It is a 50/50 shot whether this category will stay intact with the majority of nominees from last year, or the more likely scenario which would be a slight shakeup in nominees. Of last year’s nominees, there are three actresses who more than likely will be nominated again this year. The first is Allison Janney for CBS’ Mom. Janney is the scene-stealer of the show and Emmy voters adore her, having awarded her six Emmys throughout her career thus far (she had a double Emmy win last year in this category and also in Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series). Julie Bowen also is a safe guarantee for ABC’s Modern Family. Bowen, too, is liked by Emmy voters and her getting a nomination snub would be a huge shock, especially when voters must acknowledge she is the heart of Modern Family’s ensemble cast. The last safe bet is Anna Chlumsky for HBO’s Veep, whose performance as “Amy Brookheimer” is astounding by how Chlumsky is able to have her character be hysterical, yet hilarious at the same time without being obnoxious.
Of the remaining nominees from last year, Kate Mulgrew from Netflix’s Orange is the New Black will not be nominated due to the Television Academy’s new ruling of what classifies as a drama or comedy series. Orange is the New Black was reclassified as a drama series, which is where Mulgrew will be competing this year. Part of the nomination trend in recent years is voters nominating one or two members of the Saturday Night Live cast, which additionally functions as an ode to entire comedy cast. Last year, voters chose Kate McKinnon. This year, with the high caliber of new shows, McKinnon and the rest of the Saturday Night Live cast could see themselves snubbed this year if Academy voters decide to break this nominating trend. Mayim Bialik also is in a vulnerable position this year with her performance as “Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler” on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. Bialik may be the one veteran in this category to be pushed out to offer space to newer faces. However, Bialik is popular with fans of the show and she also offered some of her best work in the show’s season finale, which will be hard for Academy voters to ignore.
It is five actresses from freshman shows who are vying for a nomination this year: Judith Light, Amy Landecker, and Gaby Hoffman from Amazon’s Transparent and Jane Krakowski and Carol Kane for Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If Academy voters decide to snub McKinnon or Bialik this year, it is likely voters will nominate one actress from each show. Judith Light is the obvious choice from Transparent whose role as matriarch “Shelly Pfefferman” was both comical yet had tremendous emotional depth. The other obvious choice would be Jane Krakowski, whose performance as “Jacqueline Voorhees,” a rich woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown and in desperate need of a friend, was stunning work from the former 30 Rock star.
Academy voters could also nominate in the favor of former nominees. Sofia Vergara wasn’t nominated last year for Modern Family and could maybe sneak back into this category. Merritt Wever was snubbed last year after her 2013 Emmy win in this category for Nurse Jackie. Wever could potentially be nominated again if voters are sentimental with Nurse Jackie having completed its final season this year. This same sentiment could also be extended to Glee’s Jane Lynch, which also concluded its final season this year. Also, when taking into account who were the nominees at this year’s Critic Choice Television Awards: Melanie Lynskey for HBO’s Togetherness, Carrie Brownstein for IFC’s Portlandia, and Eden Sher for ABC’s The Middle; Any of these three actresses, too, could be a spoiler nomination in this category.
Below are Dan’s predictions for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
1. Allison Janney – “Mom”
2. Julie Bowen – “Modern Family”
3. Anna Chlumsky – “Veep”
4. Mayim Bialik – “The Big Bang Theory”
5. Jane Krakowski – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
6. Judith Light – “Transparent”
Spoiler: Amy Landecker and Gaby Hoffman – “Transparent” or Carol Kane – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Long Shot: Carrie Brownstein – “Portlandia”