Emmy Predictions: Writing Categories – ‘Succession’ Goes for Fourth; ‘Abbott’ Brings Laughs; ‘Fire Island’ and ‘Swarm’ Stand Out

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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UPDATED: May 11, 2023

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

The White Lotus
The White Lotus

Weekly Commentary: “Succession” writer Jesse Armstrong is the first solo writer to win this category three times, and he could extend that record with the “Connor’s Wedding” episode (and whatever the finale brings). The challengers come from his HBO counterparts, “The Last of Us” and “The White Lotus.” AMC could also get traction for the final episode of “Better Call Saul.”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Emmy predictions in all categories.

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Succession” (HBO) — “Connor’s Wedding” by Jesse Armstrong

  2. The Last of Us” (HBO) — “Long, Long Time” by Craig Mazin

  3. Better Call Saul” (AMC) — “Saul Gone” by Peter Gould

  4. The White Lotus” (HBO) — “Arrivederci” by Mike White

  5. Bad Sisters” (Apple TV+) — “The Prick” by Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel, Brett Baer

  6. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (Netflix) — “Crown Jewels” by Shonda Rhimes

  7. The Crown” (Netflix) — “Gunpowder” by Peter Morgan

Next in Line

  1. Yellowjackets” (Showtime) — “Qui” by Karen Joseph Adcock, Ameni Rozsa

  2. The Last of Us” (HBO) — “Look for the Light” by Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann

  3. Stranger Things” (Netflix) — “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback” by The Duffer Brothers

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. House of the Dragon” (HBO) — “The Heirs of the Dragon” by Ryan Condal

  2. Better Call Saul” (AMC) — “Breaking Bad” by Thomas Schnauz

  3. The Old Man” (FX) — “I” by Jonathan E. Steinberg, Robert Levine

  4. Andor” (Disney+) — “Rix Road” by Tony Gilroy

  5. The Last of Us” (HBO) — “Left Behind” by Neil Druckmann

  6. The Diplomat” (Netflix) — “Lambs in the Dark” by Debora Cahn

  7. 1923” (Paramount+) — “1923” by Taylor Sheridan

  8. Yellowstone” (Paramount Network) — Taylor Sheridan, “Horses in Heaven”

  9. The Boys” (Prime Video) — “The Instant White-Hot Wild” by Logan Ritchey, David Reed

  10. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (Prime Video) — “A Shadow of the Past” by J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Weekly Commentary: Quinta Brunson won this category last year for the first season “Abbott Elementary” and she faces stiff competition once again with an onslaught of critically acclaimed shows like “The Bear,” “Shrinking” and “Ted Lasso.”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Emmy predictions in all categories.

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Abbott Elementary” (ABC) — “Development Day” by Quinta Brunson

  2. The Bear” (FX) — “System” by Christopher Storer

  3. Shrinking” (Apple TV+) — “Coin Flip” by Bill Lawrence, Jason Segel, Brett Goldstein

  4. Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) — “Sunflowers” by Joe Kelly, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt

  5. Poker Face” (Peacock) — “Dead Man’s Hand” by Rian Johnson

  6. What We Do in the Shadows” (FX) — “Private School” by Ayo Edebiri, Shana Gohd

  7. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Prime Video) — “Four Minutes” by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino

Next in Line

  1. Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) — “TBA Episode 12” by Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Jason Sudeikis

  2. Abbott Elementary” (ABC) — “Franklin Institute” by Brittani Nichols

  3. Barry” (HBO) — “wow” by Bill Hader

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) — “Persons of Interest” by John Hoffman, Noah Levine

  2. Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) — “Big Week” by Brett Goldstein

  3. Wednesday” (Netflix) — “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe” by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

  4. The Great” (Hulu) — “Once Upon a Time” by Tony McNamara

  5. Somebody Somewhere” (HBO) — “NNP” by Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, Bridget Everett

  6. Mo” (Netflix) — “Hamoodi” by Mohammed Amer, Ramy Youssef

  7. American Born Chinese” (Disney+) — “TBA Episode” by Kelvin Yu, Charles Yu

  8. Reservation Dogs” (FX) — “The Curse” by Sterlin Harjo, Dallas Goldtooth, Ryan RedCorn

  9. Call Me Kat” (Fox) — “Call Me Uncle Dad” by Britté Anchor, Jim Reynolds, Maria Ferrari, Chelsea Myers

  10. The Rehearsal” (HBO) — “Orange Juice, No Pulp” by Nathan Fielder

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or TV Movie

Jesse Eisenberg and Lizzy Caplan in “Fleishman Is in Trouble.”
Jesse Eisenberg and Lizzy Caplan in “Fleishman Is in Trouble.”

Weekly Commentary: With the combination of limited series and television movies, this race is a bit more interesting with “Weird” and “Fire Island” making plays for their comedic elements, and poignant shows like “Black Bird” and “Fleishman is in Trouble” looking strong for recognition.

“Swarm” creator Janine Nabers could also make history as the first Black woman to be recognized in this category for a show she created and produced.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Emmy predictions in all categories.

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Black Bird” (Apple TV+) — “WhatsHerName” by Dennis Lehane, Steve Harris

  2. Fleishman is in Trouble” (FX) — “Summon Your Witness” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

  3. Daisy Jones & the Six” (Prime Video) — “Track 1: Come and Get It” by Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber

  4. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (The Roku Channel) — Film screenplay by Al Yankovic, Eric Appel

  5. Love & Death” (HBO) — Series by David E. Kelley

Next in Line

  1. Beef” (Netflix) — “The Birds Don’t Sing, They Screech in Pain” by Lee Sung Jin

  2. Fire Island” (Hulu) — Film screenplay by Joel Kim Booster

  3. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (Netflix) — “Silenced” by David McMillan, Janet Mock

  4. Swarm” (Prime Video) — “Stung” by Janine Nabers, Donald Glover

  5. A Small Light” (National Geographic) — “Pilot” by Joan Rater, Tony Phelan

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. The Patient” (Hulu) — Series by Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg

  2. Cabinet of Curiosities” (Netflix) — “The Autopsy” by David S. Goyer

  3. Mike” (Hulu) — “Thief” by Steven Rogers

  4. Irma Vep” (HBO) — Series by Olivier Assayas

  5. Dead Ringers” (Prime Video) — “One” by Alice Birch

  6. Tiny Beautiful Things” (Hulu) — “Pilot” by Liz Tigelaar

  7. White House Plumbers” (HBO) — “The Beverly Hills Burglary” by Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck

  8. This is Going to Hurt” (AMC) — Series by Adam Kay

  9. Mrs. Davis” (Peacock) — “Mother of Mercy: The Call of the Horse” by Tara Hernandez & Damon Lindelof

  10. Obi-Wan Kenobi” (Disney+) — “Part VI” by Joby Harold, Hossein Amini, Andrew Stanton

Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED |

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans, and executives.

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans, and executives.

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