Steve Carell takes flight in Emmy odds with ‘Space Force,’ but another nomination could be a double-edged sword

If you ask anyone, especially the internet, one of the greatest Emmy injustices is the fact that Steve Carell never won for “The Office” — and he still hasn’t won an Emmy at all. He accrued six Best Comedy Actor nominations for playing Michael Scott — who recently won The Ringer‘s Best TV Character of the Century bracket — and hasn’t been nominated, in any category, since his final bid in 2011. But he’s predicted to make a comeback this year, sitting in sixth place in our comedy actor odds for his upcoming Netflix series “Space Force.”

Obviously, a nomination after nine years — thus, another shot to win — is something to celebrate (Carell is also in 12th place in our Best Drama Actor odds for “The Morning Show”), but another comedy actor bid would bring the star’s total to an (un)lucky seven. If he doesn’t prevail, not only would he still be Emmy-less, but he’d tie the record for the most nominations in the category without a win.

The dubious record is shared by John Goodman, Hal Linden and Matt LeBlanc. Goodman and Linden both went 0-7 for one show, “Roseanne” and “Barney Miller,” respectively. LeBlanc amassed his nominations across two shows, “Friends” (three) and “Episodes” (four). Goodman eventually won an Emmy for his guest turn on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” in 2007, but Linden and LeBlanc are still Emmy-less, though the former has three Daytime statuettes.

SEE 30 best TV stars to never win an Emmy

Larry David is in the same boat as Carell, as the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star seeking his seventh bid and first win in the category, but he already has two Emmys for “Seinfeld.”

Premiering on Friday, May 29, “Space Force” reunites Carell with his “Office” boss Greg Daniels. The actor, who co-created the series with Daniels, plays Mark R. Naird, a four-star general who is tasked with establishing the U.S.’ newest military branch, Space Force, to fulfill the president’s wish of “space dominance.” Expectations are high for the follow-up joint from the people who brought us “The Office” and Michael Scott, so visibility may not be an issue with its late release date. And there’s the fact that Emmy deadlines have shifted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

While he has yet to win an Emmy, Carell is well-liked by his fellow actors, having netted surprising Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations for “Battle of the Sexes” (2017) and “The Morning Show.” All of his previous Emmy nominations were under the old tape system, so the current branch-wide voting system might work in his favor. Could him being in contention for “The Morning Show” hurt? Sure, but they’re different categories, unlike the case of his “Morning Show” co-star Reese Witherspoon, who’s submitting in lead for the Apple TV+ series and “Big Little Lies, so he wouldn’t be self-vote-splitting. If someone enjoyed him on both shows, there’s nothing stopping them from voting for him for both, especially with unlimited slots. And it might be “easier” for voters to check him off for “Space Force” since he’s associated with comedy.

Carell would have to take down some formidable competition to win. Besides David, who’s in third place, “Schitt’s Creek’s” Eugene Levy, who currently tops our predictions and stars in one of the comedy series frontrunners, two-time champ Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), and the past two Golden Globe winners, Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”) and Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”), are all ahead of him.

PREDICT the 2020 Emmy nominees now; change through July 28

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.

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