Hot competition to replace Game of Thrones as top drama at this year's Emmys
A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale' is shown in this still image from a trailer, based on the book by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. (Hulu / YouTube)
Published Saturday, September 16, 2017 9:11AM EDT
Which show will win the prestigious prize for Outstanding Drama Series at the 69th Emmy Awards, Sunday, Sept.17? Will "Westworld," "Stranger Things," "The Crown," "House of Cards," "Better Call Saul," "This is Us" or "The Handmaid's Tale" be the series that takes over from "Game of Thrones," which isn't in the running this year?
Suspense over the next winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series has reached a peak. Since 2015, the ceremony's star category has been dominated by "Game of Thrones." However, this year, the hit HBO fantasy series is out of the running after screening late in the year.
And there's no short of hot contenders to take its place. Each of the seven nominees has the requisite qualities to take the prize, but will popularity or prestige hold the key to winning the gong?
"Westworld" bags 22 nominations
Members of the Emmy Awards voting panel could be poised to pick another original creation from the premium channel to take over from the HBO hit. With 22 nominations -- the most for this 2017 edition -- "Westworld" appears to be the hot favorite ... on paper, at least.
The sci-fi drama starring Anthony Hopkins is up for its first ever Emmys this year. However, it isn't the only show with newcomer appeal, as fellow competitors "Stranger Things," "The Crown," "This is Us" and "The Handmaid's Tale" are all first-time nominees at the Emmy Awards.
In terms of popularity, "Westworld" seems to face a losing battle against "Stranger Things," which has already earned preference from producers' and actors' guilds. With 18 nominations, this new Netflix series also won four awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the weekend, a separate ceremony for secondary and technical categories.
"The Crown" and "The Handmaid's Tale" neck and neck
Netflix could triumph in the category with "The Crown," its historical series based on the reign of Elizabeth II. This is a high-end product in the streaming site's offer, paying particular attention to historical details and true-to-life facts. The drama previously won a Golden Globe in January. The series could, however, be pipped to the post by "The Handmaid's Tale," a sleek dystopian series whose political undercurrents came to US TV at a particularly opportune time.
While these two series seem well placed for a win, the popularity of NBC's "This is Us" -- the only show from a national network featured in this category -- shouldn't be underestimated. Similarly, "Better Call Saul" is an established hit and "House of Cards" is in the running for the fifth consecutive year.