EMMY AWARDS 2021

Outstanding Comedy Series: which shows are nominated?

The Emmy Awards represent the most prestigious awards in television and encompass the breadth of the medium. Which series is favourite to win the prize for best comedy?

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Outstanding Comedy Series: which shows are nominated?
VALERIE MACON AFP

The Emmy Awards are one of the four major entertainment honours in the United States and are awarded to recognise achievements in the field of television over the past year.

Last year the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards were severely altered by the pandemic and the resultant restrictions but one comedy series stole the show. Schitt’s Creek picked up an incredible seven award wins, and setting a new record for the most decorated comedy series in a single year.

The series won all four of the comedy acting honours, as well as the biggest prize available for televisual comedy: the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. The 2021 Emmy Awards will take place on Sunday 19 September, but who is favourite to take Schitt’s Creek crown as Outstanding Comedy Series?

Who are the nominees?

Eight comedy shows have to shortlisted for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 2021 Emmy Awards. Has we have seen increasingly in recent years, the shortlist is dominated by shows created by streaming networks, who have poured huge amounts of money into their own productions. Of the final eight, Netflix is responsible for three; two are made by HBO Max; while Hulu and Apple TV+ have produced one each.

Here’s the shortlist of best comedy show nominees:

  • 'black-ish' (ABC)
  • 'Cobra Kai' (Netflix)
  • 'Emily in Paris' (Netflix)
  • 'Hacks' (HBO Max)
  • 'PEN15' (Hulu)
  • 'Ted Lasso' (Apple TV+)
  • 'The Flight Attendant' (HBO Max)
  • 'The Kominsky Method' (Netflix)

Who are the favourites to win Outstanding Comedy Series?

Last year, Schitt’s Creek was the overwhelming favourite in the comedy categories and it is fair to say that none of this year’s offerings have quite matched that level of pre-Emmys hype. However the feel-good sports series Ted Lasso has built up strong support and is the favourite to take hope the big prize.

The soccer-based series, co-created by and starring Jason Sudeikis, has notched up a whopping 20 Emmy nominations and already picked up prizes in the winter awards season. The second series of the show is currently airing and recency bias may help the show pick up more awards on Sunday evening.

Another to have received plenty of nominations this awards season is Hacks, the generational stand-up comedy series, which has already been shortlisted 15 times. It has an impressive lead in Jean Smart and has benefitted from the expansion of available slots in this year’s shortlists.

One popular but controversial show to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series was Netflix’s Emily in Paris, whose place on the shortlist was met with outcry from within the industry. However the NFPA-nominated show was one of the few put forward by Netflix for consideration and marks a real departure from the snobbery that has surrounded awards shows in the past.