2018 Emmy slugfest: Why Best Comedy Series is one of the most exciting races in years [WATCH]

“Normally, I’m more drawn to the drama categories, but I think comedy is really fun this year,” Charles Bright tells me and our fellow Gold Derby contributors Zach Laws, Tom O’Brien and Amanda Spears in our slugfest about the Emmy nominations in the comedy races (watch above). I add that “I’m a lot more confused after the nominations than I was before. I thought that this would be ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ and I guess I still am betting on it, but it could very easily be ‘Atlanta,’ which got more nominations, even if it’s not in as many categories.” And don’t count out “Barry.” It’s “decisively the choice from voters for HBO [and] is starting essentially where it took ‘Veep’ four years to get in nominations.”

With 13 and 14 nominations respectively, “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are the most-nominated new comedies since the debut of “Modern Family” received 14 noms eight years ago. Compare that to last year when the most-nominated new comedy was “Atlanta” with just six bids. But “Atlanta” has moved up in nominations in year two — way up. Laws says, “The headline that I did not expect from this morning was: ‘Atlanta’ leads comedy nominees with 16 nominations … That second season exploded in a really big way.”

With “Veep” ineligible after winning Best Comedy Series for the last three years (it didn’t air any new episodes this season) and previous five-time winner “Modern Family” snubbed for the first time in its nine seasons, I note how strange it is that “our top three comedies this year are all dramedies because normally you look for the dramedy that’s up-and-coming and then it inevitably gets defeated by the same old comedy again and again.”

That happened when “Everybody Loves Raymond” beat “Desperate Housewives” (2005), when “30 Rock” beat “Ugly Betty” (2007), when “Modern Family” beat “Nurse Jackie” and “Glee” (2010), and when “Veep” beat “Transparent” (2015). But “that’s not an option this year.” So voters might take Best Comedy Series more seriously this time around.

Make your Emmy predictions, so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the ceremony on September 17. And join in the fun debate taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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