Emmys: Best Drama Series nominees eligible to return

That noise you’re hearing is dozens of TV stations and streaming sites screaming with delight at the number of spots open in this year’s drama races. In fact, of last year’s eight Emmy nominees for Best Drama Series, only three are eligible to return: HBO’s “Succession,” AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” and Showtime’s “Yellowjackets.” The other five shows either ended last year (“Ozark”) or did not air within the 2022-23 funding period (“Euphoria,” “Severance,” “Squid Game,” and “Stranger Things”).

Of course, there’s a slight caveat here that last year’s Best Limited Series winner, HBO’s The White Lotus, is switching genres to drama, where it’s strong for a nomination. Also, several dramas were recently nominated in 2021 that did not compete in 2022 but are now eligible to reclaim their spots in 2023. Those former Best Drama Series nominees are Netflix’s The Crown, Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian.

According to Gold Derby’s Emmy ratings, the eight shows with the best chance of making the 2023 best drama series lineup are a mix of 2021 and 2022 nominees and new shows. They are, in order of prediction, “Succession” (odds 4/1), “The White Lotus” (odds 11/2), “Better Call Saul” (odds 15/2), “The Last of Us” ( 8/1 odds), The Crown (9/1 odds), House of the Dragon (19/2 odds), Yellowjackets (11/1 odds) and The Mandalorian (20/1 odds) . Rounding out the top 12 are “Andor,” “Yellowstone,” “The Boys,” and “The Old Man.”

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“Succession” is the favorite to prevail at this early stage based on the predictions of our experts, editors and users. And for good reason: It’s won Best Drama Series the last two times it was eligible, in 2022 and 2020, and we know the Emmys just love repeating itself in the top-flight races. Also speaking for the HBO show is that season 4 will be its last airing season, so it’s the last chance for voters to shower them with love.

If “Succession” wins, it will join dramas like “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The Sopranos” as dramas that have prevailed for their final installments. Better Call Saul is in the same boat since its series finale aired last summer. A potential third win for “Succession” in the “Best Drama Series” would put it one win behind the all-time leaders, all tied with four wins each: “GoT”, “Hill Street Blues”, “LA Law”, “Mad Men” and “The West Wing”.

Also note that “The Crown” won Best Drama Series in 2021, the last time it was eligible. In fact, it went undefeated at the Primetime Emmys that night, winning all seven categories (Series, Lead Actor, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Director). Netflix’s royal show didn’t dominate recent Season 5 winter guild prizes, however, as it has in the past. The good news is that “The Crown” is eligible for the next two Emmy Awards in 2023 and 2024, as the final episodes aren’t expected to air until the fall.

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PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominees through July 12

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