Last Year’s Winner: “Veep”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Winning is contagious: “Veep” has won the category twice in a row. Before that, “Modern Family” was a winner five straight years, and “30 Rock” won the three years prior.
Fun Fact: Not so fun: The last series to win this category with a predominantly black cast was “The Cosby Show” in 1985.
One of the biggest questions in the comedy race is whether or not there’s room for more networks to be represented. Last year saw Netflix (“Master of None,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), ABC (“Modern Family,” “black-ish”), and HBO (“Silicon Valley,” “Veep”) all land two nominations apiece, and each of those programs are eligible again in 2017 — save one, as far as we know.
With “Master of None” coming back just in time for Emmys season, Netflix has a plateful: In addition to “Kimmy Schmidt” (which will see its third season released May 19, just a few days before the deadline), Netflix will be likely pushing “Love,” “One Day at a Time,” and “Dear White People.” And thanks to a recent ruling by the TV Academy, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will compete as a comedy, despite its hour-long episodes. HBO also has its fair share of contenders: “Crashing,” “Girls,” “Divorce,” and “Insecure” are all in contention, with Lena Dunham’s final season and Issa Rae’s critically-beloved new series top candidates to join “Veep” and “Silicon Valley.”
ABC will certainly give “Fresh Off the Boat” some love, in addition to last year’s nominees, bringing the grand total of contenders to 13… for seven slots… from just three networks. Amazon, which saw “Transparent” earn its second series nod in 2016, will also be championing “Catastrophe,” “Fleabag,” and “One Mississippi” this year, while Hulu will try to right the twice wrongful snub for “Casual.”
Over on the cable side of things, FX has to be feeling pretty good about “Atlanta.” Donald Glover’s breakout debut series has taken the awards circuit by storm, and the TV Academy is likely to honor his beloved comedy, as well. But HBO’s biggest rival in the awards race has more to offer: “Better Things” could prove a successor to “Louie” at the Emmys, and Zach Galifianakis’ “Baskets” has seen even more favorable reviews in Season 2. We’re also hoping the TV Academy finally wakes up and recognizes the brilliance of Stephen Falk’s “You’re the Worst” — it’s about damn time.
On broadcast, NBC will try to get back in the game with a slew of comedies: “The Carmichael Show,” “Superstore,” “The Good Place,” and the upcoming “Great News” from Tina Fey all merit real attention from voters, as do “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Last Man on Earth” over at Fox. (CBS will certainly try to get “The Big Bang Theory” in the good graces of the Academy again, but they don’t really need the attention.)
But hey. Emmys voters. Seriously. Take a second and consider “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” After 12 years, don’t you think it’s about time the gang gets some love? Consider it, at the very least.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Comedy Series (in alphabetical order), 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.
- “Master of None”
- “Modern Family”
- “Silicon Valley”
Spoilers: “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Casual,” “Insecure,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “You’re the Worst”
In a Perfect World: “The Good Place,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The Last Man on Earth”