Emmy Circuit: Can ShondaLand, Crime, and “Mom-Coms” continue success for ABC?

There’s a lot of questions swirling around ABC’s Emmy races this year. Despite bringing home 14 nominations in 2015 (good for 2nd place behind HBO), there are some questions about ABC’s ability to connect with Emmy voters. With Shona Rhimes at the peak of her powers, the question now shifts to whether or not her ShondaLand shows can get a Drama Series nomination. It’s hard to believe, but Rhimes produced shows haven’t been nominated for Outstanding Drama since “Grey’s Anatomy” pulled off the feat in 2007. Will this be her year to break through with “Scandal” or “How to Get Away with Murder?” Another question heading into the Emmy race is the status of ABC comedy. While “Modern Family” is still beloved (and will likely get a handful of nominations) was losing its streak a sign of things to come? With the rise of the ABC “Mom-Coms” (“Black-ish,” “The Goldbergs,” “Fresh off the Boat” and “The Real O’Neals”) is a changing of the guard in play at ABC? With arguably the strongest sit-com episode of 2016, “Black-ish” could be new pony for the network. Finally, “American Crime” established itself as one of TV’s must watch shows with a strong second outing. Considering the limited series race might be stronger than ever, will the top 10 show struggle, or will it rise to Emmy greatness? With a handful of nominations guaranteed in the reality show categories and variety series, expect a full court press from ABC regarding it’s Emmy chances.

DRAMA CATEGORIES 

How to Get Away With murder VIOLA DAVIS

“How to Get Away with Murder”

Viola Davis could be an unstoppable force on her road to a second win in the category. Sure buzz has fallen, but the Emmy’s don’t always go with the hip choice. Weil also had a solid season, and Tyson got the nod last year for Guest Actress. The real question is whether or not Davis will carry the show to a Series nod.

Likely nominations:

  • Best Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama- Viola Davis
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama- Liza Weil
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama- Cicely Tyson

Scandal KERRY WASHINGTON“Scandal”

The strongest all around show in the ShondaLand stable, Kerry Washington feels like a solid player in Lead Actress. However, stacked Drama categories don’t help her cause, or her co-stars. Still hope for the beloved drama though.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Lead Actress- Kerry Washington
  • Supporting Actor- Tony Goldwyn
  • Supporting Actress- Bellamy Young
  • Guest Actor- Jon Tenney

“The Catch”

The flashy new series could score big, but it didn’t really make a cultural impact the way Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder did. Still some solid performances worthy of recognition.

Likely Nominations:

  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor Drama- Peter Krause
  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama- Mireille Enos
  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination

“Grey’s Anatomy”

It seems unlikely that anyone else from the cast is going to break through for the medical drama, but maybe Pompeo finally gets a nod?

Likely Nomination

  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama- Ellen Pompeo

“Nashville”

With the show cancelled, will voters run to reward it for its apparent final season? Britton is a former nominee, Panettiere flirted with the Globes, and Jackson received a nod from critics in January.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama- Connie Britton
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama- Hayden Panettiere
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor-Jonathan Jackson

The Family ALISON PILL, RUPERT GRAVES, JOAN ALLEN, LIAM JAMES

“The Family”

This feels like Joan Allen or bust. The fact that it’s cancelled certainly doesn’t do it any favors.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama 

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

What might help the struggling network Marvel shows would be residual love for Constance Zimmer (for those who leave her off the ballot for “UnReal.” Other than that, the show seems to be confined to the creative arts.

Likely nominations:

  • Oustanding Guest Actress Drama- Constance Zimmer
  • Best Stunt Coordination
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best VFX

“Quantico”

Might get a stunt nod, but Chopra has her fans.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress Drama- Priyanka Chopra
  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination

“Agent Carter”

While Atwell would be fun, its not happening. Stunts and Visual Effects are its best chances.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination
  • Outstanding Supporting VFX

“Once Upon a Time”

Visual effects feel like a solid play, but other than that the show hasn’t really received much love from the Emmys.

