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

Emmy Comedy Lead Actress

Hi there! We now approach the last comedy acting category for this year, as we save the best ladies for last. Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with regards to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Emmy. Is she really a sure thing? Can Amy Poehler follow her Globe win with an Emmy? Is Taylor Schilling the next Orange acting Emmy winner? Or will Melisa McCarthy snoop it out of nowhere like in 2011?

I guess let’s begin with 5x nominee here and still Emmy empty Amy Poehler. For this year, she submitted “Recall Vote” where in everyone was shocked to see that Leslie will lose by a landslide. This caused much stress to her and led her to get drunk with Ben instead and consider of getting a couple tattoo with him. Through the help of best friend Ann, Leslie gets up to her senses and made the most out of her remaining 30 days in position. This is a good submission by Poehler seeing the contrast of fun and wacky Leslie to the responsible and ideal one. However, the bias against Greg Daniel shows’ lead characters (filed under Carell, Steve) is always present. It also doesn’t help that Poehler had literally submitted anything during her previous four bids to no avail. I think the time has passed already to win for this role, at least.

After missing out last year, Melissa McCarthy comes back for her third nomination for Mike and Molly. Her episode “Mind Over Molly” is a classic and traditional competitive Emmy submission as it plays the laughter and the emotion when she dealt with her deceased father over therapy. While her 2011 victory can be credited to her breakout soon to be Oscar nominated role in Bridesmaids, her summer film Tammy panned out this year which doesn’t help her chances. That said, this is really a great episode and she represents the traditional comedy sitcom in this line up that it’s hard to dismiss her.

It was good that Netflix was easy to switch genres even before campaigning (though they flubbed at the Globes) since Taylor Schilling has no chance in hell to win, let alone be nominated in the drama category. In comedy, however, she is really competitive. While I was expecting her to submit the show pilot since it makes sense for her character, she went with the broader comedic episode of The Chickening. While she managed to avoid the darker material of her character, she really wasn’t able to showcase the comedic ones as well. That said, Schilling is one of last season’s breakout stars that if there’s a really sudden surge of love for the show, she’s a fitting representative to be rewarded.

Edie Falco continues her reign of nomination here after her victory in 2010 for Nurse Jackie. Not only is she reaping Emmy nods, but she’s coming back again to be nominated at the Globes and SAG as well. As for this year, she went with “Super Greens” which has Jackie mixing her personal and work life as a mother, worker, friend, and wife in it. It’s a serious episode which had Falco resort again to her meds and see her sponsor again. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s front and center in her episode, though  this is more dramatic than her winning one four years ago.

Like her on-screen partner Adam Driver, Lena Dunham had a better tape this year with “Role-play” but decided to go somewhere else and submitted “Beach House” instead. I call this the Tina Fey syndrome. in 2007, Fey had a competitive tape via The C Word but went with her written episode Up All Night. Alas, it led to America Ferrera winning the Emmy. Lena is one of the three writers of Beach House, and to her credit, it’s probably up there in the best episodes the show has produced. However, it’s too much of an ensemble work and doesn’t give her plenty of moments to shine. I guess she’s counting on the overall strength of the episode to get her high rankings from the panel, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to take home the trophy.

But then again, most of these talks are moot since it’s Julia Louis Dreyfus’ world, and we’re all just living in it (and deservedly so). For her role as Vice President Selina Meyer in Veep, not only does Julia and her team know how to play the game, they’re even running the game at this point. Her submitted episode, Crate, showed a gamut of emotions when news is delivered to Selina about her presidency dreams. This happens after she was already down and lashed out to her team for being ineffective. It also doesn’t hurt that Veep is now in an upward trajectory at the Emmys garnering a writing nomination and a fourth acting one for the acting team. Julia’s domination the past few years is on an all level high, and this will definitely be one of the easier calls of the night.

At this point, I don’t know if “people sick of Julia” is existent. I mean Helen Hunt won 4 consecutive times and Candice Bergen won five times in a seven year span. Besides, after 12 different winners for 12 different years from 2001-2012, we’re bound for some repeat wins again here….at least for this year. What’s probably the most exciting thing about this more than the race is what Julia’s speech will be like this year. I mean the expectations are high after the speech mishap in 2012 and bringing Tony Hale with her last year no?

