2018 Emmy race for Best Comedy Writing: Will Alec Berg be nominated for both ‘Barry’ and ‘Silicon Valley’?

The Emmy Awards ballot for Best Comedy Writing lists 224 episodes from 117 series, up from 195 episodes from 101 series last year, when the nominees were:

Atlanta” season 1
“B.A.N.” (Donald Glover)
“Streets on Lock” (Stephen Glover)

“Master of None” season 2
Winner: “Thanksgiving” (Aziz Ansari & Lena Waithe)

Silicon Valley” season 4
“Success Failure” (Alec Berg)

“Veep” season 6
“Georgia” (Billy Kimball)
“Groundbreaking” (David Mandel)

2016/2017 winner “Master of None” and 2015 winner “Veep” are out of contention, so there are two or three slots open, depending on how you count “Episodes,” which has never missed a nomination when eligible in this category. Having been nominated in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015, “Episodes” now contends for its series finale.

Alec Berg similarly contends for his fifth consecutive nomination for “Silicon Valley.” He is also in contention for the “Barry” pilot co-written by Bill Hader, who has never been nominated for writing, despite a combined 10 Emmy nominations from starring in “Saturday Night Live” and producing both “Documentary Now!” and “South Park.” Berg stands to be the first to be nominated against himself in this category since Robert Carlock for “30 Rock” in 2009 and the first to be nominated simultaneously for different comedies since David Lloyd for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda” in 1975. “Barry” has also submitted its penultimate episode, considered the standout of the season, written by Liz Sarnoff, who has received four nominations for producing Best Drama Series nominees “Deadwood” and “Lost.”

Other dramedies with pilots on the ballot include “GLOW” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Odds are good that at least one is nominated, as there have not been consecutive years in the 2000s without a pilot nominated for Best Comedy Writing. 17 have been nominated in the 2000s, although never three simultaneously. “GLOW” could be nominated instead for a midseason episode written by Jenji Kohan, who was nominated for the “Orange is the New Black” pilot four years ago. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was previously nominated 26 years ago for “Roseanne” in 1992, so she stands to set a new record for longest gap between consecutive nominations in Best Comedy Writing. The current record holder is Bob Weiskopf, who was first nominated for “I Love Lucy” in 1956, then was next nominated in this category 22 years later for “All in the Family” in 1978.

If an older show breaks through, it might be “The Good Place,” perhaps for the season finale by Michael Schur. He was previously nominated in this category for “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” two other NBC single-camera sitcoms that received zero nominations for their first seasons.

Also contending for its second season, “Atlanta” has entered three episodes instead of two this time, again limiting entries to its writers who double as producers, with Stefani Robinson being promoted from the first season. Donald Glover curiously opted for the season premiere as his submission instead of the landmark “Teddy Perkins” episode.

Submissions from top contenders:

“Atlanta” season 2
“Alligator Man” (Donald Glover)
“Barbershop” (Stefani Robinson)
“FUBU” (Stephen Glover)

“Barry” season 1
“Loud, Fast, and Keep Going” (Liz Sarnoff)
“Make Your Mark” (Alec Berg & Bill Hader)

“Episodes” season 5
“Episode Seven” (David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik)

“GLOW” season 1
“Pilot” (Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch)
“This is One of Those Moments” (Jenji Kohan)

“The Good Place” season 2
“Dance Dance Revolution” (Megan Amram)
“Somewhere Else” (Michael Schur)
“The Trolley Problem” (Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” season 1
“Pilot” (Amy Sherman-Palladino)

“Silicon Valley” season 5
“Fifty-One Percent” (Alec Berg)

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 nominees are announced on July 12. 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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