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Emmy Predictions: The Line on Whether Any of These Underdogs Can Actually Win

"The Leftovers," "BoJack Horseman," and "Sense8" all have one shot at an Emmy. With the odds stacked against them, can any of these dark horses actually win?

Sense8 Adventure Time Better Things Emmys 2017 One Nomination

Netflix / Cartoon Network / FX

With more shows competing than ever and a limited number of nomination slots, it’s no wonder more than a dozen great TV shows only snagged one Emmy nomination in 2017. From “The Leftovers” to “Adventure Time,” these series are only up for one award, but some of them could still win. Below, IndieWire has made predictions for a handful of the best one-nomination wonders, so — just like those that take home armfuls of Emmys — these, too, can rightfully be called “Emmy winners.”

“Adventure Time”

Nomination: Outstanding Short-Form Animated Program

Can It Win? Yes!

Why? A perennial nominee in the category — and six-time winner overall — “Adventure Time” won in this category back in 2015. It lost in 2016 to “Robot Chicken,” but the Cartoon Network series isn’t nominated this year.

In an Ideal World: Other than “Steven Universe,” which is also only nominated in one category, “Adventure Time” is the runaway fan favorite in the category. That being said, “Steven” hasn’t won before, so it would be nice to see it take home a trophy.

“Angie Tribeca”

Nomination: Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or Variety Program

Can It Win? Yes!

Why? By sheer quantity of stunts, “Angie” should have an edge, but it had the same case last year and lost to “Shameless” — which is nominated again this year. That being said, if enough voters watched “Angie,” it should be building some momentum among the TV Academy.

In an Ideal World: Rashida Jones would be up for actress, the series would be nominated for writing, and it would definitely be winning this category.

BETTER THINGS "Period" Episode 2 (Airs Thursday, September 15, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Pamela Adlon as Sam, Rae Dawn Chong as Patti. CR: Jessica Brooks/FX

“Better Things”

Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Can She Win? Yes — kind of.

Why? Pamela Adlon is beloved within the industry, already won an Emmy for voicing Bobby Hill on “King of the Hill,” and delivered an excellent performance voters recognized in her timely series. Voters may want to honor her for working behind the camera, as well, considering she’s a co-creator, writer, producer, and director on “Better Things.” That being said, she’ll have to take down Queen Louis-Dreyfus, who’s looking to break Emmy records and keep her (well-deserved) hot streak alive.

In an Ideal World: “Better Things” would be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, writing, directing, and more. Though we’re still all-in on the “Veep” star, if someone is going to dethrone her, we’d be more than happy to see Adlon be the one.

“Billy on the Street”

Nomination: Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Can It Win? Probably not.

Why? In the two years since the Variety Series split into Sketch and Talk categories, we’ve had two different winners, and both of them have been from Comedy Central. By that logic, “Drunk History” would be the leader, but “Billy on the Street” has more buzz in 2017. Its stiffest competition is “Saturday Night Live,” which is tied for the most nominations of any series this year, but fellow one-time nominee “Tracey Ullman’s Show” stands a good shot given her longstanding popularity with the Academy.

In an Ideal World: “Billy on the Street,” a comedy consistently better than “SNL” this year, would win the category.

BoJack Horseman Season 3

“BoJack Horseman”

Nomination: Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Kristen Schaal)

Can It Win? Probably not.

Why? Defending champion Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) is nominated again, and there’s other stiff competition here. Nancy Cartwright is up for “The Simpsons,” for one, and Mo Collins snagged the first and only nomination for “F is For Family” in the category as well. There’s a lot of old favorites and new entries competing against each other, and this category could go in any direction. Perhaps there are more “BoJack” fans than it seems, but the series’ lack of other nominations will likely hurt it here.

In an Ideal World: “BoJack Horseman” would be nominated (and win) Outstanding Animated Program (or Outstanding Comedy Series overall).

Continue reading for odds on Carrie Fisher, “The Leftovers,” and “Sense8.”

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