Last Year’s Winner: “Veep”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: “Veep” has won this award three years in a row. Before that, “Modern Family” won five years straight. “30 Rock” went back-to-back-to-back in the years immediately prior. The last show to go one and done (or won and done) was “The Office” in 2006.
Fun Fact: The last comedy with a black lead actor or actress to win this category was “The Cosby Show” in 1985.
Eight nominees in the comedy field makes a lot of sense given how many great half-hour series are out there these days. But if the TV Academy had trouble keeping it to seven, does that mean it’s going to be a wide open race for the top spot? There’s certainly no precedent — “Veep,” last year’s winner, is taking the year off, and none of the other nominees have won before.
That being said, a few of the nominees already look like the frontrunners. “Atlanta,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and “Barry” have the most nominations, with 16, 14, and 13, respectively. “Atlanta” saw a big jump in nods from last year, where it landed six nominations and won two. Given the rave reviews, Donald Glover’s man-of-the-year status, and its status as the leader in the clubhouse, “Atlanta” seems like the one to beat.
Still, there are arguments to be made for the rest. “GLOW” has a healthy 10 nominations, and its second season — not eligible, but still influential — earned outstanding reviews. Netflix will certainly be pushing it hard, along with “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (though the latter’s sparse nomination count makes its journey to the winner’s circle an uphill climb).
“Black-ish” is broadcast’s only representation, after “Modern Family” finally got boxed out, so you better believe ABC will be leaning into the show’s popularity, influence, and episode count. (“Black-ish” made more than twice as many episodes as “Atlanta,” “GLOW,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and nearly three times as many as “Maisel,” “Barry,” and “Silicon Valley.”) Meanwhile, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has more nominations in the Outstanding Comedy Series category than any other series that’s never won. Perhaps Larry David built up enough charm over the years to get his HBO comedy over the hump.
Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Comedy Series (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well.
- “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
- “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
- “Silicon Valley”
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Will Win: “Atlanta”
Could Win: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Should Win: “Atlanta”