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68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

After the reality and variety, plus TV movie and limited series, we continue our 2016 Emmy prediction series with the hilarious shows and performances from our comedy shows. Last year, Veep dominated winning Series, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Writing. Will they pull off the same feat again this year? Can Jim Parsons come back in the race? And will they finally give up on Modern Family?

comedy directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Any Given Saturday” (Gail Mancuso)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari)
• Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly” (Mike Judge)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Jill Solloway)
• Veep, “Kissing Your Sister” (David Mandel)
• Veep, “Mother” (Dale Stern)

Seventh nominee: Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users” (Alec Berg)

Let’s begin by me saying that I think black-ish would have a huge Emmy breakout this season. I mean, sure maybe Anthony Anderson’s surprise nod last year was maybe due to a tie, but whatever. The improved quality of the second season had the critics pushing for it. It’s also somehow of a statement show, and it says a lot that Emmy winner Gail Mancuso decided to submit for this show instead of 4x winner Modern Family here. I’ll also probably predict a lot of Master of None here, and maybe Aziz Ansari follows Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. to pick up nods for their directing and writing efforts too. Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Veep are mainstays here and it’s just a matter of choosing which show will pick up multiple nominations. Thus, bet on current Emmy champ Veep to be it.

comedy writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Hope” (Kenya Barris)
• Lady Dynamite, “Pilot” (Pam Brady & Mitch Hurwitz)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang)
• Silicon Valley, “The Uptick” (Alec Berg)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Ali Liebegott)
• Veep, “Mother” (Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck)

Seventh nominee: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Tina Fey & Sam Means)

It’s unfortunate that Lady Dynamite didn’t have an explosion in terms of reception, but it’s the writers we’re talking about here, and they’re more reactive to quality as compared to the other branches; thus, a pilot written by multiple Emmy winner Mitch Hurwitz does stand a chance to get nominated. After that, we have the same five shows I’m predicting for Directing, though if there’s a spoiler here, maybe Tina Fey gets back in the race, her first since 30 Rock.

comedy guest actor

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

• Fred Armisen, “Saturday Night Live
• Larry David, “Saturday Night Live”
• Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
• Tracy Morgan, “Saturday Night Live”
• Martin Mull, “Veep”
• Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”

Three SNL men have competed here in the past, so it’s not as if it’s something new. After all, they’re working on three entirely different narratives. Fred Armisen is a past SNL member, and we all know how much they love to nominate those previous members even in the past years alone (there’s Tina and Amy and Jimmy (winning twice) and Kirsten and Maya and Bill)! Tracy Morgan has a comeback narrative. I mean have you seen the reception to him when he presented at the Emmys last year? They LOVE him! As for Larry David, this is his first bid at an acting Emmy and him playing Bernie Sanders will help him further. Last year’s winner Bradley Whitford is back at it again, so you can pencil a nomination for him again. Then for the last two spots, I went with two Veep men: Martin Mull who played Bob Bradley, and previous Emmy nominee Peter MacNicol who I’d say is the non-SNL actor frontrunner in here.

comedy guest actress

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Ellen Burstyn, “Mom”
• Claire Danes, ”Master of None”
• Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
• Anjelica Huston, “Transparent”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Lisa Kudrow, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

I have mixed reactions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler competing as one especially since this is likely Amy Poehler’s first actual legit bid at an Emmy. But hey, if that’s what it’ll take for her to finally win, then let’s go for it. Joining her is Melissa McCarthy who got nominated for all the times she hosted SNL too, Christine Baranski who’s also a multi-guest nominee for this role. Then there’s Ellen Burstyn who’ll Allison Janney her way to both Guest Comedy and Drama nominations. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston had a much-buzzed stint on Transparent, so I think she’ll be in. Last spot is up for grabs, we have lots of contenders from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that maybe we can get in a second Guest nod for a solo Tina Fey, or the much-buzzed Lisa Kudrow, but I’ll go on a limb and say that Claire Danes gets in for Master of None. It has that Louie guest stint vibes for me, though that show is infallible as well (Sarah fuckin Baker, everyone).

