By Peter Knegt and Ben Travers | Indiewire June 18, 2014 at 10:33AM
If we left it up to the networks and their campaign departments, almost no one worthy of an Emmy nomination would make the cut (stop nominating Jim Parsons!). So we here at Indiewire are hoping to start some grassroots campaigns of our own, pushing the best of the unlikely nominees to the forefront and hoping to receive some support from you, our wonderful readers. Below you'll find our picks for the lead comedy actors we'd like to see honored by the Television Academy, as well as video evidence of their talents. Next week, we'll pick drama leads, then comedy and drama series leading up to the nominations announcements on July 10th. Online ballots are available now, so let the Emmy push commence!
6) Anna Faris -- "Mom"
Peter Knegt: I'm starting off with by far the one most likely to actually get a nomination: Anna Faris in "Mom." It's definitely no sure thing (at least compared to her co-star Allison Janney), as the best comedy actress category continues to be a gloriously stacked one. But I really hope they find room for Faris in there. Alongside Janney, she rose above often sub-par material to make "Mom" one of the most entertaining new comedy series of the year, and -- gasp -- one that made me a weekly viewer of CBS for the first time since ever (okay, since my childhood obsession with "Murphy Brown," but shh...) What's more is that Faris has been horribly underrated her entire career (I personally think her work in Gregg Araki's "Smiley Face" is absolute genius), and it would be nice to see her finally get some sort of recognition.
6) David Duchovny - "Californication"
Ben Travers: You're right. Faris is someone who doesn't get enough respect, and I'm going to move onto someone who might get too much (strictly from an awards standpoint). Honestly, Duchovny has probably received enough love from the Golden Globes honoring his turn as the love-addicted Lothario of Showtime's trademark program (sex! humor! more sex! nudity! - Showtime): He won after Season 1 and has scored a nod three more times since. But the Emmys, meanwhile, have never paid homage to Hank Moody -- those "mothafuckaaas" -- and it would be nice to send him off into the sunset with a nod. Perhaps then people would remember that at one point "Californication" was among the best dramadies on television. And by one point, I mean for one year. Its first.
5) Cobie Smulders - "How I Met Your Mother"
4/3) Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson - "Broad City"
4/3) Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele - "Key & Peele"
2) Jonathan Groff - "Looking"
PK: I suspect very few bones will sent the way of HBO's "Looking," in part because it hardly feels comedic compared to most of the other shows we've been talking about here. Certainly another example of why the comedy/drama split doesn't seem to quite fit narrative television these days (though I'm also hard pressed to find an alternative solution -- don't even get me started on the term "dramedy"), "Looking" was also one of my favorite new series of the past season. And that had a lot to do with its lead actor Jonathan Groff. In just eight episodes, Groff takes protagonist Patrick and, with the help of some very tight writing, develops him into one of television's most complex characters, an extraordinarily imperfect antihero we aren't sure we should be rooting for. Not exactly the stuff of comedy gold, but still more than worthy of an Emmy nomination.
2) Ricky Gervais - "Derek"
1) Amy Schumer - "Inside Amy Schumer"
PK: Amy Schumer plays a whole lot of characters perfectly in "Inside Amy Schumer," and she is my #1 vote here, even though I could probably offer this list in entirely different order depending on the time of day. But sketch comedy has a hard time in Emmy acting categories, especially if you're not "Saturday Night Live." And no offence to the glorious Kate McKinnon, but there's no one on "Saturday Night Live" deserving of an Emmy nomination over Amy Schumer, who -- much like the women from "Broad City" are doing with narrative comedy -- is reinventing sketch comedy in her Comedy Central series. And like the women of "Broad City," hell will have frozen over if a good chunk of typically archaic Emmy voters come to recognize that...
1) Rob Lowe - "Parks and Recreation"
BT: Yes, my quest continues for the best sitcom on television to get the recognition it deserves. Two weeks back, I pushed for voters to put Nick Offerman on their ballots, but there's no one I'd rather see get an Emmy nomination -- and no one less likely to receive one -- than Rob Lowe. While he stands a good shot at a nod for his role in the TV movie "Killing Kennedy," the deck is stacked against him for "Parks." First, he's on the ballot for leading man, not supporting, which he clearly is to anyone familiar with the program. And his case won't be helped by his departure midway through the season, cutting his screen time down even further. This is all the more reason, though, to champion the man who brought the most enthusiasm, heart and humor to network TV this year, and many years prior. He's the best comedic actor of the year, and I will literally cry when the Academy rejects talent in favor of ratings for one more year.