Outstanding Drama Series
Was this the best season of "Game of Thrones"? Not if you listen to all those fan complaints, yet the game-changing HBO fantasy series seems poised to take home this year's statue for Outstanding Drama Series, and it's tough to argue the impact the final season had on pop culture this year.
If "GoT" doesn't pull off the win, other contenders include HBO's wickedly dysfunctional family dramedy "Succession", the brilliant second season of "Killing Eve" and
Outstanding Comedy Series
While the odds seem to favour a repeat win in this category from "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", let's not forget that 2019 is the year of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Not only was her brilliant Amazon Prime Video comedy "Fleabag" honoured by the TV Critics Association with three TCA Awards (Show of the Year, Comedy of the Year and Individual Achievement in Comedy), let's not forget her work as creator/writer on the first season of "Killing Eve" and her current role as script doctor on "Bond 25", pulled in to help patch up the screenplay for the troubled 007 pic. Waller-Bridge is the woman of the hour, and don't be surprised to see her taking home her first Emmy on Sunday.
If "Fleabag" didn't manage to enchant Emmy voters the way it has viewers, other top contenders in this category are "Veep", "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and the absolutely astounding "Russian Doll".
By the way, it should be noted that all of the above are starring women, marking a particularly solid year for female-led comedy on television.
Outstanding Limited Series
If you managed to watch Netflix's "When They See Us" without being driven to tears, outrage and deep emotional despair, then you may want to check for a pulse. The Ava DuVernay-helmed miniseries about the miscarriage of justice inflicted on the so-called "Central Park Six" is well deserving of this year's Limited Series Emmy.
If Emmy voters manage to overlook "When They See Us", the Amy Adams-starring "Sharp Objects" offers steep competition, as does true-crime prison break series "Escape at Dannemora"
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama
With both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer nominated for their respective roles in "Killing Eve", Oh probably has the edge (given that she was nominated in the same category last year), but in all honesty both actresses are equally deserving of this year's award.
If Comer and Oh split the votes and cancel each other out, look for Laura Linney to take home some gold thanks to her devastating performance in "Ozark".
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama
Remember when Bob Odenkirk was considered a comedian? As doomed attorney "Slippin' Jimmy" McGill, he just gets better and deeper in each season of this critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" prequel series.
Another solid contender this year is "Pose" star Billy
Porter; given Emmy's traditional reluctance to award edgy, fringe-type shows, however, a Porter Emmy — while deserved — seems to be a long shot.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy
After beating breast cancer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus returned for the final — and arguably most viciously funny — season of the HBO political drama yet. Given that the former "Seinfeld" star has won every single time she's been nominated in this category for "Veep" — six in total — only a fool would bet against her winning a seventh.
Then again, there's some exceptionally strong competition in this category, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge ("Fleabag"), Natasha Lyonne ("Russian Doll"), Rachel Brosnahan ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel") and Catherine O'Hara (the underrated "Schitt's Creek").
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy
While there's some extraordinary competition in this category (particularly from Michael Douglas to Eugene Levy), Bill Hader's work in the second season of HBO's "Barry" was beyond extraordinary, with Hader showing us new sides of himself in practically ever episode. If you're placing Emmy bets, this is as close to a sure thing as it gets.
If, for whatever bizarre reason, Hader doesn't receive the award, look for Douglas to be recognized for his fantastic work in "The Kominsky Method".
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or TV Movie
While there is no shortage of deserving nominees in this competitive category (Patricia Arquette and Amy Adams in particular), Michelle Williams would seem to be a lock for her emotionally raw performance as Broadway icon Gwen Verdon in FX's "Fosse/Verdon". Not only did she master Bob Fosse's notoriously meticulous choreography for the dance sequences, her desperate confrontations with her self-absorbed ex-husband/eternal collaborator and soulmate were beyond devastating, with his star on the rise while she watched her status as a Broadway star melt away as she approached her sell-by-date.
Arquette's work in "Escape At Dannemora" places her as the the frontrunner should Williams not win — although that seems unlikely bordering on impossible.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
While Jharrel Jerome's performance in "When They See Us" has been lauded, expect the award in this category to go to Jared Harris for phenomenal performance in HBO's "Chernobyl".
However, given the other actors nominated in this category, it wouldn't be surprising to see Sam Rockwell ("Fosse/Verdon"), Benicio Del Toro ("Escape At Danemora"), Hugh Grant ("A Very English Scandal"), Sam Rockwell ("Fosse/Verdon"), or Mahershala Ali ("True Detective") delivering acceptance speeches, either.
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
No comedy variety/talk show on TV has managed to hit the heights achieved by John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight", delivering an epic takedown of the political insanity coming out of DC on a weekly basis — while devoting lengthy-yet-hilarious segments to such overlooked topics as corruption surrounding the FIFA World Cup and the realities of Trump's trade wars.
Other frontrunners in this category: "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" — and a gold star for whoever recognized that all of the above are alums of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show".
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Henry Winkler played one of television's most iconic characters on "Happy Days", yet his portrayal of Fonzie never won him an Emmy. Decades later, Winker is winning raves for the role of quasi-delusional acting coach Gene Cousineau on "Barry", and if the Emmy's nostalgia factor kicks in, he's got a good shot at the win.
Other deserving nominees in this category include Winker's "Barry" co-stars Stephen Root and Anthony Carrigan, Tony Hale of "Veep" and Tony Shalhoub of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", who is likely the frontrunner if voters decide not to go with Winkler.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Look for Alex Borstein to follow last year's "Mrs. Maisel" Emmy win with another one after a season that saw her character, quirky comedy manager Susie Myerson become more of a major player in the series.
Also leading the pack of nominees in this category: "SNL" vet Kate McKinnon, who continues to deliver extraordinary impressions "live from New York" each Saturday night, and Olivia Colman, who proved to be a formidable foil for Phoebe Waller-Bridge's character in "Fleabag".
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Peter Dinklage has already won three Emmy Awards for portraying Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones", and the odds are he'll be picking up his fourth on Sunday.
Dinklage's competition in this category includes his "GoT" co-stars Alfie Allen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, along wth Michael Kelly ("House of Cards"), Giancarlo Esposito ("Better Call Saul") and Chris Sullivan ("This Is Us").
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
A five-time nominee for playing Tyrion's cunning sister Cersei, Lena Headey is expected to pick up her first Emmy for the show's final season.
She'll be competing against co-stars Gwendoline Christie,
Sophie Turner and
Maisie Williams in this category, which also includes Fiona Shaw ("Killing Eve") and Julia Garner ("Ozark").