Emmy Predictions: Comedy Series – Freshman Shows Such as ‘Only Murders in the Building’ and ‘Abbott Elementary’ Can Take It All

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UPDATED: June 23, 2022

2022 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

There are 118 comedy series in the running for the Emmys. In 2021, there were 68 verses 2020, which saw 111. Eight nominees will be named on July 12.

Broadcast is mounting a comeback at the Emmys. With three strong contenders vying for attention, it would be the first time since 2013, that three Broadcast shows would make the lineup.

This is resting upon the feeling that CBS’ hit freshman series “Ghosts” could sneak into the lineup at the eleventh hour. Very prominent on the campaign trail, this could be the network’s first nom since “The Big Bang Theory” ended its run, and there are many who sing the praises of the writing and impeccable ensemble.

Who would have thought the second season of “Hacks” could possibly surpass the first? Critics love the HBO Max series, and its stars, Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. Could the second season road trip lead to a big Emmy night? It can be argued that “Hacks” nearly took home the top prize last year after winning writing and directing.

Hulu has all the riches this year, especially with its whodunnit series, “Only Murders in the Building” which stars comedy icons Steve Martin and Martin Short, alongside an equally brilliant Selena Gomez. A true contender for writing, the series could overperform with the Emmys and be a spoiler waiting in the wings.

FX’s “Atlanta” makes a return for its penultimate season, with all the delights of its inaugural outings. Donald Glover and the rest of the cast have their devoted fans, but the hurdle will be if the show’s hiatus was too long for people to jump back into the flow.

The world said goodbye to the ABC sitcom “Black-ish,” which has made a strong showing at the Emmys over the past eight seasons but has never walked away with any of the big statuettes. It’s the last chance for voters to give the Johnson family its overdue love.

Another series returning after a hiatus is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” this time with its second to last season. The Prime Video comedy has won this race before. Rachel Brosnahan leads the charge once again, and the awards campaign team is optimistic about their chances to make another big showing, considering the show is familiar territory with the TV Academy.

“Ted Lasso” gave Apple TV+ its first top series win in this category last year and is back for more. With a robust slate in all series categories, the familiarity of our favorite football coach could be an easy check off, especially with high-profile wins from Critics Choice and SAG Awards. The next season being its last chatter from Brett Goldstein, could also help it on the trail.

The whimsical and maniacal hit man “Barry” is back, and HBO has another shot at the comedy Emmy, along with stars Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan and Sarah Goldberg all vying for acting wins as well. After a COVID pause, it’s great to have one of the best shows on television back for another Emmy round.

From executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller comes this murder mystery comedy “The Afterparty” streaming on Apple TV+. The all-star cast of the smash freshman series boasts one of the best ensembles of the year and could be a dark horse entry.

A darling on the indie circuit, the FX series “Reservation Dogs” received critical acclaim when it debuted. Sporting a cast of Indigenous newcomers, the series has grabbed noms and some wins already and could make a surprise entry in this category. Its big obstacle? Being remembered due to its early release.

. - Credit: ABC
. - Credit: ABC

ABC

If the Oscars were looking for a good mood with “CODA,” then the TV Academy might look to “Abbott Elementary,” which follows a delightful, charming and earnest bunch of Philadelphia teachers. Creator, writer and star Quinta Brunson, along with the rest of the cast, are the most popular kids of the awards season.

I’m also aware that “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has never missed a nom for outstanding comedy series, but that reign has to come to an end sometime, right?

Improvisation and dedication are embedded in the murder-mystery series “Murderville” headlined by Will Arnett and his uproarious Terry Seattle. The Netflix freshman series will be competing in the comedy realm after being moved out of variety sketch, and with many outstanding guests submitted for Emmy attention – including Conan O’Brien, Marshawn Lynch and Kumail Nanjiani – it would be an inspired choice, albeit a longshot.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

The nomination round of voting runs from June 16 to June 27. The official nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Tuesday, July 12.

The list of programs and potential nominees listed below is incomplete and is subject to change. The full television awards season calendar is linked here.

2021 category winner: “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

“ATLANTA” — “The Old Man and the Tree” — Season 3, Episode 3 (Airs March 31) Pictured (L-R): LaKeith Stanfield as Darius, Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, Donald Glover as Earn Marks, Zazie Beetz as Van. CR: Oliver Upton/FX - Credit: Oliver Upton/FX
“ATLANTA” — “The Old Man and the Tree” — Season 3, Episode 3 (Airs March 31) Pictured (L-R): LaKeith Stanfield as Darius, Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, Donald Glover as Earn Marks, Zazie Beetz as Van. CR: Oliver Upton/FX - Credit: Oliver Upton/FX

Oliver Upton/FX

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

SERIES

NETWORK

PRODUCER(S)

1

“Abbott Elementary”

ABC

Randall Einhorn, Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, Quinta Brunson, Werner Walian

2

“Only Murders in the Building”

Hulu

Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal, Jamie Babbit, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, John Hoffman, Thembi Banks, Jane Raab

3

“Hacks”

HBO

Jen Statsky, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett

4

“Ted Lasso”

Apple TV+

Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Jeff Ingold, Bill Wrubel

5

“Barry”

HBO

Alec Berg, Bill Hader, Aida Rodgers, Liz Sarnoff, Emily Heller, Sarah Solemani, Ben Smith, Kris Baucom, Megan Murphy, Amy Solomon, Julie Camino, Jason Kim, Duffy Boudreau, Artūrs Rūsis, Davin Michaels

6

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Amazon Prime Video

Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Dhana Gilbert, Matthew Shapiro, Salvatore Carino, Sheila Lawrence

7

“Ghosts”

CBS

Joe Port, Joe Wiseman, Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond, Martha Howe-Douglas, Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, Alison Owen, Angie Stephenson

8

“Reservation Dogs”

FX

Kathryn Dean, Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi, Garrett Basch

NEXT IN LINE

9

“Black-ish”

ABC

Anthony Anderson, Brian Dobbins, Helen Sugland, Jonathan Groff, Kenya Barris, Kenny Smith, Larry Wilmore, Paul Young, Laurence Fishburne, Peter Principato, Tom Russo, Gail Lerner, Tracee Ellis Ross

10

“Atlanta”

FX

Donald Glover, Paul Simms, Dianne McGunigle, Stephen Glover, Hiro Murai

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

“The Afterparty”

Apple TV+

Anthony King, Christopher Miller, Phil Lord, Michael Cedar, Bridger Winegar, Aubrey Lee

12

“Curb Your Enthusiasm”

HBO

Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Robert B. Weide, Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer, Larry Charles, Gavin Polone, Tim Gibbons, Erin O’Malley

13

“What We Do in the Shadows”

FX

Joanne Toll, Hartley Gorenstein, Kyle Newacheck, Derek S. Rappaport, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, Stefani Robinson, Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Paul Simms

14

“Cobra Kai”

Netflix

William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Will Smith, James Lassiter, Caleeb Pinkett, Susan Ekins, Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg,

Katrin L. Goodson, Bob Wilson

15

“Insecure”

HBO

Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Michael Rotenberg, Melina Matsoukas, Dave Becky, Jonathan Berry

16

“Russian Doll”

Netflix

Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Allison Silverman, Alex Buono, Regina Corrado, Kate Arend[, John Skidmore, Ryan McCormick, Alice Ju, Ben Poppleton, Isabel Richardson

17

“The Flight Attendant”

HBO

Susanna Fogel, Sarah Schechter, Meredith Lavender, Marcie Ulin, Steve Yockey, Kaley Cuoco, Greg Berlanti, Silver Tree, David Madden, Suzanne McCormack, Natalie Chaidez, Erika Kennair, Jennifer Lence, Raymond Quinlan, Ian Weinreich, Stephanie Johnson, Carl Ogawa, Bonnie Muñoz

18

“The Great”

Hulu

Tony McNamara, Elle Fanning, Marian Macgowan, Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Josh Kesselman, Ron West, Matt Shakman, Dean O’Toole

