The Ultimate Emmys Watchlist

emmy prep - john stewart

Before the networks dazzle you with their fall slate of future couch surfing addictions, they will first pay homage to the year that was at the annual Emmy Awards on Sept. 20. Take a look at which shows nabbed noteworthy nominations and who we think will walk away with a statue.

The Big Guns

As usual, creative juggernaut HBO leads the pack, as its Sunday powerhouse Game of Thrones reigned victorious with the most nominations. However, newcomers such as Netflix’s cult comedy hit Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt surprised with multiple nods, and fan-favorite Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s Orphan Black finally broke into the mainstream and earned her first nomination. Better Call Saul made good on the promise of its parent show, Breaking Bad, by grabbing multiple nominations as well.

In the Spotlight

A great year was celebrated by actresses of color, largely ignored in the past come nomination day. Empire’s Taraji P. Henson and How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis take two of the six Lead Actress, Drama slots.

The farewell season of Mad Men (a previous Outstanding Drama winner) and the final bow of its talented cast got nominated in many of the drama categories, and past winners such as Claire Danes (Homeland) and the political thriller House of Cards also return to the fray.

In the comedy section, perennial Outstanding Comedy Series Modern Family and many of its talented cast return for another shot at the prize. This year, however, newcomers including Amazon’s transsexual parenting comedy Transparent and its lead actor (former Arrested Development patriarch Jeffrey Tambor) might actually score a coup for the streaming service like it did at the Golden Globes earlier this year, when it walked away with wins in two main categories.

Break It Down

Here’s a breakdown of the main categories, including the network or streaming service, so you can get caught up in time for the festivities (Sept. 20 on FOX). (P.S. Most of the shows listed can be found On Demand, the usual streaming sources or on the Website of the network it originally aired on). In bold you will find our picks for the winner.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Better Call Saul, AMC

Downton Abbey, PBS

Game of Thrones, HBO

Homeland, Showtime

House of Cards, Netflix

Mad Men, A&E

Orange is the New Black, Netflix

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Louie, F/X

Modern Family, ABC

Parks and Recreation, NBC

Silicon Valley, HBO

Transparent, Amazon

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netfilx

Veep, HBO

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul, AMC

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline, Netflix

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix

Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan, Showtime

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

Taraji P. Henson, Empire, FOX

Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder, ABC

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black, BBC America

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC

Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, black-ish, ABC

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime

Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth, FOX

Louis C.K., Louie, F/X

William H. Macy, Shameless, Showtime

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent, Amazon

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback, HBO

Lily Tomlin, Grace And Frankie, Netflix

Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO

REALITY-COMPETITION SERIES

The Amazing Race, CBS

Dancing with the Stars, ABC

Project Runway, Lifetime

So You Think You Can Dance, FOX

Top Chef, Bravo

The Voice, NBC

VARIETY TALK SERIES

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central

Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO

Late Show with David Letterman, CBS

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NBC

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul, AMC

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline, Netflix

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife, CBS

Michael Kelly, House of Cards, Netflix

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey, PBS

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones, HBO

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black, Netflix

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, FOX

Adam Driver, Girls, HBO

Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele, Comedy Central

Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix

Tony Hale, Veep, HBO

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Niecy Nash, Getting On, HBO

Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC

Allison Janney, Mom, CBS

Kate McKinnon ,Saturday Night Live, NBC

Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent, Amazon

Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix

Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO