June 18, 2012
64th Primetime Emmy Predictions: Comedy Categories
Many of the categories on the Comedy side of things at this year's Emmys seemingly look locked up. However, with some shows showing their age (I'm looking at you 30 Rock and Glee) and other shows heating up at the right time (Veep and Girls), it seems that there may be a surprise or two (or many).
A perfect example of this is the Best Comedy series category. Shows like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and The Big Bang Theory seem like locks. 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm also seem like they will get in due to voters just ticking off those shows (which seems like a habit for them considering how many shows overstay their welcome at the Emmys). That leaves one slot left. Glee's star has fallen immensely since the end of the 1st season, but it was able to make a lot of news with the graduation of many of its characters. That may be enough to get it a final nomination in the Comedy Series category before its finally kicked out next year (let's face it, this show is never regaining the glory of its first season). Louie, The New Girl and Girls all seem like plausible threats to unseat Glee, but I think its main competition is Veep. Veep is much more Emmy friendly than its more buzzed HBO sibling, Girls, and has a cast and crew that has Emmy experience.
Meanwhile, in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category there seems to be only 7 possible choices for nominations. Two-time-winners Jim Parsons and Alec Baldwin are locks. Critically acclaimed Louis C.K. is also probably good for a nomination, while Jon Cryer will probably make a seamless transition from Supporting to Lead. Larry David should also be able to muster enough industry good will to get in. That leaves one spot left to fight for between Johnny Galecki (who was nominated last year) and Don Cheadle (who is a big time movie star). Recently, Emmy voters have oddly shunned movie stars (The Borgias did pretty well last year at the Emmy nominations but there was nothing for Jeremy Irons) so I have to give the slight advantage to Galecki.
The Best Lead Actress in a Comedy category has 4 locks (Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laura Dern and Tina Fey) but who knows how many people are actually in contention for the last two nomination slots. Zooey Deschanel and Lena Dunham are the new "it" girls of the moment while category veterans like Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Melissa McCarthy and Martha Plimpton are all there too. Let's assume one from each category gets the last two spots. In that case, I don't think any of the Girls hype translates into Emmy votes so Lena Dunham is out (meaning Deschanel is in). Meanwhile on the veteran side of things, Melissa McCarthy doesn't seem to have much momentum anymore without a blockbuster hit like Bridesmaids (plus they can reward her for her work on SNL in Guest Actress in a Comedy Series anyway) while Martha Plimpton's show has completely died in buzz (even if it is critically acclaimed). That leaves the two SHOWTIME leading ladies. Despite Laura Linney being on a fresher show, I have to give the edge to Edie Falco who seems to be one of Emmy's biggest darlings.
As for the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, it should probably just be renamed the Best Supporting Actor in a series named Modern Family. All of the adult supporting actors on that show are locks leaving only two actors from other shows a chance for a nomination. Nick Offerman should finally have enough room (with Jon Cryer's switch from supporting to lead) to get his long overdue nomination for playing one of television's best characters. That leaves one last nomination that could go to literally anybody. This is probably where the comedy side's biggest surprise nomination will be. Does it go to category favorites of year's past like Neil Patrick Harris or Jeremy Piven? Does it go to a long overdue actor like Bill Hader or Tony Hale? Or does it go to a newbie like Max Greenfield? Hopefully the Emmys don't disappoint us and go the obvious route (Chris Colfer).
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series has eight contenders. The Modern Family ladies (Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara), Betty White and Kristen Wiig are locks. Jane Krakowski, Cloris Leachman, Jane Lynch and Kathryn Joosten are the others in contention. Krakowski is on her way out if interest among Emmy voters in 30 Rock wanes. I'm expecting that to be the case. I'm also expecting the news of Kathryn Joosten's death to be a little to late and the competition a little too fierce for her to breakthrough in this category. By process of elimination that leaves Cloris Leachman and Jane Lynch.