Likely nominations:

  • Best Stunt Coordination
  • Best Supporting VFX
  • Outstanding Costume Design For a Limited/Fantasy Series

COMEDY CATEGORIES

JULIE BOWEN, ARIEL WINTER, NOLAN GOULD, SARAH HYLAND, TY BURRELL

“Modern Family”

The comedy juggernaut was brought to its knees last year when it lost the top prize after winning the previous 5 years. Still, a nomination is almost a sure thing, Burrell and Bowen are sure things, and Stonestreet has won his category twice before. With some really fun guest actors this season, including an increased role for Devine (who appeared in just under 50% of the episodes), it could score some extra nominations in the creative arts.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy- Ty Burrell
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy- Jessie Tyler Ferguson
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy- Eric Stonestreet
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy- Ed O’Neill
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy- Julie Bowen
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy- Sofia Vergara
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy- Adam Devine
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy- Ray Liota
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy- Keegan Michael Key
  • Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Casting
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing

“The Goldbergs”

I think this might secretly be the best comedy on the network, but is largely overshadowed by the success of its sister shows. McLendon-Covey is amazing on this show, and Oswalt really deserves to get through for Outstanding Narrator. After all, “Jane the Virgin” proved a comedy could get that nod last year, maybe Oswalt is the representative this time around?

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress- Wendi McLendon-Covey
  • Outstanding Narrator- Patton Oswalt
  • Outstanding Casting
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing

RANDALL PARK, FORREST WHEELER, CONSTANCE WU, HUDSON YANG, IAN CHEN

“Fresh Off the Boat”

One of the better comedies on TV right now, but still could be 4th in line on its own network. Wu and Park might be the best couple on TV, and both are crushing their roles. Would love to see it show up in all three categories.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress- Constance Wu
  • Outstanding Lead Actor- Randall Park

“The Real O’Neals”

Easily the weakest of the “Mom-Coms” but it is hard to deny that Plimpton is great.

Likely nomination:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress- Martha Plimpton 

LAURENCE FISHBURNE, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, MARCUS SCRIBNER, JENIFER LEWIS, MILES BROWN, MARSAI MARTIN, ANTHONY ANDERSON

“Black-ish”

We’ve already touched upon “Blackish” this year, but I gotta say, what a second year for this show. I will say that I was extremely skeptical when the show was originally announced, but after “Hope” aired, there was no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best shows on TV today. With an extremely talented cast in place, I see “Black-ish” taking on the role that “Modern Family” once held for ABC sooner rather than later.

Likely nominations:

  • Best Comedy Series
  • Oustanding Lead Actress- Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Outstanding Lead Actor Comedy Series- Anthony Anderson
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy Series- Lawrence Fishburne
  • Outstanding Guest Actress- Wanda Sykes
  • Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Casting
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing

KATE SIMSES, DAVE FOLEY, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, JONATHAN SLAVIN, KEN JEONG, SUZY NAKAMURA, ALBERT TSAI, KRISTA MARIE YU

“Dr. Ken”

I’ll be honest, I don’t know a single person who watches this show. Yet, it’s gotten pretty solid reviews, and it has an odd advantage as a multicam show. Last year, CBS swept cinematography, so having someone to compete might accidently get this show nominations.

Likely nominations:

  • Best Comedy Series
  • Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series- Ken Jeong
  • Outstanding Cinematography (Multi-Cam)
  • Outstanding Editing (Multicam)

LIMITED SERIES CATEGORIES

“Madoff”

I’m not sure there’s a lot of faith in this one, but with two great performers in its lead roles, I think a lot of people will see it.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Limited Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie- Richard Dreyfuss
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie- Blythe Danner

AMERICAN CRIME - "Season Two: Episode Eight" - In an episode that features interviews with real-life Columbine teachers, along with parents and victims of LGBT bullying, Leyland High School mourns the loss of one of their own, while Leslie finds her job on the line in the aftermath of the tragedy; Curt tries to file a missing person's report with the police when he suspects his estranged wife, Lilah, has run off with their son, Peter, after she blames him for son Eric's sexuality; Becca makes a startling confession to Dan; and Sebastian reaches out to Anne in an attempt to help her bring retribution to those who caused her son Taylor's downfall, on "American Crime," WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Ryan Green) FELICITY HUFFMAN, TIMOTHY HUTTON

“American Crime”

One of the true thoroughbreds in ABC’s lineup, “American Crime” would likely be the limited series to beat if FX hadn’t had such an amazing year. That said, the show should still get plenty of nominations, with a real shot that it gets two lead actress nominations for Huffman and Taylor. A repeat win for King (who was also amazing in “The Leftovers”) might be in the cards as well.

Likely nominations:

  • Outstanding Limited Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor- Timothy Hutton
  • Outstanding Lead Actress- Felicity Huffman
  • Outstanding Lead Actress- Lili Taylor
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor- Conner Jessup
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress- Regina King
  • Outstanding Director- John Ridley
  • Outstanding Writing- John Ridley
  • Casting
  • Choreography
  • Editing
  • Sound Editing
  • Sound Mixing

What are your favorite ABC shows?
Sound off in the comments!