Hi guys! We’re now past halfway the Emmy week over at Tit for Tat, and after discussing the possible nominees and my predictions for Reality and Variety, and TV Movie and Miniseries, it’s time to continue the prognosticating before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the nominees on Thursday morning. For this part, our focus will be on the laughter source for the past TV season: COMEDY!
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Brooklyn Nine Nine, Pilot (Phil Lord, Chris Miller)
• Girls, Two Plane Rides (Lena Duham)
• Louie, Elevator Part 6 (Louis CK)
• Modern Family, Las Vegas (Gail Mancuso)
• Orange is the New Black, Lesbian Request Denied (Jodie Foster)
Sixth nominee: Silicon Valley, Minimum Viable Product (Mike Judge)
Okay let’s begin with current champ Modern Family. This show has been dominating this category winning the past three years, and a fourpeat is indeed very possible. This Las Vegas episode is one of their more buzzed ones this season, and it’s a very obvious possibility to win as well. Then of course there’s Jodie Foster. Sure she’s no Fincher or Scorsese, but Lesbian Request Denied is a top episode for OITNB’s first season and with the deafening buzz it has, it’s likely she’ll get in here. I’m also predicting the pair of writer/creator/director Louis CK and Lena Dunham. Both have been nominated here for the past two seasons of their shows though I have to say Louis CK is probably the more assured contender here as compared to Dunham. But this semi-sort of creative resurgence for Girls can give her a nod here. As for the last spot, I’m giving it to the duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller simply because they love pilots in here and it’s the most logical pilot in contention, and second, the duo comes from a hit summer film and a great 2014 year so far.
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Episodes, Episode 305 (David Crane, Jeffrey Clark)
• Louie, Pamela Part 3 (Louis CK, Pamela Adlon)
• Louie, So Did the Fat Lady (Louis CK)
• Orange is the New Black, I Wasn’t Ready (Pilot) (Liz Friedman, Jenji Kohan)
• Veep, The Special Relationship (Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche)
Sixth nominee: Girls, Beach House (Lena Dunham, Jenni Korner, Judd Apatow)
As much as it does not make sense, Episodes is 2/2 so far when it comes to getting a nomination, so it’s really hard to bet against it. Thus, I guess I’m going with it for my first slot here. Then the writing/directing categories is a haven of some sort for pilot episodes, and I think that will put I Wasn’t Ready in a good position for a nomination as well. Louis CK has won in this category two years ago and has three nods under her belt, so a nod is assured. So Did the Fat Lady is his best contender this year, and I won’t be surprised if it goes on and win all the way. The risk I’m doing though is to predict two Louie nominations here, though I guess I’m putting a lot of faith with the writers and they have delivered before. As for Veep, they finally did the right thing of submitting only one episode for consideration, so it’s really easy to rally up at this point, though I won’t be surprised if it misses simply because it’s not even their best episode of the season (Debate anyone?) and that this sort of “submitting only one episode” has backfired in the past (last year’s Arrested Development as for starters).
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live”
• Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live“
• James Earl Jones, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Nathan Lane, “Modern Family”
• Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Jeremy Renner, “Louie”
Seventh nominee: Andy Samberg, “Saturday Night Live”
Right now, two previous winners are in the running this year: Jimmy Fallon for SNL and current champ Bob Newhart for The Big Bang Theory, and I think it will be an easy repeat of nomination for the both of them. Then there’s Louis CK coming back for a consecutive nod for SNL as well. Louis CK is one the Emmys love to nominate and he has been beating his own record the past few years already, so another nod here isn’t surprising at all. I think James Earl Jones will get nommed as well since Big Bang managed to pull of a win for an overdue veteran last year, so they know how to headline their vets to get awards traction. As for Nathan Lane, it’s really hard to argue against him especially if he managed to get in for a cameo-like performance last year. And he even had meatier role this year. The last spot I reserve for that “dramatic” performance that usually gets in every year (Eli Wallach and Bobby Cannavale for Nurse Jackie, and Idris Elba for The Big C the past four years), and this year I think Louie is the show getting that slot, and my bet is on 2x Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. His performance is very dramatic and no comedy element to it at all, but his sheer star power can and Oscar pedigree can give him an Emmy nod as well.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Sarah Baker, “Louie”
• Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black“
• Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
• Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
• June Squibb, “Girls”
Seventh nominee: Ellen Burstyn, “Louie”
