2024 Emmys Lead Actress Comedy Predictions

Emmys: Lead Actress (Comedy) — Will Jean Smart Take Home Her Sixth Career Statuette for ‘Hacks?’
Emmys: Lead Actress (Comedy) — Will Jean Smart Take Home Her Sixth Career Statuette for ‘Hacks?’

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2024 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Maya Rudolph -- Loot
Courtesy of Apple TV+

Weekly Commentary (Updated: May 9, 2024): The third season of HBO/Max’s “Hacks” has hit the ground running and, dare I say, is sprinting well ahead of its competitors. Creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky have crafted a narrative arc for Jean Smart and her co-star Hannah Einbender that’s so compelling that it might just catapult them both (as well as the series) to the top of their categories this Emmy season. And as for Smart, after pausing production in February 2023 for a heart procedure, the resurgence and adoration for the acting veteran is not just expected—it feels like a guarantee. With five Emmys sitting on her mantle, Hollywood does love a comeback, after all.

Turning to Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” the spotlight is brightly on Selena Gomez, who, after being egregiously snubbed by the Television Academy for two long years, now stands her strongest chance yet at an acting nod (C’mon Academy, don’t do her dirty again). Her precarious standing—surrounded by heavy hitters like Steve Martin, Martin Short, Paul Rudd, and Meryl Streep, one does wonder: Will the TV Academy dare to overlook her again? With friends like these, who needs an Emmy… or do they?

Meanwhile, over at “The Bear,” Ayo Edebiri shifts her campaign gears into the lead category for the show’s second season, already basking in the glow of Golden Globe and SAG awards. Is she setting up a comedic showdown with last year’s Emmy darling, Quinta Brunson, from “Abbott Elementary”? It looks like a comedic collision course is on the horizon!

And let’s not overlook the comedy stalwarts. Kristen Wiig of “Palm Royale” might just rendezvous with her “Saturday Night Live” sister-in-arms, Maya Rudolph, who’s eyeing an Emmy for “Loot” on Apple TV+. It’s shaping up to be a battle of the network stars, so keep your eyes on the prize.

Emmy submissions are due Thursday, May 9. The eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs is May 31. The nominations-voting-round is open from June 13 to June 24.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions in the major categories.

And the Predicted Nominees Are


Performer and Series


Jean Smart — “Hacks” (Max)


Ayo Edebiri — “The Bear” (FX)


Quinta Brunson — “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)


Selena Gomez — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)


Maya Rudolph — “Loot” (Apple TV+)

Next in Line


Performer and Series


Kristen Wiig — “Palm Royale” (Apple TV+)


Jaz Sinclair — “Gen V” (Prime Video)


Devery Jacobs — “Reservation Dogs” (FX)


Sarah Lancashire — “Julia” (Max)


Kaley Cuoco — “Based on a True Story” (Peacock)


Natasia Demetriou — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)


Renée Elise Goldsberry — “Girls5eva” (Netflix)


Diarra Kilpatrick — “Diarra from Detroit” (BET+)


Sara Bareilles — “Girls5eva” (Netflix)


Harriet Dyer — “Colin From Accounts” (Paramount+)

Also in Contention


Performer and Series


Rose McIver — “Ghosts” (CBS)


Rose Byrne — “Platonic” (Apple TV+)


Courteney Cox — “Shining Vale” (Starz)


Amy Schumer — “Life and Beth” (Hulu)


Sara Gilbert — “The Conners” (ABC)


Rhea Seehorn — “Cooper’s Bar” (AMC)


Sarah Jessica Parker — “And Just Like That” (Max)


Edi Patterson — “The Righteous Gemstones” (Max)


Michelle Yeoh — “The Brothers Sun” (Netflix)


Folake Olowofoyeku — “Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)

Eligible Performances (Lead Comedy Actress)

Eligible Performances (Lead Comedy Actress)
Eligible Performances (Lead Comedy Actress)

**The list below is not complete and have been confirmed as officially submitted. All information is subject to change. Grouped by network that airs each series.

  • Quinta Brunson — “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)

  • Sara Gilbert — “The Conners” (ABC)

  • Gina Rodriguez — “Not Dead Yet” (ABC)

  • Tiffany Haddish — “The Afterparty” (Apple TV+)

  • Gabrielle Dennis — “The Big Door Prize” (Apple TV+)

  • Maya Rudolph — “Loot” (Apple TV+)

  • Kristen Wiig — “Palm Royale” (Apple TV+)

  • Rose Byrne — “Physical” (Apple TV+)

  • Rose Byrne — “Platonic” (Apple TV+)

  • Diarra Kilpatrick — “Diarra from Detroit” (BET+)

  • Ms. Pat — “The Ms. Pat Show” (BET+)

  • Folake Olowofoyeku — “Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)

  • Rose McIver — “Ghosts” (CBS)

