Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

What To Expect at Sunday’s Emmy Awards – Comedy Categories

The 67th Emmy Awards are this Sunday
The 67th Emmy Awards are this Sunday, here’s who’s going to win

 

This could be a big year for comedy at The Emmys. We’ll either see a new Comedy Series champ crowned if Modern Family manages to win a 6th consecutive award, making it the sole record holder for wins, or we’ll see a new show have the chance to start an Emmy run. Veep and Transparent are the two most likely to find a place on their mantle for this win but will there be anti-streaming sentiment towards Amazon? The Emmys have a hard time with new things; The Sopranos finally winning Drama Series, a cable first, felt like the Television Academy was playing catch-up. Since then, basic and premium cable has dominated the Drama categories but not so for Comedy. With Modern Family winning the top award for the last five years, they’ve shut out cable from the big one. But it’s not just Modern Family; the basic networks have absolutely dominated the Comedy Series wins for the last 14 years. So, a win here from Transparent or Veep (or Louie, Silicon Valley or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for that matter) will be a paradigm shift that has been long overdue at The Emmys.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES SERIES

Louie
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep

Is it finally time to put the nail in the coffin of Modern Family? It feels like this has been coming for decades now and this is certainly the most likely year for it to happen. As it stands, Modern Family is tied with Frasier for the most wins for a Comedy Series (5) and if it were to win again it would hold that record alone. No one wants that, do they? Right now, Veep and Transparent stand the best chance at ending that run. Both have directing and writing nominations to back up their series noms, something Modern Family doesn’t have for the first time ever. It’s that weakness that makes it seem like one of those two shows will triumph. But which one? Veep has the more traditional laugh out loud comedy. It’s like The West Wing meets The Mary Tyler Moore Show with f-words.  Transparent has the zeitgeist, the buzz, the timeliness and, maybe more importantly, the most nominations for a Comedy Series.

The Emmy Experts predict Veep to win and if that happens it will be the first cable show to win Comedy Series since HBO’s last big comedy, Sex and the City in 2001.
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OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, “Sex, Lies & Vasectomies,” black-ish
Louis C.K., “Bobby’s House,” Louie
Don Cheadle, “It’s a Box Inside a Box,” House of Lies
Will Forte, “Alive in Tucson,” Last Man on Earth
Matt LeBlanc, “Episode 405,” Episodes
William H. Macy, “A Night to Remem…Wait, What?” Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, “The Letting Go,” Transparent

If there ever was a lock it’s Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent. Anyone else will be the biggest upset of the night, bar none. If Tambor loses this, expect a pretty big backlash. It also means the series is toast for a win. Running behind in hopes of upsetting are two Wills; Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth and William H. Macy in Shameless. Macy surprised this year with a Screen Actors Guild win in this category but Forte’s show, which he created, wrote and stars in, is nothing to shake a stick at. He’s definitely the closest competition.

The Emmy Experts are unanimously predicting Jeffrey Tambor to win for Transparent.
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OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Edie Falco, “I Say a Little Prayer,” Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow, “Valerie Is Taken Seriously,” The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Election Night,” Veep
Amy Poehler, “One Last Ride,” Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer, “Cool With It,” Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, “The Vows,” Grace and Frankie

This is a super close race in our books. How do you go against Julia Louis-Dreyfus who’s won this three years in a row and with a show at its height in Emmy consciousness? Well, when your competition is the red hot Amy Schumer. With the biggest comedy breakthrough of 2015, Amy Schumer should be the girl to beat. But we’re not counting out a sympathetic win for Amy Poehler’s final season of Parks and Recreation. People lament about how many Emmy nominations Jon Hamm has lost (13 so far, including his Guest Actor loss last week) but she has 15 losses (also including two from last week’s Creative Arts Emmys). With the new voting system in place, it could help her. But, don’t count out Emmy queen Lily Tomlin. Although she managed Grace and Frankie’s sole nomination, Tomlin is legend and a 5-time Emmy winner.

