The 2022 Emmy ballot for Best Comedy Directing lists 178 episodes, so there will be seven nominees. As a refresher, last year’s winner was “Hacks” (“There Is No Line” by Lucia Aniello) and the other nominees were “The Flight Attendant” (“In Case of Emergency” by Susanna Fogel), “B Positive” (“Pilot” by James Burrows) and “Mom” (“Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak” by James Widdoes), plus “Ted Lasso” with three episodes (“The Hope That Kill You” by MJ Delaney, “Make Rebecca Great Again” by Declan Lowney and “Biscuits” by Zach Braff).
With the exception of “Mom,” which ended last year, all of these series are back in the running. “Hacks” once again went with a solo submission (as it did with writing), with Aniello defending her title with the episode “There Will Be Blood.” After getting three slots last year, “Ted Lasso” takes its shot with four episode submissions, including nominees Lowney (“Inventing The Pyramid Of Success”) and Delaney (“No Weddings and a Funeral”), along with Erica Dunton (“Rainbow”) and Sam Jones (“Beard After Hours”).
“Barry” is returning from a three-year absence and is trying its luck by submitting only a single entry. The HBO show is capitalizing on director Bill Hader on what is arguably the season’s best episode, “710N,” featuring a lengthy highway chase and a clear showcase in visual achievement. “Barry” is a former favorite of the directors’ branch, earning one bid in 2018 (Hader for “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”) and two noms in 2019 (Hader for “ronny/lily,” Alec Berg for “The Audition”).
Many top contenders submitted the episodes they entered for writing, while adding another episode in this directing category. In addition to its pilot by Jamie Babbit, “Only Murders In The Building” entered a memorable, directorial-heavy episode by Cherien Dabis (“The Boy From 6B”), where the entirety of it is through the perspective of a deaf boy, therefore having no dialogue and told through the camera.
“Abbott Elementary,” “The Flight Attendant” and “The Great” have also taken that liberty, hoping to double their chances by entering two submissions. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has additionally managed to get their two core directors Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino in recently, and may do the same this year as only both of them are in contention for the show.
Like “Barry,” other shows going solo with only one episode submission are Sterlin Harjo from “Reservation Dogs,” Yana Gorskaya from “What We Do In The Shadows” and previous nominee Hiro Murai from “Atlanta.”
And lest we forget, a multi-camera series must be nominated in this category per the rule change in 2018. James Widdoes, who got in last year for “Mom,” now contends for “B Positive,” which also submitted an episode by Phill Lewis. Two-time nominee Mark Cendrowski for the final season of “The Big Bang Theory” is in contention for “United States of Al.” However, both eligible series were canceled, which could pave the way for former nominee for “How I Met Your Mother,” Pamela Fryman, for the spin-off “How I Met Your Father.”
Here are some of the Best Comedy Directing submissions from top Emmy contenders:
“Hacks” season 2
“There Will Be Blood” (Lucia Aniello)
“Barry” season 3
“710N” (Bill Hader)
“Ted Lasso” season 2
“Rainbow” (Erica Dunton)
“No Weddings and a Funeral” (MJ Delaney)
“Inventing The Pyramid Of Success” (Declan Lowney)
“Beard After Hours” (Sam Jones)
“Only Murders in the Building” season 1
“True Crime” (Jamie Babbit)
“The Boy From 6B” (Cherien Dabis)
“Abbott Elementary” season 1
“Pilot” (Randall Einhorn)
“Ava vs. Superintendent” (Matthew A. Cherry)
“Atlanta” season 3
“New Jazz” (Hiro Murai)
“The Great” season 2
“Alone At Last” (Zetna Fuentes)
“Heads It’s Me” (Colin Bucksey)
“The Flight Attendant” season 2
“Drowning Women” (Pete Chatmon)
“The Reykjavik Ice Sculpture Festival Is Lovely This Time Of Year” (Jennifer Phang)
“Reservation Dogs” season 1
“Hunting” (Sterlin Harjo)
“What We Do in the Shadows” season 3
“The Wellness Center” (Yana Gorskaya)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” season 4
“Ethan…Esther…Chaim” (Daniel Palladino)
“How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?” (Amy Sherman-Palladino)
“Our Flag Means Death” season 1
“Pilot” (Taika Watiti)
“Wherever You Go, There You Are” (Andrew DeYoung)
“B Positive” season 2
“Bagels, Billiards, And A Magic Show” (James Widdoes)
“A Dishwasher, A Fire, And A Remote Control” (Phill Lewis)
“How I Met Your Father” season 1
“Timing Is Everything” (Pamela Fryman)
“United States Of Al” season 2
“Promises/Wadaha” (Mark Cendrowski)
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