It is going to be an uphill battle for Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” to gain an Emmy foothold in the comedy category when the title match is expected to boil down to the second season of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” vs. the seventh and final season of HBO’s “Veep.”
But that doesn’t mean the show’s venerated male stars, Michael Douglas as thrice-divorced acting coach Sandy Kominsky and Alan Arkin as widower Norman Newlander as his agent, couldn’t both come away with a trophy. If you need a comparison from the past, you can’t do better than the original sitcom version of “The Odd Couple,” the comedy series about two divorced men living together. It was based on Neil Simon’s 1965 play as well as the 1968 hit film starring Jack Lemmon as persnickety Felix Unger and Walter Matthau as super slob Oscar Madison.
For the ABC version that aired for five seasons (1970-75), Tony Randall and Jack Klugman – each veterans of different productions of the play – were hired as Felix, a photographer, and Oscar, a sportswriter. Oddly, the series was not a ratings grabber but the network kept renewing the show because its summer reruns drew big numbers. Despite its low viewership, both Randall and Klugman were nominated as comedy leads for each year of the show’s run. Klugman won two trophies in 1971 and 1973 and Randall was rewarded for the fifth and final season in 1975. The show itself was up for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1971, 1972 and 1974.
While Sandy and Norman aren’t roomies, their personalities do clash a bit. Sandy is full of himself, irresponsible when it comes to money and is a diehard skirt-chaser, especially when it comes to his young female students. Norman who has a more comfy lifestyle, likes to kvetch and is somewhat more introspective. But they clearly are near and dear best friends despite their business arrangement and occasional differences.
Considering that Arkin is competing in the supporting category and Douglas is vying as a lead, both men could potentially come away as winners for the same season, something Randall and Klugman could not achieve. A glance at Gold Derby’s combined Emmy odds chart, Douglas is putting some pressure on the current leader, “Barry’s” Bill Hader. Arkin, on the other hand, is the frontrunner and is far ahead of his closest rival, “Veep’s” Tony Hale. who is in second place.
Just last year, Hader and co-star Henry Winkler won as lead and supporting comedy actor champs for “Barry.” Previously, ‘Frasier’s’ Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce were both granted Emmys three times in 1995, 1998 and 2004. Maybe Douglas, 74, and Arkin, 85, could start a similar tradition considering that their show has been renewed for a second round of episodes.
Be sure to make your 2019 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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.