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. Today, we skip to the counter-part to the last Emmy Circuit article–Best Comedy Actor.
Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series has been in a transitional period for many years. There’s no mystery that this race has widely been considered the weakest Emmy acting category for the better part of a decade, despite this Golden Age of Television. And that’s in terms of the actual nominees, and the depth of the pool from which the Television Academy chooses nominees.
This systemic weakness plays a large role in Jim Parsons dominance in this category for the better part of 5 years, in my opinion. Personally, I think Parsons deserves at least two of his Emmys (and should have won the year Jon Cryer did, though Cryer certainly won’t be in serious contention this year), but I doubt the TV Academy would have checked his name four times in five years had they been presented with a depth passionate, worthy alternatives. Nevertheless, I expect the The Big Bang Theory star to be the only lock of this race, taking any and all spotlight from his co-star, Johnny Galecki.
While a safe bet, surely, I wouldn’t call Louis C.K. a lock for Louie just yet, given the appreciated fifth season of his masterful FX Series and the fact this season came and went without much ballyhoo. While many certainly consider Jeffrey Tambor a lock for his stellar work on Amazon’s Transparent, I’m less convinced of his lock-status. While I think this is a threshold issue (if he gets in, he wins), Amazon is an untested entity. Could they explode onto the scene like Netflix did in 2014, or will they limp in with only a pilot writing nomination? Transparent, and lets be honest, transgender narratives as a whole, might be too big to ignore moving forward. Tabor and Transparent are new and shiny, also, which is a boon when it comes to the Emmys.
But what of Showtime’s perennial nominees Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and Don Cheadle (House of Lies)? With the addition of William H. Macy (Shameless) in 2014, Best Actor in a Comedy Series sporting HALF of its nominees from…comedy powerhouse Showtime? Over the years, Episodes has proven its fans within the TV Academy, but I always wonder when Showtime’s luck in this category is going to run out. I literally cannot even tell you when the last seasons of Episodes and House of Lies aired.
What about new nominees? I think the TV Academy could be looking for some network love, outside of the usual suspects. I wonder how yeoman actor Anthony Anderson will do, given Black-ish is probably the best reviewed network sitcom of the season. Will Billy Crystal‘s name be enough to get him a nomination for the came-and-went The Comedians–it wasn’t enough to help Robin Williams in The Crazy Ones. What of Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth and Fox’s notoriously awful Emmy history the last 5 years? Will HOSTING the Emmys help Andy Samberg get an overdue nomination for his work on Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Can sustained buzz for Silicon Valley get Thomas Middleditch in this race?
Check out Clayton’s predictions here, where we only overlap 4 of the 6 nominees.
Sam’s Current, Non-Final Predictions
1. Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
2. Louis C.K., Louie
3. Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
4. Don Cheadle, House of Lies
5. Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
6. Anthony Anderson, Black-ish