Despite her SNL guesting going mediocre over the years, it’s hard to bet against Melissa McCarthy getting in once again so that’s one slot. The same can be said for Tina Fey who got in the last three years she was eligible here. In a fair world, none of them are getting nominated. And with Shameless shifting to the Comedy categories , it’s easier to get confident with Joan Cusack’s chances. If she can get in every single year in a more competitive Drama, this one is an easier path to a repeat nomination. And then we have Oscar nominee June Squibb. La Squibb is in contention for three different performances in this category: Girls, Glee, and Getting On. My bet is on Girls though since it’s her baitiest one (she’s on the brink of death, voters!!!). Then as for the last two spots, I have reserved one for an Orange is the New Black. My bet is on Laverne Cox since it’s more of a statement of some sort for someone like her to get awards recognition and her episode submission is basically where her character is the focus of it. But then again, I really wouldn’t be surprised if she missed instead for co-star Uzo Aduba. Aduba has been the viewer favorite character all along, and she’s been working the circuit the past few months. And then the last slot I’m giving to a Louie lady. I went with Sarah Baker with the same reasoning of why I went with Laverne Cox: her episode is the more buzzed Louie one. But then again, she’s up against Oscar winner and Emmy semi-fave Ellen Burstyn. Last year, the Emmy went with the popular Oscar winning actress (Melissa Leo) over the online favorite (Parker Posey), and I won’t be surprised if they follow the same format this year with Burstyn getting in over Baker.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”
Seventh nominee: Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family”
So will Modern Family get four actors again? I won’t be quick to say that again. Last year, Stonestreet missed a year after winning, so I won’t be too easy in thinking they’d get all of them in as well. Let’s get with the easy ones: Ty Burrell is making it in. I think he’s the last standing survivor when the Emmys start to drop it. And for some reason, they have a hard on for Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He’s the only other guy aside from Burrell to get in the past four seasons, so I think he has the other advantage as well. And then of course we have current champ Tony Hale from Veep who probably has a huge chance of repeating that win. I’m also predicting Andre Braugher. I mean if he can get two nods out of Men of a Certain Age, they won’t let the opportunity of nominating him for a comedic role pass by. And of course he’s good in it. I’m going back and forth with Girls’ Adam Driver since he seems like a one time thing, and I’m expecting a decline of nods for the show in general, but between his film projects and his recent Star Wars casting, he’s slowly building the clout to have a strong résumé. The last spot I’m reserving for the two Modern Family men. Ed O’Neill can easily go on for his fourth consecutive nod here, but my hunch is that like Jane Lynch’s comeback last year, Eric Stonestreet will have his this year especially since it’s a crucial season for his character.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black”
• Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
Seventh nominee: Merrett Wever, “Nurse Jackie”
Unlike the men of Modern Family, the women have an easier time getting in annually just because there are only two of them in this category. Thus, it’s easy to say that both Julia Bowen and Sofia Vergara will be back as nominees again. And the same can be said for The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik who even got an individual SAG mention earlier this year which pretty much indicates that there’s a level of support for her performance. If only for the reason that she’s in Veep, and I’m sensing an upward trajectory in terms of its overhaul nod, I’m predicting Anna Chlumsky this year too. She doesn’t have a winning season or a winning tape, but I don’t see her being a one time deal here (even if she makes sense as one). And since her last nomination eight years ago, it’s nice to finally see Allison Janney back in the race, even doing some sort of the record Edie Falco had (by winning a Lead Drama and Comedy Actress Emmy) only this time, she’ll do the Supporting one for her role in Mom. This has been some sort of a banner year for Janney in TV if her double wins at the Critics Choice Awards is too looked at. And lastly, we have current champ Merritt Wever versus Kate Mulgrew. It’s quite odd that Wever isn’t a shoo-in when she beat those four ladies I’m predicting as “sure bets” in this category, but it’s the Emmys we’re talking about here, and a surprise of some sort usually happens. The reason I predicted Kate Mulgrew over here there though is that because Mulgrew is a respected veteran who hasn’t been nominated for any Emmy yet, and she seems poised as the most logical supporting actress from Orange to make some sort of impact in this race.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
• Louis C.K, “Louie”
• Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”
Seventh nominee: Robin Williams, “The Crazy Ones”
TALK. ABOUT. BARREN. Oh god this category can’t even get any more lively after Alec Baldwin’s exit last year. Well let’s begin with Jim Parsons, as surely he’s one of the two I’m 100% confident in. The other is definitely Louis CK. While his is not the type of performance they usually reward here, a nomination is another thing. So whatever happens in this category (may it be a revamp or the same old line up), those two would manage to be in the final line up. We also have Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg who benefits from a weak line up. If we still have the Carells and the Baldwins here, I’m sure he would be struggling to get a nomination to be honest. And that’s coming from someone who LOVE him in Brooklyn Nine Nine. Just like his show, Matt LeBlanc seems to have his fans in the voting Academy that I won’t be surprised if he gets in again. I mean I had him as an alternate last year and look at what happened. You also get to predict Don Cheadle at this point even if his show stopped making sense a long time ago simply because we have to fill in the six slots here. Oh my god that was very boring to type. And in a certain surprising turn of events, Shameless suddenly decided to shift genres this time, and if there’s one benefit I see happening from that, it’s that William H. Macy can take advantage of this line up to finally get himself a Lead Acting nom. I mean if not him, who else is there? Thomas Middleditch in a show no one cared about? Jonathan Groff in a show everyone cared about… to trash? Canceled sitcom stars Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox? This is so barren that Macy can consider himself lucky.
