Emmy Awards comedy showdown: It’s ‘Veep’ vs. ‘Transparent,’ ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘Master of None’

If the Emmy Awards were a real-life Presidential election, HBO’s “Veep” may have just earned enough votes to win the White House for a second term. The sly political satire nearly doubled its Emmy haul with a genre-leading 17 bids, up from nine last year. But might there be a shocking upset in the Best Comedy Series race from sophomore dramedy “Transparent,” three-time also-ran “Silicon Valley” or newbie “Master of None”?

2016 Emmy Awards: Complete list of nominations

“Veep” cast winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale are back to defend their titles, as is four-time nominee Anna Chlumsky, while Matt Walsh is recognized for the first time. The show also picked up three bids for directing, two for writing, and one for guest star Martin Mull.

All of this great news for “Veep” is nailbiting for the three shows that have the biggest chance of taking down the Emmy juggernaut. “Transparent, “Silicon Valley” and “Master of None” all earned nominations in the writing and/or directing races, which is the biggest secret to winning Best Comedy Series. In fact, it’s now been a whopping 14 years since “Friends” won without corresponding writing or directing bids.

The other three comedy nominees — “Black-ish,” “Modern Family,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — were snubbed in these key categories, so it’ll be tough for them to break through as Best Comedy Series. Better luck next year?

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Amazon’s “Transparent” is down one nom from last year — 10 instead of 11 — but it still competes in all the top races: Best Comedy Series, Best Actor (Jeffrey Tambor), Best Supporting Actress (Gaby Hoffman, Judith Light), Best Guest Actor (Bradley Whitford), Best Guest Actress (Melora Hardin) and Best Directing. It won three biggies last year (lead actor, guest actor and directing) so it’ll be interesting to see if the show rises or falls its second time at bat.

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” over-performed this year … by a lot. It nabbed a series-best 11 nominations, up from five in Season 1 and seven in Season 2. For the first time a performer is nominated (Thomas Middleditch) and it also scored two directing bids and two writing noms.

Netflix’s “Master of None” only earned four nominations, but they’re four biggies: Best Comedy Series, Best Actor (Aziz Ansari), Best Directing and Best Writing. However, without support from the tech branches it might be tough for the show to earn enough votes to clinch the top race.

Emmy nominations analysis: ‘Veep’ way up, ‘Game of Thrones’ slightly down, ‘Modern Family’ out

Rounding out the other three shows, ABC’s “Modern Family” makes do with a record low four noms including, for the first time, only one actor (Ty Burrell) recognized. For all the numbers crunches out there, its series tally as of right now is 77 nominations and 22 wins.

Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” got hit hard in year two, down to four nominations from seven last year. While Ellie Kemper finally got in, Jane Krakowski was strangely snubbed and the show didn’t get any bids for guest stars, writing or directing. Fudge!

ABC’s “Black-ish” tripled its nominations haul this year, from one to three: Best Comedy Series, Best Actor (Anthony Anderson) and Best Actress (Tracy Ellis Ross). Unfortunately, it failed to earn any tech bids or a writing nom for the much-hyped episode “Hope.”

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