Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - 2014 Nomination Predictions
Louis C.K. "Saturday Night Live"
Jimmy Fallon "Saturday Night Live"
Brad Garrett "The Crazy Ones"
James Earl Jones "Saturday Night Live"
Bob Newhart "The Big Bang Theory"
Carl Reiner "Two and a Half Men"
Other Contenders - Stephen Merchant "Modern Family", Andy Samberg "Saturday Night Live", Gary Cole "Veep", Tony Hale "About a Boy", Andrew Rannells "Girls", Pablo Schreiber "Orange is the New Black", Bill Hader "The Mindy Project", Damon Wayans Jr. "New Girl", Prince "New Girl", Jeremy Renner "Louie", John Lithgow "How I Met Your Mother", Mike O'Malley "Glee", Tim Conway "Glee", Scott Bakula "Looking", Billy Eichner "Parks and Recreation", Keegan Michael Key "Parks and Recreation", Christopher Meloni "Veep", Jonah Hill "Saturday Night Live", Fred Willard "Modern Family", James Franco "The Mindy Project", Patton Oswalt "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", Ed Asner "The Crazy Ones"
Commentary - This seems to be an easy race, which makes me extremely nervous, because we all know how these Guest categories can throw curve balls. Last year, one of my favorite wins was in this category, because Bob Newhart finally won an Emmy award after decades on television. And this year he returns, and could easily win a second, although he has some stiff competition. James Earl Jones had a particularly flashy role playing himself, also on The Big Bang Theory, and it is the type of showy role that wins Emmys, especially with a popular actor like Jones who has two Emmys already. Two other major threats come from previous Emmy winners. Jimmy Fallon and Louis C.K. are Emmy favorites, and they both had excellent turns as Saturday Night Live hosts. Even in the rocky season that was this season of SNL, I expect the popular guest stars to continue to be easy votes on a popular ballot. The last two slots area little tricky. Brad Garrett had a huge story arch on The Crazy Ones, with some great material opposite Robin Williams. But there are two thing going against him. First, The Crazy Ones was cancelled by CBS, so there probably is not much of an Emmy push. Second, while Garrett used to be an Emmy favorite, he has not had much traction with shows succeeding, and has yet to earn another nomination since the show ended, almost a decade ago. The last slot is really a shot in the dark. Emmy-winner Stephen Merchant (for The Office), and a great turn in the Vegas episode of Modern Family. Andy Samberg was in the season finale of SNL, returning as the host, and had a great first season with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Tony Hale, Gary Cole, Mike O'Malley, Andrew Rannells, and plenty others could all be looking for that coveted dark horse status that seems to be a common factor in this race year after year. But I go with what I know. And I know that Carl Reiner is a legend, and that he has won nine Emmys in his long and illustrious television career. Even in Two and a Half Men is complete crap now, it is Carl Reiner, who is always a safe bet.
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - 2014 Nomination Predictions
Uzo Aduba "Orange is the New Black"
Ellen Burstyn "Louie"
Joan Cusack "Shameless"
Tina Fey "Saturday Night Live"
Melissa McCarthy "Saturday Night Live"
Octavia Spencer "Mom"
Other Contenders - June Squibb "Girls", June Squibb "Glee", Dot-Marie Jones "Glee", Jane Krakowski "Modern Family", Susan Sarandon "Mike and Molly", Kathy Bates "Mike and Molly", Kerry Washington "Saturday Night Live", Sarah Baker "Louie", Shirley MacLaine "Glee", Laverne Cox "Orange is the New Black", Kristin Chenoweth "Glee", Gwyneth Paltrow "Glee", Elizabeth Banks "Modern Family", Kristen Bell "Parks and Recreation", Linda Cardellini "New Girl", Romy Rosemont "Glee", Mimi Kennedy "Mom", Amy Poehler "Broad City"
Commentary - Unlike its male counterpart, this category remains as confusing as ever. We know that Tina Fey is likely to get in for her season opener of Saturday Night Live. And Melissa McCarthy returned this year for SNL as well, and she is probably a safe bet. And even though she didn't have that much to do (a common issue with her) Ellen Burstyn is so damn popular she is likely to earn two more Emmy nominations this year for her guest turn in Louie and for Flowers in the Attic. Beyond these three though there is a lot of mystery. Uzo Aduba just won the Critics Choice Television, and Orange is the New Black is hot right now as its second season just debuted on Netflix. But she is an unknown actress, up against a lot of tough competition, and as we know all two well, critics and industry voters don't always line up. Joan Cusack continued to be nominated for Shameless when it was on the Drama side. This year, the show switched to Comedy, and she is poised to continue her streak, although every year it gets tougher and tougher for her. But this is a tough race, and nothing is certain. You have acting legends Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates in eye-popping roles in Mike & Molly. You have the plethora of women from Glee, including previous nominees and winners for their roles, as well as legends and Oscar winners/nominees such as June Squibb (who has several potential roles for nomination), and Shirley MacLaine, as well as Romy Rosemont, who is the best of the bunch, period. Glee may not have the same level of popularity as it has had in past years, but these names alone will garner a lot of attention. Other names include Sarah Baker, who made quite a splash on Louie this year, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Banks and Jane Krakowski for Modern Family (both real possibilities), Linda Caredellini, and Mimi Kennedy. But I think the last slot will go to Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, who has a hilarious turn on Mom opposite her former Help co-star Allison Janney (who is well on her way to an Emmy nod as well). Emmy voters love Oscar winners, love capturing their buzz while it is still hot, and Spencer certainly fits the profile.