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Emmy Awards 2017: Grownups Will Win

Show features celebrity presenters, big-name nominees and host Stephen Colbert

Kids named Kimmel, Fallon and Conan have hosted the annual television Emmy Awards. For Sunday's 8 p.m. ET telecast on CBS, a grownup takes the reins: nine-time Emmy winner Stephen Colbert, 53.

Colbert, host of CBS' Late Night With Stephen Colbert, has been on a ratings high — the show now handily beats all others — since the 2016 election with nonstop political comedy pointed straight at the president. He also won applause as a three-time host of the Kennedy Center Honors. Sunday he may become the first host ever to win several new Emmys while hosting the show. Both Late Night and his election-night special are nominated for best variety series, writing and directing.

The comic's pre-show promos are funnier than some of his predecessors' entire Emmy telecasts — but that doesn't mean he can't lose to competitor John Oliver, 40. If he does, you know Colbert will make fun of any personal loser's agony, so the audience is sure to win. (As for the audience: Last year's ratings — with Jimmy Kimmel as host — were at an all-time low of just more than 11 million.)

Colbert's not the only grown up sure to win at this annual award-fest. As a former Hollywood Reporter Emmy pundit, I have some thoughts on who will come out on top.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 'VEEP'


Emmy nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer in “Veep.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 56, will win outstanding lead actress in a comedy series — her eighth for Veep — unless, of course, there's an upset by Grace and Frankie's Lily Tomlin, 77, or Mom'Allison Janney, 57. Up for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, John Lithgow, 71, steals The Crown from young Claire Foy (as Princess Elizabeth), and Emmy loves him (five wins, 12 nominations). In fact, Emmy swoons for people who play Winston Churchill — ask previous winners Brendan Gleeson and Albert Finney. Lithgow's real reputation competition is Gary Oldman, 59, already an Oscar frontrunner for playing Churchill in The Darkest Hour.

Laura Dern, 50, will win outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie for Big Little Lies — which also will win in its category — unless comeback queen Michelle Pfeiffer, 59, bests her for The Wizard of Lies or third-likeliest winner Judy Davis, 62, triumphs as Hollywood gossip Hedda Hopper in Feud. Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk, 54, looks apt to trounce Sterling K. Brown, 41, as outstanding lead actor in a drama series, though Brown's This Is Us will win best drama.

Alfred Molina in 'Feud'


Alfred Molina is up for an Emmy in the category of best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie.

Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor, 72, is up for a third outstanding comedy actor statue. The show wasn't nominated this time, which could end his reign. And Alfred Molina, 64, has the role of a lifetime as Robert Aldrich, director of Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) in Feud. In 2015 Molina and Lithgow won AARP Movies for Grownups Awards for Love Is Strange, in which they played a married couple. Now they may both win Emmys. Coincidence? Don’t be naive!

For more of my Emmy Awards predictions, check the longer list Emmy Gives a Huge Nod to Actors Over 50.

Stephen Colbert

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Comedian Stephen Colbert not only is hosting the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, but has been nominated for several awards.