July 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm #1202598002
During the 90’s the Lead Comedy Actress category was basically shared between these 2 women (8 of the 10 wins were for them).
4 wins for Candice Bergen (and a previous win in 1989)
4 wins for Helen Hunt
1 win for Kirstie Alley
1 win for Roseanne Barr
Were all those wins really necessary? Didn’t any other women deserve to win this category in the 90’s that they had to give them all those awards or was it just lazy voting?
For example this decade Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won 6 awards so far but the competition hasn’t been too big in this category compared to the Comedy Lead Actress contenders in the 90’s (with the exception of Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation and maybe Lisa Kudrow the year of The Comeback’s return).
However in the 90’s we had all these ladies that went empty handed, just to name a few:
Calista FlockhartJuly 29, 2018 at 4:06 pm #1202598071
I think everybody in that group deserved to win their own Emmy. But I wouldn’t take away any of Hunt’s Emmys because they were extremely well deserved. All you have to do is WATCH the 4 submissions and UNDERSTAND and THINK about the fact that it was a tape system. So with that system in place, Fran Drescher and Ellen can’t compete for the win against her and I’m/was a huge Ellen/Nanny fan.
Flockhart deserved her Emmy and she could’ve beaten Hunt, but the Emmys were very much set in their ways back then. A finale, a birth episode, that episode where Mable doesn’t stop crying (I think). It was too much for Flockhart. She was also single cam and hour long, sort of dramedy, there could’ve been some bias. It was still the 90s.
Elfman, while excellent, could’ve been seen as too lightweight and in the shadow of Flockhart who debuted at the same time. She could’ve stolen a lot of her thunder.
Sarah Jessica Parker also lost to Hunt, but nobody deserved an Emmy for that first season except for the theme song (if it was elegible/nominated).
I haven’t seen Bergen’s submissions. And I never watched Home Improvement.July 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm #1202598166
I am going to add that Delta Burke from Designing Women was nominated in 1990 and 1991. Delta should have won in 1990 for her submission “They Shoot Fat Women, Don’t They?” When Candace won the Emmy, she said that Delta would probably be waiting in the parking lot for her.
Even though Betty White won in 1986 for The Golden Girls, she was nominated in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Her submissions were not as strong as they were in the earlier seasons of The Golden Girls.
The sad thing is that Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan had submissions that would have given Candace Bergen a run for her money if they were nominated in 1990 and 1992. Rue could have submitted Sick & Tired and her scene in the kitchen after being up all night would have captured quite a few votes. Also, Rue had the episode called “Journey To The Center of Attention” in which she has that hilarious scene in which she is singing on the piano and turns out to be a bad singer and has some physical comedy.
Bea Arthur could have submitted in 1992 if nominated “Goodbye Mr. Gordon” where she still has a crush on her high school teacher. Her scene during the talk show is hilarious.July 29, 2018 at 7:55 pm #1202598209
Except for possibly Flockhart, I don’t think any of those losers deserved to win. Nearly every episode of Murphy was an Emmy tape for Bergen.Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)ParticipantJuly 30, 2018 at 6:41 am #1202598536
Except for possibly Flockhart, I don’t think any of those losers deserved to win. Nearly every episode of Murphy was an Emmy tape for Bergen.
I don’t know. The first three Emmys that Bergen won were deserved, but not the last two. I think she just won the last two because the voters wanted to go with the safest choice.July 30, 2018 at 8:08 am #1202598561
Bergen and Hunt likely benefited from their shows being seen as “smart” and “sophisticated”. And they both were consistent submitters. Roseanne perhaps would have gotten more than one if she submitted better. Perhaps Julia Loius-Dreyfus could have done something had she started submitting lead halfway through Seinfeld’s run. Tisha Campbell (Martin) and/or a couple of the ladies from Living Single perhaps should have gotten in there for a few seasons. But that’s another discussion. The 90’s to me was more so the heyday for supporting comedies players rather than lead.July 30, 2018 at 8:26 am #1202598571
I think Roseanne would have won more if she was a better actress. I have fond memories of the show, but when I rewatched them like a year or so ago out of boredome, I realized what a weak actress she was especially compared to Goodman, Metcalf, and Parsons among others. I think it sort of got worse as Roseanne got a much harder edge later on in the series.
Nobody on the list in the OP is somebody I really think deserved an Emmy. Calista Flockhart maybe, but Ally McBeal is a character that isn’t for everybody.July 30, 2018 at 8:32 am #1202598576
Roseanne was generally good and usually had solid options. Only when the show took a turn for the worse post season 6 did her performance fall to pieces. She would have been worthy of winning for any of season 2-6 but typically chose blah episodes.July 30, 2018 at 8:56 am #1202598602
Given her reputation, Roseanne should be lucky she got the one Emmy she did.July 30, 2018 at 8:58 am #1202598604
Bergen and Hunt consistently aced their submissions. Barr, for better or worse, always sent dramatic episodes and her losing in 1994 with the baity “The Driver’s Seat” was considered an upset.
Burke was indeed the favorite in 1990, though Bergen’s submission was no slouch. Alley’s winning episode was gangbusters. Shepherd was actually the favorite in 1996, ditto DeGeneres in 1997, but Hunt’s expert selections ended up winning the day.
