Taking a periodical break from the various writeups for series contenders about which I feel strongly, I figure it’s about time I actually place my small shreds of reputation on the line and make some bold Emmy predictions. We’ll start today with the Comedy Acting categories, and over the next few weeks I’ll have everything written up.
[NOTE: Each category will feature a “Dark Horse” selection that, while it might well be wrong, needs to be made for the sake of my sanity. When the nominations are announced, I am going to give myself meaningless kudos should any of them come to fruition]
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
The easiest decision by far: his win last year, and a fantastic episode submission that showcases his best qualities, make him an absolute lock based on usual emmy prediction standards. On a basic level, however, he’s just damn funny on the HBO series.
Justin Kirk (Weeds)
Overlooked by the Emmys last season but nominated at the Golden Globes, I think that the young actor has a decent shot at it. They will want to bring in some new blood, I think, and this is one area where they can do it.
John Krasinski (The Office)
This is a tough prediction to make, since his tape is definitely not his best. But I’m choosing to ignore that: Wilson’s tape paints him as unlikable, and I think Jim’s wisecracking will be something judges appreciate.
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Since the voters can’t embrace youth too much (That would be asking a lot), Cryer’s safe and sensible performance in this mediocre sitcom might get him nominated. Go Duckie!
[Dark Horse] Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
He’s a long shot thanks to an off episode submission, but Doogie deserves his due for a consistently fantastic performance as the womanizer with the heart of fake gold.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
A strong tape coupled with a slot on the industry-favourite series will put Krakowski into the nominee’s circle: it’s too bad she won’t have enough good episodes to have a chance in hell at winning the Emmy.
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Celia Hoades is a laugh riot, and is one of the few elements of Weeds that even cranky Emmy voters can’t possibly not find funny. A weak episode submission will not keep her down.
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
My heart is with Melora Hardin, but I think that Jenna Fischer has both submitted a better episode and will be heralded as the fresh face candidate for the category.
Holland Taylor OR Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Yes, this is cheating, but I don’t know the real value of either of these supporting actresses who have risen from this popular sitcom to Emmy Awards attention. Both could technically make it, but I think they’ll split the vote.
[Dark Horse] Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Bad tape be damned, I think that Williams’ pedigree and a swirl of Ugly Betty love from Emmy voters will help her squeak into the nominees and do some damage with a selection of episodes. But, due to her poor tape, she’s the Dark Horse.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
There is no need to explain: he’s just that damn good, that damn respected, and not even verbally assaulting his pre-teen daughter will slow him down.
Steve Carell (The Office)
After last year’s disappointment, Carell is back with a stronger episode and with just as much buzz behind him. Maybe now that they rewarded the series, they might turn to its star.
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Whether or not we like the fact that he has many stolen Emmys on his mantle, Shalhoub is both a strong comic actor and a major threat with a baity episode.
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
A slightly less competitive Lead Actor race will allow for a safer candidate like Charlie Sheen to make the cut.
[Dark Horse] Jason Lee (My Name is Earl)
No matter one’s opinion of the show, Lee provides a heart for Earl that is hard to ignore, and he submitted a strong episode that displays his character’s dynamism and self-sacrifice. However, his show might have fallen out of favour, so he’s the Dark Horse.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
She has the strongest submission of the Housewives clan, and deserves kudos for her work in “Bang”. Plus, as a past winner, she’s perhaps the favourite to win.
Julia-Louis Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
The show might have been snubbed, but there’s no way that the Seinfeld curse resurrects itself for its lead actress. She’s in regardless of what episode she submitted.
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Golden Globe, SAG Award, and soon to be an Emmy nomination. The field is tougher for her to win, I think, but she’s going to have her 1 in 5 shot regardless.
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
Since I can’t in good conscience start listing off Housewives even though logic could dictate it, I think that Mary-Louise Parker deserves an opportunity to be recognized after the ATAS snubbed her and so many others by selections canceled nominees last year.
[Dark Horse] Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Did she submit her best episode? No. But I can only hope that the industry support of 30 Rock can place her high in the popular vote, and that the general enjoyment of 30 Rock can garner her a nomination against all odds. I call it the Clint Eastwood factor.
[How well will I do? Well, we’ll find out on July 19th when the Emmy Nominees are announced.]