Who will emerge as 2016 Emmy Award frontrunners for comedy when nominations are announced this Thursday? Last year’s winner of Best Comedy Series “Veep” looks strong again, but faces serious challenges from rookies like “Master of None” and relative newbies “Transparent,” “Black-ish,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” Watch Gold Derby editors Tom O’Neil, Paul Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon and I discuss the possibilities in our new slugfest video above.
I’m the sole editor forecasting a surprise victory for “Transparent” as Best Comedy. No dramedy has won since “Ally McBeal” in 1999, but “Transparent” is competing for its second season just as “Ally McBeal” was when it took down a seemingly unstoppable past champ, “Frasier.” Also, transgender rights and representation are more relevant than ever with public figures like Caitlyn Jenner (“I Am Cait”) and Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) bringing trans awareness to the forefront and anti-LGBT laws gaining traction in conservative states; more liberal academy members may wish to cast votes on the right side of history.
But what about in the acting categories? With the Emmys revising their procedures to allow more academy members to vote, these awards may have become more or less a popular vote, which might result in repeat victories for all of last year’s favorites. Jeffrey Tambor seems all but unbeatable for Best Comedy Actor, though Anthony Anderson could put up a fight, especially if “Black-ish” surges in this year’s nominations, as many of us are expecting it to. Julia Louis-Dreyfus appears to be similarly indomitable for a record fifth straight Best Comedy Actress title, though Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer”) still has plenty of Cool Factor on her side.
Another sketch comedian, Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) has a chance to topple two-time Best Comedy Supporting Actress champ Allison Janney; McKinnon will be fresh in mind thanks to her starring role in the big-screen comedy “Ghostbusters.” And Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) is hoping for Emmy revenge in Best Comedy Supporting Actor after his loss last year to Hale.
Which of our editors do you most agree with? Watch our slugfest video above, and be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmy nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.