2019 Emmy Picks: Comedy and Variety

I have some time this summer, so I’m resurrecting this series where I try to predict who will be the nominees at this year’s Emmy Awards. With a lot of last year’s nominees ineligible, in theory it will be easy to predict who the Academy will make room for. But it probably won’t, especially in loaded categories like Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Check out my picks for the Comedy and Variety categories below.

The cast of Veep
COMEDY SERIES
Barry
Black-ish
GLOW
The Good Place
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep

Ineligible: Atlanta, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Silicon Valley

Potential Spoilers:
Dead to Me (Netflix) – new show
Russian Doll (Netflix) – new show

In my dreams: Fleabag

The skinny: Veep‘s last hurrah has this in a walk, though personally Barry should win for defying expectations and turning in a second season in some ways even better than the first.

Bill Hader in Barry
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Potential Spoilers:
Jim Carrey, Kidding (never nominated for acting)
John Goodman, The Connors (7 nominations for this role on Roseanne)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (never nominated for acting)
Randall Park, Fresh off the Boat (never nominated)

Ineligible: Larry David, Donald Glover

In my dreams: Pete Holmes, Crashing

The skinny: There’s a small possibility Jim Parsons could win for his final turn as Sheldon Cooper, but he hasn’t been nominated since 2014. Also, let’s just reiterate: He has four Emmys already. FOUR. That is a crime. So Bill Hader can and should win once again.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney, Mom
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Potential Spoilers:
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (2 nominations in this category for Samantha Who?)
Kristen Bell, The Good Place (never nominated)
Alison Brie, GLOW (never nominated)
Aidy Bryant, Shrill (1 nomination for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Saturday Night Live)
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (1 nomination for Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Mad Men)
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie (1)
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (1 nomination for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Temple Grandin)
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie (4)
Tracey Ullman, Tracey Ullman’s Show (4 wins for acting: 2 for Individual Performance in a a Variety or Music Program for The Best of the Tracey Ullman Show and Tracey Takes on New York; 2 for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Love & War and Ally McBeal)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (never nominated for acting)

Ineligible: None

In my dreams: Maya Rudolph, Forever

The skinny: By far the most crowded category, with none of last year’s eight nominees ineligible. The only new blood I’m expecting is Natasha Lyonne (who could have a serious shot were she not running against Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Also, Emmys gonna Emmy and bring back Candice Bergen, who once won so many times here she took herself out of contention. But how great would it be to see the likes of Catherine O’Hara or Phoebe Waller-Bridge here?

Henry Winkler in Barry
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Matt Walsh, Veep
Henry Winkler, Barry

Potential Spoilers:
Ed Asner, Dead to Me (7 nominations in this category including 3 wins for The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
Anthony Carrigan, Barry (never nominated)
Gary Cole, Veep (1 nomination for this role as Guest Actor in a Comedy Series)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (never nominated)
Manny Jacinto, The Good Place (never nominated)
Marc Maron, GLOW (never nominated)
Andrew Scott, Fleabag (never nominated)
Timothy Simons, Veep (never nominated)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (1)

Ineligible: Louie Anderson, Brian Tyree Henry

In my dreams: Kevin Dunn, Veep

The skinny: Maybe we’ll all be spared another nomination for Alec Baldwin’s tired Trump impression and let a worthy actor take the spot, but complacency comes easy to this group. My worst fear is that Timothy Simons, who has been crushing it on Veep since the very beginning – but especially the last two seasons – will become like Nick Offerman, crafting one of the all-time great TV characters with nothing to show for it.

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf, The Connors
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Potential Spoilers:
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place (never nominated)
Olivia Colman, Fleabag (1 nomination for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for The Night Manager)
Sarah Goldberg, Barry (never nominated)
Jameela Jamil, The Good Place (never nominated)
Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (6 previous acting nominations in other categories, including 2 wins)

Ineligible: Zazie Beetz

In my dreams: Paula Pell, A.P. Bio

The skinny: I think they can probably give Aidy Bryant and Leslie Jones some time off, and replace them with the ladies of The Good Place, but the most deserving nominee (Sarah Goldberg) is going to have a tough time breaking into this group.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Barry (“ronny/lily”)
Fleabag (“Episode 1”)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (“Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy”)
Murphy Brown (“#MurphyToo”)
Russian Doll (“Nothing in This World Is Easy”)
Veep (“Veep”)

Potential Spoilers:
American Vandal (“The Dump”)
The Good Place (“Janet(s)”)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (“Midnight at the Concord”)

Ineligible: Atlanta, Silicon Valley

In my dreams: Crashing (“MC, Middle, Headliner”)

The skinny: We’ve got a lot of great contenders, so I’m hoping The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel doesn’t take two slots. I am not thrilled about Murphy Brown being back here simply for timeliness’ sake. It would be better to finally honor The Good Place, or keep up with American Vandal‘s jump from Limited Series (where it was nominated last year).

