The Crown: Can Netflix drama win six acting Emmys?

By Joyce Eng

In 2004, “Angels in America” became the first program to win four acting Emmys in one year. Last year, “Schitt’s Creek” became the first comedy to do so as part of an unprecedented 7-for-7 comedy sweep at the main ceremony. But could “The Crown” trump them both?

The Netflix series is nominated in all six drama acting categories — four regular, two guest — so it could become the first show to sweep all six in one year. To be fair, “Angels in America” never had a chance to do that because there are no guest categories for limited series/TV movie, so the max in that genre is four. There are guest categories in comedy, but “Schitt’s Creek” didn’t get any guest bids, rendering that conversation a non-starter.

“The Crown” nabbed nine acting nominations for its fourth season, its most ever in one year and the first time in all six categories. The one it feels guaranteed to win is Best Drama Supporting Actress, where it has the most nominations (three), but Gillian Anderson is far and away the favorite for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher that has already earned her the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. Helena Bonham Carter, who was widely predicted to win last year, is in third and Emerald Fennell is in eighth.

SEE Emmy wins for Uzo Aduba and Gillian Anderson would give them a rare set

The drama series frontrunner is also expected to claim both lead trophies for Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, who would defeat her co-star Olivia Colman, who’s in fourth place. But both races are tighter now than they were six months ago when O’Connor and Corrin were picking up Golden Globe and Critics Choice prizes. “Pose” stars Billy Porter, the 2019 champ, and Mj Rodriguez, the first trans drama actress nominee, are on their heels in second place. Corrin also has to contend with 2017 champ Elisabeth Moss, who scored one of “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” 10 acting bids, but that might also be a blessing in disguise for Corrin as there are two strong alternatives — Moss and Rodriguez — who could split the vote.

Still, the safe bet is for O’Connor and Corrin to prevail, which leaves three races where “The Crown’s” chances are a bit more precarious. Tobias Menzies remains in second place behind Michael K. Williams (“Lovecraft Country”) in Best Drama Supporting Actor. This has always been considered the weakest of “The Crown’s” above-the-line categories and what could prevent it from a “Schitt’s Creek”-esque 7-for-7 sweep on the main ceremony, but if “The Crown” goes over huge, Menzies could go along for the ride.

That logic could also apply to those fickle guest categories, which are the most prone to name-checking. Claire Foy is in third place in actress behind “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” stars Mckenna Grace and 2017 winner Alexis Bledel, and Charles Dance is in first in actor, a field that is, um, not very strong. Crazy things can happen in the guest categories, so it would not be shocking at all if Foy wins for reprising her Emmy-winning role in a brief cameo or for Dance to triumph when he had better material last season but was snubbed. What’s most notable is that until this year, “The Crown” had only ever had one guest nomination, for Matthew Goode in 2018.

Winning all six drama acting categories is a tall order, but the stars could align this year for “The Crown” to pull it off.

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