EMMYS: The Writers Race
EMMYS: Miniseries/TV Movie Supporting Acting Handicap
Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor
This year’s crop of Emmy nominees in writing for drama series, comedy series, and movie/miniseries/special include a good mix of first-time nominees, including Lena Dunham for HBO’s Girls and Amy Poehler for NBC’s Parks and Recreation. But the real question is, which of the three writing noms that AMC’s Mad Men earned will turn into a statuette at this year’s ceremony? What follows is our handicap of everyone’s chances:
Chris McKenna Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory” (NBC)
Lena Dunham Girls, “Pilot” (HBO)
Louis C.K. Louie, “Pregnant” (FX)
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation, “The Debate” (NBC)
Michael Schur Parks and Recreation, “Win, Lose or Draw” (NBC)
What really distinguishes the category this time is the rare presence of two women here: indie film prodigy Dunham for the Girls pilot and Poehler for the Parks and Recreation episode “The Debate.” It’s exceedingly rare to have two females in the comedy writing lineup in the same Emmy year. In fact, the last time it happened was 2002, when Jennifer Crittenden landed a nom for Everybody Loves Raymond and Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky were honored for Sex and the City
Related: EMMYS: The Directors Race
Having a woman win is an even rarer phenomenon here. Since the comedy writing category was established in 1955, it’s happened only three times: Treva Silverman in 1974 for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Diane English for the Murphy Brown pilot in 1989, and Tina Fey for 30 Rock in 2008. The fact that Girls turned into something of a phenomenon in its first season will help Dunham’s chances, though the well-liked Poehler–in her first writing honor–is probably the better bet. That is, if either of them is going to take the prize, which is hardly a guarantee.
C.K., a seven-time nominee this year (no, that’s not a misprint), lost all four of his noms a year ago, and it’s possible, if not probable, that voters will want to honor him as a scribe for a series that’s considered a small gem. He’s also nommed for actor and director on Louie, along with four nominations for his FX standup special Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theatre.
While NBC’s Community has a dedicated cult following, its much-publicized production issues and recent ouster of showrunner Dan Harmon figures to work against McKenna in his first nomination. A mitigating factor, however, might be the fact that the title of the episode he’s nominated for, “Remedial Chaos Theory,” nicely sums up the creative essence of the series itself.