With the Emmy nominations coming up on July 18, I am posting predictions and analysis of each of the top categories. Each post consists of predictions and analysis for one category.
Here is my prediction and analysis for:
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
JULIE BOWEN as Claire Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY
Bowen has won this category for the past two years, tying Eric Stonestreet for the most rewarded performer on the show. Her victory last season was a surprise to most Emmy prognosticators, who assumed that co-star Sofia Vergara, SNL’s Kristen Wiig or the recently deceased Kathryn Joosten would take home the trophy. Her acting style and storyline clearly appeal to voters, which I certainly underestimated. I mentioned in my Supporting Actor predictions that Modern Family would likely drop in nominations but Bowen is probably the safest bet out of all of the show’s actors.
KALEY CUOCO as Penny in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Along with co-star Simon Helberg, I’m predicting an increased reception for The Big Bang Theory, and that might include the show’s female lead. Even though Cuoco is submitting in the supporting category this year, Cuoco is easily considered the female lead on The Big Bang Theory and she has a much better shot here than she does in Lead Actress. Mayim Bialik was nominated last year in this category but I heard her screentime has been lacking this season, so Cuoco has a good shot of taking her place. She recently won the Critics’ Choice TV Award in Supporting Actress, so I think she’ll have added buzz and sneak into this category on nomination morning.
JANE KRAKOWSKI as Jenna Maroney in 30 ROCK
Krakowski was nominated for the show’s third, fourth and fifth seasons but was shockingly snubbed last year. The scene-stealer had an excellent season in the show’s final year on the air, so I expect she could get in one last time. With two empty slots (Joosten & Wiig) she has a relatively good shot of getting back in, as I suspect she was probably 7th or 8th last year in vote totals. Depending on how voters feel about 30 Rock, they may finally give her a much-deserved win, but voters often aren’t sentimental, so I’m not getting my hopes up.
SOFIA VERGARA as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in MODERN FAMILY
Both Vergara’s performance and the writing of her character have been described as increasingly one-note, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the show’s more subtle performances. Much of the humor of her character derives from her loudness and her accent, so it’s hard to be subtle with that kind of material. Having said that, this category tends to reward big, showy performances and I’m surprised they haven’t given a trophy to Vergara yet. She had a juicy pregnancy storyline this year, so she’s a near lock to get into this category for the fourth consecutive year.
JESSICA WALTER as Lucille Bluth in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
For me, Walter was easily the standout of Arrested Development‘s revival season. Unlike most of her co-stars, she had significant screentime through almost every episode of the season and her presence was felt even when she wasn’t on screen. The Supporting Actress category has traditionally belonged to boozy or over-the-top mothers, and Walter passes both of those tests. Walter not winning an Emmy for the show’s first three seasons was one of the biggest crimes in the award show’s modern history, and this may be a chance to finally reward her. She was only nominated for the show’s second season but I would say Walter is a safe bet to get nominated and has one of the best chances of winning.
MERRITT WEVER as Zoey Barkow in NURSE JACKIE
Wever shocked everyone last year when she was able to sneak into Supporting Actress. The relative unknown had not been nominated for the show’s first three seasons and she didn’t even have buzz to propel her to a nomination. Wever has always been one of the best (and easily most comedic) elements of Nurse Jackie, and I guess enough voters are watching the show and recognized that. At first, I was predicting she might be a one-off nomination, but I think as long as Falco gets in again, Wever will likely earn herself another nomination alongside her. This is another risky prediction but I don’t see a huge turnover for last year’s nominees in a category that already has two open slots.
As for other contenders, I honestly can’t imagine any other nominees getting in. Bialik was nominated last year but she wasn’t even able to get a nomination at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards, who clearly loved The Big Bang Theory this year. If her storyline really wasn’t up to snuff this year then she’s almost definitely out. I could be wrong, and they may rubber stamp her name but I highly doubt it. Betty White is always a contender for any category she gets submitted in, and she got in for Hot in Cleveland two years ago, but she wasn’t even able to repeat last year. If White couldn’t even get in against relative unknowns like Merritt Wever and Mayim Bialik, I doubt she can rely on her name to get a nomination. I haven’t seen Hot in Cleveland, but most critics say that her storyline often feels isolated and poorly written. Regardless, she is adored in the industry, so another nomination is certainly possible. The only other actresses that have a real shot of sneaking in here are Girls stars Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet. None of their performances have been particularly lauded as revolutionary, but if enough voters are watching Girls, any one of them could sneak in here.
Next time on 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions:
Lead Actor in a Miniseries/Movie
Lead Actress in a Miniseries/Movie
The 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 18.
Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.
Also, read my predictions and analysis of other categories:
Part 1: Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Part 2: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series