comedy supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Laurence Fishburne, “black-ish”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Hugh Laurie, “Veep”

Seventh nominee: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”

Tony Hale is a given at this point, especially after winning twice for that role already. Congratulations Ty Burrell, you’re the last man standing from Modern Family, and I think he’s here to stay for the next few years. It would be such an Emmy thing to do to finally stop nominating Adam Driver since he finally made it big as a movie star, but if he can survive last year’s almost Girls shut-out, then maybe he can still squeeze in a nod or two. Tituss Burgess also seems like a possible consecutive nod. His is a role that this category loves if we’re to base it on the history of this. Andre Braugher can easily score another nod, but I think voters are already over Brooklyn Nine Nine by now, and while it is Andre Braugher we’re talking about, there’s a lot of other veterans they can nominate here… which leads me to Laurence Fishburne in black-ish. It’s a tad surprising that even after so many years, Hale has been the only Veep supporting actor nominated but maybe winning Series last year can finally score them an additional acting nod. Since there’s no consensus on who the second actor might be (Tim Simons is probably what critics will push, but Gary Cole is the only other male nominated performance from this show), so go the easy route and predict the most prominent one in the group; thus it’s Hugh Laurie.

comedy supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Judith Light, “Transparent”
• Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

It’s hilarious that all eight(!) women from last year are still eligible to be nominated again this year, but since I don’t think we’re going eight here again, I’d say Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash are the first to go. Allison Janney is definitely back and in contention for a third straight win here, and so is Anna Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski is someone they love to nominate (however, winning is a different story), so I think she’ll be back as well. And it’s safe to say that they won’t be cutting Kate McKinnon in an election season of all years, so there’s four. The last two slots are between 2x previous Emmy champ Julie Bowen of Modern Family and the two Transparent ladies — last year’s nominee Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light. All three make sense as nominees, but I feel Modern Family is going on a decline here, thus cutting Bowen off in the process.

comedy lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
• Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
• Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”
• Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Let’s begin with those that will surely be back. Of course, there’s no better way to start this than with Jeffrey Tambor who’ll even probably win this again (and deservedly so). After his surprise nod last year, I think Anthony Anderson will be back too, as well as perennial Emmy favorite William H. Macy. Will Forte scooped three major surprise nods last year, so I feel like in a relatively empty category like this one, he has the industry support and clout to pull off another one.Now this is where it gets tricky — sure Louis C.K. and Matt Leblanc aren’t eligible this time around so it’s opening up a free slot (since there are seven nominees last year). I’m currently predicting Aziz Anzari, as mentioned above already, to have his Louis C.K. (or Lena Dunham or Will Forte or whatever) moment, but I won’t be surprised if he gets Ellie Kemeper-ed in the end, meaning lead star of the nominated show snubbed. For now, I’d keep him in. As for that last slot, we can have a Jim Parsons come back again (yes as much as we’re sick of him and his show now) and Don Cheadle has been nominated all seasons his show was eligible (and this is the final season so there’s that), but I’mma go risky and put in Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal here only because I think Amazon’s really, really aggressive campaigning will at least bear one good result for them.

comedy lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
• Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
• Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Seventh nominee: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”

