Thursday, September 1, 2016

Emmy Predictions 2016 - Who Will Win for Writing for a Drama Series?

The nominations are in for The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is now taking place. So now, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Writing for a Drama Series.

The Nominees:
  • David Benioff & D.B. Weiss for HBO's Game of Thrones - Episode: "Battle of the Bastards"
  • Sam Esmail for USA's Mr. Robot - Episode: ""
  • Julian Fellowes for PBS' Downton Abbey - Episode: "Episode 8"
  • Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg for FX's The Americans - Episode: "Persona Non Grata"
  • Robert King & Michelle King for CBS' The Good Wife - Episode: "End"
  • Marti Noxon & Sarah Gertrude Shapiro for Lifetime's UnREAL - Episode: "Return"

There is quite an eclectic collection of nominees for Drama Writing this year. Last year's winners - David Benioff and D.B. Weiss - are back. Both The Good Wife and Downton Abbey aired their final seasons this year and got back into this field despite being missing for several years. Mr. Robot and UnREAL both got in for their terrific series premieres. And finally, The Americans proved that last year's nomination wasn't a fluke. It makes for a very exciting and interesting category. Voters have plenty of options. All of them seem like viable winners as well. It makes this race one to watch on Emmy night.

Because Game of Thrones once again led in total nominations, it's basically considered a frontrunner in any race it's nominated in. Benioff and Weiss' odds of winning are even greater because they won last year. That's not always a strong indicator in this race though. Yes, plenty of series have won multiple times over the years. But a new winner has been crowed for the past few years. Game of Thrones may pull out a win here. It doesn't need to though. It will surely win somewhere else on the ballot. So that means the other nominees on this list have strong chances as well because they simply don't have those same opportunities elsewhere.

Voters will probably want to honor Mr. Robot and The Americans somewhere. This would be a strong category for either of them to win. Sam Esmail created a mind-bending drama that has been so gripping across two seasons. That pilot is so magnificent. It's his baby. He's poured everything into it. That could be a story voters could easily get behind. Meanwhile, after so many years of failing to break through, The Americans finally did it. It no longer had to just rely on Margo Martindale. It's in the lead acting races. Those acting races are going to be tough. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell deserve wins. But I'm not sure it will happen. But a writing win could be possibly - especially as a way to honor the show's best season yet. If either Mr. Robot or The Americans win here, it could also indicate that the Best Drama Series race is much closer than anyone thinks.

Meanwhile, The Good Wife and Downton Abbey can't be discounted even though they've passed their peaks of relevance. Both shows have won numerous Emmys over the years. They've been standout programming in that regard on their respective networks. So, it does seem fitting for both to win something for their final years. They may both be long shots to win. But it's still one of the best shots they have to actually win at all. It is an honor just to be nominated. Voters are proving that they respect everything these shows have done over the years. That sentimentality could fuel a victory. Stranger things have happened before.

Should Win: Sam Esmail
Will Win: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Dark Horse: Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg