The Emmy Awards are the Super Bowl for TV fanatics, and although they are a few months away, preparations started weeks ago. The voting process started a few days ago, and there was time to vote until June 26 at 10 p.m. PST. The official nominees for every category will be announced on July 12.

Like in previous years, the stakes are high. The list of contenders is long, brimming with talent and incredible performances. This time, fans seem to be on the edge of their seat as shows like SuccessionBarry and Ted Lasso will appear on the list of possible nominees for the last time since their series finales already aired. Will Succession win Best Drama one last time? Can Ted Lasso triumph over Abbott Elementary‘s winning streak?

Whether you are watching because you want your favorite actor to be nominated or to see your favorite cast together again, you must recognize there have been some incredible performances on TV during the last season. Many of them deserve recognition for the last or for the first time.

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Lead Actor Drama: Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy (Succession)

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, looking off camera, in Succession.

Regarding the Lead Actor Drama category, Succession has delivered three big names that might go against each other: Brian Cox for Logan Roy, Jeremy Strong for Kendall Roy and Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy. With the work done in Season 4, one of the most deserving performances is that of Culkin. His work as Roman Roy throughout the show’s final season was outstanding, taking a turn from the norm.

Instead of continuing with his sarcastic, overly-sexual playboy game, Roman Roy was on a roller coaster of emotions that peaked during Succession Season 4 Episode 9, “Church and State.” It was then that he had a complete emotional breakdown over his father’s death, and Culkin delivered some of the best acting we have seen him do on the show.

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Roman Roy’s journey has been complex, and Culkin has always stepped up to the part. However, his work this season stands out from what he was previously doing and must be celebrated.

Lead Actor Comedy: Jeremy Allen White (The Bear)

Jeremy Allen White as Camry in his Chef coat plating a meal in The Bear.

During previous years, the Emmy Awards had gotten us viewers used to seeing Jason Sudeikis take home the trophy for his portrayal of Ted Lasso. However, the last awards season didn’t include Ted Lasso as it hadn’t aired new episodes, and it opened the floor for a new name to show his talent: Jeremy Allen White.

The Bear has become extremely popular among fans who have binged the series on Hulu, especially with the release of Season 2. White has proven to have precisely what comedy viewers are looking for. He has the timing, the talent and the understanding of the character to surprise audiences with every episode.

Will this be the year the Emmy goes to someone new?

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Lead Actor Limited Series/TV Movie: Steve Carell (The Patient)

Steve Carell on 'The Patient' with a beard and glasses.

The Emmy Awards have a strong list of Lead Actor Limited Series/TV Movie contenders. Some names that have been floated around include Taron Egerton, Evan Peters, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Shannon and Steven Yeun. Although they have all delivered great performances, Steve Carell‘s work on The Patient stands out.

Most people know Carell as a comedic actor, gaining most of his following from The Office. However, this new role as a therapist held captive by a patient who turns out to be a serial killer shines a light on the broad spectrum of characters Carell can play.

Will the Emmy go to him this time around?

Lead Actress Drama: Sarah Snook (Succession)

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy crying.

The cast of Succession has been recognized with many accolades, including several Emmy Awards as a series and for individual performances. However, even though she has been previously nominated, Sarah Snook hasn’t taken the statue home for her work as Shiv Roy. This time, she could be nominated as a Lead Actress Drama instead of Supporting Actress Drama.

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For many, Shiv Roy is the girl boss that never was, always flying too close to the sun, but it is precisely this that has allowed Snook to give one of the most memorable performances we have seen on TV. Her work in Season 4 only confirms this, particularly Shiv’s reaction to Logan’s death in Succession Season 4 Episode 3, “Connor’s Wedding.”

Fans hope the transition from supporting to lead will finally see her bring it home.

Lead Actress Comedy: Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary)

Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues holding a juice box.

Although this wouldn’t be Quinta Brunson‘s first nomination for her role as Janine Teagues on Abbott Elementary at the Emmy Awards, many wonder if it will be the first time she takes the statue. With Jean Smart being out of the picture for this season, Brunson leads the pack of possible nominees and many names as the probable winner.

Brunson won last year as a comedy writer, but this might be her time to be recognized as an actress. Her work on the series is outstanding, and many have applauded the character of Janine for everything she brings to the screen.

If Sheryl Lee Ralph did it last year, could Quinta Brunson do it this year?

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Lead Actress Limited Series/TV Movie: Kathryn Hahn (Tiny Beautiful Things)

Kathryn Hahn leaning against a car door.

Like Lead Actor Limited Series/TV Movie, the category for Lead Actress Limited Series/TV Movie at the Emmy Awards seems to have a list of extremely talented women who will be nominated. According to Variety, you can find Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Riley Keough, Elizabeth Olsen and Ali Wong among the names. However, one name that stands out from the rest is Kathryn Hahn.

