It's that time of year when voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are busily reviewing the hundreds of programs and performers eligible for Emmy Award nominations. I'm here to help. As always in the era of Peak TV+ a nomination for one deserving series or actor means that several others won't be acknowledged. But it cannot be avoided. The number of permitted nominees can vary by category, so I'm limiting my suggestions to seven in each one. You can find my choices for deserving nominees in the Drama Series categories below. Remember, these are recommendations, not predictions, because the Academy is nothing if not unpredictable. Check out my recommendations for the Comedy Series categories here.
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul (AMC) -- Better than ever ... and so overdue for Emmy recognition it hurts.
Euphoria (HBO) -- A genuine phenomenon.
Squid Game (Netflix) -- One of two surprise sensations of the season.
Succession (HBO) -- An awards magnet. It's hard to argue against its outsize success.
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO) (pictured at top) -- A winning history lesson, and more fun than any other drama series.
Yellowjackets (Showtime) -- The other surprise sensation of the season.
Yellowstone (Paramount Network) -- Ignoring this long-overlooked powerhouse would make the Academy look bad.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman -- Ozark (Netflix)
Sterling K. Brown -- This Is Us (NBC)
Brian Cox -- Succession (HBO)
Lee Jung-jae -- Squid Game (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk -- Better Call Saul (AMC)
John C. Reilly -- Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO)
Jeremy Strong -- Succession (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski -- The Good Fight (Paramount+)
Toni Collette -- Pieces of Her (Netflix)
Carrie Coon -- The Gilded Age (HBO)
Laura Linney -- Ozark (Netflix)
Mandy Moore -- This Is Us (NBC)
Melanie Lynskey -- Yellowjackets (Showtime)
Zendaya -- Euphoria (HBO)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks -- Better Call Saul (AMC)
Nicholas Braun -- Succession (HBO)
Kieran Culkin -- Succession (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito -- Better Call Saul (AMC)
Park Hae-soo -- Squid Game (Netflix)
Matthew Macfadyen -- Succession (HBO)
Michael Mando -- Better Call Saul (AMC)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Patricia Arquette -- Severance (Apple TV+)
Julia Garner -- Ozark (Netflix)
Jung Ho-yeon -- Squid Game (Netflix)
Christina Ricci -- Yellowjackets (Showtime)
Rhea Seehorn -- Better Call Saul (AMC)
Sarah Snook -- Succession (HBO)
Sydney Sweeney -- Euphoria (HBO)
This is easily the most difficult category to narrow down. I could easily double the list to include Millie Bobby Brown for Stranger Things (Netflix), Christine Baranski for The Gilded Age (HBO), Lisa Emery for Ozark (Netflix), Sally Field for Winning Team: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO), Christine Lahti for Evil (Paramount+), Julianna Margulies for The Morning Show (Apple TV+) and Chrissy Metz for This Is Us (NBC) and that still wouldn't acknowledge all the performances that deserve recognition here.
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