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Emmys 2020 comedy predictions: Expect ‘Schitt’s Creek’ to win big

"Schitt's Creek" cast — Eugene Levy, from left, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy, Noah Reid, Emily Hampshire and Annie Murphy.
The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” — Eugene Levy, from left, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Noah Reid, Emily Hampshire and Annie Murphy — in a scene from the series finale.
(Pop TV)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” earned 20 Emmy nominations this year, while “Schitt’s Creek” pulled in 15. All that voter love makes them the clear favorites in this year’s comedy races. Now Television Academy members will have to decide whether they prefer their comedy in hourlong, sumptuously produced episodes or 22-minute miniatures of traditional sitcom excellence.

Me ... I still can’t believe they didn’t nominate “Ramy.”

Let’s take an early look at how the races might play out at the Sept. 20 ceremony.

COMEDY SERIES

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“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“Dead to Me”
“The Good Place”
“Insecure”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“What We Do in the Shadows”

Should win: “Schitt’s Creek”
Will win: “Schitt’s Creek”

“Maisel” won nearly everything for its first season and then took a backseat to “Fleabag” last year. The 20 nominations this year demonstrate that voters still enjoy the series three seasons into its run, though it’s interesting it didn’t turn up at all in the writing category. That’s a bit of a red flag, as the last time a show won the comedy series Emmy without a writing nomination was in 2006 when “The Office” prevailed for its second season. That omission, combined with the momentum that “Schitt’s Creek” has accrued as it has picked up viewers and acclaim over its six-year run, is reason enough to go with the feel-good program that has served as a balm in these trying times.

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Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose in "Schitt's Creek."
(Pop TV)

LEAD ACTRESS COMEDY

Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Should win: O’Hara
Will win: O’Hara

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O’Hara is, of course, a treasure, and she made the indomitable Moira Rose into an absolute legend. I would gladly watch any “Schitt’s Creek” episode again just to dip into O’Hara’s spectacular, peculiar pronunciation and the way Moira would drop arcane words into just about any conversation. Emmy voters have bedeviled us over the years, but they aren’t balatrons or frippets. O’Hara will win, and I’ll be positively glee-ridden when she does.

Ramy Youssef in "Ramy."
(Hulu)

LEAD ACTOR COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

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Should win: Youssef
Will win: Youssef

I could see Levy winning this. He’s as loved as his castmate and fellow “SCTV” alum O’Hara, and, like O’Hara, his only Emmys have come from writing on that cult sketch comedy series. But I’m guessing a lot of Emmy voters saw Youssef’s surprise win at the Golden Globes in January and enjoyed his disarming acceptance speech, during which he said that his mom was rooting for Michael Douglas and that nobody in the room had seen his show. “Everyone’s like, ‘Is this an editor?’” he joked. Youssef also earned a directing nomination for “Ramy,” and I think he’s going to win one of those Emmys. It’s a coin flip right now to know which one he’ll take.

Yvonne Orji, left, and Issa Rae in HBO's "Insecure."
Yvonne Orji, left, and Issa Rae in HBO’s “Insecure.”
(Merie Weismiller Wallace)
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SUPPORTING ACTRESS COMEDY

Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

Should win: Orji
Will win: Borstein

Borstein won this Emmy for “Maisel’s” first and second seasons, and she’ll probably win again. Why not? The show is at its best whenever she’s front and center, which, honestly, didn’t happen enough this season. Murphy could pull off an upset and, if that happens, expect “Schitt’s Creek” to run the table. I’m partial to Orji, though, finally nominated for her excellent work opposite Rae in “Insecure.” Orji’s abilities as a comedian have never been in question (her sharp HBO stand-up special “Momma, I Made It!” was one of the best things on television this summer), and she brings an honesty to her “Insecure” character that will sometimes break your heart. There are a lot of talented women here, but, this year, I think she’s the standout.

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Dan Levy earned nominations for writing, directing, producing and acting in "Schitt's Creek."
(Elena Doukas / For The Times)

SUPPORTING ACTOR COMEDY

Mahershala Ali, “Ramy”
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Keenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

Should win: Levy
Will win: Levy

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My analytical brain tells me it’s foolish to pick against Emmy favorite Shalhoub, who has won four times over the years, and two-time Oscar winner Ali. But voters nominated Levy in four categories — writing, directing, producing and acting. That’s a resounding endorsement. I can’t wait to see his facial expression when he wins.


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