Prediction: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
Alternate: 
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly

Full Rankings:
01. Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
02. Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly
03. Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black
04. Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation
05. Lena Dunham, “Girls
06. Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

 

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

Emmy Comedy Guest Actress

Now that I’m done with the TV movie and miniseries categories, let’s now begin to dissect the guest acting categories of the drama and comedy series of the past television season. For today, we’ll be highlighting the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series nominees. While I personally am still opposed with combining variety performers into this, it seems like they’re here to stay, but I wish there was room for Sarah Baker in Louie, which will definitely make my personal ballot for this year. Now as for the actual nominees…

Proving that she really has a hold in the guest actress category may it be drama or comedy, Joan Cusack gets her fourth consecutive nomination as Sheila Jackson in Shameless. Not only is she still the most nominated actor from her show, but she still has a perfect track record when it comes to getting nods for all her seasons. The move to comedy is an advantageous move for this one SNL regular since her submission this year is indeed funny. In “Liver, I Hardly Know Her“, we see Sheila resort to an alternative cheaper plan in order to fix Frank’s liver problems only to see it go awry. This ended with a glorious moment for Sheila when she decided to marry Frank in the hospital.

Speaking of SNL ladies, we have Tina Fey getting her fourth nod as well in this category, once again, for hosting the season opener of SNL. At this stage, as much as I love Tina, this is just name checking on their part since she’s not even the focus of this episode, and even her cold opening has her giving the spotlight to the newbie cast members of the said show. Her only funny bit in this is the Girls parody and that happened in the first segment after the intro. The rest of the episode has her but on a limited use.

The other SNL host nominated this year is Melissa McCarthy who’s now enjoying her third bid in this category as a host for this variety program. While I’m still confused how she lost the first year (though in hindsight that was Kathy Bates playing Charlie Sheen, so I should have known better), her material keeps on getting weaker over the years. The same can be said about her hosting stint this year, though I must admit that of all six episodes here, she has the broadest (re: in your face) comedic style in her episode. She gets to be physically funny and does her usual “angry woman” shctick in it. On one hand, this might work to her advantage, but on the other, if she was passed up the last two years, I don’t see how it will all change up for this year then? I have to say though that between Fey and her, the latter’s submission is miles ahead better than the former.

And dominating this category is Orange is the New Black filling up half of the six slots in this lineup. Getting that surprise nod is Natasha Lyonne who plays Nicky Nichols on the show. Lyonne’s submitted episode “WAC Pack” fortunately is a flashback of her character so that works well on her side. But then again, she shares the flashback scenes with that of Laura Prepon’s character, and hers was the dramatic arc of the episode. It has her dealing with the drug addiction, and seeing a mother in Red, and I don’t know if that’s enough to stand out in this race.

Laverne Cox also gets a flashback of her own in the Directing nominee episode “Lesbian Request Denied” which was directed by Jodie Foster nonetheless. As Sophia, we have witnessed in this episode how she deal with her gender reassignment operation and unlike, Lyonne, she was the focus of this episode. It is an open secret though that it wasn’t Cox who played the male version of Sophia in the episode and it was her twin brother, so I don’t know if it will affect the voting pattern. Methinks that people won’t even realize that, and think that it is Cox doing double duties which can work well on her favor.

Lastly, submitting the same episode as co-star Cox is one of TV’s breakout stars Uzo Aduba. Sure it’s crazy (eyes! LOL) to think that she submitted the episode which has her co-nominee’s flashback, but when you watch it, Aduba’s moments were the comedic breathers of the said submissions. In this, she gets to be totally crazy with Piper’s character calling her “dandelion” and following her everywhere. The episode also ends with Suzanne doing a “revenge” to Piper after her continuous dismissal of her. It is a pure comedic performance as compared to the two other Orange ladies.

While I’m not sure if Orange is the New Black will be rewarded with acting wins for lead star Taylor Schilling or supporting actress veteran Kate Mulgrew, I think it will find its win over here. I see it as a two person race between Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox. Aduba needs to overcome the great moments that Cox had in their submission, though the buzz for her is really growing. However, one factor that might be telling in figuring this out is that the guest tapes aren’t edited for the first time this year, so that puts her at some sort of a disadvantage. Add the fact that it will be a historical moment if the Emmy makes a statement of rewarding a transexual, and I predict Laverne Cox to win the Emmy here via a strong combo of submission and narrative. If they’re not in a giving mood for Orange here, then expect Melissa McCarthy to finally grab a win in this category then.

