Emmy Predictions: Comedy Series – Is There Too Much Drama for ‘Barry’ to Win for Comedy?

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UPDATED: August 18, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

The Bill Hader vehicle “Barry” returned with even more acclaim and love for its third season. The series grabbed 14 nominations but it missed out on critical acting noms for Sarah Goldberg and Stephen Root. Still, it may have solid foundational support that could push “Barry” closer to the top than many presume. However, the serious tone of this last season may keep people from fully embracing its comedic elements.

The lone representative for the broadcast networks, the ABC series “Abbott Elementary” was a hit, landing multiple major noms, including lead actress as well as comedy and writing for executive producer Quinta Brunson. The feel-good selection could be the TV Academy’s “CODA” moment if voters are looking for a happy choice. Can it go the distance?

The first season of the Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso” broke the record for the most noms for a first-year show. It duplicated the exact number again, pulling in many acting noms, which could bring it to the forefront and walk away with the TV Academy’s top prize. It also has high-profile wins from SAG and Critics Choice that will surely help.

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Any frosh series should be proud of 17 nominations, especially when that includes many creative arts categories and double mentions for directing and lead actor comedy. The Hulu hit “Only Murders in the Building” whose second season is airing while Emmy voting is taking place, could be a dark horse contender to win it all. We’ll see how far it can go (and if a certain record could be broken?)

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The streak continues for the long-running HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Since debuting as a special in 1999, before transferring to its mockumentary sitcom format the following year, it’s been an Emmy darling. Except for the first season, the subsequent 10 have received noms for comedy series. With that said, it also has the most losses in the category.

After winning lead actress, writing and directing Emmys in 2021, it’s safe to say the first season of “Hacks” was the runner-up to “Ted Lasso.” With an increase to 17 nominations this year, the second season might be able to pull off its first series win. However, the dilemma of “doing too well at the Emmys” may give voters some pause.

When the FX comedy series “What We Do in the Shadows” got into the 2020 lineup, people were pleasantly surprised, but not many thought it would happen again this year. Not only did the show grab seven mentions, including two for writing, besting other top contenders. A winning moment for “Shadows” may be a ways off, but it could triumph in a few categories.

There wasn’t as much passion in the air for the period comedy “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s” penultimate season, but Amy Sherman-Palladino’s series still pulled in a respectable 12 noms. “Maisel” will likely do well in some Creative Arts categories. But Amazon will probably have to wait for next year’s final season if it hopes for a repeat comedy series victory.

The complete television awards season calendar is linked here.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Oscars Predictions Hub

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

2021 category winner: “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Second grade teacher Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) and Principal Ava Coleman in “Step Class.” - Credit: ABC
Second grade teacher Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) and Principal Ava Coleman in “Step Class.” - Credit: ABC

ABC

And The Nominees Are:

Rank

TV Series

Network

Key Facts:

1

“Ted Lasso”

Apple TV+

Twenty nominations, matching its tally from its first season, where it broke the record for most noms for a comedy series in its first season.

Bill Lawrence (executive producer), Jason Sudeikis (executive producer), Brendan Hunt (executive producer), Joe Kelly (executive producer), Jeff Ingold (executive producer), Bill Wrubel (executive producer), Jane Becker (co-executive producer), Jamie Lee (co-executive producer), Liza Katzer (co-executive producer), Kip Kroeger (supervising producer), Declan Lowney (supervising producer), Leanne Bowen (producer), Ashley Nicole Black (producer), Andrew Warren (produced by)

2

“Abbott Elementary”

ABC

Seven nominations for the freshman series, with Quinta Brunson becoming the first Black woman ever to be nominated for comedy series, lead actress and writing in the same year.

