2022 Emmys: Best Comedy Writing category is the most stacked in years

The 2022 Emmys ballot for Best Comedy Writing has 195 episode submissions, which means there will be seven nominees. As a reminder, last year’s winner was the pilot of “Hacks” (Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs & Jen Statsky), beating out the pilots of “The Flight Attendant” (Steve Yockey), “Girls5Eva” (Meredith Scardino) and “Ted Lasso” (Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt & Joe Kelly), along with the “PEN15” episode “Play” (Maya Erskine) and the “Ted Lasso”episode “Make Rebecca Great Again” (Sudeikis, Hunt & Kelly).

Last year, an argument could be made that “Hacks” prevailed due to “Ted Lasso” having two episodes in the category and splitting its own votes. This scenario could repeat as the former only entered its season finale “The One, The Only” by the same three writing champs and “Ted Lasso” submitted both “Rainbow” (Bill Wrubel) and “No Weddings and a Funeral” (Jane Becker).

Former nominees Anna Konkle for “PEN15” and Yockey for “The Flight Attendant” are submitted once again (with Liz Sagal joining Yockey), while nominee Meredith Scardino is part of a duo with Sam Nulman on the ballot for “Girls5eva,” which doubled its chances with another episode by writers Sam Means and Taylor Cox. But all are more vulnerable as they are more likely to face an avalanche of returning shows, as well as some uncharted newcomers.

Programs that are back in the running after taking many years off include series like “Barry,” which entered three episodes, two of which written by former nominees Liz Sarnoff and the duo of Bill Hader and Alec Berg, and a memorable outing by Duffy Boudreau. Also triple-submitted are “Atlanta,” which had its most experimental season thus far, and “Russian Doll”; both had double episodes nominated for their last season and submitted writers that were previous nominees, which include Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Allison Silverman and Natasha Lyonne.

And keep an eye out for “What We Do In The Shadows.” The writers’ branch nominated all three episodes it entered for its second season, and now for the third, the series went with just two entries, including one by Robinson, who could get nominated twice in this category, and the second by Sarah Naftalis.

On the other side of the coin, we have a number of freshman shows looking to get a piece of the pie in this category. Two of the most probable are the pilots of “Only Murders In the Building” and “Abbott Elementary,” written by their respectable leading actors Steve Martin (who co-wrote with John Hoffman) and Quinta Brunson.

There is also “Reservation Dogs” and “Our Flag Means Death,” both Taika Watiti vehicles, though he is only up for the pilot of the former that he wrote with co-creator Sterlin Harjo (who also entered for “Hunting”), while the latter is up for the final two episodes of the first season by creator David Jenkins (one of which he co-wrote with Yvonne Zima).

Lastly, do not discount Tony McNamara for “The Great,” who was nominated last season for the pilot, and is up for his WGA-winning episode “Alone At Last.”

The amount of pilots submitted for consideration is on par with this category as it tends to favor them historically. Though only “Hacks” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are the only two to have banked success recently for their first episodes, eight pilots have been nominated in the last four years, with four pilots last year contending out of five nominated series on the list. With a sheer number of shows trying to vie for limited slots, the race has never been more competitive and it will be exciting to see who makes the cut on July 12.

Here are some of the Best Comedy Writing submissions from top Emmy contenders:

“Hacks” season 2
“The One, The Only” (Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, & Jen Statsky)

“Only Murders in the Building” season 1
“True Crime” (Steve Martin & John Hoffman)

“Abbott Elementary” season 1
“Pilot” (Quinta Brunson)

“The Great” season 2
“Alone At Last” (Tony McNamara)

“PEN15” season 2B
“Luminaria” (Anna Konkle)

“The Flight Attendant” season 2
“Drowning Women” (Liz Sagal & Steve Yockey)

“Barry” season 3
“starting now” (Bill Hader & Alec Berg)
“candy asses” (Liz Sarnoff)
“710N” (Duffy Boudreau)

“Ted Lasso” season 2
“Rainbow” (Bill Wrubel)
“No Weddings and a Funeral” (Jane Becker)

“What We Do in the Shadows” season 3
“The Casino” (Sarah Naftalis)
“The Wellness Center” (Stefani Robinson)

“Atlanta” season 3
“Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga” (Donald Glover)
“Three Slaps” (Stephen Glover)
“Tarrare” (Stefani Robinson)

“Reservation Dogs” season 1
“F*ckin Rez Dogs” (Sterlin Harjo & Taika Watiti)
“Hunting” (Sterlin Harjo)

“Russian Doll” season 2
“Nowhen” (Natasha Lyonne)
“Exquisite Corpse” (Allison Silverman)
“Brain Drain” (Natasha Lyonne & Alice Ju)

“Our Flag Means Death” season 1
“Act of Grace” (David Jenkins & Yvonne Zima)
“Wherever You Go, There You are” (David Jenkins)

“Girls5eva” season 2
“Tour Mode” (Meredith Scardino & Sam Nulman)
“B.P.E.” (Sam Means & Taylor Cox)

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