by Lori Melton
The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS. A bevy of brilliant comedy shows filled the television landscape in the voting period of June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. Political satire “Veep” has notably won Best Comedy Series for the last two consecutive years and arguably finds the biggest competition in the new series, “Atlanta.”
And, if Julia Louis-Dreyfus snags her sixth consecutive Emmy for her role in “Veep,” she’ll set a record for the most Emmy wins by a single performer for the same role. She’ll also tie Cloris Leachman for the most Emmy wins ever by a female performer, with eight overall wins.
As for the men, Jeffrey Tambor has won Best Comedy Actor two years in a row for his groundbreaking work on “Transparent.” He seems like a favorite in this year’s race, but faces his biggest threat from first-time Emmy nominee Donald Glover, who also picked up three more nods for writing, directing, and producing “Atlanta.” A breakdown of our 2017 Emmy Comedy predictions is below.
Best Comedy Series
“Veep” seems like the frontrunner here but is joined by some great series this year. The rest of the Best Comedy Series nominees are “Atlanta,” “Master of None,” “Black-ish,” “Modern Family,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Silicon Valley.” “Veep” has the jump on all its competitors with 17 nominations this year. “Silicon Valley” follows with 10 nods. “Atlanta” has six and this is an impressive number for a new show. We can’t count out “Master of None” with its eight total nominations, including star Aziz Ansari’s lead actor nod.
Best Chance For An Upset Pick: “Atlanta”
Best Comedy Actor
The famous funny men in the Lead Comedy Actor category this year have all proved they can stretch themselves creatively. The 2017 Best Comedy Actor nominees: are Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), Donald Glover (“Atlanta”), Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish), William H. Macy (“Shameless), Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Zach Galifianakis (“Baskets”).
With Tambor as a potential lead, we can’t count out surprise nominee Galifianakis. Playing a set of twins undoubtedly has its own unique set of challenges. He plays these brothers with uniquely nuanced perfection. Galfianakis is a two-time Emmy winner and this nod marks his fifth overall.
Prediction: Jeffrey Tambor
Best Chance For An Upset Pick: Donald Glover
Best Comedy Actress
The women in this category are funny, vibrant, talented and two of them are acting legends. The 2017 Best Comedy Actress nominees are: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (“Veep”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”), Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”).
Julia Louis-Dreyfus feels like a heavyweight to beat in this category. Will she win and break an Emmy record? Tracee Ellis Ross notably nabbed the Golden Globe Award in this category. She could easily take the prize. But, we can’t count out legendary comedienne Lily Tomlin. Tomlin has won six Emmys out of 24 nominations and this is her third nomination for her role as art-teaching hipster Frankie. Tomlin’s co-star, Fonda, has a total of five career Emmy nominations. The two-time Oscar-winning actress is also a legend.
Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Best Chance for an Upset Pick: Tracee Ellis Ross
Best Comedy Supporting Actor
The nominations in this category have taken an interesting twist this year with Alec Baldwin landing in the Comedy Supporting Actor nominee line for his impersonation of President Donald Trump. The 2017 Best Comedy Supporting Actor nominees are: Alec Baldwin (“SNL”), Louie Anderson (“Baskets”), Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”).
Louie Anderson is the reigning champ in this category for his riveting work as Chip and Dale’s mother Christine, on “Baskets.” Ty Burrell is the third-most nominated actor in this category and this is his eighth consecutive year being nominated, with two wins for his beloved “Modern Family” portrayal of Phil Dunphy. Tony Hale is also a two-time winner for “Veep” and his co-star, Matt Walsh, is nominated for the second consecutive year. Titus Burgess is also nominated again for the third year in a row. The Broadway actor is superb in his role as dream-seeking aspiring actor Titus Andromedon. Finally, Baldwin has impersonated the President on SNL so much, it entitled him to make the cut in this category. Something tells us the two-time Emmy winner is destined to win.
Prediction: Alec Baldwin
Best Chance For An Upset Pick: Louie Anderson
Best Comedy Supporting Actress
This category is filled with amazing, talented ladies again this year, including last year’s winner, Kate McKinnon from SNL. Will she win again? The 2017 Best Comedy Supporting Actress nominees are: Kate McKinnon (“SNL”), Judith Light (“Transparent”), Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”), Leslie Jones (“SNL”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), and Vanessa Bayer (“SNL”).
The nominees aren’t really surprising this year. SNL did tie “Westworld” for the most-nominated series this year. So, to find last year’s winner McKinnon joined by her first-time-nominated co-stars Leslie Jones and Vanessa Bayer really doesn’t come as that big of a shock. “Transparent” actress Judith Light scores her second nomination for this role, while her co-star Hahn is a notable first-time nominee. Meanwhile, “Veep’s” Anna Chlumsky picks up her fifth straight nod for her sensational work on the show. The series is getting a lot of Emmy love this year. Chlumsky’s never won and this could easily be her year to sweep the crown.
Prediction: Anna Chlumsky
Best Chance For An Upset Pick: Kate McKinnon