hospital!
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin/Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry/Atlanta
☑ Tony Shalhoub/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson/Saturday Night Live
I mean it’s Tony Shalhoub and he has some of the best tension breaking laugh inducing beats in the entire series.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sara Bareilles/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Penélope Cruz/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Judith Light/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter/American Horror Story: Cult
Letitia Wright/Black Museum (Black Mirror)
Another category where I haven’t watched enough to make an informed vote so I’m going with the stalwart.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
☑ Jeff Daniels/Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Ricky Martin/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramírez/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg/The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
And ANOTHER category where I haven’t watched enough to make an informed vote so I’m going with the stalwart.
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program
The Amazing Race
☑ American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The only of these I’ve watched this year. Damn it’s a crowd pleaser.
Outstanding Structured Reality Program
☑ Lip Sync Battle
Who Do You Think You Are?
Love this show. Such a smart fun conceit.
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
Born This Way
Naked And Afraid
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
☑ United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
I know this one is probably an underdog but I love Kamau Bell.
Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program
☑ W. Kamau Bell/United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Ellen Degeneres/Ellen’s Game Of Games
RuPaul/RuPaul’s Drag Race
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn/Project Runway
Jane Lynch/Hollywood Game Night
Doubling down on my love for Kamau Bell.
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
☑ Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
He is tackling some of the biggest most complex issues of time and making me laugh. That is amazing.
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home With Amy Sedaris
☑ Drunk History
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show
Outstanding Variety Special (Live)
☑ The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards
60th Annual Grammy Awards
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs
Always more fun than the Oscars.
Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
☑ Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life
It was the special I talked about for weeks after.
Outstanding Informational Series or Special
☑ Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson
I mean…we have to.
[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]