With one week to go before the Primetime Emmy nominations, the wheel of speculation lands on the Emmy comedy lead actress category, which produced an extra seventh nomination in 2012 because of a tie.
Odd woman out? Last year’s tie means that the TV Academy could fill its lead comedy actress ballot completely with six returnees and still snub a 2012 nominee. Who gets the short straw among Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”) and Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”)?
Security pacific: Louis-Dreyfus won in the rookie year of “Veep,” so lock her in. Fey has been nominated every year for “30 Rock,” and the show’s heart and soul won’t be denied in its farewell season. Dunham got even more Dunhamy in the second season of “Girls.”
Shred of doubt: All the buzz around “The Heat” will remind voters — presuming they needed reminding — of McCarthy, but one theory could be that her film hysterics will overshadow her TV work. Though the Academy hasn’t been consistent in its support of “Parks and Rec,” Poehler has three straight nominations (and as the Golden Globes reminded us, is very much a welcome presence at awards shows). Or perhaps this will be the year the Emmys decide they can live without Falco’s dramedic brilliance, but her nomination streak is just as long as Poehler’s. Deschanel shone again in season two of “New Girl,” but did the guys take too much her spotlight away?
But that’s not all: No, we don’t mean to ignore the 2012 Emmy outsiders, though with such competition at the top, the list of alternative possibilities isn’t long. People loved the second season of “Englightened.” Loved it … if they saw it. Laura Dern, this year’s Golden Globes winner, will get a long look from those voters who did, creating the possibility of an HBO trio in the nominations. Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”) and Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”) will also get their share of votes.
One man’s wish list: Dunham, Deschanel, Fey, Louis-Dreyfus, McCarthy, Poehler.
One man’s best guesses: Dunham, Falco, Fey, Louis-Dreyfus, McCarthy, Poehler.