Emmy Experts give ‘Veep’ the edge for Best Comedy, but ‘Mrs. Maisel’ and ‘Fleabag’ are so close they can taste it

The Emmys are right around the corner, bbut predicting Best Comedy Series hasn’t gotten any easier. There’s still a three-way tie between “Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Veep,” all of which get leading odds of 11/2. But the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed from top media outlets are ever so slightly leaning in one direction over the others. A plurality of them say “Veep” will be victorious for the fourth time.

As of this writing 12 out of 30 Experts pick “Veep” to win reelection: Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Wilson Morales (BlackFilm), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Michael Schneider (Variety), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), and Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine).

Another 10 Experts say “Maisel” will win for the second year in a row: Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Ed Martin (Media Village), Mary Murphy (Gold Derby), Nikki Novak (Fandango), Christopher Rosen (TVGuide.com), Sasha Stone (Awards Dailey), Jazz Tangcay (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Ben Travers (IndieWire) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

The last eight Experts are backing “Fleabag”: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Michael Ausiello (TVLine), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Chris Harnick (E!), Robert Rorke (New York Post) and Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com).

That’s a pretty even split between those three shows, so it seems like this race really could go in any of those directions this Sunday night. But perhaps the Creative Arts Emmys from this past weekend can guide us as we all pull our hair out over our predictions until the very last minute.

“Maisel” won six Creative Arts Awards, including guest-acting prizes for both Jane Lynch and Luke Kirby, which suggests ample support from the television academy across the board. Last year “Maisel” won eight Emmys total, which set a new record for the most awarded comedy series in a single year. It could match or exceed that total this year whether it wins Best Comedy Series or not.

“Fleabag” also showed significant strength at Creative Arts. It’s not as technically lavish a production as the 1950s-set “Maisel,” but it still eked out wins for Best Picture Editing and Best Casting. That latter win might be especially consequential since Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Casting have matched for the last four years.

“Veep” was shut out at Creative Arts, which is perhaps worrying for the HBO political satire since the show always at least won the aforementioned casting award in the years it won Best Comedy (2015-2017). But “Veep’s” strength at the Emmys has never been in craft categories, so its shortfall may not signal doom.

None of our Experts are betting on “Barry” or “Russian Doll,” but we shouldn’t underestimate them either. Each has more nominations than “Fleabag” and “Veep” — “Barry” has 17 and “Doll” has 13 — and both won multiple prizes at the Creative Arts Awards, so they just might be sleeping giants at this weekend’s main event.

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 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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