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Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Last year's Best Actress in a Comedy Emmy winner Jean Smart now contends with fellow past winners Rachel Brosnahan and Sarah Jessica Parker.

And Just Like That Sarah Jessica Parker HBO Max

“And Just Like That…”

Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max

Last Year’s Winner: Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: After Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s record-breaking “Veep” run ended, the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy category has been spreading the wealth. Jean Smart is the latest actress to win, and presumably has a good chance of starting a hot streak in the category again.
Notable Ineligible Series: Allison Janney, “Mom” (ended); Aidy Bryant, “Shrill” (ended); Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me” (Season 3 was not eligible)

This article will be updated throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2022 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting will take place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations to be announced on Tuesday, July 12. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out over two consecutive nights on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, with an edited presentation on the ceremonies to be broadcast on Saturday, September 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET on FXX. Finally, the 74rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, September 12, and air live on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

Like the men’s category, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy has three serious contenders this year that have already won for the specific role they are playing. However, Sarah Jessica Parker is a unique case having last won in 2004. It seems, for better or worse, “And Just Like That” struck a chord with audiences much more than other revivals like “Murphy Brown” (2018) and “Mad About You” (2019) did, so she certainly has a good shot of going the distance in a world where “Emily in Paris” received a “Outstanding Comedy Series” nomination.

It should be pointed out that although pioneering creator-stars like Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”), and Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”) are often nominated in this category, they seem to rarely ever win. The two recent exceptions have been Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”). “Abbott Elementary” is experiencing a similar, unique phenomenon as those two shows, so that may extend into a nomination for Quinta Brunson as well.

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Devery Jacobs, “Reservation Dogs” (FX)
Elle Fanning, “The Great” (Hulu)
Issa Rae, “Insecure” (HBO)
Jean Smart, “Hacks” (HBO Max)
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie” (Netflix)
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll” (Netflix)
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things” (FX)
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video)
Sarah Lancashire, “Julia” (HBO Max)
Sarah Jessica Parker, “And Just Like That” (HBO Max)
Selena Gomez, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
Tiffany Haddish, “The Afterparty” (Apple TV+)
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC)

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