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Emmy Predictions 2017: Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Updated July 19: A diverse group of actors highlight a comedy category that should be a fierce competition.

Donald Glover on "Atlanta"

Guy D'Alema/FX

Last Year’s Winner: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Tambor has won two years in a row, but prior to his victories for Amazon, actors on broadcast TV shows had won seven years in a row — alternating between Jim Parsons, Jon Cryer, and Alec Baldwin.
Fun Fact: John Goodman, Matt LeBlanc, and Hal Linden have seven nominations in the category without any wins. They’re tied for the most all-time.

Zach Galifianakis, the only first-timer in this category, is tied for the most Emmy wins of anyone in the group. He’s got two trophies, both for “Between Two Ferns” — the same as Jeffrey Tambor, who’s won two years in a row for “Transparent,” and the same as William H. Macy, who won for writing and acting in “Door to Door” back in 2002.

So…who’s the favorite? All three of the former winners are certainly strong contenders, with Tambor having a slight edge given his winning streak in this category. But the rest of the field is just as competitive. Aziz Ansari took home an Emmy himself for writing “Master of None” last year, and this is his second nomination as a Lead Actor. It’s the third nomination for Anthony Anderson, though, and “Black-ish” has been growing in popularity year-to-year.

And yet, the only overall Emmy newcomer is Donald Glover, and he might just be leading the pack. With four nominations to his name for “Atlanta,” the star, writer, director, and producer might be recognized for his acting given he’s the face of the show and voters might want him to have his time in the spotlight during the ceremony. Plus, you know, he’s really, really good.

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which will be updated throughout the awards season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2017 race, and read the rest of the predictions in all categories, as well.

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
  2. Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
  3. Zach Galifianakis, “Baskets”
  4. Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
  5. William H. Macy, “Shameless”
  6. Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Will Win: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Could Win: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Should Win: Zach Galifianakis, “Baskets”

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