The question here basically is who are the five other women Julia Louis Dreyfus is beating for that fifth consecutive Emmy? As for starters, there’s Lily Tomlin who got in last year for Grace and Frankie without her partner Jane Fonda. Maybe both of them gets nominated this year, who knows? Then there’s Ellie Kemper who missed last year, but then again, last year is the most competitive category of the race since whenever so maybe it’s safe to say she’s in this year (or is she?) To continue my black-ish breakout year narrative, there’s also Tracee Ellis Ross who’ll be the first black woman to be nominated since Phylicia Rashad exactly 30 years ago (talk about narrative)! With a clear resurgence in quality, I think Lena Dunham will also be back after a year of absence. This can be a way to reward her and her season since Girls feels like an afterthought already. Now I’m definitely crazy for excluding Amy Schumer out. Sure, she doesn’t have a breakthrough big year like last year because not all years can be like that, but the lukewarm reception of this Inside Amy Schumer season feels like it’s ripe for a possible miss. Think of the other one time-nominated performances here (Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Laura Linney in The Big C, Sarah Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program, Lea Michele in Glee, Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black) — all those in really huge breakout seasons that they snubbed after. After all, I think she can get her due in the Variety Sketch category. Now this is where it gets crazier — I’m removing Amy Schumer for a CW actress. The Emmys are so allergic of CW they don’t even nominate their guest actresses (not even when they’re as legendary as Rita Moreno). But I think that sooner or later they’ll cave in. This year, they have two in contention: Globe winner this year Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Globe winner last year Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Now I don’t think both are getting in, and while Bloom is the more current one, I’d say the Emmys will be y’know.. like the Emmys and be a year late in acknowledging Gina Rodriguez just like when they nominated Tatiana Maslany when no one’s predicting her anymore.

comedy series

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish (ABC)
• Master of None (Netflix)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Silicon Valley (HBO)
• Transparent (Amazon)
• Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)

Eighth nominee: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

As for the Series categories, we have two slots freed up this year because of Louie having no season this year and Parks and Recreation‘s departure. While people are toying around with the idea of Modern Family missing already, I’m not sure that will happen yet for this year, at least. They probably have one or two years in them before they get dropped off. Meanwhile all the other four nominees are guaranteed to be back as well – current winner Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering that Netflix is really great when it comes to campaigning their own shows, I’d say Master of None gets in in a category with seven spots. And lastly, I began my mention of it and end with it too –Black-ish seems like its poised for an Emmy breakout. Not only will it be the remaining network representative (especially since Modern Family is on its way out), but it’s about family too, so expect it to be there.

Tomorrow, to complete the list, the cream of the crop among the television dramas!

Talk to me about this one on Twitter: @nikowl

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67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy supp actress

Let’s move on to the supporting ladies of comedy, which is also the biggest category of the night as we have eight nominations for this year. Mayim Bialik luckily sneaks in for another year despite The Big Bang Theory and Jim Parsons finally being dropped, so that doesn’t inspire much confidence with her chances. Kate McKinnon has opened her episode with a big Clinton skit, as well as her Jane Lynch (2010 winner in this category) impersonation, but we have yet to see a sketch show performer win in the supporting categories. Meanwhile, 2x winner Julie Bowen settled for another Valentine’s Day episode (like that of her first bid), and while her tape pales in comparison, she’s a pretty respected veteran who voters already showered with love here. Niecy Nash, the year’s surprise nominee, can win ala Merritt Wever in 2013. Not only are they playing similar roles in cable comedic series, but it’s the underrated nominee who can benefit in a large group nominations. Gaby Hoffmann gets to be high and has threeway in her Transparent episode, but if she can’t win Guest Actress for a far more in your face performance, odds are, her nominations are her reward this year. Current champ Allison Janney already knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to Emmy, proven by her 6 trophies at home, and a seventh one is indeed possible as her tape is full of physical hilarity, something this category loves. After a string of unsuccessful bids for Jane Krakowski in 30 Rock, she comes back to the race, this time for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and while her submission was met with mixed reviews, her goodwill might be enough to trumple it. Closing the group is Anna Chlumsky on her third try and possibly her closest shot yet, as we see her give a breakdown speech to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer.

This one feels like a battle between Allison Janney who has masterfully perfected the craft of Emmy process already vs. Anna Chlumsky who’s on a personal best episode in a Comedy Series frontrunner. Tony Hale managed to beat the Modern Family men in 2013, so maybe Chlumsky can too, but I’d say let’s be safe and think that Janney’s is the type of performance they reward multiple times.

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Mom”
Alternate: Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Mom”
02. Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
03. Niecy Nash, “Going On
04. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
05. Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
06. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live
07. Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent
08. Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy guest actress

After doing some of the program predictions, let’s shift to the acting categories this time around considering the Creative Emmy Awards ceremony is just around the corner. We’ll practice ladies first, so let’s do the funny ladies of Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. With no Orange is the New Black eligible this year, it freed up half of the slots from last year, though this year’s lineup is a combination of both old and new names.

