Awards Tracker: A First Look At The Comedy Series Race

With possibly all seven of last year’s nominees returning, Jalal looks at what might be shaping up to be the most boring comedy series race in recent years.

Unlike this year’s drama series race, the comedy series race at the Emmys doesn’t have many new options for voters to choose from. In fact, the options might be so thin that the only choice voters will have to make is which of last year’s nominees are they going to bump out to make room for Atlanta.

Top Contenders

Atlanta – Just about every awards group from the HFPA to PGA agreed that Atlanta was the best comedy of 2016, turning Donald Glover’s new show into Veep’s biggest competition in just about every major category including comedy series, directing, and writing. Months ago, we questioned whether or not the show was too edgy for older more conservative voters, but guild voters have proven that theory wrong.

black-ish – In the middle of its third season black-ish has finally started to receive the widespread praise it deserves. Tracee Ellis Ross won her first Golden Globe and the cast earned their first SAG ensemble turning the Johnsons into the most popular TV family. Now that voters have started paying attention to black-ish, they’ll continue rewarding it with nominations. The only question is whether or not they’ll celebrate the comedy with even more nominations including recognition in writing and directing.

(Photo: Amazon)

Modern Family – For the past few years, Emmy voters have been slowly dropping Modern Family nomination by nomination to the point where it’s only a matter of time until Emmy voters drop the show altogether. Once again however Modern Family earned some guild support including a SAG ensemble nomination as well as another sound mixing award. These nominations might hint at voters that will mark the show off on their ballots no matter what.

Transparent – In the past, Emmy voters have eventually turned on dramedies in the comedy race and this year Transparent seems to be quickly losing steam. The guild support for the show simply wasn’t there even though it’s still one of the best shows on TV even if it’s not a comedy. The lackluster enthusiasm in the end might simply be because voters haven’t actually watched the third season yet and will get around to it once Amazon sends out screeners.

(Photo: HBO)
Worth Mentioning

Girls – Emmy voters have mostly moved on from Girls, but over the past five seasons the show has earned 15 nominations and two wins, including a surprising win for Peter Scolari last year after he was named as a replacement nominee. If the final season of Girls continues delivering some of the best episodes of the entire series, then enough voters might feel inclined to reward Lena Dunham for six years of work.

Insecure – If critics had their way, the first season of Insecure would be a massive contender. Unfortunately Issa Rae’s debut comedy didn’t seem to make a big impact, especially at the guild awards. HBO has a great track record of selling their new shows to Emmy voters, and if they utilize an underwhelming comedy race Insecure could become a surprising dark horse contender.

Yet to Premiere

Veep – It’s almost impossible imagining any other show usurping Veep in its farewell season unless the show completely jumps the shark now that Selina Meyer is out of the White House. Until Veep comes back for a final time in April the safe bet is just to assume Veep will continue its recent Emmy streak.

Silicon Valley – The odd industry obsession with Silicon Valley is frustrating at times simply because their love for the show doesn’t waiver based on the quality of the season and every group seems to love the show including the Art Directors Guild. Unless the upcoming fourth season somehow upsets voters it will likely return.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – The third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt doesn’t premiere until mid-May but the teaser trailer of Titus destroying his boyfriend’s truck à la Beyoncé’s “Hold Up” at least promises we’ll have another season full of Titus & Mikey. The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had a bit of a slump at the Emmys but surprisingly had a comeback throughout the guild awards hinting at support for the show throughout the industry. If Tina Fey keeps the show consistent throughout the third season it will likely return and if Netflix becomes more strategic with their episode submissions the show might even earn its first writing and directing nods.

Master of None – Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for the highly anticipated second season of Master of None but it has been highly reported that it will be eligible for this year’s Emmys. If Netflix waits to release the second season until the eleventh hour they risk Emmy voters not having enough time to watch it and remind themselves how much they love the Emmy winning series. From the little that is known about the second season Lena Waithe’s Denise will likely have a  bigger role and Angela Bassett is even signed on in a guest role as her mom so if voters respond well to the sophomore season the show has the potential to expand its Emmy recognition as well.


Early Predictions
1. Veep
2. Atlanta
3. black-ish
4. Silicon Valley
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
6. Modern Family
7. Transparent
8. Master of None
9. Girls
10. Insecure
What comedies are you predicting to make the cut this year? Are we underestimating any comedies this year? Could a new streaming show like Fleabag or the third season of Catastrophe earn a nomination out of nowwhere?

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