The Emmy race for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series seems like a lock for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but an upset is always possible.
Louis-Dreyfus is now the four-time defending champion of Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her show-stopping role as Selina Meyer in HBO's Veep. While she has some strong actresses to contend with this year, she could be well on her way to winning her fifth in a row.
Let's examine this Emmy race from least likely to win to most likely, and see if Louis-Dreyfus really could pull off that win.
6. Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein in Grace and Frankie
This is Tomlin's second consecutive Emmy nomination for her role in Netflix's Grace and Frankie. And once again, she is the show's only nomination, with fellow leading lady Jane Fonda still not getting into this category. Tomlin is a comedy acting legend and once served on the Emmys' board of governors, so she is clearly well respected within the industry. However, the lack of buzz and love within the TV Academy for Grace and Frankie and her role in the series suggests she won't have the widespread support needed to win this year.
5. Laurie Metcalf as Dr. Jenna James in Getting On
While Getting On never reached the visibility and acclaim of many HBO shows, it was clearly watched and loved by some members of the TV Academy. Metcalf's co-star, Niecy Nash, now has two nominations for the show in the Supporting Actress category, and Metcalf's own nomination shows that there's some respect for it. Metcalf also had a huge year, with this being one of three projects she was nominate for this year, the others being The Big Bang Theory in Comedy Guest Actress and Horace and Pete in Drama Guest Actress. She could win out of respect for her great year, but we still think Getting On is a little too small for her to take home the gold.
4. Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kemper was curiously missing from the Comedy Lead Actress category last year for the show's first season, even though supporting stars Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski plus two guest stars were nominated. Regardless, she was able to get in for season 2 this year and UKS itself received its second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. As such, voters seem to like the show at least more than Grace and Frankie and Getting On, and Kemper's performance is certainly a uniquely comedic one. The lack of a nomination last year, though, suggests she probably won't get enough votes to win this time around.
3. Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in black-ish
Ross' inclusion in this category was a fun surprise for many on Emmy nomination morning. While the actress is a TV veteran with many credits in her filmography, she's not as well known as co-star Anthony Anderson and isn't giving a huge, over-the-top performance as he is. Luckily, Emmy voters were able to appreciate her more subtle style of comedy, and nominated her, Anderson for Lead Actor and the show for Comedy Series. This is Ross' first Emmy nomination and while her role as a struggling mother and wife is classic Emmy bait, she may have to wait a few years to take home the Emmy.
2. Amy Schumer as various characters in Inside Amy Schumer
There was no topping Schumer's year in 2015, and she was showered with Emmy nominations for it. She even took home gold for Inside Amy Schumer in the Variety Sketch Series category. This year, she received another nomination here and for the show, but she also received love for her HBO standup special as well as her hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. It's safe to say that Emmy voters absolutely love Schumer, and even if she didn't have as strong of a year in 2016, she will always be a threat to take home the win.
1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep
Despite the strong qualities of many actresses in this category, there's simply no beating Louis-Dreyfus. While it would seem like Emmy voters might tire of awarding her year after year, this fifth season of Veep may have actually been her strongest yet. Plus, the show increased to a whopping 17 nominations overall, which is insanely strong for a comedy series, which indicates huge love within the Academy. Plus, Louis-Dreyfus often delivers hilarious acceptance speeches, so that's almost an added incentive for voters.
Barring a huge upset, JLD should be up on that Emmy stage again this year, but anything can happen. What do you think?
The 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards air live Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on ABC.