What an incredible Emmys phase one it has been. So incredible that my now-annual Awards Radar FYC piece is only hitting your desktops and phones with only three days left in voting – three crucial days. Come on voters, let’s make some noise! Over the past five months the incredible Awards Radar TV team has been endlessly working to provide an FYC of sorts through hundreds of interviews with the contenders both above and below the line. (You can find them all under the TV / FYC menu above.)
In addition, the new TV Topics podcast has been a huge success since our premiere episode with special guest, Rose Byrne. On TV Topics guests sit in for the entire episode for a TV-focused conversation about their work as well as some lighter questions (we call TV topics). They are designed to provide listeners see a different side of our guests who are given the chance to let their guards down for a lighter conversation – while still having dedicated time to dig into their work. Thank you to all of our past and upcoming guests – it has been a lot of fun. (If you would like to be a guest on TV Topics, reach out to me, host/creator Steven Prusakowski.)
Back to voting, we know that many of your Emmy decisions are not often made until the last few hours of the Emmy phase one voting. This is why we have provided this list of names to keep in mind as you fill out those ballots, either as an official Emmy voter or for fun as a fan. Keep it handy as you make your choices, because every name listed truly delivered this season.
We are not asking you to forget your personal favorites or to cast aside those worthy nominees currently favored to win. What we do want you to do is instead of voting with the flow make some waves by casting votes for some very deserving nominees when possible. We love all the big shows, but the TV landscape is vast and better representation of shows big and small is needed.
If you look at the list of potential nominees who will be left off the official final Emmy nominations you will find several if not dozens of worthy nominees. Let’s recognize them. And away we go.
OUR AWARDS RADAR COMEDY FYC
THE RULES: Our Awards Radar TV’s Emmy FYC contains names of the outstanding newcomers and already established work that has yet to find a place on the Emmy ballot that our ARTV team knows deserve your attention. Some of these names are brand new while others are head scratching omissions from seasons’ worth of incredible comedic work.
It’s been a wonderful year for comedy that has us bidding adieu to some Emmy darlings including Barry, Ted Lasso (we think), Atlanta, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – all worthy of some nominations – but not all of them. It is time to also recognize the series that have been left off the final ballot; amazing comedies like hilarious hits with heart like Ghosts, Somebody Somewhere, Reservation Dogs. There are also some new (or kind of new) series to consider like the very clever Poker Face, the uber-popular Wednesday, and the better-than-ever-even-after-a-13-year-hiatus Party Down. Some other very Emmy-buzzy shows Shrinking and The Bear may already have your vote, but squeeze in here as newcomers – great ones at that. There’s also the surprise hit that came out of nowhere then left a huge mark, Jury Duty.
You would not be wasting a vote if you also checked off Physical, The Great, The Other Two or Lucky Hank – all of which need and deserve your support.
Our Spotlight Pick: While Ghosts is right up there, the one series which needs your votes more than ever is the incredibly smart and funny (and sadly recently canceled – let’s change that) American Auto. Let your voice count in a bigger way, make this nomination happen – and maybe, just maybe we will get a third season. And if you are not watching, fix that – it is on Peacock now.
Throwing a vote to any of these above could shift the tide for one or several of these awesome comedies.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Congrats to Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso) for taking home the trophy again. He will certainly have another nomination perhaps with past winners Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Bill Hader (Barry), but there are still a handful of very worthy contenders we would like you to consider. Billy Crudup (Hello, Tomorrow!) and Bob Odenkirk (Lucky Hank) delivering two of the best performances of the year in two of the least talked about series – time to start talking about them – better yet speak with your vote. Again some of the funniest men on television have been ignored. Fix that with a vote for Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien) or Matt Berry (What We Do In The Shadows). Mohammed Amer in (Mo) is a fresh newcomer with years of standup experience behind him. Then there are the other two, Drew Tarver (The Other Two) and Adam Scott (Party Down). If they were on the final ballot no one would question why. Back again are the buzzy and deserving duo, Jeremy Allen White (The Bear) and Jason Segel (Shrinking) – can they both get in? Maybe with your vote they can.
Our Spotlight Pick: A dead-on good place for your vote is with the undead Kayvan Novak in What We Do in the Shadows whose vampiric journey as Nandor was as funny as ever as he searched for love.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
This category is stacked with talented former nominees will certainly return for more like: Rachel Brosnahan, Quinta Brunson, and Elle Fanning. Then there are the actresses vying for their first nominations. Call them snubs or omissions, whatever you want. Let’s change that title to ‘first-time nominee.’ Some actresses we named before and will do so again are Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building) and Rose McIver (Ghosts), Cecily Strong (Schmigadoon!), Bridget Everett (Somebody Somewhere) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blindspotting). Did I mention Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) who single-handedly turned the series into a sensation?
Back again is Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face) finds the truth in her role and other characters in another sensational performance that is a blast to watch. But wait, there’s more: Heléne Yorke (The Other Two), Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me), Natasia Demetriou (What We Do in the Shadows), Tatiana Maslany (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law). So much good TV, so many great performances..
Truly consider the stellar Ana Gasteyer (American Auto) and the oh-so-talented Marisa Davila, (Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies) both gave their all only to get crushing cancellation notices 🙁 – ugh!
They led the charge on series that never received the support they deserved.
Our Spotlight Pick: We demand you to consider Rose Byrne in Physical – the idea that she is not a frontrunner just shows you how stacked this category is. Just look at the amazing list above. What a list! These are the hopefuls, not the favorites. We are spoiled and do not even know it. Please recognize their work.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
So many familiar names are predicted to make this final ballot again this year and guess what – they are all great. That does not mean you cannot throw a vote to other nominees that would love to put on their tux to represent the work they put out this year. Please keep in mind the incredible Brandon Scott Jones (Ghosts) and Jeff Hiller (Somebody Somewhere) who keep bringing smiles to our faces with standout performances. Michael Zegan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) is the forgotten member of that ensemble delivering from season one right to the series finale.
Don’t forget the great work of Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Bear), James Marsden (Jury Duty), Gwilym Lee (The Great), Phil Dunster (Ted Lasso). Luke Tennie (Shrinking) and a pair from What We Do in the Shadows Harvey Guillen and Mark Proksch. Told you there are more options than the standard choices. Another newcomer to the Emmy scene that made viewers take attention, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Bear). I need to include one more name, and I can’t believe I am labeling him a newcomer, Harrison Ford (Shrinking).
Our Spotlight Pick: One of the funniest men on television Ken Marino (Party Down) always entertains, but his return as Ron Donald was something special – a mix of physical and spoken comedy fine tuned to perfection, even after a 13-year hiatus from the character. Give this man a nomination.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
This category kills me. We have SO MANY outstanding performances, it is impossible to narrow them down. The performance that made me laugh more than any other is Janelle James as Ava on Abbott Elementary, but she had a nomination and cannot be included here (give her another). So here’s our official list. Let’s start with Molly Shannon (The Other Two) – is there a more consistent scene stealer? One of my favorite performances of all of last and runner-up for my spotlight pick is Ayo Edebiri (The Bear) – spectacular work.
Do not forget Danielle Pinnock (Ghosts) in a cast full of nomination-worthy performances. Lukita Maxwell‘s breakout work on Shrinking, Zazie Beetz (Atlanta), Dove Cameron (Schmigadoon!), and Phoebe Fox (The Great). And how about getting the party started for two Party Down newcomers, Jennifer Garner and Zoë Chao. And, of course, Jayne Houdyshell (Only Murders in the Building) broke our hearts while making us laugh as Bunny.
Okay, I am bending my rules again – after last year’s actual snub Sarah Goldberg Barry) is back for one last consideration as Sally – one of TV’s best characters.
Our Spotlight Pick: What Jessica Williams (Shrinking) gave us this year on the rookie comedy cannot wait until next year to be recognized. I said it before and I will say it again, Williams was a breath of fresh air with a performance among some giants which demanded your attention.
Thank you For Your Consideration. We look forward to seeing who makes that final list on July 12th – hopefully a few surprises. Look for more Emmy coverage and interviews on Awards Radar from our incredible team; Abe Friedtanzer, Niki Cruz, Danny Jarabek, Maxance Vincent, Diego Peralta, Lucas Longacre, Emilia Yu, Norm Felker, Cory Stillman, Joshua Harris – along with me, TV Editor Steven Prusakowski, have been working endlessly to ensure all the best of television is on your Awards Radar.