Allison Janney (“Mom”) has won Best Comedy Supporting Actress at the Emmys for the last two years in a row. When you add in her four awards for “The West Wing” and her guest-acting prize for “Masters of Sex,” that brings her total to seven. One more victory will tie Janney with Cloris Leachman as the most awarded performer at the Primetime Emmys.
Six of our 14 experts who have made their predictions so far are betting on Janney to three-peat, giving her leading 9/5 odds: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times). That may be a smart bet; Janney has only ever lost three times of her 10 races to date.
But this could be Janney’s toughest battle yet in this category. Most of our experts are forecasting a new winner, but they don’t agree on who it will be. Three are predicting Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”), which places her second overall with 4/1 odds: Eric Deggans (NPR), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Robert Rorke (New York Post). This is Chlumsky’s fourth straight Emmy bid, and she hasn’t won yet, but “Veep” has almost twice as many nominations as it did last year when it won Best Comedy Series (from nine to 16). With so much added support for the series, Chlumsky could be carried to victory if “Veep” sweeps again on Emmy night.
Also watch out for Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), who is contending for the third year in a row. Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed) think she has the edge; that gives her 9/2 odds. Granted, no sketch performer has won a lead or supporting Emmy since variety performers were moved into the comedy categories in 2009, but McKinnon has the advantage of stealing scenes in the new “Ghostbusters” film. Consider other actors who recently won Emmys after big-screen breakthroughs: Katherine Heigl won Best Drama Supporting Actress for “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2007 right after appearing in “Knocked Up,” and Melissa McCarthy won Best Comedy Actress for “Mike and Molly” in 2011 after co-starring in “Bridesmaids.”
Expert Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) is predicting Judith Light (“Transparent”), who also has 9/2 odds. This is Light’s first nomination for this series, though she was previously nominated for her guest role on “Ugly Betty” (2007) and won two Daytime Emmys for Best Drama Actress for “One Life to Live” (1980-1981).
Light’s on-screen daughter Gaby Hoffmann is also nominated. She was nominated in this category last year as well and also earned a 2015 nomination for guest starring in “Girls,” but she trails according to our experts, getting 33/1 odds.
Niecy Nash (“Getting On”) rounds out the category. Like Hoffmann she’s nominated for the second year in a row, and like Light she’s a past winner at the Daytime Emmys — she claimed Best Special Class Special in 2010 as a co-host of the lifestyle program “Clean House.” Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) expects her to prevail, but most other experts place her low in their rankings, so she gets 40/1 odds overall.
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