2022 Emmys Documentary or Nonfiction (Special) Predictions

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
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For film awards predictions go toTHE OSCARS HUB

UPDATED: June 22, 2022



Director Amy Poehler displays the rise of the comedic icon Lucille Ball and her relationship with husband and musician Desi Arnaz which led to their groundbreaking television sitcom. With the backing of Amazon Prime Video and coming off the feature “Being the Ricardos,” the classic Hollywood pocket of the TV Academy could go all-in for “Lucy and Desi,” this look at love and fame.

“George Carlin’s American Dream,” the two-part documentary about the famed comedian offered the world an incredible reminder of the power of laughs and love, told through the passion of directors Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. Dropping on HBO at the tail end of the eligibility period, recency bias could help it snag a nom.

Disney+ brings Grammy and music sensation Olivia Rodrigo to its platform with “Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u,” as she recounts the memories of writing and recording her debut album in Los Angeles. Directed by Stacey Lee, this could serve as a populist choice for the Academy, which doesn’t typically go for docs such as this, but could end up a surprise entry.

With women’s rights under attack in America and the aftermath of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, the true story of Evan Rachel Wood and her re-telling of her activism and survival from domestic violence is the most “of the moment” piece in the race. HBO’s support and positioning have “Phoenix Rising” in a good place for recognition.

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Showtime’s portrait of the singer and storyteller Sheryl Crow, and the legacy she’s left on music, is an upbeat, easy piece to digest. Directed by Amy Scott, with interviews with big names such as Brandi Carlile and Laura Dern, the latecomer to the Emmy race may hit the right note with voters.

Directed by Michael John Warren, duplicating many of the same successful chords that the Emmy-winning “Hamilton” hit last year, the Tony-winning original Broadway cast reunites for the HBO special. “Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known.” With Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele and others, it becomes a beautiful love letter to Broadway and the impactful shows that resonate decades later.

When a documentary captures the cultural zeitgeist, an Emmy can often come knocking. That could be the case for the Netflix film “The Tinder Swindler,” directed by Felicity Morris. Highlighting the vulnerability of people on dating apps, and the weak laws surrounding certain types of fraud, the true-crime pic could have legs in the race.

Director Sam Jones, who also helmed an episode of the second season of “Ted Lasso,” follows skateboarder Tony Hawk, looking at his life, career and passion for his sport with “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off.” HBO’s backing of the series has put it in a solid position for voter recognition if it can stand out from the other contenders.

Oscar and Emmy winner Ron Howard chronicles the mission of Carlota Andres to provide healthy food to those affected by a natural disaster with National Geographic’s “We Feed People.” The eye-opening ode to mankind’s love of cuisine, and the need to change the way we approach helping our fellow men and women, can whet the appetites of many TV Academy members.

Read more: Variety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub.

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 complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: “Boys State” (Apple TV+)


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FILE PHOTO – Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber (R) performs during his world tour concert in Beijing, China September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINAOUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA. – RTX3CCGW

1 “Lucy and Desi” Amazon Prime Video
two “George Carlin’s American Dream” HBO
3 “We Feed People” National Geographic
4 “14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible” Netflix
5 “Janet Jackson.” lifetime
6 “Celebrating Betty White: America’s Golden Girl” NBC
7 “Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known” HBO
8 “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off” HBO
9 “The Tinder Swindler” Netflix
10 “Phoenix Rising” HBO
eleven “Sheryl” Showtime
12 “Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2u” Disney+
13 “Mary J. Blige’s My Life” Amazon Prime Video
14 “Controlling Britney Spears (New York Times Presents)” Hulu
fifteen “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” Netflix
16 “Justin Bieber: Our World” Amazon Prime Video
17 “9/11: Inside the President’s War Room” HBO
18 Beanie Mania HBO
19 “What Happened, Brittany Murphy?” HBO
twenty Whitney, a Look Back CBS
“A Man Named Scott” Amazon Prime Video
“A Tear in the Sky”
Alex Murdaugh: Death. Disappointed. Power.”
“And Just Like That… The Documentary” HBO
“Benjamin Franklin”
“Beyond Ed Buck”
“Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James”
“Black Patriots: Heroes of the Civil War”
“Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed” Netflix
“Bobby Brown (Biography)”
“Bret “Hitman” Hart (Biography)”
“Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are)”
“Dead Sleep”
“Dean Martin: King of Cool”
“Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett” Disney+
“Elon Musk’s Crash Course (New York Times Presents)”
“Embrace the Panda: Making Turning Red” Disney+
Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story
“The end”
“Go Figure: The Randy Gardner Story”
“Holy Heist”
“I’m a Survivor No Longer a Victim”
“Insecure: The End” HBO
“Keeping Company with Sondeheim (Great Performances)”
“KISStory (Biography)”
“Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records”
“Murdered and Missing in Montana” HBO
“No Responders Left Behind”
Oasis Knebworth 1996
“Perfect World: A Deadly Game”
“Polar Bear” Disney+
“Protect or Neglect”
“Reopening: The Broadway Revival (Great Performances)”
“Return to Space” Netflix
“Shatner in Space”
“The Legacy of Black Wall Street”
“The Marfa Tapes”
“The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World”
“The Real Black Panther”
“The Rise and Fall of LuLaRoe”
“The Super Bob Einstein Film” HBO
“The Way Down: God, Greed, and The Cult of Gwen Shamblin” HBO
“Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11”
“We Remember: Songs of Survivors”
“What Happened, Brittany Murphy?” HBO
“wolfgang” Disney+

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

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.

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