Best Comedy Writing at the 2020 Emmys: Could Mindy Kaling be nominated twice?

The Emmy Awards ballot lists 213 episodes (from 118 series), so there will be seven nominees this year under the new rules. There were seven for the first time in the category’s history last year:

  • “Barry” season 2: “ronny/lily” (Alec Berg & Bill Hader)
  • Winner — “Fleabag” season 2: “Episode 1” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)
  • “The Good Place” season 3 — “Janet(s)” (Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan)
  • “PEN15” season 1: “Anna Ishii-Peters” (Maya Erskine & Anna Konkle & Stacy Osei-Kuffour)
  • “Russian Doll” season 1: “Nothing in This World is Easy” (Natasha Lyonne)
  • “Russian Doll” season 1: “A Warm Body” (Allison Silverman)
  • “Veep” season 7: “Veep” (David Mandel)

Only “The Good Place” returns to defend its slot. “Better Things,” “Ramy” and “Sex Education” are among those hoping to capitalize on the open field after being snubbed last year. “The Good Place” contends for its series finale, as do “Schitt’s Creek” and “Silicon Valley.” “Schitt’s Creek” seeks its first nomination in this category after scoring its first Emmy nominations last year. It is now the odds-on favorite for Best Comedy Series, according to Gold Derby’s Experts and Editors predictions.

When polling our Users, it trails “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which was snubbed in this category last year. “Silicon Valley” is also looking to return, having been nominated for all five prior seasons before missing eligibility last year because of an extended hiatus. The last series finale to win this award was that of “30 Rock” in 2013. The other series finales nominated last decade were from “The Office” the same year and “Veep” last year.

This race has been more receptive of pilots, nominating 10 last decade, including 2010 winner “Modern Family” and 2018 winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Pilots on the ballot this year include those of “Dave,” “The Great” and “Never Have I Ever.” “Dave” and “Never Have I Ever” each have a second episode on the ballot. “Dave” entered a third, but it was withdrawn to lessen vote-splitting after Dave Burd‘s interview with Gold Derby. Major contenders that have triple-submitted in this race include “Insecure” and “What We Do in the Shadows,” neither of which has been nominated when they have contended here previously. Burd’s co-writer on the “Dave” pilot is Jeff Schaffer, who also contends for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” That 20-year-old series is on this ballot for the first time, not having contended previously because of its improvised dialogue.

The additional “Never Have I Ever” episode is credited to Mindy Kaling, a past nominee in this category for “The Office” who is also credited on the “Never Have I Ever” pilot. Writers are prohibited from multiple submissions for the same show, but Kaling co-wrote the pilot with Lang Fisher. The pilot was hence entered by Fisher alone, although both Fisher and Kaling would receive equal credit on a nomination. Liz Feldman similarly co-wrote both “Dead to Me” submissions. “The End of the F***ing World” has only submitted one episode, which is all that it could with Charlie Covell being its sole writer.

Submissions from top contenders:

“Better Things” season 4 — “Batceñera” (Joe Hortua & Ira Parker)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” season 10 — “Happy New Year” (Larry David & Jeff Schaffer & Steve Leff)
“The End of the F***ing World” season 2 — “Episode 2” (Charlie Covell)
“The Good Place” season 4 — “Whenever You’re Ready” (Michael Schur)
“The Great” season 1 — “The Great” (Tony McNamara)
“Sex Education” season 2 — “Episode 1” (Laurie Nunn)
“Silicon Valley” season 6 — “Exit Event” (Alec Berg)

“Dave” season 1
“The Gander” (Dave Burd & Jeff Schaffer)
“Hype Man” (Saladin K. Patterson)

“Dead to Me” season 2
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” (Liz Feldman & Kelly Hutchinson)
“Where Do We Go from Here” (Cara DiPaolo & Liz Feldman)

“Insecure” season 4
“Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” (Issa Rae)
“Lowkey Happy” (Natasha Rothwell)
“Lowkey Lost” (Prentice Penny)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” season 3
“It’s Comedy or Cabbage” (Amy Sherman-Palladino)
“Marvelous Radio” (Daniel Palladino)

“Never Have I Ever” season 1
“…Felt Super Indian” (Mindy Kaling)
“Pilot” (Mindy Kaling & Lang Fisher)

“Ramy” season 2
“Bay’ah” (Ramy Youssef & Amir Sulaiman)
“You are Naked in Front of Your Sheikh” (Ramy Youssef & Rob Ulin)

“Schitt’s Creek” season 6
“Happy Ending” (Daniel Levy)
“The Presidential Suite” (David West Read)

“What We Do in the Shadows” season 2
“Collaboration” (Sam Johnson & Chris Marcil)
“Ghosts” (Paul Simms)
“On the Run” (Stefani Robinson)

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