Saturday, December 3, 2022

How To Win Your Emmy Pool: Outstanding Comedy Writing & Directing

By Amanda Spears 

I’m going to take you television fans through how to methodically make your Emmy predictions and win your pool. First up in this series of articles is Outstanding Comedy Writing and Directing.

Five years ago, the Emmys moved to a plurality vote replacing the more level playing field of 80-100 person panels ranking the nominees. Since we spend more time watching television than a film, it’s easier to let our personal preferences affect our predictions as we try to manifest a win for our favorites.

Let’s take a look at how to predict the winners for Outstanding Comedy Directing and Writing based on recent trends.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY DIRECTING NOMINEES
“The Great” (pilot), “The Great” directed by Matt Shakman
“It’s Comedy Or Cabbage,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino
“Marvelous Radio,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Daniel Palladino
“Finale Part 2,” “Modern Family” directed by Gail Mancuso
“Miakhalifa.mov,” “Ramy” directed by Ramy Youssef
“Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” directed by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
“We Love Lucy,” “Will & Grace” directed by James Burrows

OUTSTANDING COMEDY WRITING NOMINEES
“Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Good Place” written by Michael Schur
“The Great,” “The Great” written by Tony McNamara
“Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by Daniel Levy
“The Presidential Suite,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by David West Read
“Collaboration,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
“Ghosts,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Paul Simms
“On The Run,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Stefani Robinson

For the past two years, on the Comedy side, your series has to be nominated if you’re going to win anything – with the exception of “Saturday Night Live” in the acting categories. For directing, that leaves…

“It’s Comedy Or Cabbage,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino
“Marvelous Radio,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Daniel Palladino
“Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” directed by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy

And for writing, that leaves…

“Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Good Place” written by Michael Schur
“Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by Daniel Levy
“The Presidential Suite,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by David West Read
“Collaboration,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
“Ghosts,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Paul Simms
“On The Run,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Stefani Robinson

A series hasn’t been able to win Outstanding Comedy Writing with multiple nominees since “30 Rock’s” “Last Lunch” (written by Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield) in 2013. And no series has won Outstanding Comedy Directing with multiple nominees since “Modern Family’s” “Baby on Board” (directed by Steven Levitan) won in 2012. For directing, that leaves us with…

“Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” directed by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy

And for writing, that narrows it down to…

“Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Good Place” written by Michael Schur

Leaving us us with our predicted winners:

Outstanding Comedy Directing: “Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” directed by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy

Outstanding Comedy Writing: “Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Good Place” written by Michael Schur

Multiple nominees may prove how popular a series is within a respected branch, but recently, it’s been hard for a series to overcome in both writing and directing. Take “Barry,” for example, the series received multiple writing nominations in 2018 and multiple directing nominations in 2018 and 2019, and while the series has racked up multiple WGA and DGA wins, they have yet to win an Emmy in either category. But what if the trend breaks? 

Which series and episode seems most likely to overcome recent trends? In the writing category, look out for “Happy Ending” from “Schitt’s Creek” written by Dan Levy. As there is one other trend we’ve seen in the past two years, both “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” pilot, written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino, and “Fleabag” “Episode 1” written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Harry Bradbeer, not only swept writing and directing but also went on to win Outstanding Comedy Series. “Schitt’s Creek” is the favorite to win Outstanding Comedy Series and this could help the series to overcome the recent trend against double nominees. 

On the directing side, look out for Sherman-Palladino and the hilarity of “It’s Comedy Or Cabbage” leading to an awkward limo ride home with her husband and fellow nominee. While not likely, Mancuso could prove spoiler as she was able to pull off back to back wins in 2013 and 2014. “Modern Family” was a favorite of the directing branch winning the category four years consecutively from 2011-2014.

Outstanding Comedy Directing Predictions
1. “Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” directed by Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
2. “It’s Comedy Or Cabbage,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino
3. “Marvelous Radio,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” directed by Daniel Palladino
4. “Finale Part 2,” “Modern Family” directed by Gail Mancuso
5. The Great” (pilot), “The Great” directed by Matt Shakman
6. “Miakhalifa.mov,” “Ramy” directed by Ramy Youssef
7. “We Love Lucy,” “Will & Grace” directed by James Burrows

Outstanding Comedy Writing Predictions
1. “Whenever You’re Ready,” “The Good Place” written by Michael Schur
2. “Happy Ending,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by Daniel Levy
3. “The Great,” “The Great” written by Tony McNamara
4. “Collaboration,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
5. “The Presidential Suite,” “Schitt’s Creek” written by David West Read
6. “On The Run,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Stefani Robinson
7. “Ghosts,” “What We Do In The Shadows” written by Paul Simms

Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for Outstanding Directing and Writing for a Comedy Series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. Stay tuned for more articles on the Emmys as I finalize my predictions.

You can follow Amanda and hear more of her thoughts on the Oscars and film on Twitter at @msamandaspears

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