Allison Janney is on pace to climb another step into Emmy Awards history. She is heavily favored with 8-13 odds to win Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Mom” at Sunday’s ceremony, which would push her into second place for performance wins at the Emmys.
She already won last year for this regular role on the CBS comedy as well as for her recurring character on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” That brought her career total to six acting victories, tying her with Art Carney, Tim Conway, Tyne Daly, and Carl Reiner in the Emmy history books. Her other past wins were as C.J. Cregg on “The West Wing.” She prevailed as Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2000 and 2001, then changed over to Best Drama Actress and won that category in 2002 and 2004.
A seventh trophy would put her in the company of Edward Asner and Mary Tyler Moore in second place. The overall leader is Cloris Leachman, who has eight primetime wins in the acting categories. Janney can’t quite reach that level this year since she lost over the weekend for Best Drama Guest Actress to Margo Martindale (“The Americans).
For this category, Janney has entered the “Mom” episode called “Dropped Soap and a Big Guy on a Throne.” For the program, she plays Bonnie Plunkett, a recovering alcohol and drug addict. Her episode is the 18th of the second season in which “Christy and Bonnie face temptation when Bonnie is prescribed pain medication for a back injury.”
In second place behind Janney is Anna Chlumsky with 10/3 odds. She now has her third straight nomination for playing presidential chief of staff Amy Brookheimer on the HBO comedy “Veep.” Her selection is “Convention,” the fifth episode of the fourth season in which “a major internal crisis looms as Selina gets ready for her party’s convention. Meanwhile, Amy is annoyed by the president’s new adviser, who’s helping Catherine with her First Daughter speech; and Dan taps Jonah and Richard to pose as political insiders.”
The third spot is held by Jane Krakowski (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“), who had four prior nominations in this category for “30 Rock” with no wins. She plays socialite Jacqueline Voorhees for the freshman Netflix show and is entering the second episode, “Kimmy Gets a Job.” For that show, “Kimmy tries to keep her job with the wealthy Voorhees family by throwing a children’s birthday party. Jacqueline is devastated when she learns her husband will not attend the party and believes he is cheating on her.”
Tied with Krakowski is two-time previous champ Julie Bowen, who has been nominated for all six seasons of “Modern Family.” She plays frenzied mom Claire Dunphy on the ABC laffer and has entered the episode “Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister.” It is the 14th episode in which “the Dunphys hatch another amorous adventure as Clive and Juliana for Valentine’s Day, but Claire is afraid that Phil might be a little too into her alter ego. Meanwhile, a visit from Gloria’s sister, Sonia, could spoil Jay’s plans for a romantic evening; and Mitchell and Cameron get into a tricky situation with a friend.”
Gaby Hoffmann is next at 50/1 and celebrates her first two nominations this year. In this category she plays Ali Pfefferman, the perpetually unemployed youngest daughter of a California family for Amazon’s “Transparent.” She is submitting “Rollin’,” the third episode of the debut season in which, “Maura moves out of the family house and into a lively new apartment complex, just as Sarah needs a new home after dismantling her perfect life. Josh has to reconsider his sudden vision of starting a family, while Ali finds some new boundaries to cross.” Hoffmann was also nominated last weekend as Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Girls,” but lost to Joan Cusack (“Shameless”).
Tied with Hoffmann at 50/1 is Mayim Bialik, who now has her fourth straight nomination for playing neurobiologist Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory.” Her selection is the eighth episode of the eighth season in which “Amy and Bernadette organize a prom to be held atop the guys’ apartment complex, but Sheldon is leery of all the prom pomp, circumstance and romancing that goes with it.”
This category is overstuffed with eight nominees, and the two tied at the bottom of the rankings are Niecy Nash (“Getting On“) and Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live“) at 100/1. Nash is a first-time nominee for playing nurse Didi Ortley for HBO. Her episode is “7th Annual Christmas Card Competition,” the fourth episode of her season in which, “Jenna seeks to begin a study on female fecal incontinence; a patient with terminal ovarian cancer, asks Jenna to euthanize her; DiDi develops a crush on Dr. Parker Owens, a visiting orthopedic surgeon; an explicit photograph accidentally makes its way into the hospital Christmas card competition.”
McKinnon was also nominated last year for her sketch work on NBC. In the 40th season episode hosted by Taraji P. Henson, she portrays Hillary Clinton, Jane Lynch, a QVC host, and commentator Cecilia Gimenez.
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Photo: Allison Janney in “Mom.” Credit: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.