There are seven Emmy nominees for Best Comedy Directing but only four shows are represented. “Master of None” and “Transparent” have one bid apiece, while TV academy gave two nominations to “Silicon Valley” helmers and three to directors of “Veep” episodes. But despite the dominance of those two HBO laffers, “Transparent” is the show to beat according to the predictions of the expert TV journalists we’ve polled.
“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, who won this category last year for the episode “Best New Girl,” is nominated for the episode “Man on the Land.” While only two experts — Anne Thompson (Indiewire) and Adnan Virk (ESPN) — are predicting she will win again, the rest rank her so high that she leads this close race with 2/1 odds overall.
Next in line are two of the “Veep” directors. The stronger of the two is Dale Stern for the episode “Mother.” He has support from five experts — Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo) — giving him 27/10 odds. This is his first-ever directing credit; he previously worked on “Veep” as a first AD. So the first time could be the charm for this Emmy rookie.
Three experts are predicting another “Veep” installment, “Kissing Your Sister,” which is directed by Dave Mandel and gets 4/1 odds: Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed). Mandel is an Emmy veteran, having earned nine nominations so far without a victory. Those past bids include Best Variety Writing for “Saturday Night Live” (1993), Best Animated Program for “The Simpsons” (2013), and several Best Comedy Series noms in-between for producing “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Mandel is also nominated for writing the “Veep” episode “Morning After,” which also happens to be a contender in this category. “Morning After” is directed by Chris Addison, who has never been nominated for directing before, but he did win Best Comedy Series last year as a member of the “Veep” producing team. It’s likely that “Veep” will win Best Comedy Series again, but Addison is an underdog in this race with 20/1 odds.
Aziz Ansari is in a strong position to pull off an upset. He was nominated as a director, writer, actor and producer of his new Netflix series “Master of None.” He contends in this race with the episode “Parents,” which is forecast to win by experts Debra Birnbaum (Variety) and Eric Deggans (NPR), giving it 13/2 odds.
The two nominated directors of the “Silicon Valley” episodes appear to be at a disadvantage. Mike Judge, is the stronger bet for “Founder Friendly” with 12/1 odds. Judge is a past Emmy winner for Best Animated Program for “King of the Hill” in 1999. Since 2014 he has been nominated every year as both a producer and director of “Silicon Valley,” but he has yet to win for this series.
Also up for “Silicon Valley” is Alec Berg for the episode “Daily Active Users.” Berg has been nominated for 12 Emmys over the course of his career, but he has yet to win. Seven of those nominations have been for “Silicon Valley” as a writer, director and producer. Before that he earned two Best Comedy Series nominations for producing “Seinfeld” and three more for producing “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
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