Emmys 2016 Slugfest: Best Comedy Series
“Veep” is an Emmy shoo-in for Best Comedy Series, right? It’s the defending champion, and it’s back with a dominant 16 nominations, up from nine last year when it took top honors. That includes three nominations for directing, two for writing and five for acting, which indicates strong widespread support from the TV academy’s various peer groups. So why is there any doubt about it repeating? Watch our latest editors’ slugfest above to find out.
“Veep” may be the defending champ for Best Comedy, but that’s one of the only major prizes it has won in the last year. It was shut out at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, and it lost Best Comedy Series at the Producers Guild Awards to “Transparent.” That second-year Amazon dramedy is now back with 10 Emmy nominations, down just slightly from 11 bids in 2015. But transgender rights are still widely threatened by many American lawmakers, so Emmy voters might wish to cast a vote in support of the transgender community, especially if the ongoing presidential election has made academy members weary of the kind of politicos “Veep” satirizes.
Then there’s “Black-ish.” The ABC sitcom was the surprise winner of Best Comedy Series at the TCA Awards on August 6, and it’s on the rise at the Emmys: last year it received just a single nomination for Best Comedy Actor (Anthony Anderson), but this year the show added bids for Best Comedy and Best Comedy Actress (Tracee Ellis Ross) in addition to a return bid for Anderson. Though it doesn’t have nominations for writing or directing (no sitcom has since “Friends” in 2002 has won Best Comedy without a bid in one of those categories), it could be peaking at the right time.
Also, we warn not to forget about “Silicon Valley.” Nominated for 11 awards, it’s the second most honored comedy of the season, and it improved in key races, including multiple bids for writing and directing and its first ever for a performance award: Best Comedy Actor for Thomas Middleditch. But even “Modern Family” may not be out of it. Though it’s down to four nominations, its lowest count ever, it’s still a five-time past champ for Best Comedy Series, and with the TV academy’s new plurality vote (voters will just pick a winner, instead of ranking them in order of preference), “Modern Family” doesn’t need a high percentage of votes to win it all.