Last Year’s Winner: Kate McKinnon, “SNL”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Though broadcast series have been struggling overall at the Emmys, the Big Four have won 11 of the last 12 trophies in this category (ABC: 4, CBS: 3, Fox: 1, NBC: 3)
Fun Fact: Kristin Wiig and Amy Poehler had been nominated in this category, but Kate McKinnon is the only “SNL” player to win as a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. (Gilda Radnor won in 1978 when “Saturday Night Live” was considered a variety show.)
It was just two years prior that this category submitted not six, not seven, but eight nominees. And seven of those eight women are still eligible in 2017, meaning competition will be fierce even before the new contenders are factored into the race. Kate McKinnon has only gotten better since her win last year. Gaby Hoffman and Judith Light remained excellent on the latest season of “Transparent.” Allison Janney is still Emmys Queen Allison Janney, and Anna Chlumsky is still shining next to the brightest of leads in Julia Louis-Dreyfus (seriously — get Chlumsky a trophy already).
Jane Krakowski (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) will try to bounce back this year after missing out in 2016, as will fellow 2015 nominees Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”). Other veteran performers worth considering include Leslie Jones (“SNL”), Kether Donohue (“You’re the Worst”), and Tara Lynne Barr (“Casual”).
What about the new shows, you ask? Rita Moreno is looking strong after Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” revival was met with glowing reviews. Andrea Martin, a two-time Emmy winner, is hoping for similar buzz when Tina Fey’s “Great News” premieres on NBC, while Zazie Beetz is yet another strong contender for “Atlanta.” Finally, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how Netflix submits its “Dear White People” cast — especially Logan Browning. From what we’ve seen, she could qualify as a lead or supporting, depending on how the series plays out, but a big ensemble means more options. Here’s hoping she gets in no matter which category she lands in.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a 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.
- Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
- Gaby Hoffman, “Transparent”
- Judith Light, “Transparent”
- Allison Janney, “Mom”
- Kate McKinnon, “SNL”
- Rita Moreno, “One Day at a Time”
Spoilers: Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta”; Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”; Andrea Martin, “Great News”
In a Perfect World: Tara Lynne Barr, “Casual”; Kether Donohue, “You’re the Worst”