For five consecutive years, ABC’s Modern Family ruled the roost, and for the past two years it has been HBO’s Veep. Emmy voters definitely like consistency in their comedy series and both these shows are back in the hunt again. In fact, other than FX’s first season hit, Atlanta, the lineup is identical to last year with only Amazon’s Transparent missing the cut, probably since it crossed the line a bit too often between dramatic and comedic moments.
Emmy likes their comedy winners funny and they don’t care where they find them. Cable and Netflix dominate the list, but unlike the Drama Series contest the Big 4 networks are usually not snubbed, and again this year ABC has two of the contenders. Can Veep repeat? Can Modern Family return to the winners circle? Will Atlanta do it in its first year?
Donald Glover making his way through the rap scene in Atlanta has found enormous success in his first season for the FX series, already grabbing Golden Globe, PGA, WGA, Critics’ Choice and other awards in an impressive sweep of early honors this season. Why wouldn’t that all naturally translate into some Emmy action, especially for triple threat Glover?
Slowly growing its Emmy profile, this third-year series finally won its first Comedy Series nomination last year and followed up with another this year. Still yet to win anything, this companion series that ABC programmed with Modern Family has hit the zeitgeist in terms of relevance and is the best bet for the broadcast networks to score a major win here.
Master of None
This largely autobiographical comedy series from Aziz Ansari is back in this race for the second consecutive year after winning the comedy writing Emmy in its very first season, and it’s hoping for more this time. With six overall Emmy nominations, this is the dark horse in the category, and perhaps the best spoiler against a Veep repeat.
This venerable ABC series won the Emmy in this category for its first five seasons, tying a record set by Frasier. Although it lost to Veep in the last two years and many thought it might not even be nominated (for the first time since its debut) this year, the comedy hit defied expectations as usual. A win though would be unprecedented in the category for a five-time winner that came back after falling off the bandwagon.
With 10 nominations, this perennial runner up has more nominations than any other entry in the category except reigning champ Veep. It has consistently shown strength here even though it has yet to win. HBO’s heart may be stretched with both this show and their Emmy juggernaut Veep duking it out for the win, but this one is overdue.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
After three years on the Netflix air, this series from producer Tina Fey has shown it has what it takes to land a nomination in this category for each of its years in existence. Whether it has what it takes to actually win one of these days probably depends on Veep disappearing.
With star Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the precipice of setting an Emmy record by winning six years in a row, Veep is also hoping to keep its streak going with a third consecutive win in this category, something that seems entirely doable, especially since the series feels more pertinent than ever considering what is going on in Washington.
PETE’S PICK: Veep