‘Broad City’: Vanessa Williams, Cynthia Nixon, Melissa Leo among strong guest Emmy contenders

Despite critical acclaim for its first two seasons (including back-to-back Critics’ Choice nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actress for Ilana Glazer) “Broad City†failed to gain any traction in the Emmy race. But its third season, which concluded on April 20, could give the comedy its best shot yet at earning its first Emmy nomination (or even second and third!) .

While the show and its stars Glazer and Abbi Jacobson still face steep competition in the Comedy Series and Comedy Actress categories, there is strong potential in the guest acting races. The third season included a parade of guest appearances by award-winning and high-profile actors, any one of whom could finally earn “Broad City†the Emmy recognition it deserves.

‘Broad City’ stars Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer:
Embracing absurdities of NYC in season 2 [Exclusive Video]

Oscar-winner Melissa Leo provided the season’s meatiest guest spot as the owner of a Brooklyn food co-op that Jacobson works for while pretending to be Glazer. Leo’s performance is the antithesis of the dramatic film roles we best know her for – think “The Fighter†or “Prisoners†– letting voters see a fresh side of her talent. Leo will likely also contend for Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress for “All the Way,†so she’s a name that will surely be on the minds of voters already. And don’t forget that Leo already won Comedy Guest Actress once before, for her turn in “Louie” in 2013.

Voters could also look to awards darling Cynthia Nixon (an Emmy, Grammy and Tony champ), who appeared in the famous Hillary Clinton episode as an employee on Clinton’s campaign staff. Nixon’s interactions with Glazer, who temporarily volunteers with the campaign, are fantastic and even reminiscent of the business-focused role she played to an Emmy win as Miranda on “Sex and the City.†On top of that, the same episode features six-time Emmy winner Alan Alda and “SNL” alum Rachel Dratch, who have short but noteworthy scenes of their own.

Meanwhile, EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg provided one of the most buzzworthy appearances on the show dancing as her “Sister Act†character at the tail-end of the episode “Game Over.” She may be unlikely to get any traction for that brief cameo, but that episode’s other guest star, three-time Emmy nominee Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Bettyâ€), gets lots more screentime and could get lots more awards attention. Williams plays another of Glazer’s temporary employers, who shares a unique bathroom habit in common with Glazer to hilarious effect.

The season also featured smaller but memorable turns from Emmy nominee Tony Danza (“The Practiceâ€) as Jacobson’s father, perennial Emmy nominee and one-time winner Seth Green (“Robot Chickenâ€) as a romance-encouraging Birthright youth leader, and recent Critics’ Choice nominee and potential Comedy Actress Emmy contender Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ishâ€) as a flight attendant who believes Glazer and Jacobson are a threat.

Which “Broad City” guest do you think is most deserving of Emmy recognition? Vote in our poll below.

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