Emmy experts predict Comedy Actor: Donald Glover (‘Atlanta’) will be 11th winner for first season of show

With only four days left in the first round of Emmy voting, the overwhelming majority of experts, who are drawn from some of the country’s most influential media outlets, are still predicting that Donald Glover will win Best Comedy Actor for the first season of his hit FX series “Atlanta.” This talented multi-hyphenate also created this FX comedy series, wrote four of the 10 episodes and even directed one of them.

As of this writing, 19 experts have entered their predictions at Gold Derby, and an even dozen are backing Glover: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine),  Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times) and Jarett Wieselman (BuzzFeed).

Five experts are going with reigning two-time champ Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”): Lynn Elber (AP), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo) and Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby).

And two of us think that Anthony Anderson will prevail with his third consecutive bid for “Black-ish”: Joyce Eng (TV Guide) and Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby).

Tambor would be the ninth actor to win this race three times for the same show. However, only two have done so consecutively: Don Adams (“Get Smart,” 1967-69) and Michael J. Fox (“Family Ties,” 1986-88). Conversely, 10 actors have prevailed for the first season of their show including, most recently, Tambor in 2015.

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This freshman lucky charm dates back to the earliest days of the Emmys when Danny Thomas won for the first season of “Make Room for Daddy” (1954) as did Phil Silver for his self-titled show (1955). After a long stretch where the winners were from returning shows, William Windom won for the only season of “My World and Welcome to It” in 1970. Since then seven fellows have found that first time is the charm: Jack Klugman (“The Odd Couple,” 1971), Richard Mulligan (“Empty Nest,” 1989), Burt Reynolds (“Evening Shade,” 1991), Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier,” 1994), John Lithgow (“Third Rock from the Sun,” 1997), Tony Shalhoub (“Monk,” 2003) and Tambor.

Of the other likely contenders, Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”) has the support of all but one expert to contend again for his Netflix series. Last year, he did what Glover could do this year by reaping bids for acting, writing, directing and producing. He had to settle for just one win, for his scripting.

It took till the third season of “Silicon Valley” for star Thomas Middleditch to make the cut for the first time last year. Now 14 experts say he’ll return to the race. Eleven experts expect William H. Macy (“Shameless”) to receive his fourth straight nomination. And seven say Hank Azaria will get in for the first season of his IFC hit “Brockmire.”

Emmy Experts: Best Comedy Actor

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