Emmy Predictions: Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – ‘SNL’ Ladies Could Rule With Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong Leading the Charge

·11-min read

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE EMMYS COLLECTIVE
Visit each individual category, according to the awards show from THE EMMYS HUB
Link to film awards hub THE OSCARS HUB

More from Variety

DRAFT>>>PRE-SEASON>>>REGULAR SEASON>>>POST SEASON

2021 EMMYS PREDICTIONS:
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

UPDATED: June 3, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: With seven acting Emmy nominations in a row, Kate McKinnon has won this race twice and gives a compelling reason for her to have Lorne Michaels keep her as part of the cast as long as humanly possible. With more political impressions, most notably Rudy Giuliani, she seems like the most likely nominee of the oversupply of “Saturday Night Live” women that are likely to pour into this category this year. Right behind her is Cecily Strong, whose memorable finale appearance as Jeanine Pirro is one of the undeniable highlights of the season and is in contention for a consecutive nom. With Maya Rudolph competing in the guest comedy actress race, it leaves more wiggle room for other cast standouts such as Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim and Melissa Villaseñor.

And then there is “Ted Lasso’s” Rebecca Welton…is she a Goddess among men? Hannah Waddingham, for sure, is. As the newly divorced owner of AFC Richmond, she demands the focus of the camera and viewer, establishing herself as a formidable contender to take this prize despite a Globes snub. As “Ted Lasso” continues to pick up steam, her nomination becomes more cemented with each passing day, even likely pulling in the great Juno Temple.

We’ve searched long and far to see what we did as a nation to deserve Paula Pell’s Gloria, the former girl-group singer-turned-dentist in Peacock’s smashing “Girls5eva.” We don’t have an answer, but we’ll take it. The Emmy-winning writer of “Saturday Night Live” gets her time in the spotlight to not only deliver incredible zingers, but also an emotional heft that stands out in this field. What’s better than one member of “Girls5eva” in an acting category? The answer really is all of them, but where they are competing is split: Sara Bareilles and Renée Elise Goldsberry are going lead, while Pell and Busy Philipps are competing alongside each other here. And this race may be the easiest place to recognize the show in a major way. As Summer, the “almost hot one,” we haven’t seen a more dedicated and invented comedic performance, at least in the way Philipps executes it.

Three-time Emmy nominee for choreographing “In Living Color” Rosie Perez has a cliffhanging arc that likely sets up HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” for multiple seasons. An undeniable talent in this industry, she takes delicate care of her Megan Briscoe in each frame, and if nominated, she’ll be just the third Latina woman to be celebrated in this category, following Liz Torres (for “The John Larroquette Show” in 1994 and 1995) and Sofia Vergara (for “Modern Family” from 2010-2013).

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. Hannah Waddingham
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Rebecca Welton

    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

  2. Kate McKinnon
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Eight nominations, two wins (supporting comedy actress for "Saturday Night Live" in 2016 and 2017)
    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. Cecily Strong
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: One nomination
    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

  4. Rosie Perez
    "The Flight Attendant" (HBO Max)


    EMMY HISTORY: Three nominations
    ROLE: Megan Briscoe

    CREATOR: Steve Yockey
    SYNOPSIS: A reckless flight attendant with an alcoholism problem wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Unable to piece the night together, she begins to wonder if she could be the killer.
    STARRING: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet, T. R. Knight, Michelle Gomez, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Griffin Matthews, Nolan Gerard Funk, Rosie Perez

  5. Zosia Mamet
    "The Flight Attendant" (HBO Max)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Annie Mouradian

    CREATOR: Steve Yockey
    SYNOPSIS: A reckless flight attendant with an alcoholism problem wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Unable to piece the night together, she begins to wonder if she could be the killer.
    STARRING: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet, T. R. Knight, Michelle Gomez, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Griffin Matthews, Nolan Gerard Funk, Rosie Perez

  6. Juno Temple
    "Ted Lasso" (Apple TV Plus)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Keeley Jones

    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

  7. Paula Pell
    "Girls5eva" (Peacock)


    EMMY HISTORY: 10 nominations, one win (writing for a variety, music or comedy program for "Saturday Night Live" in 2002)
    ROLE: Gloria McManus

    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

  8. Naomi Ackie
    "Master of None" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Alicia

    CREATOR: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
    SYNOPSIS: The personal and professional life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York.
    STARRING: Lena Waithe, Naomi Ackie

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. Aidy Bryant
    "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Two 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

  2. Busy Philipps
    "Girls5eva" (Peacock)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Summer Dutkowsky

    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

TOP-TIER AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  1. Chloe Fineman
    "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. Ego Nwodim
    "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. Kathleen Turner
    "The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Roz / Ruth

    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, Sarah Baker, Paul Reiser, Haley Joel Osment, Kathleen Turner

  4. Michelle Gomez
    "The Flight Attendant" (HBO Max)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Miranda Croft

    CREATOR: Steve Yockey
    SYNOPSIS: A reckless flight attendant with an alcoholism problem wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Unable to piece the night together, she begins to wonder if she could be the killer.
    STARRING: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet, T. R. Knight, Michelle Gomez, Colin Woodell, Merle Dandridge, Griffin Matthews, Nolan Gerard Funk, Rosie Perez

  5. Hannah Einbinder
    "Hacks" (HBO Max)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ava

    CREATOR: Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, Jen Statsky
    SYNOPSIS: Explores a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old.
    STARRING: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins

  6. Melissa Villaseñor
    "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

  7. Laurie Metcalf
    "The Conners" (ABC)


    EMMY HISTORY: 11 nominations, three wins (supporting comedy actress for "Roseanne" in 1992, 1993 and 1994)
    ROLE: Jackie Harris

    CREATOR: Matt Williams
    SYNOPSIS: Follow-up to the comedy series "Roseanne," centering on the family members of the matriarch after her sudden death.
    STARRING: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Jayden Rey, Maya Lynne Robinson, Jay R. Ferguson

  8. Ashley Park
    "Emily in Paris" (Netflix)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Mindy Chen

    CREATOR: Darren Star
    SYNOPSIS: A young American woman from the Midwest is hired by a marketing firm in Paris to provide them with an American perspective on things.
    STARRING: Lily Collins, Philppine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery

  9. Holly Hunter
    "Mr. Mayor" (NBC)


    EMMY HISTORY: Seven nominations, two wins (lead limited series/TV movie actress for "Roe v Wade" in 1989 and "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom" in 1993)
    ROLE: Arpi Meskimen

    CREATORS: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
    SYNOPSIS: A wealthy businessman becomes the mayor of Los Angeles.
    STARRING: Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy, Bobby Moynihan

  10. Josie Totah
    "Saved by the Bell" (Peacock)


    EMMY HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Lexi Haddad-DeFabrizio

    CREATOR: Sam Bobrick, Tracey Wigfield
    SYNOPSIS: A follow-up series to the 1990s sitcom. A group of California low-income high school students are transferred to Pacific Palisades' wealthy Bayside High, following a program by California Governor Zack Morris.
    STARRING: Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Mario Lopez

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS (UNRANKED):

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Supporting Actress 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: Rhea Perlman and Doris Roberts have won this category four times, the most in history. Valerie Harper and Laurie Metcalf are close behind, with three each.

"Cheers" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" are the two leading series with wins in this category with six each. "Everybody Loves Raymond" won this award twice in its run.

For nominations: Rhea Perlman and Loretta Swit have received the most nominations in this category, with 10 throughout their careers. Megan Mullally has the second most with eight.

"Saturday Night Live" has received the most nominations with 16 individual nods with "Cheers" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" with 13 and 12, respectively.

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.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.