Tina Fey has been a stable in this category the last few years, mostly for her hosting stint in Saturday Night Live. This time around, she’s finally nominated for a role in the series (albeit one she created) for her turn in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Her role as the incompetent prosecutor Marcia has been highlighted in her episode “Kimmy Goes to Court!” where we see her character mostly just reacting to the court scenes. This isn’t a bad episode per se, but more of an instant name checking considering the snubbed performances.

Gaby Hoffmann enters this year’s Emmys with a bang easily garnering two acting nominations in the comedy genre. One is for her role in the Comedy Series nominee Transparent, but her nomination here is for her role as Caroline Sackler. Submitting the season finale “Home Birth”, the title refers around Hoffmann’s character episode. When Caroline goes a month earlier into her labor, we see her scream in pain. It’s a pretty loud and showy performance — literally — considering that Hoffmann was nude in all scenes but one. Birth episodes have worked well in the past (once, even an easy way to win an Emmy), so the trend could continue with Hoffman.

Previously nominated for this role already, Emmy winner Christine Baranski got another nod for her role as Leonard’s mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadfer. In her submitted episode “The Maternal Combustion”, she visits her son though this time we’ve seen her clashing with Sheldon’s religious mother. While this role has brought Baranski two previous nominations already, she has yet to win for this one. She’s lucky though that co-star Laurie Metcalfe was snubbed since it’s hard to play the straight role against the showy ones (which hurts her chances), but maybe her overdue factor can help her with the Emmy win.

While Pamela Adlon has an Emmy under her name, it’s her first time to be recognized for her acting in Louie. In her episode “Bobby’s House”, her character, bearing the same name as her, went into a cross dressing adventure with Louie leading to a sex scene until she addressed the state of their relationship. The performance ended on a dramatic note, but the general feel of the episode paints her as an aggressive sexual woman which, not surprisingly, can garner her more votes.

In the five seasons that it has been on air, Modern Family has guested big stars from Tyne Daly to Minnie Driver and Ellen Barkin to Carol Burnett. But none of them managed to receive a nod for their work on the show. History was rewritten this year when Elizabeth Banks finally got Modern Family its first Guest Actress nomination. As the couple Cam and Mitchell’s friend Sal, we see another side of Banks’ character be more responsible than the usual in her submission “Fight or Flight.” However, she’s really lacking on the screentime in this episode only appearing in the early minutes only to come back and wrap up her storyline in the last few. I think the success of Pitch Perfect 2 paved the way for this nomination, and add the fact that Banks is well liked in the community. But I don’t think a path to win is that clear.

Lastly, for her role as Sheila Jackson, Joan Cusack receives her fifth consecutive nomination (and her second in the Comedy field). In her episode this year, the season opener “Milk of the Gods”, we find Sheila finally living with now husband Frank. However, her attention is focused on Sammi and Chuckie. Her highlighted scene in this episode is her discovery that they had sex in the living room and picking up the dildo below the sofa. Cusack has loss for far better episodes before, but then again, there isn’t anyone close to a real frontrunner here so that might work in her favor.

The only ones I don’t see winning here are Tina Fey and Elizabeth Banks. Both Joan Cusack and Christine Baranski might end up with the trophy if we’re talking about overdue in terms of nominated performances. However, I’m leaning to the two bolder performances – that of a crossdressing Pamela Adlon and a nude Gaby Hoffmann to dominate. While I won’t be surprised to see Adlon take the plum, Hoffmann’s one two punch of nominations this year is an indication of support that can lead to the win.

Prediction: Gaby Hoffmann, “Girls
Alternate: Pamela Adlon, “Louie

Full Rankings:
01. Gaby Hoffmann, “Girls
02. Pamela Adlon, “Louie
03. Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
04. Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
05. Elizabeth Banks, “Modern Family
06. Tina Fey, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl