If you ask me, Best Comedy Actress is one of the easiest races to call at this year’s Emmys. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“) has been the overwhelming favorite since before Emmy nominations even came out. However, my fellow Editor Ralph Galvan is clearly off his meds, instead favoring an emotional performance by Melissa McCarthy (“Mike and Molly“). Below, I give the top 5 reasons why Louis-Dreyfus is a lock to win this category and why Galvan is going to lose this easy prediction point.
1. She submitted the ONLY laugh-out-loud episode
When analyzing all of the episode submissions in this year’s Best Comedy Actress line-up, there aren’t a ton of laughs. McCarthy mourns over her dead father, Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black“) cries chicken, Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie“) deals with her daughter’s shoplifting arrest, Lena Dunham (“Girls“) has a beach fight with her friends and Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation“) gets voted out of office. If not for Louis-Dreyfus, this category would have been a complete dud. She brings the funny in her episode submission “Crate” and even gets down and dirty on the bathroom floor with a bloody-nosed Tony Hale after finding out she’s going to become President. Let’s not forget, this is a comedy race we’re talking about and Louis-Dreyfus brings the funny.
2. Emmy support for ‘Veep’ increased this year
If we lived in a different world where “Veep” struck out in Emmy nominations this year, I might be persuaded by Galvan and others that someone could potentially sneak in there and steal Louis-Dreyfus’ Emmy. But that’s not the case. “Veep” actually did better in nominations than ever before, reaping nine overall nods including its first-ever bid for Best Comedy Writing. That shows enormous industry support from all facets of the TV Academy and suggests “Veep” is on the upswing.
3. She has overwhelming odds to win
Let’s consider Gold Derby’s exclusive odds for a moment. In the Best Comedy Actress race, 13 out of 14 Emmy Experts, six out of eight Editors and 22 out of 24 Top Users all have Louis-Dreyfus in their #1 positions to win. That gives her leading odds of 2/7. Tied for second place with lowly 12/1 odds apiece are McCarthy and Schilling. Usually when there is one single alternative to take down a frontrunner, that alternative has a shot to win. But since McCarthy and Schilling are eating up all those second-place votes, it only pushes Louis-Dreyfus further ahead.
4. Let’s count up her previous Emmys
Calling her an Emmy favorite doesn’t really do justice to how much support she’s truly gotten from the TV Academy over her career. Louis-Dreyfus won Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Seinfeld” (1996), Best Comedy Actress for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2006), and two more as Best Comedy Actress for “Veep” (2012, 2013). Four acting Emmys currently ties Louis-Dreyfus with Helen Hunt and Lucille Ball (including Ball’s Best Comedienne win in 1953) and puts her just one behind the all-time record amongst funny ladies held by Mary Tyler Moore, Candice Bergen and Betty White.
5. TV Academy lovefest of 2014
If you haven’t seen the new TV Academy spoof featuring Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, do yourself a favor and click here now. Sure, that video was released after Emmy voting was over, but it still doesn’t diminish the fact that when the TV Academy wanted a big star to be in their commercial with the “Breaking Bad” guys, it was Louis-Dreyfus who got the call. Their lovefest for Louis-Dreyfus started earlier this year when she was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame, and if there are any academy members who fetted her for that honor that are also voting in her Emmy category, there’s no way they won’t give her their votes. Ironically, co-nominee Poehler is the one who inducted Louis-Dreyfus back in March; might Poehler be next on the TV Academy’s list of Hall-of-Famers?
So, what have we learned? When taking into consideration Louis-Dreyfus’ performance in her episode submission as well as outside factors, there are even more cases for her winning this year for “Veep” than either of the past two years. Simply put, if Louis-Dreyfus loses Emmy #5, it’ll be one of the biggest shocks of the 2014 Emmys.
Is this essentially a lock for Louis-Dreyfus, or could Galvan out-wit me with his McCarthy prediction? Make your own Comedy Actress predictions below our dueling Editors’ slugfests for this category.