Jonathan Banks might finally win an Emmy for playing Mike Ehrmantraut — but in a category not many of us expected: Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Actor.
As Gold Derby exclusively revealed, in addition to submitting Banks in his usual category of Best Drama Supporting Actor for “Better Call Saul,” AMC is also entering him in the short form actor race for “Madrigal Electromotive Employee Training,” a “Better Call Saul” companion online series that is also being submitted for Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. The show (watch above) features Mike offering tips and sharing his wisdom to new Madrigal employees. “Madrigal” is the second season, if you will, of “Saul”‘s online training series; the first, “Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training,” which starred Giancarlo Esposito‘s Gus Fring and aired alongside Season 3, won Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series in 2017.
That bodes well for Banks, as voters are already familiar with “Saul”‘s training webisodes, not to mention a character that has already yielded him four nominations across two shows, “Breaking Bad” being the other, of course. It arguably feels like Banks should have won an Emmy by now for bringing everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly badass fixer to life; 2015 was his best chance with a stellar episode, “Five-O,” but Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) bested him.
And it’s Dinklage who seems like he has the drama supporting actor Emmy all sewn up this year — which would be a record fourth win, breaking his tie with Banks’ “Breaking Bad” co-star Aaron Paul — for the final season of “Game of Thrones.” He’s way out in front in our odds, with Banks in second. Banks showing up in two categories for the same character gives voters an out: They can have the best of both worlds and check off both actors.
Banks could also benefit from being a top name and perennial nominee, and the “prestige” factor of the “Breaking Bad”-verse. Having been established in 2016, the short form categories are still in their nascent years, so there’s not a ton of data to go by. We’ve had famous names like Jane Lynch (“Dropping the Soap,” 2017) and James Corden (“James Corden’s Next James Corden,” 2018) win, but two-time Emmy champ Ty Burrell (“Boondoggle”) lost to Kim Estes (“Dicks”) in 2017.
Last year, “The Good Place” writer Megan Amram launched a valiant, meta campaign to win an Emmy with her online series “An Emmy for Megan,” with lots of big names backing her up, but she lost to Christina Pickles (“Break a Hip”). Pickles was on her seventh career nomination, following bids for “St. Elsewhere” and “Friends.” Should Banks get both nominations, it would be Nos. 6 and 7 (he was nominated in 1989 for “Wiseguy” and is the only person to be nominated in drama supporting actor for three shows), so he could follow a similar path as Pickles of an unrewarded veteran star who finally gets his/hers.
“Better Call Saul” has yet to win a single Emmy despite 23 nominations, but if Banks does take home the short form actor statuette, it still won’t count for “Saul” since “Madrigal” is its own series.
In the near future, you can check out how our experts rank this year’s Emmy contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Emmy predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on July 16.