Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Emmy Predictions 2016 - Who Will Likely Win for Lead Actor in 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 Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

The Nominees:
  • Anthony Anderson for ABC's black-ish - Episode: "Hope"
  • Aziz Ansari for Netflix's Master of None - Episode: "Parents"
  • Will Forte for FOX's The Last Man on Earth - Episode: "30 Years of Science Down the Tubes"
  • William H. Macy for Showtime's Shameless - Episode: "I Only Mis Her When I'm Breathing"
  • Thomas Middleditch for HBO's Silicon Valley - Episode: "The Empty Chair"
  • Jeffrey Tambor for Amazon's Transparent - Episode: "Man on the Land"

A year ago, Jeffrey Tambor was pretty much a lock to win in this category. His victory was one of the things that needed to happen. His performance on Transparent is so transformative, special and unique. It's a role of a career and Tambor has already had a pretty impressive career. It would be hard to argue against him winning again. He deserves as much praise and the show needs as much recognition as possible. It's critical support will keep it on the air for a considerable amount of time. But awards will help audiences discover the show and learn more about this particular worldview. And yet, Tambor doesn't need to win this year like he did last year. His victory means the pressure is off the Emmy voters a little bit. We won't have to be up in arms about Tambor never winning. He did. And now, it's just a mystery over whether he'll be the new dominating force in this category - like Jim Parsons was or Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in Lead Actress - or if the voters will spread the wealth around?

If a new winner is crowned in this category, it will more than likely be Anthony Anderson. Aziz Ansari could sneak in to win as well. This could be the year that the actors from Parks and Recreation finally get the recognition they deserve - following Amy Poehler's win over the weekend. But Master of None somewhat feels like a small show in terms of broad Emmy support. It got into a number of key races and will maybe come home with something. Lead Actor just seems like a long shot. Though it's not impossible given the winners so far. Meanwhile, Anderson just has a fantastic submission. "Hope" is the police brutality episode. The show was unafraid to tackle some truly deep topics in its second season. It was an expansion of everything that worked in the first year. The quality has been elevated and the cast rose to the occasion - especially Anderson. If the voters watch the tapes, Anderson could very likely win. But again, it's questionable if they are watching the tapes given the winners from Saturday's awards.

Those three guys are the most likely winners. It would be surprising if anyone else would win. Of course, it would be delightful if Will Forte or Thomas Middleditch won. Forte is the only nomination for The Last Man on Earth. It's a show I still like a ton and he's great in his submission. But the buzz is certainly dying done on it. Meanwhile, this is the first time an actor from Silicon Valley has gotten nominated. This was a pretty great season for Middleditch too. And yet, the show hasn't won a big award at the Emmys yet. It's a perennial nominee. But the support isn't there for victory. And finally, William H. Macy's nominations continues to be so puzzling. Shameless is simply not a comedy. The Emmys allowing it to be classified as such is so completely ridiculous. Macy's character embodies the most comedic elements of the show though. However, Frank Gallagher is often the most annoying and non-essential part of any story. Name recognition could propel him to victory though. Popularity amongst the voters seems to be an important motivator. So, we really can't discount anyone in this race.

Should Win: Aziz Ansari
Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor
Dark Horse: Anthony Anderson