The Screen Actors Guild has different categories than other groups do for television, dividing performers into gender and genre but not leading or supporting. Over the past two years, it’s been remarkably disappointing to see just how few shows voters actually recognized, nominating multiple performers from the same series and seeming not to watch very much television at all. With fluctuating eligibility based on when shows last aired, this year pits a handful of new contenders against long-standing favorites, which tend to do well with SAG voters even after the Emmys have long forgotten about them. That could change with many new series, but I’m not so sure.
Best Male Actor in a Drama Series
None of last year’s nominees are eligible this time around, but there are a handful of previously-honored actors back in contention. Jason Bateman (Ozark) has won two out of three times. Though he got booted last year, Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) was nominated five years in a row before that, with one win. Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) was nominated four times, and David Harbour (Stranger Things) and John Krasinski (Jack Ryan) have also been cited before. In the lead races, the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Association chose to add freshman stars Adam Scott (Severance) plus Jeff Bridges (The Old Man) and Diego Luna (Andor), who I’m not sure will appeal to SAG. Kevin Costner (Yellowstone) and Antony Starr (The Boys), respectively, were also named by one of those organizations. From the supporting categories, watch out for John Turturro (Severance), Matt Smith (House of the Dragon), John Lithgow (The Old Man), and Jonathan Pryce (The Crown). Regarding the latter series, it’s possible that Dominic West (The Crown) might also hear his name called.
Predictions: Bateman, Brown, Odenkirk, Scott, West
Best Female Actor in a Drama Series
One of last year’s last nominees – Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) – is eligible again and she’s all but guaranteed to be back. The year before, this list was populated entirely by Ozark and The Crown. Julia Garner (Ozark) and Laura Linney (Ozark) have one more chance to be nominated, which would mark their third and fourth bids for these roles, respectively, while Imelda Staunton (The Crown), Elizabeth Debicki (The Crown), and Lesley Manville (The Crown) might follow in the shoes of the other actresses who previously had their roles. Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Thandiwe Newton (Westworld), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), and Winona Ryder (Stranger Things) could all receive farewell nominations despite not having been recently cited, and it’s also possible that, for the latter show, Sadie Sink (Stranger Things) could compete too. Two-time Emmy winner Zendaya (Euphoria) might earn her first SAG bid, and Mandy Moore (This Is Us) and Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul) might also benefit from some goodbye sentiment. New contenders include Emma D’Arcy (House of the Dragon), Sharon Horgan (Bad Sisters), Britt Lower (Severance), and Patricia Arquette (Severance), and it could be the first chance to honor Kelly Reilly (Yellowstone) or Christine Baranski (The Good Fight). Additionally, though she was nominated for her limited series performance last year, Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus) is now eligible here, as is her costar Aubrey Plaza.
Predictions: Garner, Debicki, Linney, Moss, Staunton
Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Two of last year’s nominees, Steve Martin (Only Murders in the Building) and Martin Short (Only Murders in the Building), are eligible again and sure to be back. A handful of previous nominees are back in the running, like Ramy Youssef (Ramy), Bill Hader (Barry), Henry Winkler (Barry), Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and Anthony Anderson (black-ish). He’s never been nominated individually by SAG before, but Donald Glover (Atlanta) could be cited for the first time for the final two seasons of his show. The only strong new contenders are Jeremy Allen White (The Bear) and Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary), provided they’re able to crack this category.
Predictions: Hader, Martin, Shalhoub, Short, Winkler
Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Last year’s winner, Jean Smart (Hacks) is eligible again and will definitely earn a repeat nomination. There are a number of other nominees honored last time they were eligible, including Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant), Christina Applegate (Dead to Me), Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie). The likely new addition to the race is Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary), but it’s also worth watching out for Jenna Ortega (Wednesday), whose red-hot new series may or may not be SAG voters’ cup of tea. If voters look to supporting talent, Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary) and Janelle James (Abbott Elementary) will likely be included. One non-newcomer who may crash the party is Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building), and Hannah Einbinder (Hacks) could do the same.
Predictions: Borstein, Brosnahan, Brunson, Gomez, Smart
Best Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
From the Emmy fields, Andrew Garfield (Under the Banner of Heaven), Colin Firth (The Staircase), and Sebastian Stan (Pam and Tommy) are likely to translate their bids to this group, while Seth Rogen (Pam and Tommy) is more of a wild card. Taron Egerton (Black Bird), Paul Walter Hauser (Black Bird), Evan Peters (Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story), and Richard Jenkins (Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story) are the likeliest to earn SAG attention, while Dohmnall Gleeson (The Patient), Matthew Goode (The Offer), Murray Bartlett (Welcome to Chippendales), and Shea Whigham (Gaslit) are question marks. Watch out also for Steve Carell (The Patient), Kumail Nanjiani (Welcome to Chippendales), and Daniel Radcliffe (Weird: The Al Yankovic Story).
Predictons: Egerton, Firth, Garfield, Peters, Stan
Best Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
One of last year’s nominees, Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus), will compete instead in the drama actress race. From the Emmy fields, Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout), Lily James (Pam and Tommy), and Julia Garner (Inventing Anna) are likeliest, while Toni Collette (The Staircase) is also possible. Though she wasn’t nominated by the Emmys, Julia Roberts (Gaslit) picked up both Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations, as did Niecy Nash-Betts (Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story) and Claire Danes (Fleishman is in Trouble). The Globes also picked Jessica Chastain (George and Tammy), while the Critics Choice Association endorsed Michelle Pfeiffer (The First Lady) and Amber Midthunder (Prey). Watch out also for Emily Blunt (The English), Viola Davis (The First Lady), and Gillian Anderson (The First Lady).
Predictions: Collette, Garner, James, Roberts, Seyfried
Best Ensemble in a Drama Series
From last year, The Handmaid’s Tale and Yellowstone are eligible again. From the year before, The Crown, Better Call Saul, Bridgerton, and Ozark are all back after not airing new episodes in 2021. Look back further than that and Stranger Things, This Is Us, and Westworld are all possibilities too. House of the Dragon is distinctly possible since Game of Thrones made the cut for its first season, and other freshman contenders include Severance and Bad Sisters, and sophomore series Euphoria might also make the cut. There’s also a new player here who could throw everything off: The White Lotus.
Predictions: Better Call Saul, The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ozark, Severance
Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series
From last year, Hacks and Only Murders in the Building are eligible again. From the year before, Dead to Me and The Flight Attendant are all back after not airing new episodes in 2021, and it’s been even longer since Atlanta, Barry, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel were last eligible and nominated. black-ish and Curb Your Enthusiasm are also theoretically in the running but not very likely to be honored. The likeliest new contender to break into this lineup is Abbott Elementary, but there are a number of other series that could also garner votes, like The Bear, Wednesday, Ghosts, and Reservation Dogs.
Predictions: Abbott Elementary, Barry, Hacks, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Only Murders in the Building
Check out our film predictions and come back for more once the nominations are announced on Wednesday, January 11th at 7am PT/10am ET.
[…] Screen Actors Guild has unveiled its nominations for the best in film and television of 2022. Our predictions were far from entirely accurate, with just one perfect score, in the category of Best Performance […]