The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16, and as someone who has followed the awards for literally decades now, I’m nothing if not a patron saint of lost causes. I’ve been banging the drum for overlooked shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The Wire” and “Looking” for years. So while I’ve been battered and bruised enough by those snubs not to get my hopes up too much anymore, here are the top 11 contenders I’m rooting for this year who are 100/1 long shots according to Gold Derby’s racetrack odds.
“One Day at a Time” for Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actress (Justina Machado), Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno) — Thankfully, this isn’t the last chance for Emmy voters to recognize this multi-camera sitcom. It was cancelled by Netflix, but picked up by Pop TV for season four. However, that’s no reason for the Emmys to keep procrastinating. The sharply written family comedy tackles timely issues without ever feeling didactic, and Machado and Moreno continue to give some of the best performances on TV in any genre.
“The Other Two” for Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Molly Shannon) — Comedy Central’s showbiz satire could easily have been a sour exercise in making fun of vain celebrity culture. So the surprising sweetness of the show may actually be its edgiest quality, and Shannon imbues her stage mom character with humanity to match her outlandishness. Just consider the penultimate episode of season one, “Chase Drops His First Album,” in which Shannon reveals how her husband really died.
“Fleabag” for Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Andrew Scott) and Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Sian Clifford) — The show is looking stronger and stronger to earn a nomination for Best Comedy Series and acting bids for Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman, but I hope voters didn’t forget the supporting performances by Scott and Clifford. Scott, who also deserved kudos for playing Moriarty in “Sherlock,” is funny and moving as a priest having a crisis of faith, and Clifford fully came into her own as Fleabag’s sister, who seems more put-together on the surface but may be just as neurotic.
Indya Moore (“Pose”) for Best Drama Supporting Actress — “Pose” is a strong contender for Best Drama Series, and leads Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez are potential candidates for their performances, but I hope Moore is remembered for her stellar supporting performance as Angel, a sex worker for falls for a married man. Despite Angel’s hardships, Moore avoids making her just a tragic figure, imbuing her with resilience, insight and intelligence. She has high hopes, but she’s nobody’s fool.
“Sense8: Amor Vincit Omnia” for Best TV Movie –“Sense8” didn’t get much Emmy love during its two full seasons on Netflix, but after it was cancelled the streaming service decided to bankroll a TV movie to wrap up the show’s storylines. That last two-hour episode felt a bit rushed as it tried to tie up its many loose ends, but it was still a worthy sendoff, so I hope the TV academy nominates it for Best TV Movie as a way to acknowledge the series as a whole.
“Maniac” for Best Movie/Mini Actor (Jonah Hill) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Justin Theroux) — We think there’s a good chance Emma Stone and Sally Field will be nominated for this surreal limited series, but I hope their male co-stars aren’t forgotten. Hill gives perhaps the best performances I’ve seen from him, and I’m counting his two Oscar nominations for “Moneyball” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”; he’s his usual comical self in some of his dream sequences, but his inward, emotionally scarred performance in the real world is a revelation. Meanwhile, Theroux is delightfully bonkers as a scientist with mommy issues.
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 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.