‘The Good Place’: Will Ted Danson or Maya Rudolph win Emmys ahead of Season 3 premiere?

The highly anticipated Season 3 premiere of “The Good Place” debuts Thursday, September 27 on NBC, just 10 days after the 2018 Emmys are handed out. While the first season was skunked at the Emmys, Season 2 rebounded by claiming two acting nominations for Ted Danson (Best Comedy Actor) and Maya Rudolph (Best Comedy Guest Actress). Will either of them prevail and give some much-needed attention to this under-the-radar comedy series?

Danson plays architect Michael, who over the course of two seasons flip-flopped between being a trusted friend and a demonic villain. The veteran actor chose to submit the episode “Dance Dance Resolution” for Emmy consideration, which features Michael restarting his “Good Place” scenario again and again as the group led by Eleanor (Kristen Bell) continues to figure it out. Emmy voters are already well aware of Danson, as he previously received 11 nominations in this category as lovable bartender Sam Malone on “Cheers,” winning twice in 1990 and 1993. He most recently earned three bids for playing antagonist Arthur Frobisher on “Damages” (2008-10).

Securing a nomination for “The Good Place” was arguably the toughest part for Danson, as Emmy voters clearly aren’t watching the cult show or it also would have been recognized in Best Comedy Series, Writing, Directing, etc. Now that he’s nominated, Danson could easily win Best Comedy Actor based on name recognition alone. He competes against Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Donald Glover (“Atlanta”), Bill Hader (“Barry”) and William H. Macy (“Shameless”).

Rudolph, who portrays Judge Gen in the two-part Season 2 finale, faces off against Tina Fey (“Saturday Night Live”), Tiffany Haddish (“Saturday Night Live”), Jane Lynch (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Molly Shannon (“Will & Grace”) and Wanda Sykes (“Black-ish”) as Best Comedy Guest Actress. Rudolph was previously nominated for guest hosting “SNL” in this same category, but lost out to Kathy Bates (“Two and a Half Men”).

In her Emmy episode submission, titled “The Burrito,” Judge Gen is a cheerfully friendly cosmic justice who decides the fate of all disputes in the afterlife. She hasn’t had a case in 30 years, so she agrees to stop binge-watching her favorite TV show and test the humans on whether they belong in the Good Place or the Bad Place. Season 2 ends with Judge Gen agreeing to send the humans back to earth to see if they’ve truly learned anything about being good.

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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 winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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