Who will strike gold Sunday night? – East Bay Times – California News

Who will strike gold Sunday night? – East Bay Times – California News

And you thought the battle for the Iron Throne was brutal.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, they’ll be crowning television royalty at the annual Emmy Awards, and several of the marquee races feature formidable contenders. Making things even more intriguing is the absence of drama powerhouse “Game of Thrones,” which is ineligible this year because its latest season arrived too late.

Of course, predicting what will go down on Emmy night is always an iffy deal. Just when you think voters are stuck in a rut, they stun you by showering their love on a newbie or two.

Still, there’s no harm in trying. Here’s a breakdown of the major categories, along with our best guesswork. Wager at your own risk.

Drama series

“Better Call Saul” (AMC); “The Crown” (Netflix); “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); “House of Cards” (Netflix); “Stranger Things” (Netflix); “This Is Us” (NBC); “Westworld” (HBO).

Should win: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Will win: “This Is Us”

With “Game of Thrones” sidelined, the field appears to be wide open with five freshman series taking on established veterans “Better Call Saul” and “House of Cards.” Hulu’s riveting adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian thriller struck a nerve amid a year of political tension. It’s certainly a worthy candidate. But my gut tells me that the heartwarming blockbuster hit “This Is Us” will take the prize. If it does, it would be the first broadcast network series to prevail in the category since “24” did in 2006.

Comedy series

“Atlanta” (FX); “Black-ish” (ABC); “Master of None” (Netflix); “Modern Family” (ABC); “Silicon Valley” (HBO); “Unbreakable Kimmy…

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