2021 Emmy Predictions: Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
With eight slots and very few previous nominees and winners eligible, it’s open season for Saturday Night Live and freshman shows to dominate
Regardless of how you feel about the Television Academy expanding the supporting categories to a whopping eight nominees, there’s one category that’s often needed it: Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Before the rule change three years ago, this category consistently saw itself bursting at the seams with the previous percentage rule allowing it to find spots for 6-8 women. In fact, even with several rule changes and amendments, there hasn’t been a five-nominee year here since 2008.
The last three years of this category went to Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek) in 2020 and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) in 2018 and 2019. With Schitt’s Creek ending its run last year and Mrs. Maisel not airing a new season during the eligibility period, we’re most likely going to see a brand new winner here if 2016-2017 champ Kate McKinnon doesn’t swoop in for what appears to be her final season of Saturday Night Live after 10 years on the show. Will her familiarity bring her back to the winning circle or can another SNL co-star like Cecily Strong or Aidy Bryant (also rumored to be leaving) take the trophy?
Keeping in mind of more ineligible contenders from recent years along with Murphy and Borstein are Marin Hinkle in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, D’Arcy Carden in The Good Place; Betty Gilpin in GLOW, Yvonne Orji in Insecure and Sarah Goldberg in Barry.
Out in front is Critics Choice winner Hannah Waddingham in Apple’s Ted Lasso. The breakthrough show of the year, Waddingham shined in the brightest and best female role of a very male-dominated show that gave her a full arc. Her co-star Juno Temple could also squeeze in with some great late in the season work, much of it with Waddingham. While neither earned an individual SAG nomination, the show did receive one for its ensemble.
With all of those contenders out there’s definitely no shortage of them this year. NBC’s Saturday Night Live should be able to easily get McKinnon in (she’s been nominated for seven years in a row). Cecily Strong earned her first last year and had a banner season this year, closing out with her best and wildest Judge Jeanine Pirro yet. Aidy Bryant was nominated in 2018 but was skipped over the next two years (largely due to her Shrill schedule). First time nominations could come through for breakout Chloe Fineman as her impersonations, from Nicole Kidman to Drew Barrymore, have garnered raves.
HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant has a trio of contenders in three-time Emmy nominee Rosie Perez as star Kaley Cuoco’s co-worker and potential foil, the villainous Michelle Gomez and best friend Zosia Mamet. Like Ted Lasso, none of The Flight Attendant‘s supporting players earned an individual SAG nomination, the show did receive one for its ensemble.
Peacock’s Girls5Eva was another comic breakout with a foursome that looks to be divided into two leads and two supporting pushes. Veteran and comic legend Paula Pell (an Emmy winner for writing, Saturday Night Live) and Busy Philipps, as a Real Housewives wannabe, could both find themselves a spot among the eight.
But wait, there’s more! The final season of Netflix’s The Kominsky Method saw the reunion of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner (Romancing the Stone, The War of the Roses), Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Mary Steenburgen in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC), previous Emmy winner Martha Plimpton in HBO Max’s genera+ion, 5-time Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski in Apple’s Dickinson and three-time Emmy winner Bette Midler in The Politician, who earned a guest actress nod for the same role last year. Previous three-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf could return but so far has not for The Connors, playing the very same role that earned her those consecutive wins.
Here are my predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
- Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
- Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
- Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
- Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
- Juno Temple, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
- Naomi Ackie, Master of None (Netflix)
- Paula Pell, Girls5Eva (Peacock)
- Kathleen Turner, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Other contenders: Lauren Ash, Superstore (NBC); Sarah Baker, The Kominsky Method (Netflix); Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live (NBC), Chloe Fineman, Saturday Night Live (NBC); Michelle Gomez, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max); Holly Hunter, Mr. Mayor (NBC); Jane Krakowski, Dickinson; Zosia Mamet, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max); Laurie Metcalf, The Conners (ABC); Bette Midler, The Politician (Netflix); Busy Philipps, Girls5Eva; Martha Plimpton, genera+ion (HBO Max), Jaime Pressly, Mom (CBS); Mary Steenburgen, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC); Wanda Sykes, The Upshaws (Netflix).
Photo courtesy of Apple TV+