The Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category at the 2015 Primetime Emmys is one of the most competitive in recent history.
The Emmys are mere days away, and one award many are looking forward to is for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The category features six gifted actresses, most of whom could feasibly win the trophy.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the defending champion for the past three years, but hot new contenders like Amy Schumer, could her Emmy reign be over?
Let's rank all six actresses from least likely to most likely to win:
6. Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
With this sixth consecutive nomination, Falco has officially been nominated for every eligible season of Showtime's Nurse Jackie, which ended its run this year. While the continued support shows that Emmy voters love Falco and her performance, there is little to no urgency to reward her in 2015. She already has an Emmy for this role, and while she is an excellent dramatic actress, she will have trouble being seen as funnier than any of the other actresses in this category.
5. Lily Tomlin - Grace and Frankie
Tomlin is an acting legend, especially on television, so her nomination here was not a huge surprise on Emmy nomination morning. Of all the actresses here, she may have the most industry support. The problem is, Emmy voters clearly didn't love Grace and Frankie, considering Tomlin is the show's only nomination. Her performance in the Netflix comedy is a good one, but like Falco, it's hard to see voters valuing her work over her competitors. Still, her name could lead to a surprise win.
4. Lisa Kudrow - The Comeback
Kudrow's performance as Valerie Cherish in The Comeback is one that very few outside the TV critic community know about. But those that do know about it generally love it fervently. This passion is likely what led to Kudrow's nomination here. The actress still has respect from her days on Friends, and if enough voters watch The Comeback and appreciate the nuances in Kudrow's performance, she could have a real shot. Unfortunately, it's tough to imagine the majority of voters watching or appreciating her performance, brilliant as it is.
3. Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation
Poehler may be destined to go the way of Steve Carell and Martin Sheen before her as far as never winning an Emmy for their respective iconic roles. Emmy voters have nominated Poehler as Leslie Knope for the past six years, but they've never given her a win. Sentimental value could be strong this year which would give the advantage to Poehler, but voters are traditionally cold when it comes to performers and shows in their final years of eligibility. Still, Parks and Rec was nominated in Best Comedy Series, so there may be an upswing in support for her.
2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer may be her greatest creation ever, and that's saying something considering she's also behind Elaine Benes. She has yet to actually lose for this role, so chances are still high that she'll collect a fourth trophy. Veep has also seen an increase in Emmy interest over the past few years and it is steadily gaining momentum. But we wonder if there may be slight fatigue with her constantly winning (which may explain Jim Parsons' sudden snub in the Comedy Lead Actor race this year), plus this wasn't the strongest year for Louis-Dreyfus anyway. She is still very much in the mix to win, but we think one actress has a (slightly) stronger chance.
1. Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
No comedian has had a hotter year than Schumer, plain and simple. She had her hit movie Trainwreck this summer, the increased buzz in her show, Inside Amy Schumer and was generally the talk of Hollywood for months. Everything is coming up Schumer right now, and the nature of her show allows her to explore a wide range of characters, rather than be tethered to just one. This is Schumer's first Emmy nomination as an actress so she is untested, but we think her massive popularity and general love for her show itself (eight nominations) should be enough to put her over the edge.
The Primetime Emmys will air Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8/7c on Fox.