The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards should probably consider a subtitle because it could very well become a Donald Glover and Bill Hader showdown. The multi-hyphenates might find themselves battling in five categories for their respective shows “Atlanta” and “Barry,” and “Saturday Night Live” for good measure.
This didn’t seem possible a couple months ago, but Hader’s hitman comedy has become a slow-burning critical favorite with Hader’s performance earning raves. The “SNL” alum has gradually climbed to fifth place in our Best Comedy Actor odds, which has only been topped by defending champ Glover since our predictions center launched. Hader’s odds have also risen since Tuesday after our pundits rejiggered their picks following “Roseanne”’s cancellation.
Hader and Glover are both strongest in Best Comedy Guest Actor, where they are sitting at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, for their “SNL” hosting gigs. Hader, who has an Emmy for “South Park,” never won in supporting for “SNL” while he was a cast member and lost in guest in 2015 to Bradley Whitford (“Transparent”). If voters think about these things, this would be an ideal place to reward Hader for his great year if “Atlanta” will be as big as we all think it will be.
Their other three potential face-offs are less solid. Both are creators and producers of their shows, so they could take home the big one, Best Comedy Series. “Atlanta” sits atop those predictions, while “Barry” is lodged in eighth right now and has to deal freshman series like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “GLOW.” This race would be the hardest for “Barry” to break into.
Comedy writing and directing are far more probable to field both shows. Glover won directing and received one of “Atlanta”’s two writing nominations last year, so you can probably pencil him in again for both. He wrote the best episode of the season, “Teddy Perkins,” which was directed by Hiro Murai, and helmed two episodes himself.
Murai, ironically, directed two “Barry” episodes. Hader directed three of them, including the pilot, which he co-wrote with co-creator Alec Berg. Pilots fare well in these categories as they introduce and set the tone of the series. “Barry” should also be encouraged by “The Last Man on Earth,” which was created by and starred Hader’s fellow “SNL” alum Will Forte. Like “Barry,” the comedy premiered in March, in 2015, and it went on to receive four nominations for its first season, including comedy actor for Forte, writing (Forte for the pilot) and directing (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for the pilot). There is no reason to think “Barry” can’t follow that same path.
So, yeah, these two could be seeing a lot of each other in September.
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