“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” had a less than extraordinary showing at last year’s Emmys, only earning a juried choreography award and no other nominations. But the NBC musical comedy is starting to gain some momentum heading into this year’s Emmys, with acting bids at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards for Jane Levy and Alex Newell, respectively. The series is also starting to show some industry strength, earned love from the Casting Society of America and the Motion Picture Sound Editors. With Season 2 now airing ahead of Emmy nominations voting, the series could explode with support in various categories.
Best Comedy Series will experience major turnover this year — only one show from last year’s eight nominees is eligible: “The Kominsky Method.” This leaves a lot of room for shows like “Zoey’s” to get in, as many Gold Derby users are predicting. The series currently ranks seventh in our combined odds for Best Comedy Series. Meanwhile, Levy is in fourth place in Best Comedy Actress, below frontrunner Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”) and frequent nominees Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”). Newell and co-stars Mary Steenburgen and Skylar Astin are also expected to contend in the supporting categories. Best Comedy Supporting Actor is another category where huge turnover is inevitable, and Newell is predicted to benefit, currently sitting comfortably in sixth place in our odds.
Additionally, the lack of flashy, tech-heavy comedy contenders like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “What We Do in the Shadows” could pave the way for “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” to perform well at the Creative Arts Emmys. The MPSE mention may translate to a sound editing nomination and with the show having such a heavy music focus, it could contend for Best Music Supervision.
The biggest uphill battle for “Zoey’s” will be the growing apathy towards network TV at the Emmys. Expensive shows from cable and streaming have become much more attractive to voters in recent years, with only a handful of network shows like “Black-ish,” “The Good Place” and “This Is Us” making any kind of impact in the top categories. Musical series don’t always do great either; after two years of love for “Glee,” TV musicals like “Smash,” “Galavant” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” barely registered with voters. But with a winning ensemble, entertaining music numbers and heartfelt material, it’s possible that “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” could break the mold.
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