Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Emmys Predictions: The Comedy Nominees

Despite its status as one of the best television comedies of all time, many don't realize that Seinfeld has not been nominated for an Emmy since 1998.

Here are my predictions for the comedy nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards. You can read my drama predictions here. As always, these are my predictions for who will be nominated, not necessarily who I hope will be.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

Because "nerds are dorky" jokes deserve to be rewarded year after year.

My Predictions: 
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black

Brooklyn Nine Nine

Parks and Recreation
Nurse Jackie

This category is is interesting, in that the race for nominations is not all that competitive, but the race for the award itself probably will be (more on that to come after nominations are announced). Modern Family has won this award four times in a row, and while that streak could end this year, it's still the most certain bet for a nomination. Then, we have  The Big Bang Theory, Girls, Louie, and Veep-- all of which were nominated last year, and which have not done anything to indicate they will lose that status.

Since the other nominee from last year-- 30 Rock-- is now off the air, that means that there is one spot up for grabs. This is all but a lock for Orange is the New Black. The Netflix series is, bafflingly, entered in the comedy categories instead of the drama ones. Actually, it's not that baffling. Given that Breaking Bad is going to sweep the drama categories, the promising Orange is the New Black would not be able to have all that much success there. But, the comedy categories are much more open-- most people think that Modern Family's reign will come to an end this year, and Orange is the New Black probably has the best chance to take the crown. It makes sense to enter it here...but I think it will hurt the series in the long run, at least Emmys-wise, as the series clearly is a drama, and might not be able to compete here long-term as voters struggle to continue classifying it as a comedy. But, that's neither here nor there for right now-- it's a lock for a nomination and a strong contender for the win.

The only other new series which might crack the list of nominations and unseat a longstanding nominee is Brooklyn Nine Nine. I'm a huge fan of the series and certainly think it deserves a nomination over some of my predictions (cough cough Big Bang Theory cough cough Girls) but, as a new series, it took a while to really get on its feet and I can't see it overcoming the huge Emmy-love that the other nominees have. Brooklyn Nine Nine is a bit of a wildcard, though, and could have a surprising Emmy showing. Its surprising Golden Globes domination certainly helped its chances, so it might have a shot after all.

There are also some series which were once nominated here, but which I see as unlikely to find themselves back in the running. The critically-acclaimed but largely unwatched Episodes always garners a little bit of buzz thanks to its devoted fan base, but just doesn't have the numbers to make it. Nurse Jackie, of my list of "longshots" probably has the best chance of scoring a nomination-- Merritt Wever's surprise win last year might show that the series is still in the Emmys' good graces-- but I fear the field is just too competitive, and with Orange is the New Black, the category already has a "secretly-not-a-comedy" entry on its roster. Lastly, there is my beloved Parks and Recreation, which in a just world would receive all the awards. Although is looked primed to be an Emmys favorite at one point, its failure to score key nominations the past few years has really placed it out of the running. If the Emmys gives any love to a Mike Schur series, it will be Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series:
Sadly, Lincoln is not a real series and is, thus, ineligible.

My Predictions:
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang theory 
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine Nine

John Goodman, Alpha House
Jonathan Groff, Looking
William H. Macy, Shameless

Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
Robin Williams, The Crazy Ones

This category is truly up in the air, and is rife for a lot of surprises. Of the nominees, there are really only three true locks: Don Cheadle, Louis C.K., and last year's winner Jim Parsons are all securely going to be nominated here. But, everything else is up in the air, so half of the field is still free. Two of last year's nominees-- Alec Baldwin and Jason Bateman-- do not have series in contention this year and therefore, those spots are open. The fourth nominee, Matt LeBlanc, is likely to get a nomination again, but his position is far more tenuous than his fellow nominees, due only to the fact that so few people watch Episodes. But, given how up in the air this category is, I think he's safe to get nominated again, almost by default.

But, that still leaves two spots open and they could really go to anyone. I think that, because of this, Johnny Galecki will enter the field again because the Emmys inexplicably loves The Big Bang Theory. Galecki is kind of the nominee of convenience-- he's been nominated once before, and really gets thrown in just when there are no other real options, which is the case here. But, of the other possibilities, he's the only other previous nominee here, so that does give him an edge.

