2022 Emmys Top Picks: Will ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘1883,’ ‘Ozark’ Make the Final Cut?

by Leanne Stahulak

With the official 2022 Emmys nominations dropping next Tuesday, July 12, we here at Outsider decided to round up some of our top picks.

This has been a phenomenal year of television, across both cable and streaming services. Some key players made huge returns (“Ozark,” “Stranger Things,” “Succession”) while brand new debuts blew audiences away (“1883,” “Squid Game,” “Yellowjackets”).

The competition this awards season will be tougher than ever, when so many shows, cast members, and crews deserve recognition. But we’ve narrowed the list of contenders down to who we think will earn top spots in key categories when the official nominations list drops next week.

Outstanding Drama Series

For the first time in a long time, Netflix’s “The Crown” will NOT be eligible for the Emmys this year. Season 4 debuted in 2020, and the current eligibility period for the 2022 Emmys is June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022.

That opens up space for contenders like “Yellowstone,” “Yellowjackets,” and “Squid Game.” Although “Yellowstone” has run for four seasons, this latest batch of episodes has impressed audiences and critics alike. It already received a SAG nomination earlier this year and was submitted for 20 different Emmy categories this summer.

“Yellowjackets” and “Squid Game” caught viewers by surprise. The Showtime series came in hot with an incredible storyline and all-star cast. Netflix’s “Squid Game” took the world by storm and became the highest-watched show in the streamer’s history.

But we can’t rule out key returning players like “Ozark,” “Succession,” “This Is Us,” “Stranger Things,” and “Euphoria.” All of these shows have performed well at the Emmys over the years, and their 2021 and 2022 seasons have proven to be phenomenal. It will be a close vote to see who comes out on top when it comes to Outstanding Drama Nominations.

In no particular order, if we had to narrow down the selection, it would likely look like this:

Top 5 Predicted Nominees

  1. Ozark (Netflix)
  2. Succession (HBO)
  3. This Is Us (NBC)
  4. Squid Game (Netflix)
  5. Yellowstone (Paramount Network)

Next 5 Predicted Nominees

  1. Yellowjackets (Showtime)
  2. Stranger Things (Netflix)
  3. Euphoria (HBO)
  4. Better Call Saul (AMC)
  5. The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress for Emmys 2022

Most of our picks for Lead Actor/Actress in a Drama Series pull from the lists above. Several stars made huge impressions on fans in recent seasons, including Kelly Reilly (“Yellowstone”), Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”), and Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”).

The leads from “Ozark” also deserve some recognition. Jason Bateman pulled out a spectacular performance earlier this season. And if Laura Linney doesn’t at least get nominated this year, then fans will riot.

Here are our picks for Drama Leads:

Top 5 Lead Actor Predicted Nominees

  1. Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
  2. Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
  3. Kevin Costner (“Yellowstone”)
  4. Jeremy Strong (“Succession”)
  5. Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”)

Top 5 Lead Actress Predicted Nominees

  1. Laura Linney (“Ozark”)
  2. Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”)
  3. Kelly Reilly (“Yellowstone”)
  4. Zendaya (“Euphoria”)
  5. Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets)

What About Supporting Actors/Actresses?

We’d like to highlight a few key contenders for Support Actor/Actress in a Drama series. Specifically, Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore in “Ozark.” And “Yellowstone’s” Gil Birmingham and Cole Hauser.

The supporting actor/actress category also faces strong competition from the “Stranger Things” cast. Sadie Sink especially deserves recognition for her role in Season 4, as well as Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour.

Check out our top picks.

Top 5 Supporting Actor Predicted Noms

  1. Gil Birmingham (“Yellowstone”)
  2. Matthew Macfayden (“Succession”)
  3. Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”)
  4. David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)
  5. Justin Hartley (“This Is Us”)

Top 5 Supporting Actress Predicted Noms

  1. Sadie Sink (“Stranger Things”)
  2. Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”)
  3. Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
  4. Jung Ho-yeon (“Squid Game”)
  5. Sarah Snook (“Succession”)

Lastly, Let’s Look at Limited Series for the 2022 Emmys…

Another strong category for the 2022 Emmys is the Limited or Anthology Series. Several streaming services put out quality contenders this year, like Paramount Plus’ “1883” and Hulu’s “Dopesick.” And earlier this year, “MAID” and “The Dropout” performed well. Check out our top series and lead actor/actress below.

Top 5 Limited / Anthology Series Predictions

  1. “1883” (Paramount Plus)
  2. “Dopesick” Hulu
  3. “The White Lotus” (HBO)
  4. “Inventing Anna” (Netflix)
  5. “Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)

Top 5 Lead Actors for Limited / Anthology Series

  1. Sam Elliott (“1883”)
  2. Michael Keaton (“Dopesick”)
  3. Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”)
  4. Sebastian Stan (“Pam and Tommy”)
  5. Colin Firth (“The Staircase”)

And Top 5 Lead Actresses for Limited / Anthology Series

  1. Isabel May “1883”
  2. Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna”)
  3. Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”)
  4. Lily James (“Pam and Tommy”)
  5. Margaret Qualley (“MAID”)

Stay tuned for more updates about the 2022 Emmys as they soon announce the nominations.