My Predictions And Hopes For the 2024 Emmy Nominations

David B Morris
13 min readJun 11, 2024

Week 1, Part 1: Introduction and Outstanding Drama Nominees

If you have been following my writings for a while you are aware that the eligibility period for this year’s Emmy nominations ended two weeks ago. Therefore it is time for me to begin my usual attempt to try and predict what series the Emmys will be nominating in little more than a month.

As I have mentioned countless times in the last several months TV is in a time of transition and this will no doubt reflect on this year’s Emmy nominations. Just as big a factor is the work stoppage that lasted the better part of six months in 2023, decimated the network TV season and delayed both the writing and filming of almost all of last year’s contenders in drama and to an extent comedy. Trying to figure out which series will be nominated in those categories will be difficult and the fact that quite a few shows have shifted from one category to another might not help.

Nevertheless I persist. I’m hoping that the many production gaps will, just as in 2021, lead to deserving series that would slip usually slip under the radar as well as newer ones that haven’t contended, will be nominated in the comedy and drama category. That said I’ve become increasingly practical as the years go by as well as getting used to seeing my hopes dashed with each subsequent years as shows I believe deserve nominations and awards never do.

So this year I intend to continue a trend that I did last year and focus as much on series and actors that will likely be nominated in each category as well as ones I think deserve to be considered. I’m very aware that there are gaps in my viewing, much of which have to do with streaming series, and after the nominations I will do my level best to fill them when it comes time for the actual awards. But for now, I’m going to keep up with as much dreams and air as reality, particularly in drama and comedy.

My predictions will follow the usual format. In each category I will discuss the nominated series and actors that in the past year I believe deserve to be nominated. Some of them will be for shows I haven’t seen but have enough of a history in the several previous awards shows to make a certainty of their nominations. I’m going to try and stick with only two nominees in each category that have less of a chance than the favorite to get nominated and for each category I will submit a show or performer whose work is likely to be overlooked but that I think the Emmys should consider. (How many nominees in each category will differ depending on the Emmys standards; I’m following the guidelines of the 2024 nominations.

Here we go. This year I’m starting with Drama

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Many of these nominated series I have either seen or have been nominated by many of the major awards groups in the Winter of 2023 and beyond. Acknowledging that many of the others are newcomers that I have yet to see, I have decided to disregard many prominent contenders, including Mr. and Mrs. Smtih and Fallout. I don’t deny their presence in many of the categories above but I’m going to wait until the nominations to figure out which ones to deal with. With that in mind, let’s begin.

The Crown (Netflix)

At this point The Crown is one of the last prestige dramas from the start of Netflix’s era of hits from the moment they burst on to the scene with House of Cards. With only the final season of Stranger Things remaining, this may be the end of an era for Netflix when it comes to producing quality dramas. And regardless of how much the numbers were inflated; the fact remains that at its peak they were come of the best of the last ten years.

The final season of The Crown was well received by many critics but like the previous one there was far more controversy about it then the previous four, almost all of it from across the pond. I suspect much of it came when Peter Morgan took the series as close to the present day as he was planning to and that there was further backlash after the real Queen Elizabeth died prior to the final season airing. I think this disregard is built more into the nostalgia factor among the British than any overall drop in the series quality. In the final two seasons, every level of the show — writing, directing and of course, acting — was at the same caliber as the previous four. But during the first four seasons The Crown could still be regarded as a period piece, even though the lion’s share of the characters were very much alive. As long as Elizabeth was played by Claire Foy and then Olivia Colman, the Brits could wrap themselves in their glorious past. But once it entered the 1990s, which are well in the memory of every living person, it cut far too close to the bone and people began to argue that the series was now pro-Charles or anti-Elizabeth.

In truth the story that Morgan was telling in the final season was the same one when he started telling it in 2016: he was telling the story of the decline and fall of England by showing just how broken its oldest institution — the monarchy — truly is. Some of the techniques he used in the final season were questionable to be sure — using the ghost of Diana was by far the most polarizing — but they were at their core, no different than all the other fictionalized techniques he has used starting at the beginning of the series. The Crown was never a documentary but a docudrama and a parable.

At the moment The Crown is the front-runner for the Emmy for Best Drama, though things might well change when the nominations take place. Some might argue that it is based on the institutional memory of the awards rather than maintained quality. I doubt it. It’s the same great show it was at the start. All that’s changed is that we’re looking at the present more than the past.