The Emmy Experts are predicting Amy Schumer to win but just barely. A Julia Louis-Dreyfus four-peat is just as likely.
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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Andre Braugher, “The Mole,” Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, “Close-Up,” Girls
Keegan-Michael Key, “Sex Detective,” Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, “Crying Out Loud,” Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, “Kimmy Goes to School!” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, “East Wing,” Veep

A category packed with two previous winners here (Burrell and Hale), previous nominees here (Driver and Braugher) and two exciting newcomers in Tituss Burgess and Keegan-Michael Key. This is a tight race, as you’ll see looking at the predictions from The Emmy Experts. Burgess’ submission is probably the most laugh out loud funny and very much the type of scene-stealing supporting win the Emmys love (think Sean Hayes in Will & Grace). But you can’t count out Burrell or Hale to hit that stage again. Driver and Key seem like the only real longshots here and Braugher, an Emmy winner in his own right already, has a good submission but in only his second nomination for Brooklyn Nine-Nine is already starting to feel like filler.

The Emmy Experts predict that Tituss Burgess will be serenading the Emmy audience with “Peeno Noir’ and win this category.
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OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Niecy Nash, “7th Annual Christmas Card Competition,” Getting On
Julie Bowen, “Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister,” Modern Family
Allison Janney, “Dropped Soap and a Big Guy on a Throne,” Mom
Kate McKinnon, “Host: Taraji P. Henson,” Saturday Night Live
Mayim Bialik, “The Prom Equivalency,” The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffmann, “Rollin,” Transparent
Jane Krakowski, “Kimmy Gets a Job!” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky, “Convention,” Veep

With eight nominees this is a category runneth over. But even with so many the race is likely only between 5-time winner Allison Janney (and the current champ here) and Anna Chlumsky. This is the first category of the night and I think it will set the pace of the awards and the new voting system. If the voters look at both submissions Chlumsky is the clear winner. Her tape is scathingly funny compared to Janney’s. Janney has some fun physical comedy to get the live audience yuck-yucks but it’s also a ‘To be continued…’ episode and in the old days (meaning just a few years ago) a person could submit both parts of a To Be Continued episode, thereby giving them an upper hand in total screentime over their fellow nominees. Not anymore and it makes Janney’s submission seem half-baked. So, if she wins here, I believe that the populist vote will likely rule the night and the next few years of the Emmys.

The Emmy Experts predict Allison Janney to win her 6th Emmy (and 2nd for this role) but with Anna Chlumsky close behind.
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OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES

Episodes, “Episode 409”
The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson (Pilot)”
Louie, “Bobby’s House”
Silicon Valley, “Two Days of the Condor”
Transparent, “Pilot”
Veep, “Election Night”

This is a very close race between Transparent and Veep, as are so many between these two shows. Like in Drama, the Emmys embrace pilot episodes in Writing and Directing often, sometimes instead of in Series. This could definitely go either way here. Veep has never won the Writing Emmy despite a show so centered on its whip-smart dialogue. Louie won this last year and in 2012 so don’t ever count out Louis C.K. Strangely, although the show tied its nomination high from 2013 (with six) it sort of feels like people are tired of the show, that it’s gotten too weird. Not sure if that’s the case or not but Louis C.K. did win an Emmy last week for his Variety Special (once again) so don’t count him out. Silicon Valley netted another writing nomination but as great as the show and the submission are, it feels like it will be the runner-up to Veep as long as both shows are on the air at the same time. Episodes is the ultimate filler nomination here. It’s gotten in for four years running (largely by only submitting a single episode for consideration) but never seems to have an actual chance of winning. Plus, it’s a show about writing a TV show so it plays right into the feels of TV writers during the nomination period. The other pilot in this category, The Last Man on Earth, is the secret spoiler. As previously mentioned, the Emmys love pilots here and this could very well be the surprise winner while we all have our eyes focused on Veep and Transparent.

The Emmy Experts are predicting that Transparent will win here but with Veep very close behind.
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OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES

The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson (Pilot)”
Louie, “The Sleepover”
Silicon Valley, “Sand Hill Shuffle”
Transparent, “Best New Girl”
Veep, “Testimony”

Another super close race between, you guessed it, Veep and Transparent. This is Veep’s first Directing nomination in its four year run, which bodes very well for the show. It’s especially good news for this year’s nominees because Modern Family, which has won this category four years running, is finally not nominated. If Veep is going to run the Comedy categories a win here makes sense but, like in writing, there is that pilot for The Last Man on Earth lurking about. It’s got a solid chance here. Transparent wasn’t nominated for its pilot episode (it didn’t submit it) but is nominated for show creator Jill Soloway’s “Best New Girl,” which just won Bradley Whitford the Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy last week.

The Emmy Experts predict that Veep will win the Emmy election in the directing category but with Transparent a clear 2nd.

Check out the predictions in the DRAMA categories here.

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