Will Jenna Ortega (‘Wednesday’) follow up Golden Globe and SAG Awards bids with first Emmy nomination?

Jenna Ortega has been a rising star over the past year, headlining the “Scream VI” blockbuster movie and hosting “Saturday Night Live” for the first time on March 11. Her most high profile gig was launched by Netflix last November, when she took on the iconic role of Wednesday Addams, the central character in the streamer’s third-most-watched series of all time, “Wednesday.” Only “Stranger Things” and “Squid Game” have logged more hours viewed.

The dark comedy series follows Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at NeverMore Academy, when she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a killing spree and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents. It’s the first time we’ve watched Wednesday live through those awkward teenage years (Lisa Loring played her as a six-year-old in the 1960s sit-com “The Addams Family” and Christina Ricci brought the character to a darker place as an adolescent in the 1991 “Addams Family” film as well as its 1993 sequel, “Addams Family Values”).

SEE Jenna Ortega (‘Wednesday’) on ‘startling’ response to Netflix series: ‘I can’t think of another Latina character who has the same reach’

Ortega is currently ranked third in our combined Emmy odds to be nominated for Best Comedy Actress, trailing Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”) and Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”). Rachel Brosnohan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Selena Gomez (“Only Murders in the Building”) and Natasha Lyonne (“Poker Face”) round out the predicted field of six. The 20-year old was already nominated at this year’s Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, making her all the more likely to receive recognition from the TV academy as well.

“I don’t think I was anticipating that many people tuning into the show nor the reaction being so positive,” Ortega told a live audience at a recent SAG-AFTRA Q&A event in the Netflix Tudum Theater. “I’m not used to that kind of attention. I’m really happy that the cast and crew are getting the recognition that they deserve, but it’s very startling and it definitely takes some getting used to.”

The series pairs Ortega with Oscar nominee Tim Burton, who executive produced the show and directed its first four episodes. “I particularly love Wednesday because she shares my worldview on things. And that was fun to explore,” he shared in a behind-the-scenes featurette about making the Netflix series. The pair hit it off so well that Ortega is now in talks to star in the director’s long-awaited “Beetlejuice” sequel, which is being written by “Wednesday” co-creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.

SEE ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel, in development hell for over 30 years, finds its savior in Jenna Ortega

While filming “Wednesday,” Ortega said she came into her own as an actor and a driving creative force behind the character. “I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on ‘Wednesday’,” she told Dax Shepard on his “Armchair Expert” podcast. “There was [sic] times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional, in a sense, where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought that I was going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers and they would be like, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’ I would to have to go through and explain why I couldn’t do certain things. I grew very, very protective of her, but you can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you.”

At 20 years old, Ortega would be the youngest Best Comedy Actress nominee since Patty Duke was nominated for “The Patty Duke Show” at age 17 in 1964. “Wednesday” is also in position to earn an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Series. The show is currently ranked sixth behind “Ted Lasso,” “Abbott Elementary,” “The Bear,” “Only Murders in the Building” and “Barry.” Netflix announced that “Wednesday” has been renewed for Season 2, which will likely premiere in 2024.

PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominees through July 12

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