How ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Could Slay an Emmy Record Held by ‘Maisel’ and ‘West Wing’

·3 min read

With two episodes left of the second season of Hulu’s mystery romp “Only Murders in the Building,” the series is an undeniable hit on the streaming platform. Nominated for 17 Emmy Awards for its first season, this season’s final two episodes (titled “Sparring Partners” and “I Know Who Did It”) will be released while voting is underway by the TV Academy, a tactic that helped one of its competitors, “Ted Lasso” from Apple TV+, last year when it won for its inaugural season.

Variety Awards Circuit has revealed the updated predictions for which shows and performers could triumph in September. The John Hoffman and Steve Martin-created mystery is projected to walk away with nine statuettes. If accurate, “Only Murders in the Building” would break the record for most Emmy wins for a comedy series in its first season. Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” currently holds this record when it won eight in 2018. The classic drama “The West Wing” (NBC) has the record for the most Emmys won for any series in its first season.

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Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub.

What’s interesting about the nine-win projection, one of them is not for outstanding comedy series, which may be foolish based on how the TV Academy has voted “down-the-line” in the last few years, seen with “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Crown” sweeping their respective categories.

This begs the question: Is the show just going to win comedy series?

“Only Murders” is holding the top spot in guest actor comedy (Nathan Lane), guest actress comedy (Jane Lynch), directing comedy (Cherien Dabis for “The Boy From 6B”), casting, production design, contemporary costumes, main title design, music composition and single-camera picture editing (“The Boy From 6B”).

It’s also on the bubble in comedy series, lead actor comedy (for Steve Martin), writing comedy and original main title theme music. For comedy series, it sits behind the reigning champion “Ted Lasso” with “Abbott Elementary” and “Hacks” circling it. Any of these can swap out any of the projections or add to its tally.

Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu - Credit: Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu
Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu - Credit: Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Apple TV+ and Hulu have been on a collision course for the comedy series Emmy since their shows debuted. The “Only Murders” performance at the Primetime Emmy nominations was a solid showing, although missing what would have been critical mentions for lead actress comedy (for Selena Gomez), supporting actress (Amy Ryan) and two additional guest acting noms for deaf actor James Caverly and TV Academy darling Tina Fey. However, snubs don’t always indicate “trouble” when trying to win television’s most coveted honor.

In 2019, “Fleabag,” a BBC series completely shut out of its first season, came roaring back on Prime Video for its second, garnering 11 Emmy noms and winning six prizes, many of which were considered surprising upsets. Aside from taking outstanding comedy series against the critically acclaimed second seasons of “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and the final season of “Veep,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge took home lead actress over Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who won for every one of her six previous seasons), plus writing and directing. What likely gave pundits the fuel to write the show off as a possible spoiler to win was the snub of Fleabag’s love interest, priest Andrew Scott for supporting actor comedy. Gomez’s snub may have a similar effect on pundits, but perhaps we are overestimating its indication.

Other freshman shows in contention this year are ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” in outstanding comedy series while Apple TV+’s “Severance,” Netflix’s “Squid Game” and Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” are representing for drama.

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