Quinta Brunson (executive producer), Justin Halpern (executive producer), Patrick Schumacker (executive producer), Randall Einhorn (executive producer), Brian Rubenstein (co-executive producer), Scott Sites (producer), Jordan Temple (producer)

3

“Only Murders in the Building”

Hulu

Seventeen Emmy nominations for its inaugural season including comedy series, which makes Selena Gomez the third Latina ever to be nominated as an executive producer, and the first for an actor that was starring in the same series.

Dan Fogelman (executive producer), Jess Rosenthal (executive producer), Jamie Babbit (executive producer), Steve Martin (executive producer), Martin Short (executive producer), Selena Gomez (executive producer), John Hoffman (executive producer), Kristen Newman (co-executive producer), Kirker Butler (co-executive producer), Ben Smith (supervising producer), Matteo Borghese (supervising producer), Rob Turbovsky (supervising producer), Thembi L. Banks (producer), Jane Raab (produced by)

4

“Hacks”

HBO Max

Seventeen nominations in 2022, up from 15 in 2021 for a 32 total for its two-season run so far. It’s won three statuettes thus far including lead actress comedy (Jean Smart), directing (Lucia Aniello) and writing (Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky)

Jen Statsky (executive producer), Lucia Aniello (executive producer), Paul W. Downs (executive producer), Michael Schur (executive producer), David Miner (executive producer), Morgan Sackett (executive producer), Joe Mande (co-executive producer), Andrew Law (co-executive producer), Aisha Muharrar (co-executive producer), Ashley Glazier (producer), Samantha Riley (producer), Seth Edelstein (produced by), Jessica Chaffin (consulting producer)

5

“Barry”

HBO

Nabbing 14 nominations, it brings its grand total to 44 total series noms across three seasons.

Alec Berg (executive producer), Bill Hader (executive producer), Aida Rodgers (executive producer), Liz Sarnoff (executive producer), Emily Heller (supervising producer), Jason Kim (supervising producer), Duffy Boudreau (producer), Julie Camino (produced by)

6

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Amazon Prime Video

A previous winner in this category, the comedy series nabbed 12 nominations, bringing its series total to 66, the most of any of the shows nominated this year.

Daniel Palladino (executive producer), Amy Sherman-Palladino (executive producer), Dhana Rivera Gilbert (co-executive producer), Daniel Goldfarb (supervising producer), Kate Fodor (producer), Matthew Shapiro (producer), Sal Carino (producer), Nick Thomason (producer)

7

“What We Do in the Shadows”

FX

Second time nominated for comedy series, it nabbed seven nominations for a series total of 17, and has some of the only Indigenous representation in any of the Emmy categories this year.

Jemaine Clement (executive producer), Taika Waititi (executive producer), Paul Simms (executive producer), Garrett Basch (executive producer), Eli Bush (executive producer), Stefani Robinson (executive producer), Sam Johnson (co-executive producer), Yana Gorskaya (co-executive producer), Kyle Newacheck (co-executive producer), Marika Sawyer (co-executive producer), Ingrid Lageder (producer), Derek S. Rappaport (produced by)

8

“Curb Your Enthusiasm”

HBO

Nominated for four Emmys, it stands at 51 total series nominations and is the second most nominated show for comedy series in Emmy history with 10, behind “Cheers” and “MASH.”

Larry David (executive producer), Jeff Garlin (executive producer), Jeff Schaffer (executive producer), Laura Streicher (co-executive producer), Jennifer Corey (produced by)

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Comedy Series)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television's most prestigious artistic award. Many records are held for wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: NBC's "Frasier" and ABC's "Modern Family" hold the record for the most awards in best comedy series, winning five times consecutively. The classic sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Cheers" have four wins, although not consecutive.

For nominations: The most shows nominated in this category are "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H," with 11 over their runs. The former winning four and the latter once. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the most nominated show in this category with nine but has not won (as of 2021).

NBC is the network with the most wins in this category, with 26, and CBS follows with 22. Amazon Prime Video is the first and only streaming service to win this category with "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (in 2018) and "Fleabag" (in 2019).

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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