[WATCH] Emmy predictions slugfest: Biggest threats to frontrunners ‘Veep’ and ‘Game of Thrones’

Despite “Veep” being far out front in the race for Best Comedy Series with odds of 1/5 to repeat, as I told Paul Sheehan during  our recent slugfest (watch above) “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk at all.” While I am still predicting it to prevail “because it does have the most nominations, it got nominated everywhere it needs to and it won last year,” I assert that we are undervaluing “Transparent” (33/1) and especially “Silicon Valley” (50/1).

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While “Veep” appears to be in a much stronger position than “Silicon Valley” with 16 versus 11 nominations, “they’re much more even than these totals suggest.” “Veep” is triple-nominated for Best Comedy Directing, but “Silicon Valley” only made two submissions. Similarly, “Veep” earned a nomination for guest actor Martin Mull, but “Silicon Valley” did not submit any guests for consideration. Likewise, “Veep” scored a bid for supporting actress Anna Chlumsky, but women play such minor roles in “Silicon Valley” that Gold Derby did not include any among the 39 contenders for that race in the predictions center.

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As I concluded, “If you take those out, the only advantage that ‘Veep’ has is its two supporting actors versus zero for ‘Silicon Valley,’ but both [comedies] got double Editing, they both got Series, Casting, Production Design, double Writing, multiple episodes in Directing [and their Lead nominated].”

I admit that “Transparent” “did pretty poorly” in the nominations; it has a different path to an upset. “ ‘Veep’ and ‘Silicon Valley’ are in danger of splitting the vote,” I explain with reference to the Emmys’ switch this year from preferential ballot to plurality vote. “They’re both HBO satires that air in the ten o’clock hour from April to June. I think a lot of the same people are ticking off both of these shows.” I wonder, “The ‘Veep’ and ‘Silicon Valley’ crowd is larger than the ‘Transparent’ crowd, but are they twice as large?”

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There is no such suspense on the drama side.  “I think ‘Game of Thrones’ has it easier than it did last year. I’d say its biggest competition is ‘House of Cards,’ but ‘House of Cards’ has not been nominated for writing, directing or editing the last two years, so that’s not a very strong competitor. Then you also have ‘Downton Abbey,’ which has its final season, is up for writing and directing, but it severely underperformed in acting nominations.”

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