The 68th annual Primetime Emmy Awards take place tonight, with HBO’s Game of Thrones leading the way with 23 nominations.

The epic fantasy series is nominated for best drama, while The People v. O.J. Simpson, follows closely with an impressive 22 nominations. Fargo has the third most with 18 nods.

With competition very tight in most categories this year, RTÉ Entertainment had a look at the nominees.

Best Drama Series

2015 winner: Game of Thrones

This year’s nominees:  The Americans / Game of Thrones / House of Cards / Downton Abbey / Better Call Saul / Mr. Robot / Homeland

HBO looks set to stay put on the throne for Best Drama series for now, with GoT having a stellar year with its sixth season.  It could be very tight though, as Mr Robot has won plaudits, and in its first year of eligibility for the prize, it provides stiff competition. 

RTÉ Ents Tip: Game of Thrones


                  Game of Thrones mastermind George R. R. Martin 

Best Comedy Series

2015 winner: Veep

This year’s nominees:  Black-ish / Master of None / Modern Family / Silicon Valley / Transparent / Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

There are a few contenders in this category, including the recently toppled juggernaut that is Modern Family. But HBO has too much influence in voting, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus too much (earned) goodwill, for Veep to not come out on top

RTÉ Ents Tip: Veep

Best Actor in a Drama Series

2015 winner: Jon Hamm

This year’s nominees:  Kyle Chandler / Rami Malek / Bob Odenkirk / Matthew Rhys / Liev Schreiber / Kevin Spacey

Quite literally the hardest one to call.  Better Call Saul is coming off a great season, and will carry a lot of votes care of Breaking Bad fans, but Rami Malek has had a star turn in Mr Robot, and Matthew Rhys has been exceptional in The Americans. However due to the voting, Odenkirk seems most likely to take the gong.

RTÉ Ents Tip: Bob Odenkirk

Best Actress in a Drama Series

2015 winner: Viola Davis

This year’s nominees:  Claire Danes / Viola Davis / Taraji P. Henson / Tatiana Maslany / Keri Russell / Robin Wright

Davis’ role in How to Get Away with Murder won her a richly-deserved Emmy last year. However, the hype around the show has dampened and so Davis could be seen as less of a shoe-in, but she is a shoe-in nonetheless.  Russell’s performance in The Americans manages the balancing act of making this character sympathetic without tipping her over into “bad ass” Walter White territory. Tough to call.

RTÉ Ents Tip: Viola Davis or Keri Russell (Take your pick)


                                                          How to Get Away with Murder

Best Actor in a Comedy series

2015 winner: Jeffrey Tambor

This year’s nominees:  Anthony Anderson /  Aziz Ansari / Will Forte / William H. Macy / Thomas Middleditch / Jeffrey Tambor

Tambor won last year for his performance as Maura Pfefferman, and with Transparent's buzz only growing, he is poised to repeat the feat.  However Will Forte will provide close competition for the gong, for his role in The Last man on Earth.

RTÉ Ents Tip: Jeffrey Tambor

Best Actress in a Comedy series

2015 winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

This year’s nominees:  Ellie Kemper / Julia Louis-Dreyfus / Laurie Metcalf / Tracee Ellis Ross / Amy Schumer / Lily Tomlin

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won this award for four years in a row, and the juggernaut shows no sign of stopping. Schumer provides plenty of laughs but she is like Marmite - those who like her love her, and vice versa. 

RTÉ Ents Tip: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (pictured below)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama series

2015 winner: Peter Dinklage

This year’s nominees:  Jonathan Banks / Peter Dinklage / Ben Mendelsohn / Kit Harington / Michael Kelly / Jon Voight.

Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is one of the most enjoyable to watch characters in television history, and was more than deserving of his second Emmy win last year.  However, his character received much less screen time this year, and his GoT counterpart Harington was not as strong either. Ben Mendelsohn had a strong year in Bloodline.

RTÉ Ents Tip: Ben Mendelsohn

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama series

2015 winner: Allison Janney

This year’s nominees:  Maura Tierney / Maggie Smith / Lena Headey / Emilia Clarke / Maisie Williams / Constance Zimmer.

Just the three nominees from GoT here, no biggie.  You can be sure, however, that one of them will walk away with the award, with Lena Headey the favourite in many people’s eyes.  This season Headey took Cersei Lannister to new heights with her performance, making her character not just someone we enjoyed to watch while acknowledging her animosity to all around her, but following the season finale, one we all truly despise.

RTÉ Ents Tip: Lena Headey

Best Limited series

2015 winner: Olive Kitteridge

This year’s nominees:  American Crime / Fargo / Roots / The Night Manager / The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

The People v. O.J. Simpson has a ton of movie stars in its cast (including John Travolta), tackles a socially relevant issue, and is purely pleasurable to watch. Tom Hiddleston's The Night Manager has garnered plenty of praise, but it shouldn't be enough to topple what is one of the best shows on television.

RTÉ Ents Tip: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


                                                        The Night Manager