Emmy Predictions: Lead Actress in a Limited Series – Amanda Seyfried and Lily James Among Stunning Transformations in the Race

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
To see old predictions and commentary, click the EMMY PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
For film awards predictions go toTHE OSCARS HUB

UPDATED: April 21, 2022



Between incredible transformations like Lily James (“Pam and Tommy”) and Renée Zellweger (“The Thing About Pam”), and impressive voice works like Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”) and Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna”), the category is brimming with talent.

After winning the Oscar for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Jessica Chastain (“Scenes from a Marriage”) hopes to go the way of Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet, who both won Emmys and Oscars in the same year.

Among the leading ladies are some of Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Julia Roberts (“Gaslit”), Viola Davis (“The First Lady”) and Nicole Kidman (“Nine Perfect Strangers” and “Roar”), who can shake things up.

Then we have some breakouts and committed actresses having banner years like Jenna Ortega (“The Fallout”) and Beanie Feldstein (“Impeachment: American Horror Story”).

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The Emmy eligibility period runs from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022. The deadline for entering programs for Primetime programming and uploading all entry materials is on May 12, 2022, at 6:00 PM PT.

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The full television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown” (HBO/HBO Max)


Inventing Anna. Julia Garner as Anna Delvery in episode 104 of Inventing Anna. Cr. Nicole Rivelli/Netflix © 2021 NICOLE RIVELLI/NETFLIX

1 Amanda Seyfried “The Dropout” Hulu
2 Jessica Chastain “Scenes from a Marriage” HBO/HBO Max
3 Margaret Qualley “Maid” Netflix
4 Lily James “Pam and Tommy” Hulu
5 Renée Zellweger “The Thing About Pam” NBC
6 Jenna Ortega “The Fallout” HBO/HBO Max
7 Julia Garner “Inventing Anna” Netflix
8 Elle Fanning “The Girl from Plainville” Hulu
9 Julia Roberts “Gaslit” Starz
10 Viola Davis “The First Lady” Showtime
11 Claire Foy “A Very British Scandal” Amazon Prime Video
12 Michelle Pfeiffer “The First Lady” Showtime
13 Gillian Anderson “The First Lady” Showtime
14 Jessica Biel “Candy” Hulu
15 Mackenzie Davis “Station Eleven” HBO/HBO Max
16 Nicole Kidman “Nine Perfect Strangers” Hulu
17 Anne Hathaway “WeCrashed” Apple TV+
18 Claire Danes “The Essex Serpent” Apple TV+
19 Beanie Feldstein “Impeachment: American Crime Story” FX
20 Sarah Paulson “Impeachment: American Crime Story” FX
21 Toni Collette “Pieces of Her” Netflix
22 Olivia Colman “Landscapers” HBO/HBO Max
23 Daisy Edgar-Jones “Under the Banner of Heaven” FX
24 Emmy Rossum “Angelyne” Peacock
25 Isabel May “1883” Paramount+
26 Kate Siegel “Midnight Mass” Netflix
27 Zoë Kravitz “Kimi” HBO/HBO Max
28 Sienna Miller “Anatomy of a Scandal” Netflix
29 Hailee Steinfeld “Hawkeye” Disney+
30 Adrienne Warren “Women of the Movement” ABC
Alison Oliver “Conversations with Friends” Hulu
Barbara Hershey “The Manor” Amazon Prime Video
Bellamy Young “The Waltons: Homecoming” The CW
Betty Gilpin “Roar” Apple TV+
Cole Sprouse “Moonshot” HBO/HBO Max
Cynthia Erivo “Roar” Apple TV+
Dagmara Dominczyk “We Own This City” HBO/HBO Max
Emma Appleton “Pistol” FX
Gugu Mbatha-Raw “The Girl Before” HBO/HBO Max
Jane Levy “Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas” The Roku Channel
Jennifer Aniston “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’” ABC
Jenny Slate “I Want You Back” Amazon Prime Video
Jodie Comer “Help” Channel 4
Kate Beckinsale “Jolt” Amazon Prime Video
Kate McKinnon “Joe vs. Carole” Peacock
Kristen Bell “The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” Netflix
LeToya Luckett-Walker “Line Sisters” Lifetime
Lily James “The Pursuit of Love” BBC One
Lisa Kudrow “Better Nate Than Never” Disney+
Mckenna Grace “The Bad Seed Returns” Lifetime
Merritt Wever “Roar” Apple TV+
Nicole Kidman “Roar” Apple TV+
Rosario Dawson “DMZ” HBO/HBO Max
Sasha Lane “Conversations with Friends” Hulu
Sydney Sweeney “The Voyeurs” Amazon Prime Video

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Lead Actress Limited Series)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television’s most prestigious artistic award. There are many records held for both wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: Helen Mirren has the most wins in this category with four – “Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness” (1995), “The Passion of Ayn Rand” (1999), “Elizabeth I” (2005) and “Prime Suspect: The Final Act” (2006). Patty Duke and Laura Linney each have the second most with three.

For nominations: Helen Mirren is the most nominated actress in this category with 10. Judy Davis and Jessica Lange are second with seven each.

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

  • Outstanding Television Movie
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Reality Host
  • Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
  • Outstanding Animated Program
  • Outstanding Short Form Animated Program
  • Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
  • Outstanding Narrator
  • Outstanding Structured Program
  • Outstanding Unstructured Program
  • Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
  • Outstanding Documentary Special
  • Outstanding Documentary Filmmaking
  • Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special
  • Outstanding Main Title Design
  • Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
  • Outstanding Music for Series
  • Outstanding Music for Limited Series
  • Outstanding Music and Lyrics
  • Outstanding Music Supervision

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

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 and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.