19

“Pen15”

Hulu

Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, Debbie Liebling, Gabe Liedman, Marc Provissiero, Brooke Pobjoy, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Becky Sloviter, Shelley Zimmerman, Brin Lukens, Jordan Levin

20

“And Just Like That…”

HBO

Michael Patrick King, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Melfi, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Julie Rottenberg, Elisa Zuritsky, Teddy Au

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

“Our Flag Means Death”

HBO

David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted

22

“Emily in Paris”

Netflix

Andrew Fleming, Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Darren Star, Stephen Joel Brown, Shihan Fey, Jake Fuller, Lily Collins, Raphaël Benoliel, Joe Murphy

23

“The Chair”

Netflix

Amanda Peet, David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bernie Caulfield, Daniel Gray Longino, Sandra Oh, Tyler Romary, Hameed Shaukat

24

“Julia”

HBO

Christopher Keyser, Daniel Goldfarb, Erwin Stoff, Kimberly Carver, Erica Lipez, Charles McDougall

25

“Hawkeye”

Disney+

Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Trinh Tran, Brad Winderbaum, Rhys Thomas, Jonathan Igla, Trevor Waterson, Elisa Climent, Andrew Guest, Matt Fraction,  Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

26

“Schmigadoon!”

Apple TV+

Cinco Paul, Lorne Michaels, Barry Sonnenfeld, Andrew Singer, Cecily Strong, Caroline Maroney, Micah Frank, Rose Lam

27

“Dickinson”

Apple TV+

Michael Sugar, Paul Lee, Hailee Steinfeld, Ashley Zalta, Alex Goldstone, Darlene Hunt

28

“Better Things”

FX

Pamela Adlon, Joanne Toll

29

“Girls5eva”

Peacock

Meredith Scardino, Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond, David Miner, Eric Gurian, Lauren Gurganous, Matt Whitaker, Dara Schnapper, Steven Ast

30

“Life & Beth”

Hulu

Amy Schumer, Violet Young, Michael Cera, Susannah Flood

UNRANKED CONTENDERS

“A.P. Bio”

Peacock

To be added

“Acapulco”

Apple TV+

To be added

“After Life”

Netflix

To be added

“American Auto”

NBC

To be added

“Atypical”

Apple TV+

To be added

“Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens”

Comedy Central

To be added

“B Positive”

CBS

To be added

“Back to Life”

Showtime

Kate Daughton, Tanya Qureshi, Daisy Haggard, Sarah Hammond, Laura Solon, Chris Sweeney, Harry Williams,Jack Williams, Catherine Gosling Fuller

“Black Monday”

Showtime

Jordan Cahan, David Caspe, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Don Cheadle, Daniel Libman, Matthew Libman, Ken Topolsky, Yassir Lester, Morenike Balogun, Andrew Rannells, Regina Hall, Frank Sackett, Bridger Winegar, Dipika Guha

“Blindspotting”

Starz

To be added

“Bob Hearts Abishola”

CBS

To be added

“Breeders”

FX

To be added

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

NBC

To be added

“Bust Down”

Peacock

To be added

“Call Me Kat”

Fox

To be added

“Dave”

FX

To be added

“Dear White People”

Netflix

To be added

“Dollface”

Hulu

To be added

“Feel Good”

Netflix

To be added

“Flatbush Misdemeanors”

Showtime

Kevin Iso, Dan Perlman, Nastaran Dibai, Richard Allen-Turner, Jon Thoday, Chloe Pisello, David Martin, Justin Tipping, Chris Case, Chuck Hayward, Moshe Bardach

“Gentefied”

Netflix

To be added

“Grace and Frankie”

Netflix

To be added

“Grand Crew”

NBC

To be added

“grown-ish”

Freeform

To be added

“Harlem”

Amazon Prime Video

To be added

“Home Economics”

ABC

To be added

“How I Met Your Father”

Hulu

To be added

“How We Roll”

CBS

To be added

“I Love That for You”

Showtime

To be added

“iCarly”

