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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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Supp Actress

Yesterday, the dramatic supporting actresses took the spotlight in our analysis. It’s now time for their comedic counterparts to shine as we tackle the Emmy for Comedy Supporting Actress. We’re bound to get a new winner this year since current champ Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie was snubbed for a nomination (alongside Sofia Vergara of Modern Family).

Let’s begin with three time nominee Mayim Bialik. Solidifying her case as THE supporting actress from The Big Bang Theory, Bialik submits The Indecision Amalgamation in which her Amy plays total support to boyfriend Sheldon as he decides which gadget he’ll buy. As opposed to her previous submissions, Bialik doesn’t have a “scene” this year which is probably good for her chances as most pundits usually overrate those and her chances in general. In this episode though, she shares a dinner scene with Parsons where she plays over the top and that can probably get her some votes. She’s also coming fresh from a solo SAG nod and while that did not help Vanessa Williams or Sofia Vergara before, it indicates somewhat of a support for her.

The only previous winner in this category, 2x champ Julie Bowen firmly maintains her hold as one of the three remaining Modern Family cast to be nominated. This year, she has the opportunity to be the third person in history to have 3 Emmys in this category. Her submission, “The Feud“, is probably her weakest though. In it, she discovered that she got lice from her niece Lily, and she deals with its effect while closing a transaction with a developer. While it highlights Bowen’s strength in physical comedy, I don’t think it was able to maximize her acting skills at all. That said, far more surprising things have happened before, so I don’t think she’s necessarily out now.

Now on her second consecutive nomination, Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky submitted Detroit for this year. Opposite to her submissions last year where she plays in total control freak mode, Chlumsky is more subdued in this episode as she was relegated to the funny one liners. This ended with a confession from Selina to her character Amy and one that also touched her physical comedy with her massage scene at the end of the episode. Chlumsky’s weak spot is that Veep has perfected its use of its ensemble that a character like hers really find it hard to totally stand out. But at leas we see some range here and some “clip” material in her episode.

Gunning for a possible 2/2 this year, Allison Janney shows a different dynamic devoid of her subtle acting in Masters of Sex with her nomination for Mom. Playing the hip mother Bonnie, she submitted the episode Estrogen and a Heart Breakfast which dealt with her menopause. Ding ding ding! We have a winner. More often than not, this is an Emmy winning storyline that has given wins to many actresses before. In her episode, Janney was funny, riotous, dynamic, and just goes on a lot of range that is very different from her only Emmy winning role. It’s also a category that loves big flashy characters such as hers so it makes her case stronger. Her main con though is that Mom isn’t necessarily a well received show by the Emmys, and she’s competing with five other actresses who all belong to Series nominated shows.

Following the footsteps of Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, and Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon became the fourth cast member of Saturday Night Live to be nominated in the supporting category. While I didn’t think that Emmy would recognize her quickly, winning is an altogether different thing. In her episode hosted by Anna Kendrick, McKinnon actually appeared in a lot of sketches starting with the cold open and a slot with Colin Jost in the Weekend Update. In between, she also sang in the Dongs All Over the World, and this is a good submission per se. However, I’ll probably start to predict an SNL regular for a win once somebody starts to win. I still think they stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of all these other shows and that doesn’t work well in their favor.

And to complete it, we have veteran actress Kate Mulgrew receiving her first Emmy nod for Orange is the New Black. She submitted the episode Tit Punch in which the flashback focused on her character Red, and how she ended up in prison. While it mostly is dramatic, her range was undeniably present in this episode as we watch her character switch back and forth to flashback and present time. It’s also a complete arc for her character, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s in the most nominated comedy this year.

There’s a strong case to make for both Allison Janney and Kate Mulgrew here. It really depends on what the assigned panel will like since both make sense as the likely winner here. Mulgrew is the veteran who is in the more loved show and has the longest screentime among all nominees here. Janney, on the other hand, comes back with a bang and I’m really not buying the spread the wealth thing between her two nods since thoe are two separate panels voting in here and in Drama Guest Actress and the chance of a person voting into both is slim to none. After all, the last person who won two acting Emmys the same year is Janney’s West Wing co-star Stockard Channing a dozen years ago. In the end, I guess I’ll go with Janney here. At times, the writing is already on the wall and that Emmys will just go with it (think of Maggie Smith in 2012 as for starters). Mulgrew is a close second though. The other four are really interchangeable it doesn’t even matter anymore…unless we get a Merritt Wever win again.

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Mom
Alternate: Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Mom
02. Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black
03. Anna Chlumsky, “Veep
04. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family
05. Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory
06. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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