‘Veep’ would be the rare Best Comedy Series to win for its final season

If “Veep” were to win the Best Comedy Series Emmy for its final season, it would be a rarity in the television academy’s history. Emmy voters are notoriously unsentimental, scarcely handing out trophies for the final season of a show no matter how beloved. Over the course of Emmy history, only five comedies have won Best Comedy Series with their final season, with voters overlooking shows they once showered with wins, like “30 Rock,” “Frasier,” “M*A*S*H” and “All in the Family.” Can “Veep” beat the odds this year in a highly competitive field?

The last sitcom to win Best Comedy Series for its farewell season was “Everybody Loves Raymond” in 2005. Before that, there was “Barney Miller” in 1982, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1977, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in 1966 and “Caesar’s Hour” in 1957. There could be any number of reasons for this lack of final season embrace, from voters being more taken by shiner new shows to the idea that an Emmy win won’t help the show that ended its run to stay on the air. More often than not, the buzz simply dies down, as we’ve seen with five-time Best Comedy Series winner “Modern Family” not even being able to get nominated anymore.

“Veep” is also at a disadvantage considering that with just nine nominations this year, it is far below the totals of its biggest competitors, HBO’s “Barry” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which received 17 and 20 nominations, respectively. Both series happen to be in their second seasons, compared to “Veep’s” seventh. “Veep” got in the same three acting nominations it has received for the last six seasons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky, plus guest star Peter MacNicol. Meanwhile, the entire main cast of “Barry” is nominated this year while “Maisel” got in four main cast members plus three guest stars.

There is still hope for “Veep” to take home that final Best Comedy Series prize, though. The political satire can easily follow “Everybody Loves Raymond’s” 2005 path to victory, as that series was facing similarly stiff competition. The first season of “Desperate Housewives,” which had red-hot buzz and received 15 nominations, tied fellow Best Comedy Series nominee “Will & Grace” for the most bids for a comedy that year. There was also “Arrested Development,” which was just coming off a series win for its first season. Any one of these shows could have logically taken home the win, but it was “Everybody Loves Raymond” on its final season that did it.

So how did “Everybody Loves Raymond” beat all those buzzier shows? Some have suggested its broad comedy style made it excel, especially over a dramedy like “Desperate Housewives” and a series with more subversive humor like “Arrested Development.” Those who are more traditional about comedy in the TV academy likely pushed “Raymond” to the top over shows that were doing something different with the genre. Fast forward to this year and we have “Veep,” which is so laced with profanity and despicable behavior that it is far from traditional but now finds itself in competition with shows that are either too idiosyncratic in their humor to be embraced by the full academy or contain elements of profound drama and darkness.

While it won’t be an easy path to victory for “Veep” as past seasons, it is still a three-time champion that hasn’t lost Best Comedy Series since 2015. The academy has a wealth of new (or new-ish) series to pick from in the top comedy category but there is still a strong possibility that “Veep” can buck the trend in its final season. If Selina Meyer can fight her way back to the presidency again, “Veep” certainly has what it takes to pull off one last victory lap.

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