Now that the 2012-2013 TV season is almost over, it’s hardly too early to start thinking about the Emmy nominations, which will be announced in July. Consider these preliminary thoughts rather than official predictions – look for those at the beginning of July. As always, chime in with your reactions and predictions in the comments, and don’t hesitate to let me know if I left any strong contenders off the list!
Last year’s eligible nominees:
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Deschanel earned her first nomination last year for her role on FOX’s new comedy, and scored Golden Globe nods this and last year as well. Emmy voters tend to get behind leading female stars and stick with them for a while, and so given the fact that her show hasn’t declined in popularity at all and is still fresh, I’d say she’s safe.
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Dunham was an underdog spoiler pick last year, and now she’s one of the sure things. After her show got a Best Comedy Series bid last year, she picked up a Golden Globe for her performance and the series won that awards body’s top prize. Though season two wasn’t beloved by all, Dunham is on fire right now, and a snub would be about as shocking as the omission of “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” for their sophomore seasons.
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Falco has been nominated for an Emmy ten times, most recently three years in a row for this show. She picked up a trophy for this role in 2010 and has been back each year since, joined last year by costar Merritt Wever in the supporting race. Falco did get snubbed one season of “The Sopranos” and missed out on a Golden Globe nod this past year, but her show scored its first SAG bid for Best Ensemble this year, so I think it all evens out and she’s still likely to be included.
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
This will be Fey’s last time contending in this race for this role. Critically-speaking, the show she created showed no signs of lagging as it aired its final thirteen episodes, and she’s all but guaranteed to contend for the seventh time in this race. She won for the show’s second season, and I suspect that she might win again this year if voters are feeling nostalgic.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Louis-Dreyfus is a force to be reckoned with at the Emmys, now the proud owner of trophies for three different roles. Her first was in the supporting race for “Seinfeld,” her second in this category for the horrendous “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” and last year she won for “Veep,” which picked up an unexpected Best Comedy Series nomination as well. I fully expect her to return since her show is just as good this year and she’s still an Emmy favorite.
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
I did not expect McCarthy to be nominated again last year after she won the year before because of all the buzz for “Bridesmaids.” Yet she did return, along with another bid for hosting “Saturday Night Live.” Her show is now in its third season, and there’s nothing to suggest that she won’t be back again because voters seem to love her and, despite the quality of her show, she’s a very funny woman. She’s likely in.
Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation)
The abomination that was Poehler’s show getting shut out of the Best Comedy Series race last year didn’t extend to Poehler in this race, and she even scored a writing nomination to go along with it. In its fifth season, her show is now NBC’s longest-running current comedy, and I think that, even if voters don’t love it for some reason, they do love her, and she’ll be nominated for sure.
Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
Plimpton was nominated in this race two years ago and last year found herself snubbed, but got quite the consolation prize in an Emmy win for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her recurring role on “The Good Wife.” While she may return to contend for that part once again, I don’t see her having a resurgence in this category since the show, which was in its freshman year when Plimpton earned her nomination, has hardly gained popularity.
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Kaling was always a standout supporting player whose role was too small to merit Emmy consideration on “The Office.” Now she has her own show, and voters tend to like actors and actresses who also work behind the scenes on their series. The trouble is that she’s much better than her show, and missing out on a Golden Globe nomination that many expected her to get didn’t help matters at all, so consider her chances uncertain.
Laura Dern (Enlightened)
It would be such a fitting tribute to this wonderful, short-lived HBO series for Dern to earn a farewell nomination. After winning a Golden Globe last year, Dern wasn’t even nominated for an Emmy, and then her show took a long break from the air, which meant that she wasn’t eligible for this past year’s Golden Globes. I doubt there’s enough buzz for her show, but it would be nice to see a quirky series like this rewarded. Dern has four Emmy nominations on her resume, but none for regular series work.