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The Emmy Awards have wrapped. "Big Little Lies" was a big winner along with Donald Glover, "Saturday Night Live" and "The Handmaid's Tale." Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win for writing in a comedy series, "Handmaid's" was the first streaming show to win drama, and Donald Glover was the first black man to win directing in comedy. Check out our behind-the-scenes stories, fashion breakdowns and red carpet interviews.

Predicting the 2017 Emmy Award wins: 'This Is Us' versus 'Stranger Things' -- can the kids beat your tears?

Sterling K. Brown, left, and Ron Cephas Jones from "This Is Us." (NBC)
Sterling K. Brown, left, and Ron Cephas Jones from "This Is Us." (NBC)

“Game of Thrones’ ” latest season debuted too late for the show to be eligible for this year’s Emmys. Good news, right? Because if “Thrones” had won a third consecutive drama series Emmy for that disappointing run of episodes, it would have made my face scrunch up in a look of disapproval rivaling anything Maggie Smith ever threw down on “Downton Abbey.”

“Thrones” shouldn’t even be nominated next year, much less win.

But I’ll worry about that when the time comes. Meanwhile, we’ve got a drama series category dominated by first-year shows — “Stranger Things,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Crown,” “Westworld” and “This Is Us” — making it one of the most competitive races in years.

So, yes, we’ve got a big night ahead of us, and the producers have promised to shake things up. Forget about the prizes being given out in groupings of genre. First-time producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner say they’re going to save the closest races and biggest stars until the end of the show, meaning we’re going to have to wait a while to see if Nicole Kidman wins her first Emmy.

Who else will be hoisting those enormous gold trophies? And how many GIFs will Winona Ryder launch if “Stranger Things” wins? Here’s my final forecast for the main categories.

The cast from "Stranger Things" (Netflix)
The cast from "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

Drama Series

Winner: “Stranger Things”

Spoiler: “This Is Us”

I know, I know. “Handmaid’s Tale” has the political currency. “The Crown” possesses all the prestige trappings. What does “Stranger Things” have going for it? Popularity. Netflix’s ode to ’80s fantasy and horror has already won honors from the Producers and Screen Actors guilds, and last weekend it took five honors at the Creative Arts Emmys, including the bellwether casting award. It’s no sure thing. This might be the evening’s most competitive category. But it has a bit of history on its side.

 

Sterling K. Brown (NBC)
Sterling K. Brown (NBC)

Drama lead actor

Winner: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

Spoiler: Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Brown won an Emmy last year for playing prosecutor Christopher Darden in “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and he’s just as good as the dorky, generous Randall in “This Is Us.” Voters’ love for the character — and the show — gives him the edge.

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