Emmy Predictions: Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Alex Newell, Nico Santos and Bowen Yang Can Make Historic Comedy Lineup

·11-min read

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2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

UPDATED: May 28, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: When there aren’t as many “traditional” Emmy contenders, some pure, populist choices begin to bubble to the top. This explains why “Saturday Night Live” has an abundance of names in the running this year, with longtime veteran cast member Kenan Thompson and fan-favorite Bowen Yang emerging as leading contenders. (Pete Davidson is also a viable possibility.)

But, a male cast member from the NBC late-night sketch series hasn’t won in this category since Alec Baldwin in 2017. And behind a bunch of “SNL” boys are a number of “Ted Lasso” dudes, with Brett Goldstein and Brendan Hunt feeling the most likely to break into the field. Nick Mohammed and Jeremy Swift could also get swept into a lovefest, which the Apple TV Plus series is likely to have with the TV Academy.

What makes this category so exciting is how diverse the list of nominees can be, with a record number of BIPOC performers represented. Nico Santos could build momentum for the final season of “Superstore,” and should he and Yang both see their names on the final ballot, it would mark the first time two actors of Asian descent would be nominated alongside each other in any acting category. If just one of them is nominated, it would be the first Asian nominated for supporting comedy actor.

Alex Newell’s revered work in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” would mark the first gender-nonconforming actor to earn an Emmy nod for acting. As Hollywood continues to work towards acceptance and tolerance, this can be a crucial cultural moment, following on trailblazers like Laverne Cox’s own history-making nominations for the trans community. (She picked up four nods in guest actress categories for “Orange Is the New Black” over recent years.) Coincidentally, “Ted Lasso” aside, all of the potential new nominees mentioned here come from NBC shows, which is stellar for a broadcast network.

The eligibility period ends on May 31 before nomination-round voting begins on June 17, concluding on June 28. The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13, 2021.

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Kenan Thompson
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Four nominations, one win (original music and lyrics for the song "Come Back, Barack" for "Saturday Night Live" in 2018)
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  2. Bowen Yang
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  3. Brett Goldstein
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Roy Kent

    CREATORS: Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
    SYNOPSIS: Follows US American Football coach Ted Lasso heading to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the top flight of English football.
    STARRING: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple

  4. Brendan Hunt
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Coach Beard

    CREATORS: Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
    SYNOPSIS: Follows US American Football coach Ted Lasso heading to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the top flight of English football.
    STARRING: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple

  5. Michiel Huisman
    "The Flight Attendant" (HBO Max)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Eladio

    CREATORS: Rodrigo García, Hagai Levi, Nir Bergman
    SYNOPSIS: A psychotherapist questions his abilities and gets help by reuniting with his old therapist, whom he has not seen for ten years.
    STARRING: Uzo Aduba, Anthony Ramos, Liza Colón-Zayas, John Benjamin Hickey, Quintessa Swindell, Joel Kinnaman

  6. Alex Newell
    "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Mo

    CREATORS: Austin Winsberg
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman discovers she has the ability to hear the innermost thoughts of people around her as songs and musical numbers.
    STARRING: Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Peter Gallagher, Mary Steenburgen, Andrew Leeds, Alice Lee, Michael Thomas Grant, Kapil Talwalkar

  7. Pete Davidson
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  8. Nico Santos
    "Superstore" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Mateo

    CREATORS: Justin Spitzer
    SYNOPSIS: A look at the lives of employees at a big box store.
    STARRING: America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos, Nichole Sakura, Mark McKinney, Kaliko Kauahi

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. Paul Reiser
    "The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: 10 nominations
    ROLE: Martin

    CREATOR: Chuck Lorre
    SYNOPSIS: An aging actor, who long ago enjoyed a brush with fame, makes his living as an acting coach.
    STARRING: Michael Douglas, Lisa Edelstein, Jane Seymour, Kathleen Turner

  2. Laurence Fishburne
    "Black-ish" (ABC)


    EMMY HISTORY: 11 nominations, 3 wins (guest actor drama for "Tribeca" in 1993, outstanding made for television movie for "Miss Evers' Boys" in 1997 and short form actor comedy or drama for "#FreeRayshawn" in 2020)
    ROLE: Pops / James / James Earl Jones

    CREATOR: Kenya Barris
    SYNOPSIS: A family man struggles to gain a sense of cultural identity while raising his kids in a predominantly white, upper-middle-class neighborhood.
    STARRING: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Deon Cole, Katlyn Nichol

TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  1. Beck Bennett
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  2. Colin Jost
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: 11 nominations
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  3. Jeremy Swift
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Higgins

    CREATORS: Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
    SYNOPSIS: Follows US American Football coach Ted Lasso heading to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the top flight of English football.
    STARRING: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple

  4. Nick Mohammed
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Nathan Shelley

    CREATORS: Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly
    SYNOPSIS: Follows US American Football coach Ted Lasso heading to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the top flight of English football.
    STARRING: Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple

  5. Martin Kove
    "Cobra Kai" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: John Kreese

    CREATOR: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
    SYNOPSIS: Decades after their 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament bout, a middle-aged Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence find themselves martial-arts rivals again.
    STARRING: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Martin Kove, Vanessa Rubio, Peyton List

  6. Danny Pudi
    "Mythic Quest" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Brad

    CREATOR: Megan Ganz, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day
    SYNOPSIS: The owner of a successful video game design company and his troubled staff struggle to keep their hit game 'Mythic Quest' on top.
    STARRING: Rob McElhenney, Ashly Burch, Jessie Ennis, Imani Hakim, David Hornsby, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, F. Murray Abraham

  7. Don Johnson
    "Kenan" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    ROLE: Rick

    CREATOR: David Caspe, Jackie Clarke
    SYNOPSIS: A recently-widowed dad tries to raise his kids with his persistent father-in-law.
    STARRING: Kenan Thompson, Don Johnson, Chris Redd, Kimrie Lewis, Dani Lane, Dannah Lane

  8. Daniel Breaker
    "Girls5eva" (Peacock)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Scott

    CREATORS: Meredith Scardino
    SYNOPSIS: A one-hit-wonder band from the '90s gets a second shot at fame when they're sampled by a young star.
    STARRING: Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry

  9. Chris Redd
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination, one win (original music and lyrics for the song "Come Back, Barack" for "Saturday Night Live" in 2018)
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

  10. Alex Moffat
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Various characters

    CREATOR: Lorne Michaels
    SYNOPSIS: A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.
    STARRING: Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)

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

For wins: Don Knotts has the most awards in this category with five, winning them all for "The Andy Griffith Show." John Larroquette and David Hyde Pierce are second in line with four.

"The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" are the most awarded series with five wins with "Frasier," "Modern Family" and "Night Court" next in line with four apiece.

For nominations: David Hyde Pierce is the most nominated actor in this category with 11, all for his turn as Niles Crane for "Frasier." Harry Morgan is next in line with nine, followed by Ty Burrell with eight. Jason Alexander and Peter Boyle are the most nominated actors without winning with seven nods.

"M*A*S*H" garnered the most nominations in this category for its actors with 21 with "Cheers" and "Modern Family" with 19.

2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions

About the Primetime Emmy Awards (Emmys)

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, is given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards recognize 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 73rd Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 pm est on CBS and on-demand on sister streamer Paramount Plus.

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