Emmy Predictions: Lead Actress (Drama) – Will ‘Yellowjackets’ Land Noms for Melanie Lynskey and Sophie Nélisse?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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UPDATED: June 8, 2023

2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Weekly Commentary: Season 2 of Showtime’s hit genre series “Yellowjackets” is ready for another dance at this year’s Emmys after premiering to critical acclaim and record-breaking numbers for the network.

Breakout star Sophie Nélisse, who plays the teenage version of Shauna, will now join her adult counterpart Melanie Lynskey in the lead actress drama category with hopes of landing a nomination. After the infamous “episode 6” — it’s more than deserving.

The pair will be joined by co-stars Tawny Cypress and Juliette Lewis, who portray the adult version of their characters, Taissa and Natalie, respectively.

Read: 

Emmy Nominations voting runs from June 15-26. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12. Check back every Thursday for the latest updates. All information is preliminary and is subject to change.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Sarah Snook — “Succession” (HBO)
  2. Melanie Lynskey — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  3. Imelda Staunton — “The Crown” (Netflix)
  4. Helen Mirren — “1923” (Paramount+)
  5. Bella Ramsey — “The Last of Us” (HBO)
  6. Sophie Nélisse — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Next in Line


  1. Emma D’Arcy — “House of the Dragon” (HBO)
  2. Sharon Horgan — “Bad Sisters” (Apple TV+)
  3. Elisabeth Moss — “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
  4. Keri Russell — “The Diplomat” (Netflix)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. India Amarteifio — “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (Netflix)
  2. Tawny Cypress — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  3. Juliette Lewis — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  4. Christine Baranski — “The Good Fight” (Paramount+)
  5. Hilary Swank — “Alaska Daily” (ABC)
  6. Toni Collette The Power” (Prime Video)
  7. Octavia Spencer — “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+)
  8. Ellen Pompeo — “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
  9. Myha’la Herrold — “Industry” (HBO)
  10. Karen Fukuhara — “The Boys” (Prime Video)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Network)**


  • Ellen Pompeo — “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
  • Hilary Swank — “Alaska Daily” (ABC)
  • Alexandra Daddario — “Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches” (AMC)
  • Sharon Horgan — “Bad Sisters” (Apple TV+)
  • Jessica Ann Collins — “Echo 3” (Apple TV+)
  • Eva Green — “Liaison” (Apple TV+)
  • Octavia Spencer — “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+)
  • Queen Latifah — “The Equalizer” (CBS)
  • Camila Mendes — “Riverdale” (The CW)
  • Ellie Bamber — “Willow” (Disney+)
  • Angela Bassett — “9-1-1” (Fox)
  • Railey Gilliland — “High School” (Freevee)
  • Seazynn Gilliand — “High School” (Freevee)
  • Mallori Johnson — “Kindred” (FX)
  • Emma D’Arcy — “House of the Dragon” (HBO)
  • Lily-Rose Depp — “The Idol” (HBO)
  • Dafne Keen — “His Dark Materials” (HBO)
  • Myha’la Herrold — “Industry” (HBO)
  • Bella Ramsey — “The Last of Us” (HBO)
  • Sarah Snook — “Succession” (HBO)
  • Evan Rachel Wood — “Westworld” (HBO)
  • Elisabeth Moss — “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno — “From” (MGM+)
  • Freema Agyeman — “New Amsterdam” (NBC)
  • Caitlin Bassett — “Quantum Leap” (NBC)
  • Imelda Staunton — “The Crown” (Netflix)
  • Keri Russell — “The Diplomat” (Netflix)
  • Katherine Heigl — “Firefly Lane” (Netflix)
  • India Amarteifio — “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (Netflix)
  • Madelyn Cline — “Outer Banks” (Netflix)
  • Dawn-Lyen Gardner — “Queen Sugar” (OWN)
  • Helen Mirren — “1923” (Paramount+)
  • Katja Herbers — “Evil” (Paramount+)
  • Amanda Peet — “Fatal Attraction” (Paramount+)
  • Lizzy Caplan — “Fatal Attraction” (Paramount+)
  • Christine Baranski — “The Good Fight” (Paramount+)
  • Meta Golding — “Rabbit Hole” (Paramount+)
  • Sonequa Martin-Green — “Star Trek: Discovery” (Paramount+)
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar — “Wolf Pack” (Paramount+)
  • Kelly Reilly — “Yellowstone” (Paramount Network)
  • Karen Fukuhara — “The Boys” (Prime Video)
  • Ein Moriarty — “The Boys” (Prime Video)
  • Priyanka Chopra Jonas — “Citadel” (Prime Video)
  • Jerrika Hinton — “Hunters” (Prime Video)
  • Chloë Grace Moretz — “The Peripheral” (Prime Video)
  • Toni Collette — “The Power” (Prime Video)
  • Constance Wu — “The Terminal List” (Prime Video)
  • Hope Davis — “Your Honor” (Showtime)
  • Tawny Cypress — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  • Juliette Lewis — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  • Melanie Lynskey — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  • Sophie Nélisse — “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  • Alice Englert — “Dangerous Liaisons” (Starz)
  • Brandee Evans — “P Valley” (Starz)
  • Patina Miller — “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz)
  • Samantha Morton — “The Serpent Queen” (Starz)

** This official list and category submission is not yet complete or confirmed and is subject to change.

2022 category winner: Zendaya, “Euphoria” (HBO) — Season 2


Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED | OTHER CATEGORIES

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

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, artisans, and executives.

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