As in the other comedy acting categories, supporting actress will see a confluence of previous winners and nominees, some leaving their shows for good and some returning after a long hiatus between seasons. Even with (presumably) eight spots open it makes for a competitive category with a very deep bench.
Reigning champ Hannah Waddington (Ted Lasso) is the surest bet and there’s a case to be made that with even more to do in season two that she could be bumped up to lead. But since Juno Temple, her co-star with less screentime, also got in last year, why would she? Temple’s own story was expanded too, setting her closer to Emmy-winning co-star and both should be easy calls here.
But just how many double (or triple) nominees from a single show can get in? Last year, Saturday Night Love managed three nominations: Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong with Bryant and McKinnon announcing they won’t be returning next season. McKinnon has been nominated eight years in a row here, winning twice (consecutively in 2016 and 2017), while Bryant and Strong have two nominations apiece. SNL is traditionally a huge nomination-getter in the supporting and guest categories but I think these three will face some stiff opposition that could leave just McKinnon standing.
Freshman series Abbott Elementary was one of network television’s biggest new comedies, giving us a Parks and Recreation-like look into a struggling Philadelphia elementary school. As well as being a star turn for show creator and star Quinta Brunson (A Black Lady Sketch Show) it gave us the breakout of stand-up comedian Janelle James, Tony nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph (Dreamgirls‘ original Deena) and Lisa Ann Walter (best known for playing Chessy in the Lindsay Lohan-starring remake of The Parent Trap).
They’ll all face the return of two-time winner Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which skipped 2020/2021 eligibility but is back. Lurking around the corner though is Cynthia Nixon in the Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That. As the only supporting cast member of the ensemble to win here for the original series, she could surprise if voters have a spell of 2000s nostalgia.
Here are my 2022 Emmy predictions for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
1. Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso (AppleTV+)
2. Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
3. Hannah Einbinder – Hacks (HBO Max)
4. Juno Temple – Ted Lasso (AppleTV+)
5. Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live (NBC)
6. Janelle James – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
7. Sarah Goldberg – Barry (HBO)
8. Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Look out for: Yvonne Orji – Insecure (HBO), Cecily Strong – Saturday Night Live (NBC), Amy Ryan – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu), Lisa Ann Walter – Abbott Elementary (ABC), Cynthia Nixon – And Just Like That (HBO Max)