Emmys 2016: Last Minute Worries Before Nomination Day

We’re just 2 days away from the Emmy nominations coming out, yet some categories are really up in the air in terms of who’s getting in. These are the 5 the categories that could go absolutely anywhere, and I have no idea who will get in.

Drama Lead Actor– Three of Liev Schreiber, Kyle Chandler, Paul Giamatti, Bobby Cannavale, Hugh Bonneville, and Damian Lewis.

Paul Giamatti in Showtime’s Billions.

While I’m pretty certain that Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) will return, and newcomer Rami Malek will come in after his Globe and SAG nominations for Mr Robot, the final three places are almost impossible to call. The safe bet would be for what got in last year, so Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), and Kyle Chandler (Bloodline) go in. However, their nominations last year were quite surprising (I predicted Terrence Howard and Clive Owen instead of them), and the buzz for both shows have died down quite a bit. And even if they were safe (and they’re certainly not), there’s still one more slot to fill. Right now, I think Billions’ Paul Giamatti is the favourite to take it as he is a well liked actor, and an Emmy favourite, winning for John Adams back in 2008, and he also got nominated last year for Inside Amy Schumer, his 4th nod overall. But hot on his heels, and the heels of Chandler and Schreiber also, are Giamatti’s co-star Damian Lewis (a previous winner in this category for Homeland), Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville (who has received 2 previous nominations for this role), and 2-time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale in HBO’s high profile, but recently cancelled, drama Vinyl. I’m predicting Chandler, Schreiber, and Giamatti, but with very little confidence.

Comedy Supporting Actor– Jay Duplass, Keegan-Michael Key, T.J. Miller, or Louie Anderson.

Jay Duplass in Amazon’s Transparent.

To be honest, much like Drama Lead Actor, there are only 3 near-locks: Tony Hale (Veep), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Ty Burrell (Modern Family). Aside from them, it’s a bit of a free-for-all. I have Andre Braugher in fourth for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as for the last 2 year’s he’s managed to get in despite the show massively under-performing at the Emmys. The buzz has gone down even more, but I have him in as he’s an Emmy favourite, and he still had a pretty strong season, even if the show didn’t. Then I have Adam Driver, who always manages to get in for Girls. Despite the fact that love for the show has faded, Driver still manages to sneak in, and after his supporting role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his stock is higher than ever, and surely he’s just one of those guys who gets in all time, despite increasing competition. And then we get to the final place, which is driving me crazy. Right now I have Jay Duplass for Transparent, but that may be wishful thinking as I adore the show, and he gave, by far, the best performance of the whole ensemble last season. But in very close contention are Keegan-Michael Key, who managed to get in last year for Key & Peele (which may have been a fluke, but is certainly a possibility), T.J. Miller for Silicon Valley, who had a weak season, but has two phenomenal episodes that he could submit, and the Emmys love the show, and Louie Anderson, who has gained somewhat of a cult following for Baskets, but I’m not sure whether enough people watch the show for him to get in. I’m sticking with Duplass, mainly so I can be doubly excited if he gets in.

Comedy Supporting Actress– Two of Gaby Hoffmann, Judith Light, Julie Bowen, Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash.

Julie Bowen in ABC’s Modern Family.

Usually this category is pretty straightforward, but this year it’s one of the trickiest, in the nomination stage at least, as we had 8 nominees last year, and all 8 are eligible to return this year. Of those 8, I think 4 are pretty safe: Allison Janney (Mom), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), and Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). Then the last 2 places are questionable. Many feel that Julie Bowen is the next Modern Family cast member to be snubbed, as the main cast have been decreasing in nominations over the past couple of years, with 6 of the main cast nominated, down to just 2 last year. Is Bowen the next to go? It’s possible, but I’m sticking with her for now. Then the final slot is one that I’ve been switching around. I started off with Judith Light, due to her much improved season on Transparent. Then I switched to Mayim Bialik, as she always gets in for Modern Family. And just a couple of days ago, I moved to Gaby Hoffmann for Transparent, as she got in last year with minimal buzz, and she is the supporting player from the show that Emmy voters have gravitated towards. Also in contention is Niecy Nash for Getting On, whose nomination last year was nothing short of jaw dropping, but I can’t see her coming back. I’ll go for Hoffmann, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it were Light or Bialik.

Limited Series Supporting Actor- Sterling K. Brown and WHO ELSE?

John Travolta in FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

This category is absolutely crazy. The only one I’m confident getting about getting in is Sterling K. Brown for his brilliant performance in The People v. O.J. Simpson. The tricky thing about this is that it could be dominated by one or two projects: The People v. O.J. could have 4; Fargo could have 4; All the Way could have 3, etc. I would say that Fargo’s best shot is Jesse Plemons, and I have him in 2nd for now as he won the Critics’ Choice Award for his performance. Then I have John Travolta for The People v. O.J. Simpson, as he has a somewhat more showier role than David Schwimmer, and Nathan Lane, who will probably end up missing out. Then there’s Hugh Laurie for The Night Manager, but that show will either do very well or snubbed entirely. I think he’ll get in on pedigree, and he’s helped by his visibility from being on Veep. After that, I have Forest Whitaker for Roots, as his role is quite baity, and he’s well liked in the industry, as well as being the biggest name of the ensemble. And in the final slot I have Martin Freeman for Sherlock, who won this category 2 years ago. It’s a boring pick, but it’s an inevitable one. Battling it out for a nomination as the aforementioned Schwimmer and Lane, last year’s nominee Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story: Hotel), Connor Jessup (American Crime), Ted Danson & Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), Wendell Pierce (Confirmation), and Anthony Mackie & Frank Langella (All the Way). It’s packed, and could go anywhere.

Limited Series Supporting Actress- Two of Anika Noni Rose, Emaytzy Corinealdi, and Kathy Bates.

Anika Noni Rose in History’s Roots.

This is a bit more boring, but that doesn’t mean I have a clue who will get in. Jean Smart (who will win for Fargo), Melissa Leo (All the Way), and Regina King (American Crime) are safe. Sarah Paulson will also probably come back for American Horror Story, even though most of her buzz is for The People v. O.J. Simpson in Lead, where she’ll probably win. The final two places are difficult to call. I would say Anika Noni Rose will get in, but what concerns me is that she’ll split votes with her Roots co-star Emayatzy Corinealdi. I have a little bit more confidence in Rose, because she’s the most prominent actress in the series. Then the final slot looks like it’ll be for Kathy Bates in American Horror Story, an anthology that she’s won for before. It’s a boring choice, and I’m not entirely confident as I see American Horror Story: Hotel struggling to keep up the anthology’s excellent Emmy record, but it’s tricky to find contenders that’ll displace her. Maybe Olivia Colman surprises for The Night Manager. I’m not sure.

The Emmy nominations are announced on Thursday 14th July at 4:30 GMT. Stay tuned for my final predictions, published tomorrow evening.

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