Hahn has been in the industry for many years but hasn’t received as much recognition as she deserves. Her portrayal of Clare Kinkade on Tiny Beautiful Things has viewers wondering if this will be her time. She brings her experience, talent, comedic timing and acting skills to the table to give a memorable performance.

Could this be the year the Emmy Awards recognize her work?

Supporting Actor Drama: Matthew Macfadyen (Succession)

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans looking sad.

The Emmy Awards have done a great job at recognizing Matthew Macfadyen‘s work as Tom Wambsgans on Succession. He took home the trophy for Supporting Actor Drama last year, and many believe he might do it again this year. The truth is that Macfadyen’s performance has remained at the top of the pile from the very beginning of the show.

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Whether you love Tom or can’t stand the sight of him, it is undeniable that Macfadyen has done an amazing job bringing this character to life. Season after season, we saw him change sides for his own benefit, leading him to the top job (CEO) in the series finale.

Could this be his year once again?

Supporting Actor Comedy: Phil Dunster (Ted Lasso)

Phil Dunster as Jamie wearing the Greyhounds uniform and looking to his left.

In the past, the Emmy Awards have recognized Brett Goldstein in the category of Supporting Actor Comedy for the work he has done on Ted Lasso. Although Goldstein still delivered an amazing performance, anyone who watched Season 3 of the show can say that Phil Dunster deserves all of the awards.

Previous seasons didn’t allow Dunster to show his range as an actor. However, Ted Lasso Season 3 completely changed the game by giving him a more serious storyline in which we see him grow both as a person and a player. With his funny and serious moments, Jamie Tartt proved to be one of the most memorable characters on the show.

Could Dunster be nominated for the first time and take the Emmy home?

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Supporting Actor Limited Series/TV Movie: Ray Liotta (Black Bird)

Ray Liotta with a beard on 'Black Bird.'

It is always difficult to judge an actor’s work postmortem, but it must be highlighted that Ray Liotta did an amazing job on Black Bird portraying Big Jim Keene. This was Liotta’s last TV performance, and people are still talking about it because of how memorable and relevant it was to the series.

Roxana Hadid wrote in her review for Vulture: “The humanity Liotta brings to Keene’s father, Big Jim, is multifaceted and sobering, and it cuts through the more irritating aspects of Black Bird to remind what a great actor can do with any amount of screen time.” And that is precisely what makes Liotta stand out — the time on screen doesn’t matter, but what one does with it.

Will the Emmy Awards recognize the incredible talent Liotta brought to the screen?

Supporting Actress Drama: J. Smith-Cameron (Succession)

J. Smith-Cameron as Gerri Kellman resting her head on her hand, sitting on an armchair.

If we talk about the amount of time on screen that isn’t relevant when the talent is there, it is J. Smith-Cameron who needs to be in that conversation. Throughout Smith-Cameron’s portrayal of Gerri Kellman on all four seasons of Succession, the actress was on screen for 159 minutes (which basically comes up to three episodes). However, that did not stop her from delivering one of the most iconic performances on the show.

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However few her minutes on screen may have been, Smith-Cameron became extremely popular among the fans and the critics who continue to talk about Gerri Kellman even after the series finale. During Season 4, Smith-Cameron showed a variety of emotions that Kellman hadn’t been able to tap into until Logan Roy’s death.

Smith-Cameron auditioned for a role that was supposed to be for a man and changed it into a female character, helping build Gerri Kellman from the ground up. Season 4 is proof that she has done the work and delivered exactly what the audience was looking for: a gut-wrenching, unforgettable performance.

Supporting Actress Comedy: Lisa Ann Walter (Abbott Elementary)

Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti smiling in a classroom.

While most of the Abbott Elementary cast received nominations for their performances, and the Emmy Awards rewarded Sheryl Lee Ralph’s work, many allowed Lisa Ann Walter‘s performance to fly under the radar. This was a mistake, and Season 2 of the show proves exactly why. Although primarily a comedian, Walter has a huge range and can bring audiences from laughing to crying.

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The character of Melissa Schemmenti is tough on the outside but soft on the inside, and Walter has been able to bring this to the screen. With every passing episode, she has shown why she has been in the industry for so long and why Quinta Brunson chose her to join the cast. Without her performance, the cast wouldn’t function as well as it does.

Some lists with possible nominees have floated around Walter’s name, which would truly be a win for fans of the show and her work. After so many years of delivering memorable characters, isn’t it her time?

Supporting Actress Limited Series/TV Movie: Niecy Nash-Betts (Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story)

Niecy Nash-Betts looking up to the sky.

A lot was said about Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story after the show came out and how respectful or disrespectful it was to the victims. However, one thing many could agree on was the incredible work that Niecy Nash-Betts did on screen.

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When portraying a person based on real-life events, it can be hard to convey everything the person was, but Nash-Betts did what she always does and delivered a performance that has stuck with viewers since the series aired. The critics have also agreed, and she has won awards for this role.

Will the Emmy Awards agree with the critics?

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