The Curse (Showtime)

The Curse is by far one of the strangest shows on TV. If anything it fits even more oddly in the drama category than Shogun does. It’s not clear if it’s going to be a one-off or if it continues it will be in a different format: anyone who saw how the series ended — and if you saw it, you know how divisive that was — knows quite a few characters aren’t returning.

The Curse is clearly one of the most original series made on TV in a very long time, and certainly one of the most experimental. Everything from the awkward tone to the technical aspects to the endless closeups make it very clear that this is not the kind of reboot or franchise we’re used to. This may be the most radical thing that Showtime did since Kidding ended in 2020 and I mean that as a genuine compliment. It falls under a category I haven’t had to use for a very long time and that’s fantastic, a show that is so bizarre and strange that you genuinely have question the reality of everything you see.

It helps that so many of the creative forces are experts in this kind of work: Nathan Fielder has been pioneering the limits of what TV can do for over a decade and Benny Safdie has been one of two of the most revolutionary brothers in filmmaking to this date. We spend the entire series in a position of cringe and awkwardness, becoming increasingly uncomfortable by what we’re seeing, not sure what we’re supposed to take away from it as real. We spend the entire series utterly unsure as to the reality of what we’ve seen and then in the final episode the show is taken to a different level that compares to the best work of David Lynch.

This is a tough show to watch and a tough show to like. But its impossible to argue that its not deserving of nominations. Whether it will anything is another matter — but no one won on The Curse either.

In with the new.

The Gilded Age (HBO)

I think I let out a cheer when I saw that The Gilded Age was nominated by the SAG awards for Best Drama in 2024 along with The Last of Us and Succession. It’s currently ranked fourth among prospective Emmy nominees in this category and while other shows are rising it seems impossible it will fall out.

Part of this is due to the fact that, in keeping with Peak TV Law, at least one HBO drama must be nominated by the Emmys for that award and because of the strike the cupboard is pretty bare. But anyone who saw The Gilded Age last year (or indeed, from the start) knows that in a perfect world the series would have been getting all the nominations it deserved starting from 2022 rather than such examples of style of substance as Euphoria.

I speak from bias: from the moment this show debuted I made it clear in no uncertain terms that I thought it was the first great show of the 2020s. So the fact that the rest of the world has caught up to me on this is something I will take a victory lap on but nevertheless shouldn’t hide the fact that every aspect of the show deserves all the nominations it can get: the technical aspects, the brilliant writing and of course, the incredible cast most of which has the women with all the power and the best lines.

How many of the actors get nominated remains to be seen. Carrie Coon is long overdue getting an Emmy for anything (she’s deserved one since The Leftovers) Both Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon look very more than likely to get nominated and I’d be overjoyed if that could apply to most of the supporting cast, from Nathan Lane to Audra MacDonald to Louise Jacobson. (Her mother’s going to be there; she might as well be there to support her daughter.)

I don’t know if these nominations will be a blip on the Emmys radar and that when all of the other series starting with House of The Dragon and The Last of Us come into attention Gilded will fall off. I don’t care. This is one of the best shows on television and it deserves all the love it can get.

Justified: City Primeval (FX)

This is one of two series that I consider a long shot in the category. It’s not like the original series had the best history with the Emmys to begin with (one of their biggest sins) and given everything we’ve been dealing with when it comes to the procedural, it’ll be a tougher sell. But in terms of quality, it needs to be considered.

Timothy Olyphant returned to his second role of a lifetime as Raylan Givens, a bit older, with a teenage daughter and really not much wiser. Back in the fish out of water he went to Detroit to deal with the controversy behind a gangster known as ‘The Wild Man’ backed by a no-nonsense attorney with a complicated history with the criminal and about to get a tougher one with the lawman.

City Primeval reminded me of everything I loved about the original series and there was always a lot to love. It had the feel of Elmore Leonard in it, which made it sense: two of his most famous characters were facing off. It had the presence of color which was often absent in Harlan and a couple of female characters who were more than a match for Raylan. And it showed that while the world had moved on, Raylan was incapable of it, for better and for worse.

Timothy Olyphant and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor deservedly received Critics Choice nominations for their work on the show but the Critics Choice have never been a measure of Emmy love in regard to Justified. I acknowledge I have other more likely favorite shows I could post here — Found or Dark Winds — but I’ve stood by this show when it was originally on the air and I will do the same for Primeval. For me not to would be, well, unjustifiable.

The Morning Show (Apple TV)

The Morning Show has managed to get multiple members of its cast nominated in previous Emmys and has won the occasional acting award over the years. At this point, it is ranked second among the likely winners for the Emmys this year.

