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TV’s biggest night 2022: Public favorites to win, trivia, and resources to plan your own party

TV’s biggest night 2022: Public favorites to win, trivia, and resources to plan your own party

It’s almost time for the 2022 Emmys®, which, in the golden age of television, is arguably at its most competitive and prestigious ever. The awards are hosted by Kenan Thompson, an SNL icon and general subject of public delight. 

Award shows in general have struggled with historically low viewership levels, but last year the Emmys was the only one to turn that trend around, increasing viewership from the year before. 

Regardless of viewership, the awards are definitely a topic that people love to speculate on and talk about, overtaking social and traditional media and generating hundreds of thousands of searches each year.

To that end, we asked over 10,000 members of the public for their predictions about this year’s winners and put together some survey templates so that you can test your knowledge of previous winners, do some party planning, and collect your own predictions. 

Public sentiment going into 2022

It was an epic year for quality TV series, and the public knows it. Here’s who won in the hearts of the viewers—even if we can’t guarantee the official results will say the same. 

Outstanding drama series

  • 26% nominated “Stranger Things” 
  • 23% nominated “Ozark”
  • 14% nominated “Better Call Saul” 
  • 12% nominated “Euphoria”
  • 11% nominated “Squid Game”
  • 4% nominated “Succession”
  • 2% nominated “Severance”
  • 2% nominated “Yellow Jackets”  

Netflix can claim a tidy percentage of the year’s most loved dramas, with the top three choices either produced or owned by the company. Overall, it seems like dark, setting-specific dramas are the mood du jour. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 

  • 41% nominated Jason Bateman (Marty Byrde in “Ozark”)
  • 18% nominated Lee Jung-kae (Seong Gi-hun in “Squid Game”)
  • 18% nominated Bob Odenkirk (Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman in “Better Call Saul”)
  • 5% nominated Brian Cox as Logan Roy in “Succession”
  • 5% nominated Adam Scott (Mark Scout in “Severance”)
  • 4% nominated Jeremy Strong (Kendall Roy in “Succession”)

Jason Bateman was a runaway favorite for his role in Ozark. Bateman also produces and frequently directs the show, so he’s evidently put his whole self into it—all the more reason to feel the love at this resounding show of approval. No other leading favorite was this pronounced.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series 

  • 28% nominated Laura Linney (Wendy Byrde in “Ozark”)
  • 28% nominated Zendaya (Rue in “Euphoria”)
  • 15% nominated Reese Witherspoon (Bradley Jackson in “The Morning Show”)
  • 7% nominated Jodie Comer (Oksana Astankova/Villanelle in “Killing Eve”)
  • 6% nominated Melanie Lynskey (Shauna Sadecki in “Yellowjackets”)
  • 8% nominated Sandra Oh (Eve Polastri in “Killing Eve”)

In the women's category (or the category for those who identify as women), Laura Linney and Zendaya tied for first. Both play dark, flawed characters navigating a tumultuous environment, and both clearly channeled those emotions well. 

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • 18% nominated “Ted Lasso”
  • 14% nominated “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
  • 14% nominated “Abbott Elementary”
  • 12% nominated “Only Murders in the Building”
  • 11% nominated “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
  • 10% nominated “What We Do in the Shadows”
  • 7% nominated “Barry”
  • 5% nominated “Hacks”

In the comedy category, favorite shows were more evenly distributed, with only a 13 point difference between the most and least liked nominees. Although it was close, the heartwarming sports comedy Ted Lasso won the day. The show was nominated for 20 different Emmys, awards last year (winning 7) and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 

  • 24% nominated Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso in “Ted Lasso”)
  • 19% nominated Steve Martin (Charles-Haden Savage in “Only Murders in the Building”)
  • 18% nominated Donald Glover (Earnest Marks in “Atlanta”)
  • 12% nominated Bill Hader (Barry Berkman in “Barry”)
  • 11% nominated Martin Short (Oliver Putnam in “Only Murders in the Building”)
  • 6% nominated Nicholas Hoult (Peter III of Russia in “The Great”)

Ted Lasso showed strong in the comedy actor’s section as well, with Jason Sudeikis as the general favorite. Of course, people might be biased to choose an actor from a show that they like, but Sudeikis has also earned broad media praise for the role, and it’s clear that audiences are also responding to his personal commitment to the role.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 

  • 23% nominated Rachel Brosnahan (Miriam Maisel in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
  • 21% nominated Kaley Cuoco (Cassie Bowden in “The Flight Attendant”)
  • 13% nominated Quinta Brunson (Janine Teagues in “Abbott Elementary”)
  • 11% nominated Elle Fanning (Catherine the Great in “The Great”)
  • 11% nominated Issa Rae (Issa Dee in “Insecure”)
  • 10% nominated Jean Smart (Deborah Vance in “Hacks”)

The public’s top pick for the actress category was Mrs. Maisel herself, who has already won two Golden Globes®, an Emmy, and a Critics’ Choice Award®, for the role. If only we could think of an adjective to describe how wonderful she is.

Trivia and resources to host your own awards viewing party 

If you’re ready to lean in and enjoy the awards this year, here ere are a few other resources to help you on your way.

  • If you’d like to collect predictions of your own—from, say, family and friends—we’ve got you covered. You can use this survey template to collect predictions, make bets, or host a friendly competition on awards night.
  • If you’re more interested in testing your own knowledge, we still have you covered, with this trivia quiz. Just make sure to have a good memory and a keen interest in television.
  • Finally, if you’re planning to host your own party to watch the event, here’s one last survey template to help you coordinate. 

Whether you’re an active viewer, competitive speculator, or casual follower of the Emmys, we hope your awards night is fun and your favorites get recognized. Cheers to another year of incredible storytelling. 

Research methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted July 24-Aug 1, 2022 among a national sample of 10,850 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. 

This article is not endorsed or sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Television Academy/NATAS), or any of their affiliates. All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.