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2023 Emmys Lead Actor 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 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.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Pedro Pascal in “The Last of Us” (HBO)
Greg Swales for Variety

Weekly Commentary (Updated: June 18, 2023): The lead drama actor Emmy ballot has 109 names submitted, giving us six nominees when nominations are announced. What’s interesting about the race this year is no one is safe, even the men from “Succession.”

Brian Cox’s brooding media mogul, Logan Roy, met a shocking early demise on the HBO drama. Still, he remains competitive alongside his co-stars Kieran Culkin (moving to the lead category for the first time) and Jeremy Strong (a former winner for the second season). The truth is, any could be left out.

If all “Succession” men make the cut, it would be the first time for three leading men from the same series. It’s happened in the lead drama actress category for “Desperate Housewives” and multiple times in the lead comedy actress with “The Golden Girls.”

Harrison Ford has never received an Emmy nom, and he could get two this year. One is for “1923,” and the other is for his career-best performance as a senior therapist with Parkinson’s disease in “Shrinking” from Apple TV, which he’s submitted for supporting comedy actor.

Paddy Considine (“House of the Dragon”), Pedro Pascal (‘The Last of Us”) and Diego Luna (“Andor”) will represent the genre lane, but I think there may be room for only one.

Establishment industry names, such as Jeff Bridges (“The Old Man”) and Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), could be safe, but the race is particularly competitive, so anyone can miss.

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

Notable names not on the list: David Giuntoli, Romany Malco (ABC’s “A Million Little Things”), Vincent Cassel (Apple TV’s “Liaison”) and Anson Mount (Paramount’s “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”).

Nomination voting is now open to the 20,000+ members of the Television Academy. The first round of voting ends on June 26 at 10 p.m. PT. The official nominees will be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards, produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment, are (tentatively scheduled pending the outcome of the WGA strike) on Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Fox. The two-night Creative Arts Emmys are scheduled for Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Jeff Bridges — “The Old Man” (FX)
  2. Diego Luna — “Andor” (Disney+)
  3. Paddy Considine — “House of the Dragon” (HBO)
  4. Dominic West — “The Crown” (Netflix)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. Bryan Cranston — “Your Honor” (Showtime)
  2. Kevin Costner — “Yellowstone” (Paramount Network)
  3. Matthew Rhys — “Perry Mason” (HBO)
  4. Gary Oldman — “Slow Horses” (Apple TV+)
  5. Forest Whitaker — “Godfather of Harlem” (MGM+)
  6. Antony Starr — “The Boys” (Prime Video)
  7. Pedro Pascal — “The Mandalorian” (Disney+)
  8. Joshua Jackson — “Fatal Attraction” (Paramount+)
  9. Damson Idris — “Snowfall” (FX)
  10. Nicco Annan — “P Valley” (Starz)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Network)**


** This list or category submission is not yet complete or confirmed and is subject to change.

2022 category winner: Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun, “Squid Game” (Netflix) — Season 1


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 | OTHER CATEGORIES

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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