Of all the shows on this list The Morning Show keeps knocking on the door for Best Drama and the Emmys keeps ignoring it. It has been nominated for the Golden Globe in this category three separate times and the SAG award three more for dramatic ensemble (including this past year) but on each occasion it fell short. No one denies the level of the acting talent: Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon have already each been nominated once for Best Actress in this category and Billy Crudup has already taken a Best Supporting Actor prize and has been able to win multiple trophies from the Critics’ Choice. No one denies it is quality but no one has been willing to give it deserves the nomination for Best Drama even though some of the alternates in each year have been vastly inferior (I’m looking closely you Season 3 of the Handmaid’s Tale and any season of Euphoria)

It’s going to be very hard for the Emmys to not nominate it for Best Drama or for it to be among the leaders of nominations overall, particularly in acting. But as we know, given the Emmys history, don’t count The Morning Show in just because it seems a certainty.

Not a drama. Still deserves the nominations.

Shogun (FX)

I don’t pretend to understand why Shogun is in this category rather than limited series where it would utterly dominate. But honestly after putting The White Lotus in this same category last year — and that show had no business being considered a drama — the critics no longer have any leg to stand on.

But that said, it’s here and it more than deserves all the nominations and awards it will get. How many remains to be seen but its been compared to Game of Thrones and I’d say its infinitely more deserving of the 20 to 25 a year that show got on a regular basis. It certainly deserves more nominations in the acting categories than the ones the Emmys gave the latter series in the final seasons which are now universally agreed to be horrible.

Of course all of this is an if then argument and it takes away from the fact that this was one of the best shows of 2022 on every single level. Sanada and Anna Sawai deserve lead nominations, probably Cosmo Jarvis and how many of the supporting actors the Emmys want to nominate is in the eye of the beholder but I wouldn’t complain about most of them. Shogun added a scope of epic to limited series that had been missing which may be why it’s the drama category where the Emmys have become comfortable acknowledging it. But it deserved all the love it can get.

Slow Horses (Apple TV)

If you read my column last night, you know that while I came very late to the party, I’m completely on board with Slow Horses getting all the delayed recognition it can get. (I’d actually be fine if it was the sole nominee from Apple TV getting nominations in the drama category but that ship sailed as early as December so let’s move on.)

Most of the cast are front runners in the acting categories, from the legendary Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas to remarkable Jack Lowden. I would be overjoyed if more were nominated in the cast (particularly Saskia Reeves) but I’ll take what I can get.

I understand why this show has been ignored by the Emmys to this point and it may very well fall into the background when other flashier prospects such as Severance return. But even if it just because of the strike and production delays, I don’t care that much. Besides they’re uses to how strange this game is.

Will Trent (ABC)

Will Trent is one of the best shows of 2024. That should count for something. It also has some of the best writing and acting of any show I’ve seen this year and it certainly resonated with me emotionally more than so many of the other series that will likely be nominated this year. That should also count for something. It’s a brilliant adaptation of a best-selling series of novels, like many of the other prominent contenders this year including Slow Horses and 3-Body Problem. That should also count for something. Most of the critical characters are minority performers and considering that the Emmys have struggled with diversity issues recently, that should count for something too.

But none of this will help Will Trent with its biggest block: it’s a network show. And as we all know the Emmys has essentially been excluding the best network dramas from this list for the past decade. It let This is Us in but that was a huge critical and audience hit — and as we know, it never won the Best Drama once. What hope does another procedural have, even though anyone who’s watched and loved Will Trent knows its anything but the typical procedural?

My biggest hope is that the same factor that let This is Us sneak back in 2021 will let it Will Trent do so this year. But of all the eight shows I’ve listed here, this is the one I am the least optimistic for. Some of the actors have a better chance but I have little hope for the series. It deserves to be considered and I hope it will.

For Your Consideration

Elspeth (CBS)

I gave this some thought and I could have argued just as strongly for some of the choices I said in my entry on City Primeval. But if you know my history with Robert and Michelle King’s work, you knew going in this was going to be my choice.

And let’s not kid ourselves: Elspeth deserves to be nominated because its fun. So many of the best series on TV are dark even when they’re quality but Elspeth never pretends to be anything but what it is: a light-hearted romp with a lovable central character, enjoyable mysteries and as many laughs as mysteries. Yes Carrie Preston is a more cheerful Charlie Cale, but you don’t deny she’s just as much fun to spend an hour with catching the villains. She’s also more put together, optimistic and bubbly than Charlie is. If we can give nominations for Poker Face we can certainly do the same for Elspeth.

Well, we’re on our way. Tomorrow I start in with my predictions for outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.