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Emmys 2019: Start time, how to watch or stream online and winner predictions

Will Game of Thrones win absolutely everything? The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards air tonight and cord cutters don't have to miss any of the action.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
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Jennifer Bisset
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9 min read
Game of Thrones cast and crew at the 70th Emmy Awards in September 2018

The cast and crew of Outstanding Drama Series winner Game of Thrones in the press room during the 70th Emmy Awards  on Sept. 17, 2018. 

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Mrs. Maisel amazed us, Game of Thrones  played out and Chernobyl blew up. It's been a massive year for television, but which of these TV shows will claim the honor of an Emmy? 

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles tonightSunday, Sept. 22 and will be broadcast in the US by Fox starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.  Before we dive into all the nominees and predictions, let's cover how cord cutters can actually watch it.

How to watch the Emmys live without cable

Fox  will both broadcast the Emmys and livestream the show via the Fox Now app and on Fox's Emmy page, but you'll need to log in with a pay TV account. If you don't have cable or satellite TV, you can use a live TV streaming serviceNot every service carries every local network, however, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries Fox in your area.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Sling TV's $25-a-month Blue package includes Fox. Click here to see if you live in a market that offers Fox. (Sling TV is currently discounted by 40 percent for the first month.) 

Hulu with Live TV costs $45 a month and includes Fox. Click the "View all channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which live, local channels are offered in your ZIP code. 

PlayStation Vue's cheapest $50-a-month Access plan includes Fox. You can see if a live feed of Fox is available in your area here.

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes Fox. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see if a live feed of Fox is available in your area. 

AT&T TV Now's basic $50-a-month Plus package includes Fox. You can use its channel lookup tool to see if a live feed of Fox is available where you live.

FuboTV costs $55 a month and includes Fox. Click here to see if you live in a market that offers Fox.

All of the live TV streaming services above offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.

Unfortunately, the Emmys won't be broadcast in the UK. You'll have to buy a  VPN  to watch via Fox or the other US streaming services. In Australia, the Emmys will be airing live on Fox8, or you can stream the show online with the Fox Now app or on Fox's Emmy page.

If you're hungry for extra Emmys content, head to ET's stream of red carpet arrivals, or to the TV Academy's stream of what's going on backstage. Then check out IMDb's one-hour live aftershow featuring interviews with winners, presenters and more.

Watch this: Game of Thrones season 8 VFX breakdown

Setting the scene

This year is going to be big for Game of Thrones -- the show ended in May, and 2019 is its last chance to scoop a third Emmy for best drama. HBO's phenomenally popular fantasy show leads the pack with 32 nominations, despite a final season that divided viewers (it already won 10 awards at this year's Creative Arts Emmys). Nine of the show's stars are nominated for the lead or supporting actor categories, including Gwendoline Christie who nominated herself much to the confusion of fans.

Thrones plays a big part in making HBO the network with the most nominations. This year HBO claims 137 noms for shows including pitch-black comedy Barry and cutting satire Veep, which also ended this year. The network brought us powerful one-off dramas Chernobyl and Sharp Objects, while you can currently catch up with the new season of Succession, a biting look at the luxurious lives of the super-rich that plays like Game of Thrones with helicopters and boardroom battles instead of dragons and sword fights.

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The finale of Game of Thrones divided fans, but there's no denying the show's overall impact.


Just behind Thrones is When They See Us, with 16 nominations. The hard-hitting docu-drama is based on a true story, a big trend on the big screen and increasingly dominates the small screen. Chernobyl, Escape at Dannemora, A Very English Scandal and Fosse/Verdon are other true stories on the shortlist.

When They See Us is one of many shows to earn nominations for streaming service Netflix , which could win awards for shows like Ozark, Russian Doll and the final season of House of Cards.

Netflix rival Amazon Prime Video has been nominated 47 times, including 20 for the streaming service's irrepressible original show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon  also claims nominations for Fleabag and A Very English Scandal, which appeared on the BBC first.

Winner predictions

How will fan reaction to Game of Thrones and other shows influence Emmy voters? Look here for the full list of nominees, and here for a handy guide on how to watch their shows. It also might be useful to check out this guide to who's behind the voting, what with a level of secrecy surrounding the whole thing.

Also note that the Emmys are following in the Oscars' footsteps by not having a host. It worked out for the Academy, so let's hope one of TVs biggest nights has a good one too.

Outstanding drama series

  • Better Call Saul
  • Bodyguard
  • Game of Thrones
  • Killing Eve
  • Ozark
  • Pose
  • Succession
  • This Is Us

It's got to be Thrones -- partly because it's likely most Emmy voters will have actually watched the show's entire eighth and final season, and partly because there may be some goodwill toward sending the massively influential show out with a bang. That's not to mention the hefty bundle of Emmys it bagged at the Creative Arts Emmys -- focused on technical achievement, which aside from one controversial episode, has been one of Thrones' best assets.

Outstanding comedy series

  • Barry
  • Fleabag
  • The Good Place
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Russian Doll
  • Schitt's Creek
  • Veep

Veep is also heading out the door after its seventh and final season aired in May, but with so many worthy competitors in the category it has dominated for the last four years, it may have to step aside for the likes of the Bill Hader-starring Barry. The dark comedy's second season not only bettered the first, but it also turned heads with a surreal standout episode upping its credentials as something completely unique on TV.