Then there's one spot left. There are some big names entered here-- movie stars like John Goodman and Robin Williams, beloved television favorites like Michael J. Fox, and Broadway star Jonathan Groff. The fact that Fox and Williams' shows were canceled doesn't bode well for their chances, so I see them as longshots. Goodman has a chance, but Alpha House failed to make the splash some thought it would, so if he gets it, it's on name alone. Meanwhile, Looking doesn't seem to have any Emmy buzz whatsoever, so I don't really see Groff pulling a nomination here, but I've seen him mentioned a few times, so I thought I'd put him on the list as a possibility-- it's just a slight one. So, I don't see these particular big names really making a huge impression.

Instead, I think the nomination will go to either Andy Samberg for Brooklyn Nine Nine or William H. Macy for Shameless. While Shameless has been on the air for a few seasons, it has submitted as a drama for the past few years, but switched to submitting as a comedy this year since it wasn't having any luck. Macy has starpower, and people have responded well to his performance, so this move might pay off for him and score him a nomination-- I wouldn't be surprised at all if this happens. But, then again, the genre switch might piss some people off and work against Macy. That means...and I can't believe I'm saying final nominee prediction is Samberg. I love Brooklyn Nine Nine, and Samberg is a lot of fun on it...but he's not really acting by any definition of the word. No one would watch this show and think he gives a tour de force performance, and I initially didn't really see him getting any awards consideration at all.'s the thing: he won the Golden Globe. That gives him a surprising air of credibility, and if Brooklyn Nine Nine can generate enough Emmys buzz, he's in the running here. Somehow.

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series:
Veep and the V.P.
My Predictions:
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black

Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Anna Faris, Mom

This category is a little bit more cut and dry-- of last year's six nominees, two are ineligible (Laura Dern and Tina Fey) but the other four are locks to repeat a nomination for this year. That means that Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Amy Poehler will definitely be nominated. Maybe This is Poehler's year to finally win? Please? She deserves it so much! Meanwhile, there are two spots open, and one will probably go to Taylor Schilling, who will ride the Orange is the New Black momentum to an Emmy nomination despite the fact that, while she does good work, her character is probably the least interesting on the show. Second least interesting. After Larry. Fuck Larry.

That means there's one spot that's open, and it will most likely go to a previous nominee who didn't get a nomination last year-- either Zooey Deschanel for New Girl or Melissa McCarthy for Mike and Molly. I give McCarthy the edge, as she actually won in the category before. If there is any upset, it will be for Anna Faris-- a new submission in this category for her show Mom. In any other category, I'd put Faris as a longshot, but when there are so few people with an actual shot of a nomination here, that only helps Faris' odds at an upset.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy:

I couldn't think of a funny caption. Something about penguins? Because they're in tuxes?
My Predictions:
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Adam Driver, Girls
Tony Hale, Veep
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family

Michael J. Harney, Orange is the New Black
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Taran Killam, Saturday Night Live

In a perfect world:
Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele, Key & Peele

Last year, Modern Family's utter domination in the supporting performance categories came to an end, with Tony Hale and Merritt Wever defeating the horde of Modern Family nominees. I think this will happen again this year-- but Modern Family is still a huge force when it comes to nominations. My guess is that, of the four adult males submitted in this category for Modern Family, it will score three nominations. Of the four, I think O'Neill (who, in the show's first year, was the only adult cast member to not be nominated) is the one who will be out of the running-- given that Ty Burrell is too beloved, and it sounds like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and previous winner Eric Stonestreet (who surprised many by failing to get a nomination last year) had some very strong episodes written for them this year. O'Neill definitely has a shot of making it in, but I think of the four, he'll be the odd man out.

If Modern Family takes three of the spots, that means there are three left. One will clearly go to last year's winner, Hale. And Adam Driver, who got a nomination last year, will probably get one again. I feel pretty strongly that Andre Braugher will also score a nomination this year. He was nominated year after year for his work on the show Men of a Certain Age, which nobody watched, and I think he will be once again awarded for his work on a much more high profile show. As with any new series, it's uncertain how it will do when the nominations are announced, but Braugher has a good shot here.

There are, however, a few wildcards. Some of Hale's fellow Veep castmembers could make a play here-- but none have any real buzz, so I didn't include anyone specific on this list. Orange is the New Black is set to do very well at the Emmys, and while its predominantly female cast has the best chance of faring well, if any male cast member has a shot at a nomination, it's veteran character actor Michael J. Harney (Pablo "Pornstache" Schrieber submitted himself in the Guest Performer category). Meanwhile, last year's sixth nominee was Bill Hader for Saturday Night Live, and it's possible (although not exactly likely) that another SNL cast member will take his place. If anyone does, it would probably be Killam-- his Jebidiah Atkinson character is pretty fantastic. Although, if any performers from a sketch comedy show deserve a nomination, it's the titular stars of Key & Peele, who both submitted themselves in the supporting category. What I wouldn't give to see Keegan-Michael Key and/or Jordan Peele pull off an upset nomination in this category! Hell, Peele deserves it if only for the Continental Breakfast sketch.

