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Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Comedy Series — ‘Ted Lasso’ Takes Lead, but There’s a New People’s Champ

'Ted Lasso' dominated 2022 Emmy nominations, but fellow Best Comedy Series nominee 'Abbott Elementary' has the same energy around it.

Ted Lasso Season 2 Jason Sudeikis Brendan Hunt

“Ted Lasso”

Colin Hutton / Apple TV+

ConsiderThis

Last Year’s Winner: “Ted Lasso”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: For nearly a decade the Outstanding Comedy Series was a tug of war between “Modern Family” on ABC and “Veep” on HBO. Since then, neither one show nor one network has won this category more than two years in a row.
Notable Ineligible Series: “The Kominsky Method” (ended); “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 took place from June 16 to June 27, with the official Emmy nominations 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, Sept. 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.

The State of the Race

Well, after all the discussion about how are “Ted Lasso” and “Hacks” going to hold up against some highly decorated past winners like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Barry,” and “Atlanta” returning to the Emmys race, the answer is more than fine!

“Ted Lasso” leads the Outstanding Comedy Series contenders this year with 20 nominations (a tie with “The White Lotus” for the second most nominations of any show this year), and “Hacks” is not far behind with 17. As for those returning shows, “Barry” and “Maisel” take lead with 14 and 12 nominations respectively, while “Atlanta” Season 3 didn’t even get nominated in this category.

Ultimately, it looks like the Emmy is the beloved Apple TV+ show’s to lose, even if Season 2 was received with less enthusiasm from critics. At the show’s post-nominations event in Los Angeles, surprise “Ted Lasso” nominees like Sarah Niles and James Lance were an absolute delight on the panel, as were last year’s winners for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series, Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham. Star/co-creator Jason Sudeikis and Season 2 standout Nick Mohammed were not in attendance, but their co-stars talked them up plenty during the panel discussion.

“Hacks” and “Barry” are just not as broad, but arguably delivered their best seasons yet, so there really is still a chance either could win if they get enough eyes on the work. Jean Smart certainly seems like she’s on the fast track to another win in Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while Bill Hader already has two Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmys, so he is certainly formidable competition for his former “Saturday Night Live” castmate Sudeikis. Both shows will likely be collecting at least one award come September, it’s just a question of for which categories?

Now to discuss “Abbott Elementary” and “Only Murders in the Building,” the only two freshman comedies to make the cut. “Abbott Elementary” is absolutely the dark horse in this particular race. The folks that were telling everyone to binge “Ted Lasso” last year, and “Schitt’s Creek” the year before, 100% have their megaphones out telling people to give the ABC workplace sitcom a chance. Although it only has seven nominations, each one is deeply significant, with creator Quinta Brunson becoming the first Black woman to be nominated for producing, acting and writing in the comedy categories, plus sitcom vets Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tyler James Williams getting their first nominations, and Janelle James getting another major recognition to add to her breakout year. It’s the people’s champ, with the added bonus of being touted at network comedies’ new hope, so that could definitely translate into a very welcome Outstanding Comedy Series upset.

“Only Murders in the Building” is a less a dark horse only because, judging from last year, the voting body will likely want to spread the wealth. While “Ted Lasso” won the big awards, and won in three of the four major acting categories, “Hacks” won for writing and directing. “Only Murders in the Building” will probably get the kind of recognition “Hacks” did. It is, after all, the only comedy nominated twice for Directing. It does have the same thing “Ted Lasso” had going for it though, with its second season premiering on Hulu as voting is happening, so that could just be the boost it needs.

Much love to the other three nominees “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “What We Do in the Shadows,” but the former two are past their prime. “What We Do in the Shadows” actually scored two Writing nominations as well, so there really is a lot of TV Academy enthusiasm around it, but the continuous snubs in the acting categories do not bode well for the one Taika Waititi-produced comedy that went the distance this year.

Power Rankings:

  1. “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
  2. “Hacks” (HBO Max) (Netflix)
  3. “Barry” (HBO)
  4. “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  5. “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
  6. “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)
  7. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video)
  8. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)

Will Win: “Ted Lasso”
Could Win: “Abbott Elementary”
Should Win: “Barry”

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