Although Laura Linney ("The Big C") is the favorite to win Best Comedy Actress with 5/6 odds, as determined exclusively by Gold Derby, this undefeated three-time Emmy champ is not a lock. While she has the support of nine of our 12 editors and 51% of our users, only four of our 10 experts are predicting her to prevail.
If anybody is to defeat Linney, her biggest competition is Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), who is predicted by editors Matt Noble and Paul Sheehan and has 23/10 odds. In addition, four of our experts and 32% of users have her pegged to win. Poehler has submitted the episode "Flu Season," which is full of physical humor and funny moments for her character Leslie Knope.
The other four ladies better hope for another year, because they are all left in the distance by Linney and Poehler. Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly") has 14/1 odds and is the pick of expert Jill Sergeant (Reuters) and editor Matthew Cormier, but that is probably related more to her buzz from the blockbuster summer flick "Bridesmaids" rather than her episode choice "First Date."
Showtime has owned this category the past two years, with Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie," 2010) and Toni Collette ("United States of Tara," 2009) both winning with their pilot episodes. Linney has also entered the premiere episode of her Showtime series. Her character, Cathy Jamison, finds out she has cancer but refuses to let her family know this fact. Even with such a traumatic subject matter, the episode has lots of funny moments that Linney will need to win over voters looking to laugh as they vote on this category.
Coming in at 20/1 odds is Martha Plimpton ("Raising Hope"), who has submitted the very funny episode "Say Cheese" and is the choice of expert Michael Ausiello (tvline.com). 2008 winner Tina Fey ("30 Rock") only has 50/1 odds with her effort "Double-Edged Sword" offering her less screentime than normal. And reigning champ Falco is in last place at 100/1 odds for the lackluster episode "Rat Falls."
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