Postponed by four months because of Hollywood strikes, the Emmy Awards will finally celebrate television's best and brightest on Monday, with the last season of HBO's ‘Succession’ tipped to scoop the night's top prizes.
The small screen's equivalent of the Oscars typically takes place in September, but organisers opted for an unusual January slot this time around, correctly gambling that the entertainment industry walkouts would be over, and that stars would be free to walk the red carpet again.
Votes were cast back in the summer, and some of the nominated shows premiered as long as 18 months ago - but there still seems little doubt that the fictional Roy family from ‘Succession’ will be making plenty of visits to the stage.
The critically adored show charting the back-stabbing dynastic squabbles of an ultra-wealthy family has a whopping 27 nominations. It is the frontrunner for six awards including best drama, which it has won twice previously.
‘Succession’ has a record three of the six nominees for best actor in a drama - Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox - while Sarah Snook is expected to win the best actress prize.
Matthew Macfadyen - her husband on the show - should seal the fictional family's grip on the Emmys with the best supporting actor statuette.
Perhaps the two TV dramas that will feel most aggrieved to come up against the ‘Succession’ swan song are ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘The White Lotus.’
Arguably the best video game adaptation ever to grace the small screen, ‘The Last of Us’ may leave the gala on Monday empty-handed, unless its stars Pedro Pascal or Bella Ramsey can spring a surprise.
Meanwhile, ‘The White Lotus,’ a stylish satire on wealth and hypocrisy, returns to the Emmys with a second season set in Sicily.
Jennifer Coolidge, the sole returning star from the first Hawaii-set season, is a clear frontrunner for best actress.
The Emmys' delay to January is unlikely to help a gala that has been locked in a downward spiral with TV audiences for years.
Last year's telecast was watched by just 5.9 million - lower even than the 2020 "pandEmmys" lockdown edition that was broadcast from an empty theatre.
This year's strike-induced postponement puts the Emmys smack in the middle of Hollywood's film awards season, starving the show of considerable publicity.
Host Anthony Anderson may need to do some heavy lifting to overcome audience confusion about honouring seasons of shows that aired months before.
Most notably, ‘The Bear’- which took viewers behind the scenes of a dysfunctional Chicago restaurant - is a hot favourite for the comedy prizes.
But Monday's ceremony is a belated chance for Emmys voters to honour the show's intense debut season, which premiered way back in June 2022.
Should they lose out, stars like Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach or Ayo Edebiri will have another chance at the next Emmys ceremony, taking place this September, for which the show's even more acclaimed and ambitious second season is eligible.
The same is not true for the stars of ‘Ted Lasso,’ a prolific former Emmy winner that will have its last tilt at glory Monday for its underwhelming final season.
The always competitive limited series categories, for shows that run only a single season, should be more straightforward to follow.
Netflix's ‘Beef’ and "Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ led the category with 13 nods apiece.
Both are tipped by pundits to be rewarded, with Ali Wong a popular choice as a road-rage driver in ‘Beef,’ and Evan Peters too terrifying to ignore as notorious serial killer Dahmer.
Other standouts in this section are Hollywood A-lister Jessica Chastain in country music biopic ‘George and Tammy,’ and Paul Walter Hauser in ‘Black Bird,’ another dark true crime series.