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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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If I’m an Emmy Voter…   4 comments

Photo courtesy of emmys.com

Now that I’m done making my predictions for the Emmys tomorrow, I’ll try to fill the shoes of those who were tasked to judge the actual Emmy categories and be in a voter mood just this time. If I happen to vote on all the categories that will be presented tomorrow (plus the four guest acting awards), here’s how my ballot will look like:

DRAMA SERIES: Homeland (Showtime)

Mad Men has four already, and while they indeed had a great season again, I’d rather spread the wealth this year. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones’s first seasons were better than the second one, I’ll wait for Breaking Bad’s series to end, and I think Homeland just brings the good week in and week out that I don’t see them topping this perfectly balanced first season; thus I’m throwing Homeland my vote.

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

This is pretty much a non contest. Both Cranston and Lewis deliver Emmy winning performance. The only difference is Cranston was rewarded thrice already, yet Lewis has none. I’m giving Lewis my vote.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

I’m happy Danes is getting the surge in her career post-Temple Grandin, and that her wonderful acting abilities is put into good use. She might have won just two years ago, but she deserves this quick of a follow up.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

This was tough. Esposito was the villain of the season and he was actually good in Breaking Bad. This is also the last chance to reward Harris for years of consistent performance, but I can’t resist to vote for Aaron Paul who perfectly compliments Bryan Cranston every single time in Breaking Bad.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

It’s really a bull that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting categories. Holloway owned this season like no other, so I’m giving my vote to her. Christine Baranski is a close second, but I’m totally voting for Miss Holloway.

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”

After watching his episode, he totally gave me Hannibal Lecter creeps. That’s enough to give him my vote.

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

What is she even doing in this category? I think she’s a solid supporting actress in her show. With that said, I’ve loved how she embraced this character perfectly and that tape just rocks on so many level.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7)

After Homeland’s The Weekend shoutout here, I’m going with Fellowes Oscar-worthy screenplay for the Christmas episode. This is totally the saving grace of an uneven second season.

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)

From start to finish, the episode is riveting. Simply riveting.

COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)

No Louie and Parks and Recreation on the list. I like both Girls and Veep, but I think they still ahsn’t developed the highest points of their series runs. Big Bang was more of a Big Blah this season. 30 Rock has had its shares of a threepeat here. Curb is a hit or miss for me. Easy vote goes to Modern Family.

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

It’s between Louis CK and Larry David, but the perennial nominee deserves it based on the long pedigree of consistent performance in his show. It’s actually too overdue to happen, but I would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”

I love you Amy Poehler, and I’m happy you won the Pawnee elections, but the Veep had my vote.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”

By a mile, the only consistent and still refreshing cast member for the third season. He really deserves the Emmy.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

Bleh batch of nominees. Where’s Jane Krakowski? She should have been winning this thing. Srsly. With that, I’ll go for our favorite bridesmaid.

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”

It’s not even a competition. Fallon owned everybody in his category, and I’m ecstatic he actually won.

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

I love you Kathy Bates, and I’m happy you can now call yourself an Emmy winner, but the moment Beyonce did Maya Rudolph is already a win worthy in my book. Distant second is Melissa McCarthy’s dress tasting skit.

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Chris McKennan, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory)

I’m still over the moon with this nomination, and this only comes once in a blue moon, so why waste your time to not vote for it. This is the best nomination this whole Emmy season.

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)

A.K.A a vote for all of his work for the show.

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice (NBC)

I have three favorite reality/competition shows: The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. The first two ahve Emmys on their mantle already. It’s time to add a third companion on the list.

REALITY HOST: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” 

Only Deeley shows enough personality that sets her apart from being just the “instruction giver.” Other hosts should really take notes.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (PBS)

I really don’t have any vote here. So anything other than American Mess Story is fine by me.

LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”

This is the perfect Sherlock performance that’s less mainstream and more convincing. Iron Man, take notes.

LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”

Say what you want about the quality of the whole TV movie but Kidman stand out front and center in this enriching performance that shows why she’s one of her generation’s top actresses.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”

Meh batch of nominees. Don’t think Harris is the stand out at all, and the others aren’t even close. Give O’Hare some props though.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”

We all know Lange is winning and she deserves it, but Paulson is the real definition of a supporting actress in Game Change. She gets my vote.

How about you? Who will you be voting for if you were an Emmy voter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (Live from Studio 6H)
• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments)
• Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)
• Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men” (Frodo’s Headshots)
• Larry David “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Palestinian Chicken)
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (The Werewolf Transformation)

Alec Baldwin is on his sixth nomination and had won twice already. While his episode Live From Studio 6H is a good one where he gets to do various characters that’s reminiscent of his winning episode, it’s not a surefire material that will give him his third Emmy. Also, the fact that 30 Rock has been some sort of a perennial nominee but not the Emmys choice for any win (they have been empty handed the last two years) gives him a disadvantage. Maybe they’ll wait for 30 Rock’s swansong last year for him and the rest of the show to be competitive again. Don Cheadle is the newbie nominee in this group, and I think it’s a result of how weak the options were this year. House of Lies isn’t necessarily a funny show, nor his submission, the pilot, has anything new to offer. I’d even put this role in the veins of David Duchovny in Californication and Thomas Jane in Hung which were both snubbed for an Emmy nomination. His exception for a nomination is a combination of a weak competition plus his star status, but not even his Emmyless state will help him all the way to the podium this year. With Leblanc coming back next year, plus a plethora of new shows, I’d be surprised if he even managed a consecutive nomination. Louis CK will surely be the winner if we based it on whole season performances. However, given his submission “Duckling”, I think it can be a hit or miss for the voters. On one hand, he gets to have 40 minutes of screentime in his episode, and this one targets more of the heart than the laughs with him doing stand up comedy for the troops. On the other hand, there isn’t any LOL moments that one expects to see given the double screentime his episode had. I think he has some other episodes that were more competitive than this one, but its not wise to dismiss his chances altogether. However, with all his other nominations (a record breaking SEVEN!), he can easily be a victim of vote splitting among voters where they will reward him with an Emmy. After six consecutive nods and one victory in the Supporting category, Jon Cryershifts to Lead status and easily gets a seventh nomination. His episode is classic Emmy bait as he gets to lose his mind and suffers a breakdown with everything happening around him. This has a combination of physical comedy, one liners, and I see him very competitive since no one submitted a sure fire winning submission. If anything, dislike towards his show is what hinders people from dismissing his chances because he is so in the race. The Emmys love his Alan Harper role so much (to the point they nominated it last year over Barney Stinson), and with a surprise SAG nom earlier this year, I can see him winning all the way. Maybe it’s because they don’t love actors portraying themselves but Larry David hasn’t still won an Emmy for his performance in the show despite him being continuously nominated. Two years ago, I predicted him with that Seinfeld episode which I took as a sign that Emmy voters will eat up, and yet he still lost to Jim Parsons. This year, he again submitted the show’s best episode, and if overdue status is to be considered, then he’ll definitely have a chance again. He is funny in his submitted episode, but it does not cater to everyone and might be divisive in general. Voters seem to love Jim Parsons‘s Sheldon Cooper so much to the point that he won against Steve Carell’s last year, and despite strong submissions from a should be three-peat of Alec Baldwin, a last for Tony Shalhoub, and a Seinfeld ep from Larry David two years ago. This year, Parsons submitted an episode that highlights the wackiness of Sheldon with him not wanting to get a haircut from others because his usual barber is in the hospital. It features him suffering a semi-breakdwon while playing the bongos during midnight and visiting the barber with scissors on his hands. It’s not as strong as his first win, but I see voters checking his name off here.

There is no standout performance per se, so we might be in for a surprise, but the past four years led us to wins in traditional sitcoms. I see the trend happening this year between Jon Cryer and Jim Parsons; however, I’m giving the edge to Parsons to mark a threepeat in this category.

Prediction: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Dark Horse: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”

Complete Rankings:
1. Parsons
2. Cryer
3. David
4. CK
5. Baldwin
6. Cheadle