At one time, I would have also put Neil Patrick Harris down as a good bet for a nomination. His portrayal of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother won him lots of nominations in the past, and although he hasn't managed to get one in the past few years, the fact that it was How I Met Your Mother's final season could help him with Emmys voters an see him return to the contenders circle. But, then How I Met Your Mother made one of the worst finales in television history and it lost any chance of gaining any real Emmys love at all, including for Harris. Fun Fact-- the finale episode of How I Met Your Mother is submitted in the Outstanding Writing category. So...someone is either delusional, or just submitted it as a joke.

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy:

Poussey and Taystee watch an episode of Girls and they are not happy about it.
My Predictions:
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Danielle Brooks, Orange is the New Black
Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black
Laura Prepon, Orange is the New Black
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Jane Lynch, Glee
Samira Wiley, Orange is the New Black

Margo Martindale, The Millers

Before you ask me why some of your favorites from Orange is the New Black are not here, relax. Many of the cast members-- including Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Lea DeLaria, Natasha Lyonne, and Taryn Manning, submitted themselves in the guest performer category, where they all have a great shot at a nomination-- especially Aduba and Cox. Sadly, and a little perplexingly, Michelle Hurst did not submit herself for any awards consideration, which I think is a shame, considering what wonderful work she does as Miss Claudette. But, to be fair, she doesn't give anything even resembling a comedic performance, so maybe if this show had been submitted in the drama categories where it belongs, she would have been a presence here.

But, even with these performers in the guest performer categories, this category is crowded with Orange is the New Black nominees-- with four actresses having submitted themselves. I think many of them have a good shot...but they face an already really crowded category. It seems impossible to think that Orange is the New Black won't do well here, but which returning nominees will they knock out to earn a place at the table? Surely not last year's winner and expert speech-giver Merritt Wever, who probably won't win again, but is assured a nomination. And surely not Julie Bowen or Sofia Vergara, who will continue to ride the Modern Family nomination train. Mayim Bialik also seems to have a nomination pretty secured down. That leaves only two spots left for the four Orange is the New Black submissions to battle for against last year's nominees Anna Chlumsky and Jane Lynch. I think-- and I cannot say this with confidence-- that Chlumsky and Lynch are going to be left out of the running this year. As loved as Lynch is, Glee no longer has any other Emmys presence and Lynch might no longer be able to show up in such a competitive category. Chlumsky, meanwhile, does great work on Veep, but is not the standout star like her co-stars Dreyfus and Hale, so she might simply be outvoted here and left without a nomination.

That leaves two spots for Orange is the New Black, and I'm going to take a HUGE risk when it comes to Emmys predictions and say that this year, there will be seven nominees. This doesn't happen a lot, although it definitely can happen (and happened in this category last year, in fact). The way the Emmys nominations work are that voters fill out ballots with who they'd like to be nominated. Typically, only the top six vote-getters win, but if more than six people score a certain percentage of votes, then a seventh nominee will be added. Given how competitive this category is, I think that's what will happen, so I'm listing seven nominees, allowing me to predict three from Orange is the New Black. I've chosen Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, and Laura Prepon as my nominees. Mulgrew and Prepon are the more recognizable faces to Emmys voters, and Brooks' outlandish performance as Taystee could earn her lots of votes over Samira Wiley's slightly more subdued performance as Taystee's cohort Poussey. But, as I said at the beginning, these are my predictions for what I think will happen, not was I want to happen. In an ideal world, Taystee and Poussey will both be nominated. And both win. And get a spinoff where they travel the world and mock white people.

The only other person I see being in consideration here is Margo Martindale for The Millers. Martindale is considered by many to be one of the best actresses on television right now, and while I don't think The Millers is really showcasing her at her best, she's one of those names that just attracts Emmy voters. In another year, it would be enough to assure her a nomination, but given how competitive this category already is, I don't see it happening this year.

And, that's it! Those are my thoughts. We still have another month before the nominees are announced, and we'll see how accurate my predictions are. Please discuss in the comments-- I'd love to know your thoughts. Who will get a nomination? Who deserves one but won't get it? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. "In an ideal world, Taystee and Poussey will both be nominated. And both win. And get a spinoff where they travel the world and mock white people." Now that's a show I would pay lots of money for.