Monday, September 10, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Anthony Anderson as Andre Johnson, Black-ish (Advance to Go (Collect $200))
This is the fourth consecutive nomination for Anderson, whose show contends in the top category for the third time. He’s a likeable enough choice though his show hardly has any buzz anymore. Whereas last year he delivered an impassioned speech about the election and what it did to the country, in this episode he ditches his wife so that he can win Monopoly. It lacks the same gravitas, and the upset I thought might be possible last year seems all but guaranteed not to happen this year.

Ted Danson as Michael, The Good Place (Dance Dance Resolution)
I couldn’t be more excited about the inclusion of Danson for this fantastic show that inexplicably earned just one other nomination this year and none last year. Danson has fifteen previous nominations and two wins, both for “Cheers” in this category. It would be easier to be gung-ho for Danson if his show had any other support, and while the episode submission is superb, finding Michael doing constant reboots, I’m not sure it will translate to casual viewers. He could easily win if a vote-split happens between the top two contenders – I’d be ecstatic if it did.

Larry David as Himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm (Fatwa!)
This is David’s sixth nomination in this category. He was last nominated when the previous season aired, back in 2012. David does not play a likeable guy, and therefore him winning this award at any point felt unlikely. In the season finale, he goes head-to-head with Lin-Manuel Miranda as their show comes to fruition, providing some laughs but doubtful enough to give him the momentum for a win.

Donald Glover as Earn Marks, Atlanta (Teddy Perkins)
Glover won this award last year, and he’s up both for directing and writing his show and hosting SNL as well this year. His submitted episode finds him playing a character that’s completely unrecognizable, which should at least show voters that he’s capable of quite a range. It might also put some people off, and he’s certainly not the funniest actor in this category. Enthusiasm for his show is likely what will help him to a repeat win.

Bill Hader as Barry Berkman, Barry (Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going)
Hader is also nominated for directing and writing his show and hosting SNL. He has three previous SNL nominations. As a hitman who decides to become an actor after one of his jobs leads him to an acting class, Hader is strangely likeable. He’s definitely having a great year, and even if his show, which mustered a very healthy thirteen nominations, can’t pull off a win in the top category, he might just be able to.

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, Shameless (Sleepwalking)
This is the fifth consecutive nomination for Macy and his twelfth overall. Macy continues to be the only regular cast member to be recognized each year from one of the best ensembles on television. He submitted the season finale, a smart choice since Frank nearly scores with his latest scam before realizing that his family really doesn’t have his back. Macy has won the SAG Award three out of the past four years, so he’s a clear, easy backup choice if voters can’t decide on a favorite.

Who should win (based on entire season): Danson or Hader
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Danson, Hader or Macy
Who will win: This is primarily a competition between Hader and Glover, neither of who ended up winning their guest acting bids for SNL. It’s possible a vote-split could result in Danson or Macy winning too.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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