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We’re expecting Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to look a lot like last year. We think five of six of last year’s nominees to return, the exception being Matt LeBlanc as Episodes didn’t air a new season during eligibility. That’s good news for Aziz Ansari (Master of None). The Parks and Recreation alumni’s Netflix show is expected to land nominations in Writing and Directing as well and a nomination for here would make him the first Indian-American in this category. Jonathan sees Silicon Valley having a very good year as the sole predictor of Thomas Middleditch.
This is probably the most exciting acting category across the board as no less than three of last year’s nominees are no longer a factor here. That opens the doors for a handful of first-time nominees or possibly the return of former ones. First up is Tracee Ellis-Ross, who should benefit heavily from what we feel will be a big year for black-ish. Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) should find her first nomination after being snubbed last year despite nearly all of her co-stars and guests getting in. Obviously, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep) will return as the four-time (in a row) reigning champ in this category for this show. Lily Tomlin is expected to return for Grace and Frankie. Chris and Nicole see a return for Lena Dunaham (Girls) after a strong 5th season. That leaves two spots open. Four experts think Amy Schumer will return despite a much less buzzed about and praised season of Inside Amy Schumer. That brings us to the one-offs. Fred sees previous winner Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) returning after missing out last year. Jonathan thinks that Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) has a path to a nomination as well as Anna Faris for Mom. I’m picking Ilana Glazer (Broad City) to have a bit of an Amy Schumer-type of nomination. With her show receiving huge critical praise and landing major guest stars (Hillary Clinton! Where’s her Guest Actress submission?) she could make it in, and over her co-star Abby Jacobson (shades of Keegan-Michael Key making it in but Jordan Peele snubbed).
Again, lots of expected returning nominees this year with a few exceptions. We all have a pair of two-time Emmy winners in Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Tony Hale (Veep) back at bat. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Tituss Burgess should also have no problem here. Emmy Expert Chris sees an exact replica of last year’s nominees. Then it really opens up. Fred is predicting an Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) snub and instead sees Transparent‘s Jay Duplass getting in. He also, along with Chris and Nicole, see Girls‘ Adam Driver poised for his fourth nomination in a row. Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) has three votes but feels very vulnerable. Nicole sees 7-time Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie (Veep) getting his first for this show and Jonathan has two single vote predictions; Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live) and T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley). So far, Silicon Valley has managed Comedy Series, Directing and Writing nominations but has yet to land a single acting nom. It could be like Veep where the supporting actor pool is too deep to choose from. Speaking of, that has also seemed to plague Veep (so far only Tony Hale has been nominated here) but I’m predicting that to end this year with Timothy Simons having a standout season and arc that no other supporting player had.
Last year had a whopping eight nominees in this category due to ties but we’re not expecting that again. We all see Anna Chlumsky (Veep), last year’s winner Allison Janney (Mom), Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) to return. Gaby Hoffman (Transparent) has three votes and previous winner Julie Bowen (Modern Family) has two. From last year’s nominees no Emmy Expert is seeing the return of Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) or Niecy Nash (Getting On). A Bialik snub is a risky one; she’s a four-time nominee here (in a row) and managed to get in even after four-time winner in the Lead Actor category Jim Parsons was snubbed last year. Many thought Judith Light (Transparent) was a shoe-in last year yet she missed out. This year, she has the support of four experts. Jonathan continues to break away from the pack with his sole nomination for Noel Wells (Master of None).