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Emmys Preview: Does Veep Have the Gas Left for One Last Victory Lap?

It's the strongest Outstanding Comedy Series field in years, and newcomers like Fleabag and Barry are hot tickets.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep (Photo: HBO)
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep (Photo: HBO)

    Joe Reid isn't just Primetimer's managing editor. He's also an awards expert and one half of the popular podcast, This Had Oscar Buzz. So who better to break down each of the main Emmy categories in the run-up to the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22?

    Outstanding Comedy Series

    • Barry
    • Fleabag
    • The Good Place
    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Russian Doll
    • Schitt's Creek
    • Veep

    Total Nominations:

    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: 20, including his-and-hers directing nods for Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, plus four acting nominations.
    • Barry: 17, including three out of the six supporting actor nominations, and Bill Hader's quadruple nods for acting, writing, directing, and producing.
    • Russian Doll: 13, including nominations for Natasha Lyonne in writing and acting (but no directing nods).
    • Fleabag: 11, including three acting nominations, plus nods for writing and directing.
    • Veep: 9, including three acting nods, but no directing nomination for series finale.
    • The Good Place: 5, including a writing nod and a nomination for Ted Danson.
    • Schitt's Creek: 4, including two acting nods.

    The Frontrunner: The awards experts at Gold Derby have the scales tilted towards Veep winning an au revoir Emmy for its swan song. Not a bad prediction, considering it's won the last three times it's been nominated.

    The Likeliest Spoiler: Watch out for Fleabag. Rarely has a TV series caught on so fervently in its second season, and since the show is so intensely personality-driven, the hugely likable Phoebe Waller-Bridge could push it across the finish line. Of course, if we're giving Fleabag a good shot based on Waller-Bridge's multi-hyphenate talents, we shouldn't rule out Bill Hader and Barry, either.

    The Feel-Good Long-Shot: Honestly … everything. This has been a great year for TV comedy, and for once, the Emmys reacted appropriately. Though highly unlikely, wins for Russian Doll, Schitt's Creek, or The Good Place would be met with whoops of joy.

    Stat to Chew On: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel came only two nominations shy of tying 30 Rock's all-time record for comedy nominations, yet somehow, it feels like an afterthought in everything but the supporting categories.

    Prediction: Veep does feel like the sensible pick, but those nomination totals give me pause: With only nine, it feels like the heat isn't there as much as it used to be. The field is stronger than it's been in years, and if vote totals start splitting, who knows where this goes? Take a flier on Fleabag and impress your friends.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, Barry, Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Veep