As expected, Rachel Brosnahan made a marvelous impression on Emmy voters. She won Best Comedy Actress for the Amazon streaming series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” when the television academy handed out its prizes on Monday night, September 17. She overcame her five fellow nominees Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”) and Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”).
Brosnahan had been the front-runner all season, ever since she won Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards for her breakthrough role as Midge Maisel, a ’50s housewife who takes a sharp left turn into the world of stand-up comedy after her husband abruptly leaves her for his secretary. Going into Emmy night she was far and away the favorite to prevail with overwhelming odds of 2/11 based on the combined forecasts of thousands of Gold Derby users.
Among those users who made their picks were 27 Expert journalists from top media outlets, 26 of whom correctly forecast Brosnahan’s victory: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Chris Harnick (E!), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Ed Martin (Media Village), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Michael Schneider (IndieWire), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ben Travers (IndieWire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).
Though “Mrs. Maisel” is her breakthrough role, this was actually Brosnahan’s second Emmy nomination. She earned a surprise bid for Best Drama Guest Actress in 2015 for her recurring role as Rachel Posner in the Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” So the Emmys even liked her before it was cool.
And it didn’t hurt Brosnahan’s case that the six-time reigning champ in the category, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), was out of the running this year because the actress’s treatment for cancer delayed production of “Veep’s” seventh and final season. But Louis-Dreyfus will be back in the mix in 2019, when we’ll be treated to a real clash of the Best Comedy Actress titans.