Emmy predictions by Top 24 Users: Could Judith Light upset defending champ Kate McKinnon?

Kate McKinnon surprised Emmy pundits last year by winning Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Saturday Night Live.” She was the first regular cast member on “SNL” to win an Emmy since variety performers were moved into the comedy acting categories in 2008. But she won’t be a surprise this year. Our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmy nominations, already say she’ll win again, though they’re not unanimous. They warn of a possibly upset by Judith Light (“Transparent”).

Twenty-two of our Top 24 are betting on McKinnon, who plays myriad characters on “SNL.” Emmy voters love to reward actors for playing multiple roles — they get to vote for several performances for the price of one — but there’s one role in particular that will likely give McKinnon a boost this year. She played Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton throughout the election campaign, through her debates against Donald Trump and her upset loss in November. McKinnon even performed Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” in character as a dual tribute to Clinton and to Cohen, who had just died. Those political sketches made McKinnon so popular she even won a Critics’ Choice Award as a leading actress.

But the last two of our top users say Judith Light will pull off an upset. She first earned a nomination for this role last year and is looking for her first Primetime Emmy win, though she does have two past victories at the Daytime Emmys for “One Life to Live” (Best Actress, 1980-1981).

None of the Top 24 are predicting a win for any other Comedy Supporting Actress contenders — at least, not yet. But they’re unanimous that Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”) will get a return nomination. She has been nominated for the last four years in a row but hasn’t won yet.

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Jane Krakowski didn’t make the cut last year for her performance in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” but she was nominated the year before for the Netflix series, and she picked up another four nominations for her prior role in “30 Rock.” Now 20 of our Top 24 are predicting that she’ll return to the lineup.

Meanwhile, Judith Light’s “Transparent” co-star Gaby Hoffmann has been nominated for both of the Amazon show’s previous seasons, and 18 of our Top 24 expect her to stay in the category for a third year.

EGOT winner Rita Moreno is the likeliest to earn a nomination for a first-year show according to our Top 24: 16 of them say she will earn a nom for Netflix’s reimagining of the classic sitcom “One Day at a Time.” Moreno has been nominated for six Primetime Emmys and four Daytime Emmys. She previously won in primetime for her guest appearance on “The Muppet Show” (1977) and then the following year for a guest role on “The Rockford Files” (1978). But it’s been 20 years since her last Emmy bid.

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Three top users think another contender from a freshman show will get in: Andrea Martin (“Great News”). The series premiered on NBC on April 25, so it’ll be fresh in voters minds. Plus it’s produced by “30 Rock” Emmy darling Tina Fey, which never hurts. On top of that Martin is an industry favorite in and of herself. She earned 10 total nominations for “SCTV” over just two years (1982-1983), winning twice for writing. This would be her first victory for acting.

Another past nominee hoping for a comeback is Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”). She was nominated four years in a row (2012-2015), but missed out last year. Now three of our Top 24 Users say she’ll get back in. Another three top users are forecasting a first career Emmy nom for “Black-ish” scene-stealer Jenifer Lewis, who previously earned a Critics’ Choice nom in 2016 for her performance as Anthony Anderson‘s mother and a SAG nomination this past winter as part of the show’s ensemble cast.

Two top users think Leslie Jones (“SNL”) will join her castmate McKinnon with her first nomination, while one top user apiece is forecasting a nom for Molly Shannon (“Divorce”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), Olivia Colman (“Fleabag”) and Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”).

Predict the Emmy nominees now; change them until July 13

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.

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