Jonathan Groff (‘Mindhunter’): Emmy Experts say the Netflix G-Man could track down his first nomination

Jonathan Groff is a two-time Tony nominee for his work on Broadway, and his musical theater work even won him a Grammy. But despite a significant TV resume he has yet to be nominated for an Emmy. Now he’s a contender for Best Drama Actor for Netflix’s psychological thriller “Mindhunter.” It doesn’t hurt that the series is directed and produced by David Fincher, who has directed many nominated performances in film and TV.

Groff stars as Holden Ford, an FBI agent in the 1970s who is fascinated by the psychology of serial killers. It’s a far cry from the actor’s previous roles, like “Glee” villain Jesse St. James and lovelorn “Looking” protagonist Patrick Murray. But it’s a change of pace that could appeal to the television academy, who have nominated other G-Men before him like Kyle MacLachlan in “Twin Peaks” (1990-1991) and David Duchovny in “The X-Files” (1997-1998). That’s in addition to countless other lawmen who have contended over the years from James Garner in “The Rockford Files,” to Peter Falk in “Columbo,” to Dennis Franz in “NYPD Blue.”

But based on our latest racetrack odds, Groff is an underdog ranked 10th with 66/1 odds of a nomination. Those odds are based on the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users, but three of the Expert journalists we’ve polled from top media outlets say we’re underestimating him. Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) are betting on Groff to make the cut.

Groff is also backed by one of our Editors who covers awards year-round for Gold Derby, one of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmy noms, and one of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Emmy predictions.

Fincher is an Emmy winner and an Oscar nominee for directing, and he has an especially strong track record with actors. His films have earned Oscar bids for five performers: Brad Pitt and Taraji P. Henson for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008), Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network” (2010), Rooney Mara for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011) and Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl” (2014).

In addition, the other Netflix drama series Fincher produces, the political drama “House of Cards,” has earned 22 Emmy nominations for acting alone, with a win for Reg E. Cathey (Best Drama Guest Actor, 2015). With the final season of “House of Cards” delayed until this fall, it’s not eligible for Emmys this year, so Fincher fans in the academy can transfer their support to “Mindhunter.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV 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 over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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