My Predictions (And Hopes) For The 2024 Emmy Nominations, Week 2

David B Morris
10 min readJun 18, 2024

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Outstanding Comedy Series

It is generally agreed that while drama is now in decline, comedy is getting much better. Considering that two series that have been on my top ten list before multiple times are among the favorites and that one of the best shows on the air is part of the discussion, I can’t disagree.

I’m completely on board with four of the biggest contenders for this year’s Emmys. Two series that have come to an end this season are likely nominees in this category: I’m willing to acknowledge the first and really hope the second gets nominated. I’m going rogue on the least two betting more on dreams and air. Here are the eight series I think (and in some cases hope) will be announced in a few weeks’ time.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Abbott Elementary (ABC)

This is clearly one of the best series of the 2020s right now. It’s been number 2 on my top ten list the first two years it was on the air and it’s hard to imagine it not being in the top five no matter how Season 4 turns out being.

Three seasons in Quinta Brunson and her incredible troop of performers — many if not most of whom will be nominated along with her by the Emmys year — continue to make us laugh and cry with their incredible antics and their utter devotion to their craft. Even absent from much of the action this season, Abbott continued to be delightful because the show is as much about the teachers as it is its wondrous heroine. We watched so many joyful moments, the antics of Ava, the joy and sadness of Barb, the wonderful bromance of Gregory and Jacob. And the episode ended with the party of the year: one that put the planning in party planning and ended with the slow-burn romance between Gregory and Janine finally igniting. I don’t think the show will win Best Comedy, much as it deserves too. But it deserves all the nominations it can get and there will be a lot.

The Bear (FX on Hulu)

Earlier today I posted my official very late review of Season 2 of the show which has already dominated all the awards leading up to this year’s Emmys, sweeping the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice and the SAG Awards. It is the official frontrunner for the Emmy this year as are most of its performers and guest actors. And even having seen just three episodes, it’s very hard to deny it doesn’t deserve.

The series has one of the best casts of performers that, like many of the other shows on this list, will be dominating all of the major acting categories (and after Fishes, guest acting) Led by some of the greatest performers in television from Jeremy Allan White and Ayo Edebiri all the way down, there isn’t a single weak link in its entire cast. Some might question that The Bear is a comedy. (I don’t, for the record.) No one questions that its one of the gems of TV.

Breeders (FX)

I’ve gone to bat for this series a couple of times before over the years and have not been shocked when both times it came home empty handed. Of the eight series on this list, this is one of the longshots I talked about before. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a lot of love from the Emmys.

Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard have been incredible for four seasons playing the kind of parents we never plan on being but basically end up being anyway. They’ve had more downs in their marriage then up and they’ve had more problems with their children the older they get (the final season had a five year time jump to emphasize that they didn’t go away) And if anything things get no easier when their oldest son moves out of the house: the season premiere opens with him moving in with his girlfriend and announcing that they’re having a baby together and their daughter has just begun to realize that she’s attracting to women. Paul’s parents are still dealing with the ramification of his father’s infidelity and by the middle of the season, it looks clear that his mother is going into a mental decline.

Freeman and Haggard ended the series after this season but tellingly none of the conflicts were resolved with anybody. I actually thought that was the right call: the issues you have with your family only end once and then those left behind have to deal with it. This doesn’t make Breeders any less funny; in fact, it’s easier to call it a comedy then The Bear and some other potential nominees. And its by far the most realistic show about being a parent I’ve ever seen. I hope that the Emmys are kind to it but life was never kind to anyone in the family.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

I make no secret of the fact I have never liked Curb Your Enthusiasm, never found it funny, can’t understand why anyone would. But I also acknowledge that it has lasted twelve seasons over more than twenty years and if that’s not worthy of at least some recognition before it ends, I don’t know what is.

So while I don’t particularly merit recognition to bad behavior and as we all know that’s what we’ve watched Larry David do in some version for nearly twenty five years we do have to acknowledge the end of an era. This is the end of the Seinfeld type era of comedy on TV and I still think that’s something to be celebrated, not mourned, I also acknowledge the need for recognition. I hope there’s never another show like this but I do have to admit recognition for it is what the Emmys are for. And if you think that this entire recommendation is back-handed, well, that’s fitting because those are the kind that Larry would appreciate.

Hacks (HBO Max)

I don’t think there’s been a series I’ve been anticipating more eagerly during all of 2024 then the return of Hacks. I ranked it third on my top ten list in 2021, fourth in 2024 and had to way an interminable two years, through a writers strike and more frighteningly Jean Smart’s heart surgery. Was it worth the wait? Almost. But it will definitely be in my top five shows this year, and it will absolutely be part of every aspect of the Emmy discussion.

