Welcome back to Emmy Circuit 2015! In this series of articles, I discuss and prediction the 2015 Emmy race, noting the ever-changing landscape of these categories and tracking the ongoing buzz. I’ve already handed out some predictions for Best Actor in a Drama Series, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and Best Comedy Actress, and Best Comedy Actor. With just precious time left to predict categories before the July 16 announcement if the nominees, I turn my attention to one of the major series categories, Best Comedy Series.
One important thing to remember: due to new Emmy rules, a total of SEVEN series are nominated in this race. While seven may seem like a ton to some, those of us watching quality TV week in and week out know the truth–seven isn’t even enough.
Where do we begin? I like to start with the locks. After winning five consecutive Best Comedy Series prizes for its first five seasons, I think Modern Family will safely land a sixth nomination and contend for a historic sixth win. No TV series, comedy or drama, has won more than five Series awards, so should it win, Modern Family would stand alone as the best series in all of television, according to the Emmy voters.
Another lock I’m confident predicting is Veep. After making a surprise nomination for its first season over stiff competition for Parks and Recreation’s best season, Veep has been a stalwart Best Comedy Series nominee ever since. I expect Julia Louis-Dreyfus to very likely win her fourth Best Actress in a Comedy Series award for Veep, which should be helpful for Veep if it wants to win this category.
After that, things become less certain. While I would be shocked if The Big Bang Theory and Louie were snubbed, I would understand both missing out in the top race. While The Big Bang Theory would be the sole representation for multi-cam in this race, it’s not surprise that many view it as the NCIS of comedies–Jim Parsons gets all the love, and it’s barely won any other awards. With Louie, the critics will always have its back, but this season underwhelmed even its staunchest supporters. I think both will make a return to the race, but the definitely rank third and fourth, respectively.
Now it becomes foggy. I’ve seen many predict Transparent without blinking, some claiming it is the frontrunner to win this race…but I’m unsure. It’s not as laugh-out-loud funny as nearly all its competitors and it has a questionable Amazon factor. Netflix was a destination and proved that it could campaign back in 2013 and 2014. Amazon being in charge still gives me pause, but since the show is almost certainly going to be nominated in acting, writing, and directing, I think this logically can follow. Contract my pessimism with Amazon’s ability to represent at the Emmys, with my confidence in Netflix’s ability to fill in the spot the undeservedly lost when Orange is the New Black was deemed a Drama Series. While kooky and little odd, I think The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a strong candidate for Emmy love–with surefire nominations for Tituss Burgess and Jon Hamm and possibilities of Carol Kane and Ellie Kemper. Netflix also has Grace and Frankie, but I think that’s more of a fool’s gold than anything else.
What of past nominees that are still airing? We have Glee, which just finished its run in quite the whimper compared to the bang with which it debuted. Girls captured the zeitgeist once upon a time, but seems to be fading re: awards love. Like wise, neither Parks and Recreation nor Nurse Jackie seem poised to make waves outside of Amy Poehler and Edie Falco. Only past nominee Silicon Valley seems poised to come back.
But what of a new TV show? The Comedians looked good on paper, until the reviews were lukewarm. Black-ish seems very likely, with a unique combination of critical raves, ratings, network television, diversity, and a strong voice and vision. Eventually, new network shows must filter into this race, since Big Bang and Modern Family are getting long in the tooth. Jane the Virgin is a popular choice, and it follows suit with farcical hour-long shows of years past (Glee, Ugly Betty, etc.)…but can The CW pull it off.
Sam’s Non-Final Predictions
01. Modern Family
03. The Big Bang Theory
06. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
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