  • Marcia Gay Harden — “So Help Me Todd” (CBS)

  • Nicola Coughlan — “Big Mood” (Channel 4)

  • Awkwafina — “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens” (Comedy Central)

  • Ayo Edebiri — “The Bear” (FX)

  • Daisy Haggard — “Breeders” (FX)

  • Devery Jacobs — “Reservation Dogs” (FX)

  • Natasia Demetriou — “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)

  • Amy Schumer — “Life and Beth” (Hulu)

  • Selena Gomez — “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)

  • Sarah Jessica Parker — “And Just Like That” (Max)

  • Jean Smart — “Hacks” (Max)

  • Sarah Lancashire — “Julia” (Max)

  • Heléne Yorke — “The Other Two” (Max)

  • Edi Patterson — “The Righteous Gemstones” (Max)

  • Mayan Lopez — “Lopez vs. Lopez” (NBC)

  • Melissa Rauch — “Night Court” (NBC)

  • Robyn Cara — “Bodkin” (Netflix)

  • Siobhán Cullen — “Bodkin” (Netflix)

  • Michelle Yeoh — “The Brothers Sun” (Netflix)

  • Sara Bareilles — “Girls5eva” (Netflix)

  • Renée Elise Goldsberry — “Girls5eva” (Netflix)

  • Maitreyi Ramakrishnan — “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix)

  • Harriet Dyer — “Colin From Accounts” (Paramount+)

  • Kaley Cuoco — “Based on a True Story” (Peacock)

  • Stephanie Beatriz — “Twisted Metal” (Peacock)

  • Anjana Vasan — “We Are Lady Parts” (Peacock)

  • Jaz Sinclair — “Gen V” (Prime Video)

  • Miranda Richardson — “Good Omens” (Prime Video)

  • Ophela Lovibond — “Minx” (Starz)

  • Courteney Cox — “Shining Vale” (Starz)

More Information (Lead Comedy Actress)

More Information (Lead Comedy Actress)
More Information (Lead Comedy Actress)

2023 category winner: Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues — “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) — Season 2

2024 Emmy Awards Calendar and Timeline (all dates are subject to change)

  • Eligibility period: June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024

  • Feb. 29: Submissions open

  • May 9: Deadline for programs that identify as Primetime programming to upload all entry materials.

  • June 13: Nominations-round voting begins

  • June 24: Nominations-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PT

  • June 28 – July 8: Voting for peer group-specific top ten rounds panels (if applicable)

  • July 17: Primetime Emmy nominations are announced.

  • July 24: Deadline for errors and omissions to the nominations.

  • August 5: Find-round videos available for viewing.

  • August 15: Final-round voting begins.

  • August 26: Final-round voting ends at 10:00 p.m. PST.

  • Sept. 7-8: Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Governors Gala

  • Sunday, Sept. 15: 76th Primetime Emmy Awards to air on ABC.

Emmy Awards Predictions




Drama Series

Comedy Series

Limited or Anthology Series

Lead Actor (Drama)

Lead Actor (Comedy)

Lead Actor (Limited, Movie)

Lead Actress (Drama)

Lead Actress (Comedy)

Lead Actress (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actor (Drama)

Supporting Actor (Comedy)

Supporting Actor (Limited, Movie)

Supporting Actress (Drama)

Supporting Actress (Comedy)

Supporting Actress (Limited, Movie)

Directing (Drama)

Directing (Comedy)

Directing (Limited, Movie)

Writing (Drama)

Writing (Comedy)

Writing (Limited, Movie)

Guest Actor (Drama)

Guest Actor (Comedy)

Television Movie

Guest Actress (Drama)

Guest Actress (Comedy)

Casting (Limited, Movie)

Casting (Drama)

Casting (Comedy)

Other Awards Predictions

Talk Series

Reality Competition Program

Animated Program

Scripted Variety

Game Show

Character Voice-Over Performance

Variety Special (Live)

Host for a Reality or Competition Program


Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

Structured Reality

Documentary (Series)

Directing (Series, Special)

Unstructured Reality

Documentary (Special)

Writing (Series, Special)

Directing (Reality Program)

Hosted Nonfiction (Series or Special)

Music (Limited, Movie, Special, Series, Documentary, Direction, Theme Music, Lyrics, Supervision)

Main Title Design

Writing (Nonfiction)

Short Form Series

Short Form (Actor/Actress)

Exceptional Merit

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, commonly known as the Emmys, are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Established in 1949, these celebrate outstanding achievements in American primetime television. The Emmys are categorized into three divisions: the Primetime Emmy Awards for performance and production excellence, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards recognizing achievements in artistry and craftsmanship, and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards, which honor significant engineering and technological advancements. The eligibility period typically extends from June 1 to May 31 each year. The Television Academy, which hosts the Emmys, consists of over 20,000 members across 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans and executives.

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