Paramount+

To be added

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

FX

To be added

“Johnson”

Bounce TV

To be added

“Kenan”

NBC

To be added

“Killing It”

Peacock

To be added

“Love, Victor”

Hulu

To be added

“MacGruber”

Peacock

To be added

“Made for Love”

HBO

To be added

“Minx”

HBO

To be added

“Mr. Corman”

Apple TV+

To be added

“Mr. Inbetween”

FX

To be added

“Mr. Mayor”

NBC

To be added

“Murderville”

Netflix

To be added

“Never Have I Ever”

Netflix

To be added

“Partners in Rhyme”

BBC One

To be added

“Peacemaker”

HBO

James Gunn, Peter Safran, Matt Miller

“Physical”

Apple TV+

To be added

“Pivoting”

Fox

To be added

“Reno 911!”

The Roku Channel

To be added

“Resident Alien”

Syfy

To be added

“Run the World”

Starz

To be added

“Saved by the Bell”

Peacock

To be added

“Search Party”

HBO

To be added

“Shining Vale”

Starz

To be added

“Single Drunk Female”

Freeform

To be added

“Somebody Somewhere”

HBO

To be added

“Sort Of”

HBO

To be added

“South Side”

HBO

To be added

“Space Force”

Netflix

To be added

“Starstruck”

HBO

To be added

“Tacoma FD”

truTV

To be added

“The Baby”

HBO

To be added

“The Big Leap”

Fox

To be added

“The Conners”

ABC

To be added

“The Game”

Paramount+

To be added

“The Garcias”

HBO

To be added

“The Goldbergs”

ABC

To be added

“The Last O.G.”

TBS

To be added

“The Ms. Pat Show”

BET

To be added

“The Neighborhood”

CBS

To be added

“The Other Two”

HBO

To be added

“The Outlaws”

Amazon Prime Video

To be added

“The Pentaverate”

Netflix

To be added

“The Righteous Gemstones”

HBO

To be added

“The Sex Lives of College Girls”

HBO

Mindy Kaling, Justin Noble, Howard Klein,Charlie Grandy, Matt Warburton

“The Wonder Years”

ABC

To be added

“This Way Up”

Channel 4

To be added

“Trying”

Apple TV+

To be added

“Turner & Hooch”

Disney+

To be added

“United States of Al”

CBS

To be added

“Upload”

Amazon Prime Video

To be added

“We Are Lady Parts”

Peacock

To be added

“Welcome to Flatch”

Fox

To be added

“Why Women Kill”

Paramount+

To be added

“With Love”

Amazon Prime Video

To be added

“Woke”

Hulu

To be added

“Wolf Like Me”

Peacock

To be added

“Work in Progress”

Showtime

Abby McEnany, Lilly Wachowski, Lawrence Mattis, Josh Adler, Ashley Berns, Tony Hernandez, Julia Sweeney, Jacqueline “JJ” Ingram. Producer: John Skidmore, Blythe Haaga, Samantha Irby

“Young Rock”

NBC

To be added

“Young Sheldon”

CBS

To be added

NOT SUBMITTED

“Chad”

TBS

To be added

“Sex Education”

Netflix

Moved to International Emmys

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Comedy Series)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known simply as the Emmys, is television's most prestigious artistic award. Many records are held for wins and nominations in the near eight decades.

For wins: NBC's "Frasier" and ABC's "Modern Family" hold the record for the most awards in best comedy series, winning five times consecutively. The classic sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Cheers" have four wins, although not consecutive.

For nominations: The most shows nominated in this category are "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H," with 11 over their runs. The former winning four and the latter once. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the most nominated show in this category with nine but has not won (as of 2021).

NBC is the network with the most wins in this category, with 26, and CBS follows with 22. Amazon Prime Video is the first and only streaming service to win this category with "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (in 2018) and "Fleabag" (in 2019).

2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

2022 Creative Arts Emmys Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes - Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors and various artisans and executives.

  • The 74th Emmy Awards will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, and air on NBC.

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