“Veep” has an enviable cast of comedy all-stars, and at the helm is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a nine-time Emmy winner (including seven as the producer and star of “Veep”) who has also taken home six SAG Awards (five for “Seinfeld,” and just one for “Veep”). But despite all of the show’s comedic talent for some reason it has never won the SAG Award for Best TV Comedy Ensemble. It’s currently within striking distance according to our latest racetrack odds.
Joining Louis-Dreyfus in supporting roles in the ensemble are two-time Emmy winner Tony Hale (as Gary Walsh), four-time Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky (as Amy Brookheimer) and one-time Emmy nominees Matt Walsh (as Mike McLintock) and Gary Cole (as Kent Davison). Several more actors have yet to be singled out for individual recognition, but they’re still valuable members of the ensemble: Sarah Sutherland (as Catherine Meyer), Sam Richardson (as Richard Splett), Timothy Simmons (as Jonah Ryan), Reid Scott (as Dan Egan) and Sufe Bradshaw (as Sue).
The ensemble first competed for the show’s second season in 2013 but lost to “Modern Family” which would win its fourth Comedy Ensemble prize (2010-2013). It would compete again for its third season in 2014 but lost to the large ensemble from “Orange is the New Black.” After winning Best Comedy Series at the Emmys it should’ve been the favorite to finally take home the SAG Award for its fourth season in 2015, but the actors once again preferred “Orange is the New Black.”
Can “Veep” really pull off a win after three consecutive losses? Of the 22 times SAG has awarded Best TV Comedy Ensemble, seven shows won on their first nomination: “Seinfeld” (1994, the inaugural winner, and a winner again in 1996 and 1997), “Friends” (1995), “Will & Grace” (2000), “Desperate Housewives” (2004, and again in 2005), “The Office” (2006, and again in 2007), “Glee” (2009), and “Orange is the New Black” (2014, and again in 2015).
However, the SAG Awards are notorious for needing an extra year to catch up on what’s popular, and there have been four occurrences of shows winning on their second nomination: “Ally McBeal” (1998), “Sex and the City” (2001, and again in 2003), “30 Rock” (2008), and “Modern Family” (2010, the first of a record four straight victories).
To date no show has won on its third nomination, but there’s precedent for “Veep” because “Everybody Loves Raymond” won on its fourth try (2003). Can “Veep” do the same?
Last year “Veep” and eventual winner “Orange is the New Black” were joined by the ensembles “Key and Peele” (for its final season), “The Big Bang Theory,” “Modern Family” and newcomer “Transparent.” With “Key and Peele” no longer on the air there is an open spot. More importantly, “Orange is the New Black” had a major dip in Emmy nominations this year, scoring only a single nomination: Best Drama Series Casting. That was way down from four nominations and one win in 2015, which itself was a significant drop from 12 nominations and three wins in 2014 when the show competed at the Emmys as a comedy. (Though the Emmys moved “OITNB” into the drama races, SAG still considers it a laffer).
The Emmys shortfall for “Orange” could be predictive at SAG because both are industry peer-group awards. So with that show looking vulnerable and Louis-Dreyfus currently predicted to take back Best TV Comedy Actress from “OITNB’s” two-time defending champ Uzo Aduba (2014 and 2015), this might be the year the “Veep” ensemble finally wins.
When “Everybody Loves Raymond” finally won Comedy Ensemble both Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton were nominated in their individual acting races. So if “Veep’s” Hale, scores a nod for Comedy Actor this year that could be an indication that the show is more popular than ever with industry actors. Hale has never been nominated in an individual acting category before, but scene-stealing supporting players often make the cut, like past winners David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier,” 1995), Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace,” 2001, 2002, 2005) and Ty Burrell (“Modern Family,” 2013).
If the guild needs another reason to award the ensemble from “Veep” they might want to consider Peter MacNicol as one who would receive a trophy. Voters might feel inclined to hug MacNicol after he had his Best Comedy Guest Actor Emmy nomination taken away this past summer for appearing in one episode too many to qualify.
But even if “Veep” does not win this year all hope is not lost as Emmy’s most awarded comedy series ever, “Frasier” (37 wins), did not win Best TV Comedy Ensemble until its sixth nomination (1999).
Be sure to make your SAG Awards predictions. How do you think “Veep” will do with guild voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this show is faring in our SAG Awards odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on December 14 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the SAG Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.