Sadly the same can’t be said about his co-star Emmy Rossum.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
• Anna Faris, “Mom”
• Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
• Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”
Seventh nominee: Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project”
I mean at this point who even cares? Let’s just send the Emmy to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ home and we’ll be done with this. Or not. Maybe because she’ll give an extremely awesome speech the way she did the last two years. But yes, Julia’s winning this easily so let’s just see the five other clappers in this category. First we have Edie Falco. Nurse Jackie‘s sort of semi-comeback among awards show contenders means only two things: 1. the show is having some creative resurgence or 2. the field is so empty. I guess I’ll leave the answer to you then. Then we have Lena Dunham in possibly the best season she had as an actress of the show. I think that if the field continues to be this weak here, Dunham can manage to survive one to two more Best Actress nods under her belt regardless of the show’s reception. And then there’s forever the bridesmaid Amy Poehler. At this point, Poehler had done everything to win the Emmy, but voters aren’t really responding to these type of Michael Schur characters (I mean hello Steve fucking Carell). In the past, she already submitted a two parter, achieved a nod when her show is a Series nominee, got Writing and Acting nod the same year and yet none of those still worked. So I guess a nomination would suffice again this year. Then this year’s newbie is filled by Taylor Schilling as the core character from the huge ensemble of Orange is the New Black. That last spot I can see can go to Mindy Kaling (who’s a past nominee for Writing) and her announcing the Emmy nods might be an obvious indicator of that, but I guess I wouldn’t just underestimate Chuck Lorre at this point so I’m going with Mom‘s Anna Faris for the last slot.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
• Brooklyn Nine Nine (NBC)
• Louie (FX)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)
Seventh nominee: Girls (HBO)
And we’re here at the final stretch. Okay let’s get the obvious ones out of the way. Modern Family is soooo getting in so there’s Slot 1. Veep is easily making it for Round 3 so there’s Slot 2. Orange is the new Black is too big to ignore that if there’s only one room for a newbie here, that would be it. So there goes Slot 3. Louie’s msot recent season has been more dramatic than comedic, but it has the critics rallying up behind it that it’s gonna be surprising if it suddenly missed after finally penetrating last year’s line up. And then there’s the fourth slot. The Big Bang Theory hasn’t achieved the same critical and commercial buzz it had last year (and yet it was used to no avail since they did not win Series), so even if their chances somehow weakened, a series nod is still manageable. Now there’s five slots already. As for that sixth slot, it starts to get tricky. On one hand, there’s Brooklyn Nine Nine a.k.a Fox’s only contender in this category. On its side, it’s a freshman show who has some sort of buzz, it’s Fox’s #1 priority here, and it’s a traditional comedy from a broadcast network. However, it’s ratings aren’t something to write home about, it doesn’t have a Tina Fey or an Alec Baldwin in its side, and that Orange is the more buzzed freshman show. Then on the other, there’s Girls. On its hit stride, voters can easily just vote the recurring nominees from last year’s batch and it can easily make it, it’s still getting awards and mentions, and its third season has been some sort of a creative resurgence from critics and fans alike. But then again, it’s not HBO’s priority, and all its buzz has dwindled so fast it’s not even the watercooler show of the season nor of this line up. Of course with the new 2% rule, there’s a possibility that we might get seven nominees in the end, but let’s stick to the current six line up. Now who do I think gets in that coveted last slot. I guess I’m going with Brooklyn Nine Nine by a hair over Girls. I think there’s more buzz for the former and traditional comedy shows still has their hold in this category despite the slow HBO dominance the past few years. Plus, the shelf life for female-led/centric shows are just two seasons and they easily drop them off. Sure Sex and the City is an exception, but Ally McBeal and Glee were lucky enough to get two nods while the likes of Desperate Housewives and ugly Betty have to settle for their only pilot season series nods. So yeah, i’m going with Brooklyn in this one.
Now there you have it. Do you think Allison Janney is finally making that Emmy comeback? Will Shameless shamelessly moving to the comedy category finally catch another acting nod aside from Joan Cusack? And how many Modern Family actors can survive this season? Tomorrow, the last part as we tackle the drama categories! Thanks for reading!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl