On “Arrested Development,” Jessica Walter plays Lucille, the hard-drinking, wisecracking socialite matriarch of the embattled Bluth clan. She earned a Best Comedy Supporting Actress Emmy nomination for the show’s original FOX run in 2005, losing to another notorious TV mother, Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), and Walter won an Emmy back in 1975 for the limited series “Amy Prentiss,” but can she finally win for her “Arrested” role?
Lucille is not unlike another boozy role that won multiple Emmys: “Will & Grace’s” Karen Walker, played by Megan Mullally, Comedy Supporting Actress winner in 2000 and 2006. Karen was a wealthy New York woman who knocked back martinis and traded barbs with her best friend Jack (Sean Hayes), and like Lucille had a tumultuous relationship with her domestic help.
This time around, Walter will have a distinct advantage she didn’t have the last time she was nominated. To accommodate the actors’ schedules for the Netflix revival, “Arrested Development” implemented a new storytelling format in which each episode revolves around a single character, which means Walter, along with the other members of the cast, will be able to submit sample episodes to Emmy judges that are entirely devoted to them.
Walter has a strong potential submission in the episode “Queen B,” in which Lucille stands trial for her financial misdeeds, sings, and reflects on her poor mothering. The episode, at more than 30 minutes, may give her the most screentime in the category, even if both “Modern Family” actresses, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara, return to the race, giving them two episodes for the price of one but with their screentime divided more equally with their co-stars.
Two-time defending champ Bowen currently has the lead in our overall odds. However, two experts, more than 80 users, and six out of eight editors think Walter has the edge.
Posters are discussing Walter’s chances in our forums. Read some of their select comments below and join the discussion here.
True Tenor: Walter is the frontrunner as far as I am concerned. “Queen B” (the only episode that features her as the lead) is a dynamite, slam-dunk of a tape. Vergara has nothing competitive to submit. Even Bowen has few options, none of which are nearly as compelling as “Queen B.” Walter’s chief competition should be Jane Krakowski who is terrific in the “30 Rock” finale.
Icky: I don’t see how someone is an Emmy magnet winning two Emmys, and Walter hasn’t won for this role. So, I’m not seeing the connection. She’s more comparable to another controlling, self-centered mother like Doris Roberts on “Raymond.” She has a great tape. If she’s nominated she’ll be the frontrunner.
nahborghi: The characters might have similarities, but the actresses cases are very different. Mullally was a hit, winning twice and being nominated every season but the first one. Walter only got one nomination, and was dropped in the show’s final season.