Now that we know the 42nd season of “Saturday Night Live” will only be 21 episodes, that means current scene-stealer Alec Baldwin cannot be submitted as a guest star at the 2017 Emmys. Why? Two years ago a new rule was put into effect that if a performer appears in 50% or more of the eligible season’s episodes, as Baldwin has done, then they must be entered into the supporting category. While Baldwin’s “SNL” alter ego Donald Trump might say that’s “wrong!” or “sad!” it’s important for NBC to stick to the rules because of what happened last year with HBO.
As you may recall, this relatively new Emmy rule was enacted in a memorable manner last year with “Veep” co-star Peter MacNicol. He earned an Emmy nomination as Best Comedy Guest Actor, but then Gold Derby noticed that he’d appeared in one too many episodes to be eligible in that category. MacNicol’s nomination was rescinded and given instead to Peter Scolari for “Girls,” who went on to win the award for playing Lena Dunham’s father in the HBO comedy.
Last month Baldwin hosted “SNL,” and that performance along with his 11 other appearances as President Trump (including the most recent Scarlett Johansson-hosted episode) took him out of guest status. By starring in 12 of the 21 episodes, that means Baldwin’s current count is 57%, far higher than the 50% threshold. Since he’s already surpassed the cut-off number, our suggestion to showrunner Lorne Michaels is that Baldwin should continue popping up between now and the season 42 finale, as the extra exposure can only help him stay top-of-mind with Emmy voters.
Baldwin’s “SNL” hosting gig on February 11 should also have a positive effect on his Emmy campaign, since he was given the opportunity to play multiple characters in addition to Donald Trump. While it’s true critics were somewhat divided on Baldwin’s hosting, his depiction of the president fighting for his Muslim ban in “The People’s Court” sketch will probably be like Emmy catnip for the left-leaning Hollywood community. Gold Derby’s racetrack odds already favor Baldwin to win Best Comedy Supporting Actor with odds of 21/10.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.