The geeks shall inherit the Emmys: Why ‘Silicon Valley’ could be a sleeping tech giant at this year’s awards

Are we underestimating “Silicon Valley” for Best Comedy Series? The HBO series satirizes the California tech industry, and it ended its six-season run in December 2019. But it’s an underdog for Best Comedy Series at the Emmys according to the latest predictions of almost 2,000 Gold Derby users who have placed their bets here in our predictions center thus far. It might be a mistake to count it out.

“Silicon Valley” currently ranks 12th in our overall Emmy forecasts with 78/1 odds of winning the top prize. Its biggest challenge may be the fact that it took an extended hiatus between seasons five and six, so it missed the 2018-2019 Emmy cycle completely, and it aired its final episodes several months before voting is set to start. That may have given voters enough time to lose sight of the show, though fellow HBO laffer “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has taken longer breaks and consistently returns to the Emmys whenever it’s back on the air.

Well, it hasn’t been out of voters’ minds yet. It was nominated for Best Comedy Series all five times it has been eligible (2014-2018). The show has contended for Best Comedy Writing and Best Comedy Directing every single year too, which are the nominations you usually need to even have a chance of winning the top prize. No show since “Friends” in 2002 has won Best Comedy without a nom for writing or directing.

And “Silicon Valley” was on the upswing for years in the Emmy race. It received five total nominations in 2014, seven in 2015, nine in 2016 and 10 in 2017. It slid a little in 2018 with seven total nominations, but it still held steady in categories that strongly indicate a front-runner in the top race: in addition to its writing and directing noms, it was up for its casting, picture editing, and cinematography.

The show may additionally be helped by how much breathing room there is in the comedy races. Last year’s winner “Fleabag” is off the air. So is last year’s nominee and three-time winner “Veep.” And two other Best Comedy contenders, “Barry” and “Russian Doll,” are on extended hiatus and won’t air any new episodes in time for the 2020 race. That’s more than half of the field out of the running.

So even if support for the show were softer than it has been in the past — which may not be the case — there’s still a good chance it will have enough support to make the television academy’s top seven. And since last year’s winner is out and this is voters’ last chance to honor this show, the industry may feel an urgency to reward it, especially since it has only won twice out of its 40 nominations to date (its victories were for picture editing and production design in 2015).

But our Emmy Expert Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly) is currently betting on the show to earn its sixth nomination. So are five of our Top 24 Users who got the best scores predicting last year’s nominations. Are they right?

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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 the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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