Jeffrey Tambor made it two straight Emmys Sunday night for “Transparent.” He had lost six nominations in the supporting comedy category for “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Arrested Development” before he finally won on his seventh try last year for his leading role on this Amazon series in which he plays Maura Pfefferman, who comes out as a transgender woman late in life.
He joins a select list of actors to snag consecutive prizes: Dick Van Dyke (“The Dick Van Dyke Show,” 1964, 1966), Don Adams (“Get Smart,” 1967-68), Carroll O’Connor (“All in the Family,” 1977-78), Michael J. Fox (“Family Ties,” 1986-87), Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier,” 1994-95), John Lithgow (“3rd Rock from the Sun,” 1996-1997), Tony Shalhoub (“Monk,”2005-06), Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock,” 2008-09) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” 2010-11, 2013-14). Parsons is the only one to pull this off twice; no award was given in ’65, allowing Van Dyke to be included here.
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Fifteen out of 18 experts were betting on Tambor, giving him leading 3/10 odds: Michael Ausiello (TV Line), Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
This year Tambor submitted to Emmy judges the episode “Man on the Land,” in which Maura attends a women’s music festival with her daughters only to discover that the festival doesn’t allow transgender women.
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) ranked second with 7/1 odds based on support from two experts: Eric Deggans (NPR) and Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly). This was Anderson’s second straight nomination for his role as ad exec Dre Johnson. This time he submitted the episode “Hope,” in which Dre struggles with how to teach his children about the realities of police brutality.
One expert, Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), predicted Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), giving him 12/1 odds. This was Ansari’s first nomination for acting, but this year he was also nominated for writing, directing and producing the series. That indicated broad support from the TV academy, though unfortunately for him writers and directors don’t get to vote in the acting race. He submitted the episode “Parents,” in which his character, aspiring New York actor Dev, learns about his parents’ challenging immigrant experience.
None of our experts predicted the other three nominees, all of whom got 80/1 odds. Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”) was nominated for the second year in a row (and for the fifth time in his career) for his role as Phil Miller, who survived a virus that wiped out most of the human race. He submitted the episode “30 Years of Science Down the Tubes” in which Phil bonds with his brother, who is showing symptoms of the deadly virus.
Thomas Middleditch was nominated for “Silicon Valley” for the first time even though the series has been nominated for Best Comedy Series for the last three years. He plays Richard Hendricks, the head of a tech startup, and in his episode submission, “The Empty Chair,” he fights to take back the CEO position of his own company.
Rounding out the category was William H. Macy (“Shameless”) as dysfunctional dad Frank Gallagher. This was his third straight nomination for this role, but Macy has been nominated 12 times over the course of his career, and he won twice as the writer and star of the TV movie “Door to Door” (2003). He submitted the episode “I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing,” in which Frank mourns the loss of the woman he loved, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and chose to take her own life.
Gold Derby’s Editors, who cover awards year-round, agreed that this was Tambor’s race to lose, and we predicted him unanimously: O’Neil, Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble and Daniel Montgomery.