Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook in Succession Image Credit: Macall Polay/IMDB

HBO may dominate Wednesday morning's Emmy nominations with its elite trio of “ Succession ," “The White Lotus” and “The Last of Us,” but the dominant theme darkening the scene is the ongoing writers strike and the looming possibility that actors may soon join them.

“Succession" and its deeply dysfunctional dynasty of one-percenters is a lock to be nominated for best drama, which it has won two of the past three years. It's nearly as certain to have multiple nominees across the acting categories, with stars Brian Cox , Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin probable for best actor nods and Sarah Snook a likely frontrunner among the best actress nominees.

The show led last year with 25 nominations for its third season, and given the Emmys' soft spot for series' final seasons, it could see a similar number for its concluding fourth.

“The White Lotus ” and “ The Last of Us ” are also probably shoo-ins for best drama, a category that HBO has won in six of the last eight years, fending off offerings from upstart streaming services.

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Aubrey Plaza, Will Sharpe, Meghann Fahy, Theo James, and Fabio Lovino in The White Lotus (2021)

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal , the duo on a fungus-filled quest in “ The Last of Us ,” are favorites to get lead acting nominations. And the cursed vacationers at a Sicilian resort from the second season of “The White Lotus” could crowd the supporting categories, especially on the actress side, where Jennifer Coolidge , Aubrey Plaza and Meghann Fahy could all be competing against one another.

Contenders in the comedy categories are wildly diverse and the field is wide open, from acclaimed shows including “ Barry ,” “ The Bear ” and “ Abbott Elementary, ” to beloved series and past top Emmy winners like “ Ted Lasso ” and “ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. ”

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“Community” star Yvette Nicole Brown and Television Academy Chair Frank Scherma will announce the nominees.

But the possibility of an industry debilitated by two strikes could dampen any joy for those nominated, and could put the damper on the ceremony scheduled for September 18 on the Fox network.

The work walkout from the writers who are essential to most awards telecasts is now in its 10th week, and with no negotiations planned, there's no end in sight.

The actors union's contract with the consortium of studios, streaming services and production companies that hire them expires just hours after the nominations are announced, and a strike could follow if no agreement is reached. While last-minute deals often happen and the two sides could talk past the deadline, a strike from performers would leave the Emmys without its primary cast members, and could also eliminate promotional interviews and events that nominees do during the run-up.