The votes have been tallied for the first Emmys 2022 What to Watch readers picks and so it’s time to unveil the TV shows and performers nominated for TV’s top prizes this year viewers wanted to honor.
What to Watch allowed readers to vote on 16 Emmys categories, picking among this year’s actual list of Emmy nominees. How many of these winners will go on to repeat at the official 2022 Emmys on Monday, September 12?
We’ll have to wait and see about that, but right now we proudly announce the winners of the Emmys 2022 What to Watch readers picks (no tuxes or acceptance speeches required).
Outstanding Comedy Series: Abbott Elementary
One of the breakout new shows from the 2021-2022 season has caught the attention of What to Watch readers. Abbott Elementary bested one of the most stacked categories in recent memory, including Ted Lasso season 2, Only Murders in the Building season 1, Barry season 3 and Hacks season 2. Looks like streaming doesn’t have all of the best shows, as ABC is the proud home for Abbott Elementary.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Bill Hader, Barry
This was a tight one, with Martin Short (Only Murders) and Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso) also extremely popular with voters, but Bill Hader’s dark turn as a hitman who attempts to become an actor won out among our readers. Hader has won the actual Emmy for this category for the first two seasons and WTW readers think he should again for season 3.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
The love for Abbott Elementary extended to readers picking Quinta Brunson, who plays the hopeful but slightly awkward teacher Janine Teagues, as the winner for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Readers favored her a good bit over her top competitors, which include Jean Smart (Hacks), Elle Fanning (The Great), Issa Rae (Insecure) and others.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Three of the eight nominees for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series came from the Ted Lasso ensemble, but Brett Goldstein’s performance as Roy Kent rose to the top among WTW readers. His foul-mouthed ex footballer may act tough, but fans have come to love him and showed that with their votes.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso’s cast made it a sweep of the supporting categories, with Hannah Waddingham being the readers’ pick for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The Apple TV Plus series' ensemble has been highly praised by critics, but clearly the fans have just as much respect for the work the actors are putting in, in particular Waddingham and the aforementioned Goldstein.
Outstanding Drama Series: Better Call Saul
While a new TV show took home the top comedy prize, an outgoing show earned the readers' votes for drama. Better Call Saul wrapped up in August in an overwhelmingly positive way. Maybe the fact it was the most recent show to air helped it over similarly beloved series like Succession season 3, Yellowjackets and Squid Game, but few can deny that Better Call Saul deserves what it reaps after six incredible seasons. WTW readers clearly think so.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
On a similar note, WTW readers think it's time for Better Call Saul's leading man to get his Emmy. Bob Odenkirk helped peel back the layers of Breaking Bad's scumbag lawyer Saul Goodman and made him a complex and tragic figure, an incredible feat of acting.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: TIE — Melanie Lynskey, Yellowjackets & Zendaya, Euphoria
Believe it or not, we have a tie for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, as Yellowjacket's Melanie Lynskey and Euphoria's Zendaya have strong bases of support among our readers. While nobody enjoys a tie, it's hard to argue with the result, as both Yellowjackets and Euphoria have become global phenomenon's, in large part thanks to the performances of these two leading ladies.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Kieran Culkin, Succession
Like with Brett Goldstein and Ted Lasso, Kieran Culkin was able to break through his Succession co-stars and other nominees to be WTW's readers picks for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, with one of the widest margins to boot. Culkin's Roman Roy may be a spoiled rich kid with a prickly personality, but we've seen him try and prove himself as more than that throughout the series, something Culkin has done wonderfully.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul
As much as fans have loved Better Call Saul and Bob Odenkirk's performance, perhaps more than anything about the show they've come to love Rhea Seehorn's performance as Kim Wexler. Fans have been clamoring for her to be nominated for an Emmy for years and now that she is our readers made sure we at least gave her the nod in this category.
Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series: Dopesick
The Limited or Anthology categories are mostly a battle between Dopesick and The White Lotus. When it came down to picking the overall show, WTW readers have opted for Dopesick, which explores how the US found itself in the opioid crisis it is in today. Dopesick proved to be a powerful series filled with great performances and strong behind-the-scenes work.
Outstanding TV Movie: Chip-n-Dale: Rescue Rangers
While TV movie performances get lumped in with the limited and anthology series, the TV movies themselves get their own trophy, for which our readers voted the irreverent Chip-n-Dale: Rescue Rangers as the winner. The movie, which uses the two cult favorite Disney characters to lampoon Hollywood, is hilarious and currently available to stream on Disney Plus.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie: Michael Keaton, Dopesick
Chalk up another win for Dopesick, as Michael Keaton was the pick here for his performance as a small town doctor who first prescribes opioids to his patients and then becomes addicted himself. Keaton has been racking up awards for his performance in the limited series (including a SAG Award), so it wouldn't be a surprise if our readers' pick aligns with the actual Emmys.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie: Julia Garner, Inventing Anna
Just how accurate Inventing Anna is from who Anna Delvey really is was not a concern for voters here, as Julia Garner's performance in the Netflix series beat out Sarah Paulson (Impeachment: American Crime Story), Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout) and Margaret Qualley (MAID). Her accent alone may deserve a trophy.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie: TIE — Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus & Will Poulter, Dopesick
Another tie! Like we said, The White Lotus and Dopesick were battling it out in most of these categories, so maybe we shouldn't be so surprised that it was such an even split between The White Lotus' Murray Bartlett and his put-upon hotel manager and Dopesick's Will Poulter's pharma salesman.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited, Anthology or TV Movie: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
The White Lotus racks up its lone individual win with our readers; we probably shouldn't be surprised it is for Jennifer Coolidge's rave performance as the — we'll just say quirk — hotel guest Tanya McQuoid. Critics and viewers raved about her performance, so much so that she is the only cast holdover for the next iteration of the anthology series, The White Lotus: Sicily.
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.