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COMEDY 2017

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  • Riley
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    We are in a three-week lull now where we will get no new guild nominations, nothing is airing and most of the top-ten lists have come out by now.

    I see two comedies locked for a nomination (Veep and Silicon Valley), six shows fighting for the next five slots and a few more as possibilities.

    Master of None would seem to be the next safest, but it is yet to reap a single guild nomination. It pathetically could not even get a nomination for best casting of a new comedy series. It won writing, but with the new plurality vote system, you could argue that it would have been hard not to when it was nominated opposite five vote-splitting episodes of HBO satires. It was indeed also nominated for directing and acting, but only for Aziz Ansari and it got nothing below the line. This suggests a show with a small pocket of passion, but not broad support, which is the name of the game in the series races.

    black-ish is another one without broad support. It got nominated for series, lead acting and nothing else—almost unprecedented. But it did just get an ensemble nomination and it does seem like the kind of show that would make the bottom half of everyone’s series ballot in the first months of President Trump.

    Atlanta is the most critically-acclaimed comedy of the year and it was immediately embraced by the WGA, even though fellow auteur comedies (and writers’ favourites) Louie and Master of None were not. It has also proved to be a hotter property with the Globes than either of those too. You would think that the Emmys would want to welcome a new comedy anyway, so this is a good bet.

    We saw with The Big Bang Theory that when the Emmys are done with you, they are done. With only casting, sound and Ty Burrell holding it up, Modern Family is certainly on thin ice. I will defer to PGA on this one.

    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been a mixed bag when it comes to industry recognition. It is the opposite of Master of None. There is little passion here, but it seems to have been widely viewed.

    A year ago, Transparent cleaned up at the guilds as part of a one-two-three punch with Veep and Silicon Valley. But dramedies have a history of burning out fast at the Emmys. Glee, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Desperate Housewives, Orange is the New Black, Ugly Betty—different circumstances less critical acclaim than Transparent sure, but you would not even know that from the critics’ awards. Both Critics’ Choice and TCA have dropped the show for some reason. At the Emmys, it got no further than its pilot in writing and editing and I do not foresee it returning in directing. The acting branch seems to like the show, but it just got snubbed in SAG ensemble.

    Also in contention is one returning show hoping to get a one-time nomination. Episodes has remarkably been nominated for writing and lead actor every single season, picked up directing and a theme music nomination along the way and was nominated by the casting guild for its most recent season out of nowhere. This is very much a show that has been just bubbling under for years and having its final season might be just enough to carry it. We saw how nostalgia paid off for Parks and Recreation in the series race, even without expansion in other categories. As I have outlined above, there are a lot of contenders with a foot out the door anyway. Also, even if Atlanta breaks in, when have we ever seen retention on the level of six out of seven nominees from the previous year? Something always gives.

    Actually, I have Wikipedia as a resource: 2008 was the last year that we had only one nominee that was not nominated the previous year and that was of course back when there were five slots instead of seven. Insecure is another contender.

    In terms of unseen contenders, we have Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. Victor Fresco previously created Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Better Off Ted, suggesting credibility and an eventual mainstream breakthrough, but since then, he created Sean Saves the World. So who knows with the quality of this one? We also have a couple new premium cable entries in I’m Dying Up Here and Crashing, but at this point, we know what to expect from a Showtime dramedy and an indie-style Judd Apatow comedy on HBO. Maybe A Series of Unfortunate Events is a smash?

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    Anonymous
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    Hopefully Speechless, better things, and the good place are in the race as well. It would be nice to see Search Party get recognized, but I doubt it. Also, will Disjointed be out in time? Chuck Lorre and Kathy Bates together at least sounds like a contender.

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