Emmy goof can help Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield to win

By Tom O'Neil
By Tom O'Neil
Sep 14 2012 09:20 am
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I'm switching my Emmy prediction for Best Comedy Actress to Zooey Deschanel and my prediction for Best Supporting Comedy Actor to Max Greenfield!

Previously, I picked Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") to prevail on Sept. 23 - just like most other experts making predictions at Gold Derby. But then we discovered a mix-up with the "New Girl" episodes submitted to judges by Deschanel and costar Max Greenfield as examples of their best work from the past TV season. (Every nominee enters one.) The result: The TV academy staged a special revote to correct the problem.

Since ballots had already been returned, voters were sent new DVDs of Deschanel's and Greenfield's correct episodes along with a fresh ballot. They were asked to view the new episodes and, if that caused them to change their votes, they could submit a new ballot. If they didn't bother to submit a new ballot, their first ballot would stand. However, all voters were obliged to submit a signed affadavit attesting that they viewed the new episodes. If they failed to do so, their original ballot would be disqualified.

The screw-up occurred at the production center that distributes DVDs to voters. Workers accidentally switched the "New Girl" episodes submitted for Best Comedy Actress and Best Supporting Comedy Actor. The one that Greenfield entered in the supporting race ("Control") was sent to the judges of lead comedy actress and Deschanel's episode ("Bad in Bed") was sent to the judges of Best Supporting Comedy Actor as if it was Max's entry.

Now voters (about 80 fellow actors) just received the correct DVDs and new ballots, which they must return to the accountants at Ernst & Young by Monday, Sept. 17. They're encouraged to watch all DVDs in those categories again, but they must specifically agree to view the new, correct episodes submitted for Deschanel and Greenfield. That means these stars will be at top of voters' minds - and thus maybe at top of ballots too?

Greenfield's odds of winning are definitely boosted as a result, but he faces tough competition from Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O'Neill. Because there are four "Modern Family" costars in this race, judges will see four performances by each of them. Whenever there are multiple nominees from one show in an Emmy race, one of them usually wins - possibly for this reason. (Burrell claimed this category last year, Stonestreet in 2010). This year, Gold Derby's experts predict O'Neill will take it.

But thanks to the DVD snafu, judges are viewing two episodes by Greenfield, both of them superb. In "Control," we see Zooey struggle to cure him from his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and in "Bad in Bed," he gets drunks and jumps into the pool at an office party. Combined, they do a fine job of showing off his range as comedic performer, complete with physical shtick. What's lacking, though, are complementary flashes of gravitas that are generously evident in the multiple episodes featuring Stonestreet, Burrell and Ferguson. I'm betting on Stonestreet, but I concede that Greenfield, Burrell and Ferguson have a good chance to nab this. Not O'Neill - forget him.

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In the race for Best Comedy Actress, none of the seven nominees competes against a costar, so only Deschanel has the double-episode advantage. She didn't have much to do in Greenfield's "Control," but she may easily seduce voters with "Bad in Bed" as she strangles Justin Long between the sheets while wooing him with kinky voices. Her performance is not only outrageously funny, but poignant, too, while she reveals her sincere affection for Long and concedes that she'll never make it as a dominatrix.

Deschanel, let's face it, was the biggest, breakout star of the last new TV season, spectacularly crossing over from film and music. Now she's perfectly poised for an Emmy crown. It's possible that she might've won anyway if Gold Derby and the TV academy hadn't discovered the episode snafu and voters only viewed the "Control" episode, but now she's got a bit of a boost and it might take her to victory.

That said, the race is extremely close. Gold Derby gives best odds to "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (8/5), followed by Deschanel (10/3), "Parks and Recreation's" Amy Poehler (9/2), "Girls'" Lena Dunham (14/1), "30 Rock's" Tina Fey (25/1) and "Nurse Jackie's" Edie Falco (25/1). Here is a breakdown of their episode entries. See how experts rank all nominees in this contest.

Check out what episodes were submitted by all nominees in the battle over Best Supporting Comedy Actor.

Photos: Zooey Deschanel and Justin Long in "Bad in Bed"; Max Greenfield in "Control." (Twentieth Century Fox Television)

 
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