Outstanding limited series

  • Chernobyl
  • Escape at Dannemora
  • Fosse/Verdon
  • Sharp Objects
  • When They See Us

It's between Chernobyl and When They See Us for sure. But Ava DuVernay's miniseries might just pip the former with its unflinching, empathetic light shed on the case of the Central Park Five.

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The case of the Central Park Five was cross-examined in Netflix's When They See Us.

Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Outstanding television movie

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
  • Brexit
  • Deadwood: The Movie
  • King Lear
  • My Dinner With Herve

Who didn't have a go at clicking through the different pathways in Bandersnatch, Charlie Brooker's painstaking choose-your-own-adventure movie? But while Bandersnatch ticks the uniqueness box, the poignant vote would go to Deadwood: The Movie. Arriving 13 years after the TV show ended, with the majority of the original cast including Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane, it would be some victory for the celebrated show.

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
  • Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
  • Laura Linney, Ozark
  • Mandy Moore, This Is Us
  • Sandra Oh, Killing Eve 
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards

She lost out last year to a gracious Claire Foy (The Crown), but this year's the one for Sandra Oh, the bumbling heart of everyone's favorite spy thriller, Killing Eve. It'll be historic too: If Oh wins, she'll be the first woman of Asian descent to win an Emmy in this category. This year's the one.

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series

  • Jason Bateman, Ozark
  • Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
  • Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Billy Porter, Pose
  • Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Some would say they know who it won't be (sorry, Kit Harington). Sterling K. Brown would be a worthy winner, but in a tight category, the nod might go to Bob Odenkirk, who's been knocking on the door for some while now with his consistently excellent work in Better Call Saul.

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

  • Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
  • Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
  • Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

While the entire world may not have seen Fleabag, which they absolutely should, Emmy voters in this category probably have. That gives us some hope that Phoebe Waller-Bridge will take home lead actress. Despite this being Julia Louis-Dreyfus' last chance to win with Veep, her six-year winning streak already seems like ample recognition.

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish 
  • Don Cheadle, Black Monday
  • Ted Danson, The Good Place
  • Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
  • Bill Hader, Barry 
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek

After the success of season 2, Barry's Bill Hader is the clear frontrunner to secure his second lead actor Emmy in a row.

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Bill Hader has a hit on his hands as troubled assassin Barry.


Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie

  • Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
  • Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
  • Aunjanue Ellis, When They See Us
  • Joey King, The Act
  • Niecy Nash, When They See Us
  • Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

Neither Michelle Williams nor Amy Adams have won an Emmy yet. It's a close race between the two worthy winners, but given Williams' transformation into real-life actress and dancer Gwen Verdon, she might have the edge.

Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie

  • Mahershala Ali, True Detective
  • Benicio Del Toro, Escape at Dannemora
  • Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
  • Jared Harris, Chernobyl
  • Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
  • Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

For his exceptional work in When They See Us, we're going to give this one to Jharrel Jerome. The actor portrays both the young and adult versions of Korey Wise, one of the Central Park Five.

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series

  • Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones
  • Julia Garner, Ozark
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones 
  • Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
  • Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
  • Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

We know it should be Lena Headey. But given Cersei had a disappointingly small amount to do in Game of Thrones' final season, there's the small chance Gwendoline Christie will mark a triumphant win for her role as Ser Brienne of Tarth, an influential and unconventional female warrior and role model.

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Gwendoline Christie put herself forward for an Emmy nomination, much to the delight of Game of Thrones fans.


Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series

  • Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones
  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
  • Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

In another Game of Thrones heavy segment, the odds are Peter Dinklage will cap off an impressive season for Tyrion's part (he survived, that's some feat in itself) and take home his fourth acting Emmy.

The Emmys for behind-the-scenes work

The Primetime Emmys take place Sunday, but Game of Thrones has already bagged a handful of awards thanks to the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this past weekend, which recognize the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Thrones claimed trophies for music, makeup, costumes, casting, editing, sound, visual effects, stunts and opening titles.

Amazon's 1960s-set Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fittingly won awards for its period costumes and hairstyles. It was also recognized for its cinematography and claimed both guest actor and guest actress awards in the comedy categories for Luke Kirby and Jane Lynch.

The Handmaid's Tale claimed both guest star awards for drama, while Fleabag, Game of Thrones, Queer Eye and When They See Us were recognized for their casting. Short online comedy State of the Union won Rosamund Pike and Chris O'Dowd the best acting awards for a short-form show. Chernobyl, Free Solo and Queer Eye also won multiple awards.

HBO is leading with 25 Creative Arts wins, followed closely by Netflix with 23. The streaming service claimed awards for Queer Eye, Our Planet, Russian Doll, When They See Us, Bandersnatch, Glow, One Day at a Time, Springsteen on Broadway, The Ranch and sci-fi animation Love, Death and Robots.

One award Netflix missed out on was the Outstanding Variety Special award, despite having four out of five entries on the shortlist including Hannah Gadsby's Nanette and Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. That one went to James Corden's Carpool Karaoke special episode on CBS with Paul McCartney in Liverpool. (Editors' note: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Elsewhere, Apple won an Emmy for Carpool Karaoke: The Series. The Simpsons defied those who say the long-running show is on the decline with a win for an episode from the show's 30th season, while Star Trek: Discovery took home an award for its prosthetic make-up. Meanwhile, outside of the traditional TV world Oculus, Twitch and NASA were recognized for their work with interactive media.

2019 TV shows you can't miss

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Originally published Sept. 10.