Now that last year’s Best Comedy Series Emmy Award champ “Fleabag” is out of the running alongside nominees “Barry,” “Russian Doll” and “Veep” – all of which netted acting nominations at last year’s ceremony – the four main comedy acting races are rather wide open and hence ripe for surprises. In order to discuss which shows and contenders might fill the void, I recently joined Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow and Tony Ruiz in our first comedy acting slugfest of the season (watch above).
With reigning champ Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) out of contention, Ruiz characterizes the Best Comedy Actress battle as a “two-horse race” between Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”), who sit in first and second place in our combined odds. The former prevailed for its freshman season in 2018 and followed up her victory with another nom last year, while the latter is coming off her inaugural Emmy bid for the Pop show as well as the show’s buzzy sixth and final season. Finally, our panel agrees that last year’s nominee Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) is likely to return, but I warn that she might also carry along her co-star Linda Cardellini.
Contenders from rookie shows looking to break through include Awkwafina for “Nora from Queens,” Kirsten Dunst for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” (who received a Golden Globe Award bid) and Merritt Wever for “Run.” However, Chow actually urges to keep a sharp lookout for past favorites who might have only missed last year’s lineup due to a stacked field, which includes the likes of Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) and Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”).
Over in Best Comedy Actor, two-time defending champ Bill Hader (“Barry”) is not in the running, which is why Ruiz thinks “this is Eugene Levy’s to win.” He reasons his prediction with the fact that the “Schitt’s Creek” actor, who currently tops our odds, is a beloved industry figure and could capitalize on this being Emmy voters’ final and only chance to reward him for this show. Other than that, we agree that Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) are safe bets to return, while Ruiz is holding out hope for Ramy Youssef, who bagged the Best Comedy Actor Globe for “Ramy” earlier this year. Speaking of the Globes, Ben Platt (who also nabbed a citation earlier this year for “The Politician”) joins Steve Carell (“Space Force”), Martin Freeman (“Breeders”), Domhnall Gleeson (“Run”) and Hugh Laurie (“Avenue 5”), among others, in vying for Emmy noms for their shows’ respective first seasons.
Enjoy more of our discussion above as we additionally dive into the supporting races, which might include last year’s champs Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub for “Maisel,” plus many more “Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek” actors.
Be sure to make your Emmy nominations predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Emmy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.