If “VEEP” is going to be a headliner at the awards telecast, it’s going to come in the best actress category for Louis-Dreyfus. Her 13th nomination ties her with Lucille Ball as Emmy’s most-nominated comedy actress, according to O’Neil, author of “The Emmy,” a history of the awards.
“I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus is going to win,” O’Neil said. “That’s such a strong category, with five of those seven women capable of winning, but she’s won twice, she’s beloved, she’s in an HBO show, which is catnip for the academy, and it’s a comeback.”
Analyzing the way Emmy voters seem to favor high-end, quality political productions like “Game Change” and “VEEP,” O’Neil added, “She portrays the vice president in a show that is ‘The West Wing’ with laughs. And remember how ‘The West Wing’ swept the awards? The deep, dark secret of Emmy voters is that they are elitist snobs, and a show like this appeals to them. And they are fiercely loyal to their kin, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is kin.”
Deadline sounds the Hollywood consensus, saying, “This is Louis-Dreyfus’ 13th Emmy nomination overall. And while she’s won only twice before — once for ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996 and once for ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ in ’06 — her work in ‘Veep’ is as good as anything she’s ever done (‘Seinfeld’ included). It’s also precisely the kind of role that seems to have Emmy written all over it. This year, it will.”
Having seen her on set here working with creator Armando Iannucci’s demanding mix of scripted and improvised material, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that Louis-Dreyfus deserves the Emmy. And after talking to O’Neil, I think she’ll get it.
On the other hand, “VEEP” will not win as best comedy. That award will once again go to “Modern Family.” But there’s even some Baltimore attached to this groundbreaking ABC sitcom.
One of the stars, Baltimore native Julie Bowen, is the hands-down favorite to win again as best supporting actress for her performance as Claire Dunphy, the character at the center of this multigenerational, multicultural comedy.
Another Baltimore native, Jason Winer, is nominated for an episode that he directed last year. Winer, who won the prestigious Directors Guild Award for his work on the pilot of “Modern Family,” is not expected to win Sunday night. He has already moved on from the series and is executive producer of a new NBC midseason entry, “1600 Penn,” a family sitcom set in the White House.
Rob Berman, who like Winer grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Friends School, is already an Emmy-winning director for his work in 2012. Along with Moran, Berman was awarded an Emmy at last week’s creative arts ceremony. He won for his musical direction of “Kennedy Center Honors,” the celebrated CBS variety show that annually showcases the best of American popular culture.
The parents of Bowen, Winer and Berman all still call Baltimore home.
While that kind of local flavor can help generate rooting interest, the storyline that matters most to this area Sunday night is the one involving Hollywood’s return to Baltimore in 2011 and the recognition those productions could garner on Hollywood’s big stage.
“HBO brought in two projects last year, and both were nominated for big awards,” Moran says. “HBO helped get Baltimore back in the game, and we should all be hoping they get lots of recognition Sunday for the shows they made in Baltimore.”
The Emmys, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on WMAR/Channel 2.