THE OSCAR 100 (#30-26): Al Pacino, Edith Evans, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard BurtonJuly 30, 2018 at 9:57 am #1202598650
If it were up to me it would have gone down like this:
1992- Betty White
1994- Helen Hunt
1996- Fran Drescher
1997- Patricia Richardson
1999- Jenna Elfman
Saying that, my second choice won the years that I disagree with.July 30, 2018 at 12:18 pm #1202598801
Ditto to the previous comments that “Journey to the Center of Attention” and “Sick and Tired” would have made crackerjack submissions for McClanahan had she been nominated. (Arthur is seen to great advantage in the very same episodes herself.)
If Bergen hadn’t taken herself out of the running by refusing to submit her name for the Emmy ballot, her streak may have well gone on past the wins she achieved. For one thing, “Murphy Brown” often featured the sort of hyper-articulate monologue-ing that usually translates to “Emmy magnet,” and the role fit Bergen like a glove. Aside from having unusually strong writing on her side, the fact that “Murphy Brown” was so driven by then-current events/issues made it appointment television for many back in the 90s, and Bergen was that much more highlighted.
Hunt’s four wins do seem a little excessive in retrospect. “Mad About You” was never quite an Emmy darling outside of guest wins and Hunt’s own victories. Hunt’s first and third victories were well deserved (at the time, there was much made of the fact that that the episode where she and onscreen spouse Paul Reiser wait out a night of their baby’s crying, which became Hunt’s submission for her third win, was shot in one continuous take). But Hunt’s own birth episode (her second win), while professionally executed, really isn’t anything for the ages (Bergen frankly blows Hunt out of the water with her own birth episode on “Murphy Brown”).
As far as the women who went home empty-handed in the 90s, it is a pretty depressing array of under-valued talent.
Richardson was always very much the actor-in-residence on “Home Improvement,” and she contributed equal doses of spunk and gravitas over the course of the show. Oddly enough, she never seemed to get nominated in the years when she had particularly strong material. She probably came closest to a win in the sixth season of “Home Improvement,” where she had an excellent dramatic episode, “Taps,” in which she lost her father (I’m not sure if that was actually Richardson’s submitted episode, and if not, WHY not?). She had an especially good drama-and-comedy performance in the series’ final season, “Love’s Labors Lost,” that would have made a terrific submission had she only been nominated. But in the final analysis, “Home Improvement” was never a critics’ show, it certainly wasn’t seen in the industry as an “actors’ show,” and it was most certainly seen first and foremost as “The Tim Allen Show,” all of which definitely hurt Richardson’s Emmy chances.
Shepherd was always a polarizing industry figure, a stain that only increased over the run of “Cybill,” although she did solid work throughout its run. (See: Shepherd in the era of “Moonlighting,” as well.)
Elfman was a charmer in a show that was probably just too middle-of-the-road to gain serious traction with Emmy voters (it dropped from the Emmy radar after only three seasons, though Elfman managed a nom for each of those years).
DeGeneres and Drescher were such unicorns at the time, and it does seem strange that neither of them managed to triumph during their respective eras as “flavors of the month.” DeGeneres has certainly gotten caught up as an Emmy darling in the years since, and “The Puppy Episode” remains a comic- and historic-landmark of the period (and which, incidentally, did win DeGeners an Emmy as a writer).July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm #1202598829
Speaking of Cybil Shepherd being polarizing, I always found this funny even though I usually detest this show:
I also remember the 2000 Emmys where Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson from Dharma & Greg were presenting the Supporting Actress in a comedy category and were joking that if they were already nominated then they already overstepped their bounds as a supporting actor by upstaging the lead and how leads don’t like it. Then Thomas Gibson said, “don’t believe me? Ask Christine Baranski.” Ouch to Cybil Shepherd.
Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)ParticipantJuly 30, 2018 at 12:56 pm #1202598834
- This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by SHT L.
@tonrolo Richarson submitted “Family Unties” when she was nominated for Season 6.July 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm #1202598843
Honestly, besides Delta Burke in 1990 and Calista Flockhart in 1999 I’m not sure I would take away any of Bergen and Hunt’s wins. I think 4 for Bergen and 3 for Hunt were warranted considering the strength of their performances, shows, and submissions. Burke and Flockhart also had iconic roles in shows with strong support and strong submissions those 2 years.
I’m not sure Patricia Richardson, Cybill Shepherd, Ellen, Fran Drescher, or Jenna Elfman were worthy of winning. The only shows still played today are The Nanny and Home Improvement which never had broad Emmy support. They were pretty good roles but not iconic. Ellen obviously won a writing Emmy and 20 + Daytime so she is good. Cybill was upstaged by Baranski and probably should have won for Moonlighting over one of the Cagney ladies one year.
In a perfect world-
1990- Delta Burke, Designing Women
1991- Kirstie Alley, Cheers
1992- Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown
1993- Roseanne, Roseanne
1994- Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown
1995- Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown
1996- Helen Hunt, Mad About You
1997- Helen Hunt, Mad About You
1998- Helen Hunt, Mad About You
1999- Calista Flockhart, Ally McBeal
Maybe I would give one more of Bergen’s Emmys to Cybill in 1995 or one more of Hunt’s to Drescher in either 96 or 97 but thats it.
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