Prediction: Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black
Alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black

Full Rankings:
01. Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
02. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
03. Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
04. Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
05. Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black
06. Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

 

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

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:

Comedy Directing

• 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:

Comedy Writing

• 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:

Comedy Guest Actor

• 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:

Comedy Guest Actress

• 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:

Comedy Supp Actor

• 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:

Comedy Supp Actress

• 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: 

Comedy Actor

• 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:

Comedy Actress

• 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:

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

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

comedy guest actress

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Lupe Ontiveros, “Desperate Housewives[WRONG]
2006:
Blythe Danner, “Will & Grace[WRONG]
2007:
Judith Light, “Ugly Betty[WRONG]
2008:
Carrie Fisher, “30 Rock[WRONG]
2009:
Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live[CORRECT]
2010:
Betty White, “Saturday Night Live[CORRECT]
2011:
Gwyneth Paltrow, “Glee[CORRECT]
2012:
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live” [WRONG]

And to finally complete the four guest acting categories, let’s go on and tackle the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Historically, I’ve done really bad in this category unless there’s a frontrunner, and even then, I still sometimes stumble (coughMelissaMcCarthycough). With that said, let’s first give some spots to snubbed performances such as those of Liza Minelli in Arrested Development (what does she have to do to get that late but deserved nod!??), and Parker Posey in Louie. Anyway, let’s begin!

Speaking of Louie, Melissa Leo picks up her second Emmy nod in three years; this time, it’s her comedic turn for Louis CK’s show. In her episode Telling Jokes/Set Up, the aggressive Laurie makes some moves on Louie after being set up by a common friend. Melissa Leo really has some LOL moments in her episodes, and it doesn’t even need much introduction to see the fun in her character. I think she has the most memorable scene among all the tapes in this category. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s an Oscar winner.

Then you have the other Melissa…Melissa McCarthy that is. After her surprising loss for Saturday Night Live last year, her second hosting stint once again gained her a consecutive nod in this category. Truth be told, this wasn’t even comparable to the great pilot hosting stint she had last year, but if Emmys want to play nice and catch up with her, then she’s definitely in the running.

Speaking of SNL, previous perennial Supporting Actress nominee Kristen Wiig hosts the show for the first time after ending her stint as a mainstay on the show. She has the longest episode here, as she appears in all the gags throughout the show. It’s also a different dynamic every time a previous mainstay comes back and host the show. However, as proven many times in the past, Emmys are the least sentimental awards group, and they probably won’t even care for this narrative at all.

Another past SNL mainstay is nominated here, though not necessarily for hosting the show. Molly Shanon picks up a surprise Emmy nod for a somewhat resurgence of love for HBO’s canceled series Enlightened. In her episode The Ghost is Seen, she played the person whom Amy used in order to get their needed files. Shannon comes off as very sympathetic by the end of the episode, and while I won’t be surprised if she somehow wins it, I feel that her odds are relatively small as compared to the other women here.

2007 champ here Elaine Stritch comes back for her last shot for 30 Rock after missing last year here. As a perennial nominee, it’s surprising how she was left off the list last year, but with one win and multiple nods under her belt, it’s one of the easier nods to predict this year. As for her submission My Whole Life is Thunder, let’s just say it puts Coleen Donaghy’s character back to full circle, and this one tugs your heart the most. However, same as Wiig’s case, Emmys are very far from sentimental though let’s see if they give her a free pass for it.

To close this one, we have another perennial nominee: Glee‘s Dot Marie Jones. Jones is on her third consecutive nod this year, and while it amazes me how she still keeps getting nominated, I’m more surprised how voters favor her much. It is wise of her to submit the show’s most buzzed episode Shooting Star, though I don’t think she has any Emmy worthy submission this year, so at least she gave her best shot in it.

There’s a lot of directions this category can actually end up going with. I guess I have to go with Elaine Stritch then. The Emmys usually give farewell wins to shows they really love (Frasier, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond) and they do it by throwing out acting wins. This can be an easy farewell to both Stritch and 30 Rock the show. If not her, they maybe either one of the Melissas grab the momentum. There are instances when Emmys play catch up so McCarthy might benefit from this, then the movie star in a TV guest stint might be too big to ignore for them and works for Leo. Though with that last part, I’m still adamant with a Louie actor winning for the show and it’s not someone names Louis CK. Stritch then, I guess.

Prediction: Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Runner-Up: Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

Full Rankings:
1. Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
2. Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
3. Melissa Leo, Louie
4. Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
5. Molly Shannon, Enlightened
6. Dot Marie Jones, Glee

To check out other Emmy predictions, you can see them here.

