EmmyWatch: Miller Rises, Who Follows in Supporting Actor Comedy?

T.J. Miller crashed the Emmy race at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards Sunday night, earning his first nomination and win for his work on HBO’s Silicon Valley. But does this make him a frontrunner for an Emmy nomination in the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category? Possibly. Last year, Andre Braugher won the same award for his work on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and went on to earn an Emmy nomination in the same category.

But Miller has some competition. Only six men will be nominated, and these appear to be the contenders: Tituss Burgess of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ty Burrell of Modern Family, Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family, Ed O’Neill of Modern Family, Adam Driver of Girls, Hugh Laurie of Veep, Tony Hale of Veep, Sam Waterston of Grace & Frankie, Fred Armisen of Portlandia, Josh Gad of The Comedians, and Andre Braugher for Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

So let’s whittle this list down. Silicon Valley appears to be the “it” comedy of the moment, since not only did it take home Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy but also Best Comedy Series at the Critics’ Choice. So I would say Miller gets in.

While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an ADTV Water Cooler podcast favorite, it doesn’t appear to have secured as big of a fan base as Silicon Valley or any of the other contenders. Sadly, Burgess appears to be out. Looks like he’ll have to drown his sorrows in some pinot noir.

Of the Modern Family crew, Joey Moser advocates for Ed O’Neill getting a nomination since he’s never in contention, but it looks like son-in-laws rule this category as Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet will secure these spots over the Pritchard patriarch and son.

Veep’s cast has become about as crowded as the Republican race for a presidential nomination with Hugh Laurie joining the cast this season. However, despite House’s welcome residency as Selina’s running mate, I think the supporting character that people remember from this show is Gary, played by Tony Hale. He’s a mainstay and I think Emmy voters will be reluctant to exclude him from this list in favor of Laurie. I also think they’ll be reluctant to vote for two from the same show. As beloved as Veep is, it’s no Modern Family in terms of Emmy support.

But what about new shows? FX’s The Comedians and Netflix’s Grace & Frankie premiered this year, and while the former is a satire on the industry (something the industry loves), Sam Waterston’s performance is more interesting than Josh Gad’s fictional take on himself (plus, The Comedians just isn’t as enjoyable as seeing President Bartlet shack up with Jack McCoy). I think Waterston gets in.

So who does that leave?

Adam Driver appeared to be phoning it in on this season’s Girls (although it was mostly just the character of Adam who was phoning it in), so I don’t think he’ll get in. Fred Armisen’s work in Portlandia could secure him a nomination, but are Emmy voters still watching? If I had to bet, I’d say Andre Braugher, last year’s Critics Choice winner. He’s an Emmy veteran.

Here’s the final breakdown:

  • ​Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • ​Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • ​Tony Hale, Veep
  • TJ Miller, Silicon Valley
  • ​Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • ​Sam Waterston, Grace & Frankie

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