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2022 Emmys Lead Actress Drama Predictions

2022 Emmys Lead Actress Drama Predictions

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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 awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
To see old predictions and commentary, click the EMMY PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
For film awards predictions go toTHE OSCARS HUB

UPDATED: April 21, 2022



Zendaya, already the youngest actress to win lead actress drama in Emmy history, looks to extend her record with a possible second win for “Euphoria.” She’s also the second Black woman to win the category following Viola Davis for “How to Get Away with Murder,” so she would also be the first Black woman to win multiple leading trophies.

She’ll face stiff competition from Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”), and any number of her co-stars that are vying for a spot including Juliette Lewis and Tawny Cypress.

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, the co-leading duo from “Killing Eve” have a decent shot for their farewell season of the BBC series. Other dark horses for recognition include Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”), Carrie Coon (“The Gilded Age”), Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”), and perhaps even Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”).

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The Emmy eligibility period runs from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022. The deadline for entering programs for Primetime programming and uploading all entry materials is on May 12, 2022, at 6:00 PM PT.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The full television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: Olivia Colman, “The Crown” (Netflix)


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Showtime/Everett Collection

1 Zendaya “Euphoria” HBO/HBO Max
2 Melanie Lynskey “Yellowjackets” Showtime
3 Laura Linney “Ozark” Netflix
4 Sandra Oh “Killing Eve” BBC America
5 Jodie Comer “Killing Eve” BBC America
6 Jennifer Aniston “The Morning Show” Apple TV+
7 Juliette Lewis “Yellowjackets” Showtime
8 Mandy Moore “This Is Us” NBC
9 Reese Witherspoon “The Morning Show” Apple TV+
10 Elisabeth Moss “Shining Girls” Apple TV+
11 Sissy Spacek “Night Sky” Amazon Prime Video
12 Caitríona Balfe “Outlander” Starz
13 Aunjanue Ellis “61st Street” AMC
14 Yuh-jung Youn “Pachinko” Apple TV+
15 Tawny Cypress “Yellowjackets” Showtime
16 Annie Murphy “Kevin Can F**k Himself” AMC
17 Simone Ashley “Bridgerton” Netflix
18 Carrie Coon “The Gilded Age” HBO/HBO Max
19 Christine Baranski “The Good Fight” Paramount+
20 Octavia Spencer “Truth Be Told” Apple TV+
21 Angela Bassett “9-1-1” Fox
22 Anna Paquin “Flack” Amazon Prime Video
23 Kristin Scott Thomas “Slow Horses” Apple TV+
24 Katja Herbers “Evil” Paramount+
25 Sonequa Martin-Green “Star Trek: Discovery” Paramount+
26 Queen Latifah “The Equalizer” CBS
27 Naomie Harris “The Man Who Fell to Earth” Showtime
28 Sue Ann Pien “As We See It” Amazon Prime Video
29 Uma Thurman “Suspicion” Apple TV+
30 Catalina Sandino Moreno “From” Epix
Amanda Collin “Raised by Wolves” HBO/HBO Max
Daniella Pineda “Cowboy Bebop” Netflix
Emily Hampshire “Chapelwaite” Epix
Golshifteh Farahani “Invasion” Apple TV+
Imogen Poots “Outer Range” Amazon Prime Video
Jennifer Connelly “Snowpiercer” TNT
Julianne Moore “Lisey’s Story” Apple TV+
Lauren Ambrose “Servant” Apple TV+
Maura Tierney “American Rust” Showtime
Molly Parker “Lost in Space” Netflix
Neve Campbell “The Lincoln Lawyer” Netflix
Niv Sultan “Tehran” Apple TV+
Rosamund Pike “The Wheel of Time” Amazon Prime Video
Rutina Wesley “Queen Sugar” OWN
Winona Ryder “Stranger Things” Netflix


The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television’s most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: Tyne Daly and Michael Learned have the most awards in this category with four, while Barbara Bain, Kathy Baker, Edie Falco and Loretta Young all have three each. “Cagney & Lacey” is the series with the most awards in this category, with six.

For nominations: Angela Lansbury has the most nominations in this category with 12, which were all consecutive, failing to win. The next most nominated actors are Sharon Gless, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Learned and Julianna Margulies, with eight apiece.

“Cagney & Lacey” and “Murder, She Wrote” are the series with the most nominations in this category, with 12 each.

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

  • Outstanding Television Movie
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Reality Host
  • Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
  • Outstanding Animated Program
  • Outstanding Short Form Animated Program
  • Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
  • Outstanding Narrator
  • Outstanding Structured Program
  • Outstanding Unstructured Program
  • Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
  • Outstanding Documentary Special
  • Outstanding Documentary Filmmaking
  • Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special
  • Outstanding Main Title Design
  • Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
  • Outstanding Music for Series
  • Outstanding Music for Limited Series
  • Outstanding Music and Lyrics
  • Outstanding Music Supervision

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

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 and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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