Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress Nominees - Comedy

Due to a tie there are seven nominees in this marquee femme category, including two new faces added to the mix: Lena Dunham and Zooey Deschanel, the stars of highly acclaimed freshman comedies “Girls” and “New Girl,” respectively.

Both Dunham and Deschanel were greeted with great praise in their rookie seasons. Dunham had 10 episodes to impress voters and she acts as writer and director as well, while Deschanel had a full 24-episode broadcast order.

Not one but two Emmy grande dames are among the contenders here. Tina Fey, who has seven Emmys, for her “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” work, is back and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has tied the record with Lucille Ball for 13 Emmy noms (and two wins), gives it a go for her work in HBO’s “Veep.”

Melissa McCarthy won last year in her first Emmy competition and now faces the tough task of defending her title. She’s also up for guest actress in a comedy series turn hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

“Nurse Jackie” star Edie Falco has now received three consecutive noms for her role in the Showtime dramedy. She won her first time out giving her four statues — the other three coming for her iconic work on “The Sopranos.”

Amy Poehler has received five Emmy nods for acting but has yet to break through. Her character Leslie Knope’s dogged city council campaign and ultimate win, could act as a metaphor if she were to win here.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL
“New Girl”
Jess, just out of a bad relationship, moves in with three guys after seeing their ad on Craigslist. Best friend Cece provides support, and the five become fast friends.
Highlights:
• In a flashback, Jess does a seductive striptease for her boyfriend, knocking over a plant in the process. A lingerie-clad woman comes out of his bedroom.
• Just a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is still frozen and Jess tries to thaw it with her body heat. When that doesn’t work, she throws it in the dryer.

LENA DUNHAM
“Girls”
Aspiring writer Hannah continues to try to find her professional way, all the while learning that her boyfriend has lots of internal issues he’s hesitant to discuss.
Highlights:
• Hannah learns she has a sexually transmitted virus and tells Adam, who says he’s been tested. She then decides to confront her college boyfriend, who unbeknownst to her has since come out of the closet.
• Taking Jessa’s advice, Hannah propositions her boss, thinking she’ll be able to turn around and claim sexual harassment and get a settlement. Instead, he is not at all interested, laughs her off and she quits.

EDIE FALCO
“Nurse Jackie”
A drug-addicted Jackie is separated from her husband, having trouble with her lover, hitting rock bottom and in rehab — until she bails. She dreams of an affair with her new boss, becomes involved with his son and her ex-husband sues for divorce. By season’s end, she’s fired from her job at the hospital.
Highlights:
• She leaves rehab early, goes back to work, almost immediately receives drugs from a fellow nurse. She then tries to get him arrested but warns him first.
• Jackie sees her daughter Grace talking to a boy at an amusement park, chases him down, grabs his phone and deletes Grace’s number from it.

TINA FEY
“30 Rock”
Liz relishes her new relationship with Criss (James Marsden) and figures out that while he may not be the perfect boyfriend, his affection for her overrides everything else.
Highlights:
• A haggard-looking Liz wants to go to the theater to watch ‘The Hunger Games” by herself as Kenneth tries to persuade her to return to normal.
• Liz finally tells Criss that she loves him, but she can’t give him a hug with her huge foam Hulk hands.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
“Veep”
As a former senator who was considered a rising political star and is now VP, Selina doesn’t much respect from anyone in politics, and even less from the president himself.
Highlights:
• The president experiences chest pains, and Selina is called to the Situation Room, barely containing her glee that she could become president. When it is determined to be heartburn, she becomes nauseated.
• Selina travels to Ohio to support a gubernatorial candidate, but it turns out he no longer wants her endorsement due to her low approval ratings.

MELISSA MCCARTHY
“Mike & Molly”
After a rugged road that involved the two living together, the happy couple finally ties the knot.
Highlights:
• During her final wedding gown fitting, Molly can’t zip the dress and her dieting goes into overdrive.
• On her wedding day, Molly suffers through a disastrous hair salon experience, a broken-down car and a ride from a drug dealer.

AMY POEHLER
“Parks and Recreation”
Leslie endures plenty of obstacles in her run for a city council seat, but ultimately succeeds in her lifelong quest.
Highlights:
• During her ethics trial, Leslie admits she bribed a maintenance worker with a gift certificate not to reveal her relationship with Ben after he saw them kissing.
• Leslie debates city council opponent Bobby Newport, and comes off as a bully because of her attacks against him.

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress Nominees
Passion and power perfs pop
Drama | Comedy | Miniseries/Movie
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