After six losses in Comedy Supporting Actor — four for “The Larry Sanders Show” (1993, 1996-1998), two for “Arrested Development” (2004-2005) — Jeffrey Tambor finally won his first Emmy last year up in Comedy Actor for the Amazon dramedy “Transparent.” The defending champ is the overwhelming frontrunner to win again this year. See racetrack odds in all top Emmy races.
Seventeen out of the 19 expert TV journalists we’ve polled are betting on Tambor, giving him 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), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Is Tambor unstoppable? According to one expert, Adnan Virk (ESPN), the winner will be Anthony Anderson (‘Black-ish’), who earned his first nomination last year and now ranks second with 21/20 odds. Another expert, Don Kaplan (NY Daily News), is also deviating from the consensus by picking Rob Delaney (“Catastrophe”) for the win. But only two other experts are predicting a nomination for Delaney, giving him 3/1 odds.
Last year there were seven nominees in this category as the result of a tie. Five of them are eligible to return to the line up: Tambor and Anderson, as well as Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”), Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”) and William H. Macy (“Shameless”). The other two nominees, Louis C.K. (“Louie”) and Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”) didn’t feature in any new episodes this season.
That means there’s at least one vacancy to fill this year. Eighteen of our 19 experts are predicting Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”) will join the lineup, giving him 13/10 odds. This is Ansari’s first time competing in the Best Comedy Actor race, but he could be considered overdue after seven seasons without a nomination for his standout supporting role in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”
We could also see a return by Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”). Parsons won a record-tying four Best Comedy Actor titles out of six nominations for the CBS sitcom. His most recent victory was in 2014, so it came as a big surprise when he was snubbed last year. But “Big Bang” remains a big hit, so it would be foolish to rule out a comeback. He gets 7/4 odds of setting a new record with a fifth win.
Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”) is also aiming for an Emmy bid. His Golden Globe victory for Best TV Comedy Actor this past January was a surprise but it may well have put him on the TV academy’s radar. He’s on the cusp of a nomination with 2/1 odds.
Below, current odds set by the experts’ picks. Make your predictions here and compete against these experts and your friends.
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
1. Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” – 1/10
2. Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” – 21/20
3. Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” – 13/10
4. Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” -7/4
5. William H. Macy, “Shameless” – 9/5
6. Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth” – 15/8
7. Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle” – 2/1
8. Rob Delaney, “Catastrophe” – 3/1
9. Rob Lowe, “The Grinder” – 10/3
10. Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley” – 9/2
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