Worth its weight in fame: Australia looks sharp ahead of this year's Emmy Awards

The Emmy award is a copper, nickel, silver and gold sculpture of a winged muse holding aloft an atom – representing the television "arts and sciences" – and wholesale she's not worth much more than $US400.

To the winner – either the television programs which take out drama, comedy and limited series, or the actors, directors and writers nominated for those same programs – the long-term value is much greater.

The precise economics of an award's "worth", however, is hard to pin down.

The Oscar "bump", as its known, is worth an average of around $US14 million in box office terms.

Nicole Kidman was nominated for the lead actress Emmy for her role in Big Little Lies. Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle

Nicole Kidman was nominated for the lead actress Emmy for her role in Big Little Lies. Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle

Television's commercial metric is harder to break open, but few disagree an Emmy win is worth its weight in ... well, at the very least copper, nickel, silver and gold.

Some shows – The West Wing, 30 Rock and Lost among them – actually posted audience drops after Emmy wins; but others, such as The Shield, were saved from commercial uncertainty because the afterglow of the Emmy win soothed skittish advertisers.

Australia is going into this year's 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards with an impressive form, and two wins from four nominations at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Fashion designer Perry Meek and creative director John McKelvey won outstanding costumes in a variety, nonfiction or reality program and outstanding commercial respectively; Sam Neill and Ben Mendelsohn, nominated for outstanding narrator and outstanding guest actor, lost out.

Luminous performance: Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper in Feud.

Luminous performance: Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper in Feud.

But we sail into this weekend's "night of nights" with a robust form: actors Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, director Kate Dennis and producer Bruna Papandrea all up for key awards.

Given the critical acclaim for their work – notably the stunning reviews for Big Little Lies and The Handmaid's Tale – we're in with a reasonable chance in the categories where we are competing.

And for Dennis in particular, the nomination alone has been transformational, effectively shifting her into a high tier of Hollywood directors: among them Better Call Saul's Vince Gilligan, The Crown's Stephen Daldry and Homeland's Lesli Linka Glatter.

Coming out of last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys – where the first 93 of the 120 Emmy Awards were given out in a heaving two-night extravaganza – Netflix's Stranger Things and HBO's Westworld were trending strongest.

Those two shows took home five Emmys apiece, ahead of HBO's The Night Of (which had four wins), Big Little Lies, The Handmaid's Taleand Veep (three wins apiece) and The Crown and Feud: Bette and Joan(two wins apiece).

The night's biggest category – outstanding drama – is almost splitting at the seams, but was gifted a little breathing room by the absence of Game of Thrones which, this year, fell outside the qualifying airdate.

Director Kate Dennis is an Emmy nominee for her work on The Handmaid's Tale. Photo: Paul Harris

Director Kate Dennis is an Emmy nominee for her work on The Handmaid's Tale. Photo: Paul Harris

The seven nominees are: The Crown, The Handmaid's Tale, Westworld, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Better Call Saul and House of Cards.

It's a formidable lineup, and while The Crown, Westworld and The Handmaid's Tale are rock solid contenders, it's hard to imagine notoriously weepy American sensibilities not giving the award to This Is Us. Given it's a network show, that's a huge win.

In the drama acting categories, its hard to go past This Is Us' Sterling K. Brown for outstanding actor in a drama series. He was luminous. For outstanding actress, most likely it's Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid's Tale. (Unless she's given a royal outpacing by The Crown's Claire Foy.)

The seven outstanding comedy nominees are Black-ish, Atlanta, Veep, Master of None, Silicon Valley, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidtand Modern Family.

It's Veep's to lose, particularly given the clock is now ticking towards its series finale, but Black-ish is a strong emerging contender and it would be nice to see a network comedy wrestle the award back from cable.

In the comedy acting categories, the smart money is on Donald Glover from Atlanta, unless he's bumped by Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor; outstanding actress will surely go to Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus, though it would be nice to see it go to Black-ish's Tracee Ellis Ross.

2017 Primetime Emmys Australian form guide

Nicole Kidman, nominated for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie.

Up against: Felicity Huffman, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon and Reese Witherspoon.

Prediction: Kidman's stunning performance in Big Little Lies ought to secure the win, but Hollywood has a hard-to-shake affection for Lange.

Geoffrey Rush, nominated for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie.

Up against: Riz Ahmed, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert De Niro, Ewan McGregor and John Turturro.

Prediction: In a dense field, Ahmed and Turturro are serious contenders, but it's hard to see anyone outpacing Robert De Niro.

Judy Davis, nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie.

Up against: Laura Dern, Jackie Hoffman, Regina King, Michelle Pfeiffer, Shailene Woodley.

Prediction: Tough to predict; Davis' performance was luminous but if Big Little Lies sweeps the night it's down to Dern and Woodley.

Kate Dennis, nominated for outstanding directing for a drama series.

Up against: Vince Gilligan, Stephen Daldry, Reed Morano, Lesli Linka Glatter, the Duffer Brothers and Jonathan Nolan.

Prediction: Dennis is the dark horse in a tight race, but Nolan's Westworld and the Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things are both favourites.

Bruna Papandrea, nominated (as producer of Big Little Lies) for outstanding limited series.

Up against: Fargo, Feud: Bette and Joan, Genius and The Night Of.

Prediction: Aside from strong contenders in Feud: Bette and Joan and HBO's amazing The Night Of, Big Little Lies should have this sewn up.

  • The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Monday from 10am on FOX8 or can be streamed on Foxtel Now