Emmys mystery: Can ‘Last Man on Earth’ win writing and directing awards without Best Comedy Series bid?

the last man on earth alive in tucson will forte phil lord chris miller entertainment 13579086 story

Can Fox’s freshman hit “The Last Man on Earth” win a pair of Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Writing and Best Comedy Directing without even being nominated for Best Comedy Series? Before you dismiss the concept entirely, don’t forget — that’s exactly what happened with “Malcolm in the Middle” in 2000 and “My Name is Earl” in 2006. Add to that the fact that those wins came for their inaugural seasons. 

Click here to see the updated list of all 2015 Emmy episode submissions

Both of these laffers had been snubbed in the top Best Comedy Series race, but still managed to take home trophies for writing and directing. Our theory as to how that happened? The pilots of “Malcolm” and “Earl” were so original in concept and so visual in design that academy members voting in the writing and directing categories just couldn’t pass them up.

Likewise, the pilot of “The Last Man on Earth” — “Alive in Tucson” — is represented in both the writing and directing fields at this year’s Emmys. It’s a wildly ambitious script penned by series star (and Best Comedy Actor nominee) Will Forte and directed by the helmers of “The Lego Movie,” Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

According to the Emmy predictions made by Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users and All Users, “Alive in Tucson” has combined 14/1 odds to win writing and 6/1 odds to win directing. That puts it in third place on each of those charts, behind leading comedy contenders “Veep” and “Transparent.” Click here to see all Emmy odds and rankings.

But, wait — when you look just at the Emmy predictions of our Editors, this episode is predicted to win Best Directing. Three of our Editors forecast a victory for Lord and Miller: myself, Daniel Montgomery and Chris Beachum. When I asked Chris why he thought it would win directing, he said simply, “‘Lego Movie’ snub.”

We chatted with Forte, Lord and Miller before Emmy nominations came out, and they revealed fun secrets about the show and the process of working behind the scenes on such a challenging project. Watch our webchats below.

Experts Emmy predictions: All 32 categories

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Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

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