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Barry (“The Audition”)
Barry (“ronny/lily”)
GLOW (“Mother of All Matches”)
The Good Place (“Janet(s)”)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (“We’re Going to the Catskills!”)
Russian Doll (“Nothing in This World Is Easy”)
Veep (“Veep”)

Potential Spoilers:
The Big Bang Theory (“The Maternal Conclusion” or “The Stockholm Syndrome”)
GLOW (“Perverts Are People, Too”)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (“All Alone” or “The Punishment Room”)

Ineligible: Atlanta, Silicon Valley

In my dreams: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (“Mac Finds His Pride”)

The skinny: Don’t be surprised if The Big Bang Theory pops up in here for two of its climactic episodes, but this is another stacked category. The only possible switch here is which Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episode makes it. But nothing would make me happier than It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s breathtaking finale becoming the show’s first nomination.

Matt Damon on Saturday Night Live
VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV)
Documentary Now! (IFC)
Drunk History (Comedy Central)
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Tracey Ullman’s Show (HBO)

Potential Spoiler:
I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman (Hulu) – 1

Ineligible: Portlandia

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: I Love You, America was canceled, so hopefully that leaves the delightfully oddball I Think You Should Leave to take the slot. In a just world, either it or Documentary Now! would win, but SNL is going to win this in perpetuity.

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight
VARIETY TALK SERIES
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Potential Spoilers:
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC) – never nominated
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (Netflix) – new show

Ineligible: None

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: Hasan Minhaj has already broken the Netflix curse, getting renewed where all of its other talk shows have failed. Can that translate into Emmy success? Maybe, but I don’t see who he knocks out.

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Night with Seth Meyers
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Saturday Night Live

Potential Spoiler:
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj – new show

Ineligible: None

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: Same as before. The writing is top-notch, but it’s competing with some heavyweight contenders.

Shawn Mendes, Adam Sandler and Leslie Jones on Saturday Night Live
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Documentary Now! (“Waiting for the Artist”)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (“Christmas on I.C.E.”)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (“Psychics”)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (“Live Midterm Election Show”)
Saturday Night Live (“Host: Adam Sandler”)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (“Larry Sanders”)

Potential Spoilers:
The Late Late Show with James Corden (“Post-AFC Championship Show with Chris Pratt and Russell Wilson”) – 2
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (“Thanks for Thinking They Are Cool”) – new show
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (“Saudi Arabia”) – new show

Ineligible: Portlandia

In my dreams: Random Acts of Flyness (“Two Piece and a Biscuit”)

The skinny: Documentary Now! is long overdue here, but again, going up against SNL is a fool’s errand. And I don’t think it would happen, but I would love to see Terence Nance, director of the nearly unclassifiable Random Acts of Flyness get the coronation before filming starts on Space Jam 2.

Beyoncé in Homecoming
VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)
Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul
Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney – Live from Liverpool
Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
Springsteen on Broadway

Potential Spoilers:
Full Frontal Presents: Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (1)
Paul McCartney: Live from NYC

In my dreams: Flight of the Conchords: Live in London

The skinny: You think the Emmys are going to pass up a chance to give Beyoncé an award?

The cast of RENT
VARIETY SPECIAL (LIVE)
61st Grammy Awards
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons
The Oscars
RENT
72nd Annual Tony Awards

Potential Spoiler:
The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards (8)

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: I don’t particularly care about this category, and it’s likely to get shunted off to the Creative Arts ceremony anyway.

Hannah Gadsby in Nanette
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
Flight of the Conchords: Live in London
Full Frontal Presents: Not the Correspondents’ Dinner
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape

Potential Spoiler:
John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons

In my dreams: Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward

The skinny: Hannah Gadsby is a lock to win this. You can take that to Vegas.

Beyoncé in Homecoming
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
The Oscars
RENT
Springsteen on Broadway
Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show Starring Maroon 5

Potential Spoilers:
Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney – Live from Liverpool
Conan Without Borders: Japan
John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons
Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration

In my dreams: The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

The skinny: Beyoncé winning is almost certainly a lock as well.

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