You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmys 2017: Will ‘Atlanta’ or ‘Veep’ Take the Top Comedy Trophy?

The seven contenders for the comedy series trophy are a perfect illustration of how the peak TV phenomenon has transformed the business. The humor mined in the observational time-and-place storytelling of “Atlanta” and “Master of None” is quite different from the situational hijinks that drive “Modern Family” and “Silicon Valley.” “Black-ish” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” come with big dollops of heart, and in the case of “Black-ish,” occasionally a social message that is deftly communicated. And those pottymouths on “Veep” make us howl even as we struggle to keep up with the fusillade of filth.

The Odds
The frontrunners are FX’s “Atlanta,” the only new series to land in the category this year, and the reigning champ, HBO’s “Veep.” Emmy voters have clearly become more attuned in recent years to recognizing breakthrough shows early, and by any measure “Atlanta” was heralded as a singular achievement in its debut last fall. Donald Glover’s vision for depicting the lives of young black men in the titular city was uncompromising in tackling uncomfortable issues as the nation continues to struggle mightily with race and class conflicts. But “Veep” can’t be counted out. The show could be boosted to a third consecutive win by our desperate need to laugh at Washington’s unique brand of egomania.

The Case for “Atlanta”
Emmy voters will want to reward Donald Glover for his auteur hat trick of writing, directing and starring in a show that made such an impact with his fellow creatives. How impressed were voters with Glover’s work? Enough to give him two noms for writing and a nom for directing on top of his lead comedy actor and series bids. The show’s unusual storytelling style and naturalistic performances make “Atlanta” the clear favorite among the worthy field of comedy series contenders.

The Case for “Veep”
Let’s face it: Nobody in this town thought it was possible for things in D.C. to be more absurd than the machinations that Selina Meyer has engaged in for the past six seasons. And then real life intervened. The much-decorated Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads one of the most dextrous ensembles in TV. “Veep” blends physical comedy with tongue-twisting dialogue that manages to introduce new insults to the Urban Dictionary ever year. The Emmy’s comedy series incumbent could still pull off another win come September.

The Competition

“Black-ish”: The ABC comedy has proven its ability to tackle social issues in a non-preachy way and get people talking about TV’s power to change hearts and minds. That’s a big plus.

“Master of None”: Creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang dug even deeper into the emotional life of Dev (Ansari) in this loosely autobiographical Netflix vehicle.

“Modern Family”: Emmy voters just can’t quit this five-time comedy series champ. At its best, the ABC veteran still packs a punch(line).

“Silicon Valley”: If there’s a dark horse in the race, it’s this HBO ensemble. The show that skewers the geniuses and billionaires in its titular world hit a new stride in season four.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: Similar to the protagonist played by Ellie Kemper, “Schmidt” continued to surprise by hanging tough in the Emmy series race despite the low-buzz factor for season three.

More TV

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Bob Greenblatt Pays Tribute to Eunetta Boone: 'Love Just Radiated From Her'

    Eunetta T. Boone was funny, sharp and extremely warm-hearted. That’s how WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt remembered Boone as he paid tribute to the showrunner who died Wednesday at the age of 63. Greenblatt worked with Boone in the early 2000s when he was partnered with David Janollari in the Greenblatt-Janollari Studio production venture. Greenblatt-Janollari [...]

  • Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania

    Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania Competition Contender ‘Eden’

    LILLE, France — “I must down to the seas again,” Amaré, an teen African illegal immigrant, reads aloud in a poetry lesson at a refugee center near the beach in Greece. Thoughts of wander-lust seen comically out of place. Amaré has just been seen in the prolog to “Eden” leaping out of a dinghy beaching [...]

  • John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as

    John Simm Talks 'Cold Courage' as Lionsgate Boards International Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Simm plays a rabble-rousing populist politician in “Cold Courage,” and Lionsgate has stepped up and taken international rights to the series. Based on the series of novels by Pekka Hiltunen, the drama is billed as the biggest yet out of Finland and will bow on the Viaplay streaming service in Scandinavia. With a cast [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Related Rachel Brosnahan on Emmy Win and 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 2 Variety's 'Actors on Actors' Earns Daytime Emmy Nomination Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content