Also, you might want to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl” (Bad in Bed)
• Lena Dunham, “Girls” (She Did)
• Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Disneyland Sucks)
• Tina Fey, “30 Rock” (The Tuxedo Begins)
• Julia Louis Dreyfus “Veep” (Tears)
• Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly” (The Dress)
• Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (Win, Lose, or Draw)

It girl Zooey Deschanel gets a nod for playing the title character in FOX’s hit comedy New Girl. In her episode, she tries to learn how to properly seduce the character of Justin Long so she asks the help of the guys, watches porn for practice, and buys kinky S&M outfit. While she was funny on her scenes, her episode also contains an equally hilarious storyline with Schmidt wanting to impress his pregnant boss when and pushed her in the pool. Deschanel can also be lost in the middle of all these performances, but I’d give her props for mixing physical comedy with her usual funny line deliveries.

Lena Dunham is the Emmys’ it girl this year garnering nods for writing, directing, acting, and producing the HBO comedy “Girls”. Sadly, her episode, which is the season finale, didn’t highlight her that much and did not introduce her character well to voters. I actually like her last few scenes from the train to the beach, but I don’t think it will stand out amidst the group of actual hilarious performances by the other nominees. If anything, she’ll get her consolation in the Writing category where she’s the actual frontrunner.

Up until now, Edie Falco still holds the record for the only actress who has wins for Best Actress both in the Drama and Comedy genres. her Comedy win is for the show where in she’s nominated again this year, Nurse Jackie. In her submitted episode, Falco goes to rehab which she dubbed as “Disneyland” and gets a visit from her daughter wherein she pretended that she was working there. This is a very good submission from Falco showing her great acting chops. Is Falco good? Definitely. Is it comedic enough? Nope. And that’s the reason on what will hinder her from the win.

After her first year submission blunder, Tina Fey has been a very good submitter when it comes to the Emmys, that’s why one cannot eliminate and dimish her chances when analyzing and viewing the tapes. The same can be said this year where in Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy portrayed a Batman like stunt to save New York. Fey, complete with hilarious make up and playing various characters, is definitely on the top of her game with this episode and could have been an easy winner any other year. However, like what I mentioned earlier, while Fey is a consistent good submitter, she hasn’t received a second win in this category, and I don’t think this will change this year. There’s no denying though that this is her best submission since Reunion three years ago.

Julia Louis Dreyfus is one of the actresses that Emmy really loves. How she propelled a victory in 2006 is a big testament to that. Since then, she has been a perennial nominee and has received Emmys for both of her last two shows where in she’s a regular. This year, the same pattern happens when she’s nominated for her performance as Vice President Selena Meyer. In her submitted episode, she played the underdog with matching tears after receiving disappointment numbers from the people. Julia’s capability to shift from an underdog lady who misses her daughter to a foul mouthed official when she’s ranting to her staff will definitely stay with the voters. It also helps that the show is received enough even bagging a surprise Comedy Series nomination.

Melissa McCarthy‘s surprise win last year was mainly caused of Bridesmaids, but she has established so much this year that she can make her performance remain on the voters’ radar for the consecutive this year. I’m surprised how strong her tape is, as it dealt  with typical Emmy bait when she tries so hard to lose weight to fit in her wedding dress. I think this will work well with voters, and like the case of Jon Cryer, the disdain over her show and surprise Emmy win is what makes others dismiss her Emmy chances. I think that she’s in this race, and while I don’t think she’ll be the one to break the no wins here in this category, among the three past winners, she has what it takes to do so.

Amy Poehler should have an Emmy already in her mantle, and it’s a surprise that she still hasn’t received any after being nominated the last five years (combination of SNL and Parks and Recreation). This year, she submitted the season finale in which it was finally revealed what’s there for Leslie’s political ambitions. I see Poehler’s fate the same as Louis CK’s that if we based it on season long submission, she has a stronger chance, but she submitted an episode that works more on the heart rather than the laughs. Not that it’s a bad thing, and I think it’s a really good submission for Poehler; however, Greg Daniels characters haven’t had any luck in terms of any Emmy recognition, and I sadly don’t see any Emmy for Amy’s way. I’d be totally glad if she pulls it off though.

This is really difficult to predict especially the blunder re:tape of Zooey Deschanel, so every ranking really matters. For all we know, those who got the most number one votes also got the last place ones and someone who’s simply in the middle of the pack wins. For now, I’m going with Julia Louis Dreyfus who combines Emmy predigree, good tape, and right buzz for the win.

Prediction: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”
Dark Horse: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Complete Rankings:
1. Louis Dreyfus
2. Poehler
3. McCarthy
4. Deschanel
5. Dunham
6. Fey
7. Falco