Allison Janney (“Mom”) has won the Emmy for Best Comedy Supporting Actress for the last two years in a row, bringing her career total to seven. In addition to those two trophies, she has four Emmys for “The West Wing” (Drama Supporting Actress in 2000-2001, Drama Actress in 2002 and 2004) and one for “Masters of Sex” (Best Drama Guest Actress in 2014). That haul puts her just one away from tying Cloris Leachman‘s record eight Primetime Emmy acting wins. (Leachman also has one Daytime Emmy).
We’ve polled 20 expert TV journalists, and they overwhelmingly predict that Janney will got three-for-three for “Mom” and get closer to making Emmy history. But is she really a safe bet? Unlike “The West Wing,” an Emmy darling that won Best Drama Series four times, “Mom” hasn’t caught on with Emmy voters apart from Janney, who has been the only nominee from the show in its first two years. It’s remarkably rare for an actor to win multiple Emmys for a series that lacks any other support — will Janney really take three?
Seventeen out of 20 experts say that she will, giving her 1/10 odds: Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair), 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), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Meanwhile, Don Kaplan (NY Daily News) thinks Jane Krakowski (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) will win, giving her 1/1 odds. In addition to her nomination last year, she also reaped four Comedy Supporting Actress bids for “30 Rock” (2009-2011, 2013) without a victory. On top of that, she spent five years on another Best Comedy Series champ, “Ally McBeal,” without a nom, so she’s long overdue.
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post) is betting on Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), giving her 27/20 odds. The sketch-comedy star has been nominated in this category for the last two years, but no regular “SNL” cast member has won since sketch performers were moved into the comedy acting categories in 2008. That could change, however, if the TV academy is swayed by her success on the big screen: she co-stars in the reboot of “Ghostbusters,” which opens July 15 and will be fresh in mind when voters are picking the winners later this summer.
Janney, Krakowski and McKinnon were all nominated last year, as were five other women: Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”), Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”), Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”), Gaby Hoffmann (“Transparent”) and Niecy Nash (“Getting On”). There were eight nominees in the category rather than six as voting was so close that it triggered the 2% rule. All eight are eligible to be nominated again, which should concern at least two of them.
Those women may also have to accommodate Hoffmann’s “Transparent” co-star Judith Light, whom our experts rank fifth with 17/10 odds. Light is a TV veteran, but she only has one previous Primetime Emmy nomination: Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Ugly Betty” (2007). But she did win a pair of Daytime Emmys for her leading role in the ABC soap “One Life to Live” (1980-1981).
Below, current odds set by the experts’ picks. Make your predictions here and compete against these experts and your friends.
BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Allison Janney, “Mom” – 1/10
2. Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – 1/1
3. Anna Chlumsky, “Veep” – 5/4
4. Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” – 27/20
5. Judith Light, “Transparent” – 17/10
6. Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory” – 2/1
7. Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent” – 21/10
8. Niecy Nash, “Getting On” – 11/5
9. Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” – 12/5
10. Amy Landecker, “Transparent” – 4/1
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