Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series has become one of the most fun categories at the Emmys to predict nominees, as there are always a plethora of exceptional performances in the bunch. As the time for nominations gets closer, it’s time to look at these actresses and see who might possibly make the cut this year. From new shows to reliable favorites, there are so many lead performances by actresses this year to consider.
If anyone should be considered a lock in this category this year, it’s last year’s winner, Jean Smart. Smart’s performance in Hacks is as perfect as it gets and she remains the top competitor in this category for the show’s second season. Another previous winner that is likely to join her is Rachel Brosnahan for the fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Brosnahan has been nominated for all three seasons of the series and will likely join the fray again. A nominee from last year, Kaley Cuoco, is likely to join the nominees again for her performance on season two of HBOMax’s The Flight Attendant. Issa Rae has been nominated twice before for her performance on her HBO series, Insecure, and very well could find herself competing again in the category for the show’s final season. Natasha Lyonne was nominated for the first season of Russian Doll, but in such a competitive year, will she be able to jump into the nominees?
Quinta Brunson cannot be underestimated in this category for her performance in ABC’s Abbott Elementary, which has earned the network rating numbers they haven’t seen since Modern Family. Brunson might not be a previous nominee in this category, but her undeniably great performance will surely land her a nomination. While Selena Gomez’s co-stars for Only Murders in the Building will prove to be competitive in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category, Gomez will face an uphill battle to get in. Her performance, though very good, will be a much harder sell to voters than some of the veteran (and nominated!) actresses previously listed. BAFTA TV Award winner Sarah Lancashire will be one to watch out for, as her performance in HBOMax’s Julia has received much attention and critical praise. Lancashire has never been nominated at the Emmys, but this could be a year for her to break in. Pen15’s leads should be getting attention for the show’s final season (well, part 2 of the final season), but in such a competitive year, they are likely to be overlooked.
My predictions for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
- Jean Smart – Hacks (HBO Max)
- Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
- Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
- Sarah Lancashire – Julia (HBO Max)
- Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
(and in case of 6 nominees)
- Tracee Ellis-Ross, black-ish (ABC)
Look Out For: Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO); Natasha Lyonne – Russian Doll (Netflix); Maya Erskine – Pen15 *Hulu); Selena Gomez – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Photo: Jennifer Rose Clasen/HBO Max