Monday, September 5, 2016

Emmy Predictions 2016 - Who Will Likely Win in Writing for a Comedy Series?

The nominations are in for The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting has occurred. So now, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Writing for a Comedy Series.

The Nominees:
  • Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix's Master of None - Episode: "Parents"
  • Alec Berg for HBO's Silicon Valley - Episode: "The Uptick"
  • Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan for Amazon's Catastrophe - Episode: "Episode 1"
  • Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck for HBO's Veep - Episode: "Mother"
  • David Mandel for HBO's Veep - Episode: "Morning After"
  • Dan O'Keefe for HBO's Silicon Valley - Episode: "Founder Friendly"

HBO's Veep is such a success story when it comes to the Emmys. It started with just support for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But now, it's a major presence in almost every race in the comedy categories. It's only getting more and more support. Last year, it only had one writing nomination and won. This year, it has two and could easily repeat. It's a rousing success because of the behind-the-scenes change this season. The show got a new showrunner and writing staff for its fifth season. A move that almost never works out. And yet, it did for Veep. Season 5 was one of its best seasons yet. Emmy voters thought that way as well. So now, they have the tough decision of choosing between "Mother" and "Morning After." Both of them were excellent showcase episodes for Louis-Dreyfus. I'm guessing "Mother" has the edge at the moment. It will almost certainly win another Emmy for Louis-Dreyfus. But it also has the potential to win for Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck as well. Of course, "Morning After" is written by new showrunner David Mandel and would be a solid victory too.

Veep dominates the conversation in the comedy fields much like Game of Thrones and The People v. O.J. Simpson do in the drama and limited categories. This category showcases the growing support for the show amongst voters. But it also shows strong support for Silicon Valley. It got two writing nominations this year as well. Plus, Thomas Middleditch was finally nominated for his lead role. Those nominations are significant because they make Silicon Valley a stronger contender in every race it's in. The case could be made for "The Uptick" and "Founder Friendly" winning in this category. They would deserve it too. And yet, every nominee in this category would be a pretty great winner. That highlights just how strong comedy is right now - even though two shows split four of the six nominations in this field.

Just because they only have one nod each, Master of None and Catastrophe can't be discounted either. The nomination for Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan was one of the most delightful surprises of nomination morning. Catastrophe really wasn't nominated elsewhere. But it's great that it was recognized at all. It's a small show on Amazon. But it got in over Amazon's critically adored and Emmy favorite series Transparent. That's astounding. Master of None is a little show on a streaming service as well. It broke through the cultural zeitgeist more than Catastrophe did - and amassed a couple more nominations in the process. So much of that support revolved around the "Parents" episode. It was only the second episode of the season. But it was so special, unique and personal. It's the type of episode voters in this category loved on Louie. It's the episode that I would want to win. It would be fantastic if it did. It just has to beat the HBO comedies which seems like an almost impossible task.

Should Win: Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang
Will Win: Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck
Dark Horse: Dan O'Keefe