Regardless of whether she is placed in supporting or lead at the next Emmys — my guess is that CBS will campaign her in supporting — here’s why Janney is a cinch to win:
1. She has the perfect submission to Emmy judges. In the episode, “Estrogen and a Hearty Breakfast,” her character, Bonnie, fears she may be pregnant, and is horrified to learn that she is going through menopause (a similar storyline won Rue McLanahan her Emmy for “The Golden Girls”), which causes her to search for her lost youth. A parallel plot involves Janney defending her granddaughter from the verbal attacks of a right-wing pastor. Janney’s performance in the episode is dynamite, and has all the hallmarks of a great Emmy submission: range, sympathy, impact. And since this is a comedy, it doesn’t hurt that she gets to spout one-liners and do some great physical comedy as well.
2. The Emmys are addicted to addicts: Janney’s character is a recovering addict trying to reconnect with her family while maintaining her sobriety. Similar substance abuse stories earned Emmys in the past for Candice Bergen in “Murphy Brown.” Edie Falco in “Nurse Jackie,” Sharon Gless in “Cagney & Lacey,” John Spencer in “The West Wing.”
3. Chuck Lorre shows win acting Emmys. Lorre is the creator and/or producer of three other established TV series, and each has won a major acting Emmy: Jim Parsons in “The Big Bang Theory,” Bob Newhart in “The Big Bang Theory,” Melissa McCarthy in “Mike & Molly,” Jon Cryer in “Two and a Half Men,” and Kathy Bates in “Two and a Half Men.”
Janney may also be recognized at the Golden Globes where she was nominated four times for “The West Wing.” If she is submitted in supporting, she may have a harder time being nominated, since the supporting category at the Globes combines comedy and drama series with TV movies.