Deb and Ava went on another ride or die journey this season, this time with the goal of making Deborah Vance in late night. It was hysterically funny as the journey, particularly watching the incredible comedy act that Paul Downs and Megan Stalter are now a part of. (If they can do a spinoff of these two, I’m in no question.) We watched Marcus go off on his own direction and find independence. We watched Deb tried to make things better with DJ and her sister, only for both to tell her the kind of woman she is. And in the finale she revealed who she is — and Ava did her one better.

All the awards Ayo Edebiri has deservedly won for The Bear were done without the presence of Jean Smart in Best Actress in a Comedy. Smart has already won two consecutive Emmys in this category; it’s going to be hard to stop her run for a third. Hannah Einbinder has been overdue an Emmy in this category for the first two seasons and its so clear she’s overdue that she might actually be able to say, “I beat Meryl!” this September. The entire supporting cast deserves love and its just certain so many of the Guest performers, from newcomers Helen Hunt and Tony Goldwyn to old hands like Kaitlin Olson and Christopher McDonald will be vying in the guest acting categories this year as they do. Deb’s second act has made the third act of Hacks incredible and wonderfully there’s at least one more season to come.

Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

What can I say about this show that hasn’t already been said? That its one of the funniest series on TV, far more obviously a comedy than so many of the other nominees in the last two years? That it mixes so many genres so perfectly that you honestly are stunned that it doesn’t mess up any of them? That Steve Martin and Martin Short continue to dazzle new fans in ways you really didn’t think they could anymore? That Selena Gomez has revealed depths that nothing in her career could prepare you for and that this trio is more fun than anything? That even going into its third season it is still absolutely capable of bringing in new performers and making you marvel at them? That Meryl Streep was capable of playing someone who couldn’t act at all?

It is all of those things and far more. The third season has already received an immense amount of nominations from every single awards group leading up to this and will doubtless continue to do so this year. Hopefully this year they will do the logical thing and nominate all three leads, but the Emmys has never been logical. The Emmys investigation into this show needs to head into a whole new direction. And soon.

Reservation Dogs (FX on Hulu)

I will grant that the immense caliber of comedy in this category the last two years has made it very difficult for one of the best shows of the decade to have a real chance. It doesn’t change the fact that during those three seasons, every other awards show BUT the Emmys has been willing to at least nominate it for multiple awards, from the Golden Globes to the Critics Choice Awards to the Television Critics Association and the Peabody awards. Yet its never earned as much as a sniff from the Emmys. Well this is the third and final chance and the Res dogs went out with a bang. We spent as much time with the elders this final season as we did the young cubs but they all made us remember why we love this show. It is a deep dive into a world that most of us had no idea existed, certainly not this critics. I loved being part of the world of this show, watching the traumas that cross generations and far more importantly seeing how they heal so that they can move on.

The Emmys has made huge strides in diversity among the acting and creative nominations over the past few years with last year’s field of nominees and winners being the most diverse in the Emmys history. It would be fitting to nominate this show, which is staffed and stars entirely indigenous people, with as many nominations as it deserves — and I’ll be honest, however many the Emmys give it, it still won’t be enough. I’ll be going over the actors in this group. I think they deserve nominations but this was one of the great shows of the 2020s so far and the Emmys need to make reparations.

So Help Me Todd (CBS)

I’m not going to lie; it cut me very deeply that one of my favorite shows of the last two years was cancelled without a second thought by CBS and worse still, that there will be no revival of it on any of the streaming networks. What does it say about the state of network TV that even a successful network show can’t survive these days?

So the least the Emmys could do before it goes out the door is nominate it for as many awards as possible. It needs to give Marcia Gay Harden the Emmy nomination for a lead she’s deserved since the second season of Damages. It needs to give Skyler Astin the recognition he never got for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. It needs to recognize the incredible roster of guest actors the series had from Jeffrey Nordling and Dean Winters on down. And it needs to nominate another of the great mixture of genres that, in truth, is more of a comedy than some shows on streaming. In short, the Emmys need to help Todd. They won’t of course, but they should.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Not Dead Yet (ABC)

I acknowledge that I may change my mind about this because I have yet to see some of the other likely nominees in this category. I will probably get to shows like Palm Royale and The Gentlemen if they are, as is likely to be the case, among the contenders for Emmys. But I still am comfortable sticking up for what I at least consider one of the best (and most unfortunately cancelled) shows in 2024.

This show is more traditionally a comedy than many of the other nominees that are likely and it does have a gimmick. But its worth noting in Season 2, the series managed to take a life (ha ha) beyond that. Everyone on the show from Jane on managed to make a major step forward even if sometimes that meant moving backward. The entire cast from Gina Rodriguez to Lauren Ash to newcomer Brad Garrett were all at their usual level, making superb material rise higher. There’s little hope this show will be resurrected (another chuckle) but it would be nice if it got some Emmy love.

Tomorrow I deal with Outstanding Actor in a Comedy, otherwise known as Jeremy Allan White and the five actors who will lose to him.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.