Emmy Predictions: Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie – Is Sebastian Stan Closing the Gap for ‘Pam & Tommy?’

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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.

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UPDATED: August 11, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

Michael Keaton has been sweeping the television awards circuit with his turn as Dr. Samuel Finnix in the timely “Dopesick.” The Hulu series garnered multiple nominations, and his work is deeply personal to the veteran actor, as he said while accepting his SAG Award. This may feel like one of the biggest locks of the evening.

To date, only five actors ever have swept the five TV awards (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG, TCA and of course, Emmys) in the same cycle: Sarah Paulson (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Michelle Williams (“Fosse/Verdon”), Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) and most recently, Jean Smart (“Hacks”). Keaton would be the first man to achieve this feat.

As Tommy Lee, Sebastian Stan goes beyond the shtick of impersonation typically seen in portrayals of real-life figures. Stan finds the underlying pain and irrational behavior that makes Pamela Anderson’s former husband an interesting subject to watch in Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy.” With the limited series making a larger showing than anticipated, it could smooth the way for Stan votes.

With an outstanding TV year that included executive producing and starring in “Moon Knight” from Disney+ and his nominated work in HBO’s “Scenes From a Marriage,” Oscar Isaac is cemented in the A-list stratosphere. While bringing Latino representation in the major acting categories, he has earned profound respect for his skill as an actor; this marks the first of many accolades to come.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

British actor Himesh Patel was a joyous wonder on Emmy nom morning when he garnered his inaugural nom for HBO’s “Station Eleven.” The adaptation of the beloved book has a dedicated fanbase, shown by its various noms across the board. Could an upset be brewing?

One of the later drops in the TV awards season, the HBO Max limited series received outstanding reviews, including for Colin Firth’s disappearing turn as convicted murderer Michael Peterson. Landing his second Emmy bid, 21 years after his first for “Conspiracy” for supporting actor limited series, Firth could be a formidable threat to presumed frontrunner Michael Keaton, especially with the backing of HBO.

Coming off an Oscar nomination earlier this year for playing Jonathan Larson in “Tick, Tick … Boom!,” Andrew Garfield nabs his first Emmy mention for work as Mormon detective Jeb Pyre in the FX mystery series, “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Star power could go a long way; however, very few victors have been able to win this category if they are the sole nominee for their series. The last was Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”) in 2020.

The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Oscars Predictions Hub

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

2021 category winner: Ewan McGregor, “Halston” (Netflix)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Pam & Tommy — “I Love You, Tommy” – Episode 102 — Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee meet, get high and get married… all in four days. Tommy (Sebastian Stan) and Pam (Lily James), shown. (Photo by: Erin Simkin/Hulu) - Credit: Courtesy of Hulu
Pam & Tommy — “I Love You, Tommy” – Episode 102 — Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee meet, get high and get married… all in four days. Tommy (Sebastian Stan) and Pam (Lily James), shown. (Photo by: Erin Simkin/Hulu) - Credit: Courtesy of Hulu

Courtesy of Hulu

And The Nominees Are:

Rank

Actor

Role

Show and Network

1

Michael Keaton

Dr. Samuel Finnix

“Dopesick” (Hulu)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: Second nomination. Never won.

2

Himesh Patel

Jeevan Chaudhary

“Station Eleven” (HBO)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: First nomination

3

Sebastian Stan

Tommy Lee

“Pam & Tommy” (Hulu)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: First nomination

4

Colin Firth

Michael Peterson

“The Staircase” (HBO Max)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: Second nomination. Never won.

5

Oscar Isaac

Jonathan

“Scenes from a Marriage” (HBO)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: First nomination

6

Andrew Garfield

Detective Jeb Pyre

“Under the Banner of Heaven” (FX)

Key facts with no formal episode submission: First nomination

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Lead Actor Limited)

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

For wins: This category has had many rule changes and inceptions in its history, but it’s worth noting that Laurence Olivier has the most wins in this category, with four, with Peter Ustinov behind him with three.

For nominations: Hal Holbrook has the most nominations in this category of any actor with seven, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Laurence Olivier follow close behind with six apiece.

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

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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