Julia Louis-Dreyfus has already made history at the Emmys. She has won Best Comedy Actress six times total, more than anyone else in history. She has also won it for the last five years in a row for her performance as inept politico Selina Meyer in “Veep” — also an unprecedented feat. But this year she could make even more history if she wins again.
She would extend her records for the most wins in the category and the most consecutive wins. She would set a new record for the most victories for one role (Candice Bergen also won five for “Murphy Brown,” though not consecutively). And it would be her eighth total victory for acting (she also won a supporting award for “Seinfeld” in 1996), which would tie the Primetime Emmy record set by Cloris Leachman. Louis-Dreyfus is starting to look downright indomitable, so can anyone beat her?
As of this writing we’ve polled 14 Expert TV journalists from top media outlets for their early picks, and they give Louis-Dreyfus a big lead. She’s backed by 12 of our pundits: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
In addition to her impressive track record, Louis-Dreyfus also has the advantage of starring in the two-time defending champion for Best Comedy Series. “Veep” won the top prize in 2015 and 2016. On top of that, the show continues to increase its standing at the Emmys. This year it has 17 nominations, more than it has ever had before, and far more than any other comedy this year.
But she may not be unbeatable. Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post) is predicting a victory for Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”). This is the second straight nomination for Ross, and it would be her first win, but she and the show have been on a hot streak of late. She just won Best TV Comedy Actress at the Golden Globes, where “Black-ish” also received its first nomination for Best Comedy Series. Then the show earned its first SAG nomination for Best TV Comedy Ensemble. But the show didn’t increase its Emmy nominations tally as much as they might have hoped (four bids, up from three in 2016), so does that hurt Ross’s momentum? Maybe not. Remember, actors like Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Louie Anderson (“Baskets”) and Peter Scolari (“Girls”) won Emmys last year as the only nominations for their respective shows.
Lastly, Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) is going out on a limb for Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”), but it’s not farfetched at all to imagine her prevailing. Tomlin is an awards darling who has won six Primetime Emmys out of 23 past nominations, which include two previous bids in this category for playing Frankie, a free spirit whose husband leaves her for another man. She also has one Daytime Emmy win out of five nominations. She’s a past Oscar nominee (Best Supporting Actress for “Nashville,” 1975) and a Grammy winner. On top of all that she received the Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association in 2016 and the Life Achievement Award from SAG in 2017. To say the least she’s beloved by the industry.
So which of our Experts are right? Or are they all underestimating the remaining contenders: Allison Janney (“Mom”), Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”) and Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)?
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions 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 winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.