2024 Emmys Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series


We will update this article throughout the season, along with all our predictions, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2024 Emmys race. The nomination round of voting takes place from June 13 to June 24, with the official Emmy nominations announced Wednesday, July 17. Afterwards, final voting commences on August 15 and ends the night of August 26. The 76th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are set to take place on Sunday, September 15, and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

The State of the Race

If there is one category that will give voters a lot of difficulty in deciding which nominee to choose, it’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. “Abbott Elementary” creator/star Quinta Brunson, “Hacks” star Jean Smart, and “The Bear” star Ayo Edebiri have all won Emmys for their performances within the past two TV seasons. For the trio to now all be in the same category, each with shows that still are very much on voters’ radars, makes this race one to watch.

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That said, there is room for newcomers like Kristen Wiig, who manages to showcase all her talents while having to share scenes with several Oscar winners on freshman Apple TV+ comedy “Palm Royale.” On the same streaming service, fellow “Bridesmaids” stars Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph lead “Platonic” and “Loot,” respectively, making for an interesting reunion opportunity within the category.

There are also actresses like Selena Gomez (“Only Murders in the Building”), Devery Jacobs (“Reservation Dogs”), and Reneé Elise Goldsberry (“Girls5eva”), who have been on award prediction lists in this category for several seasons, presumably just missing the cut each time.

Those nomination slots they have missed out on do tend to go to creator/stars like Natasha Lyonne, who put Peacock on the Emmys map with “Poker Face.” “Diarra from Detroit” creator/star Diarra Kilpatrick and “Colin From Accounts” co-creator/star Harriet Dyer are looking to do the same for BET+ and Paramount+, respectively. There is a chance voters could lean more toward stars that are just super involved in the development of the series they lead, like Sarah Jessica Parker (“And Just Like That”) or Kaley Cuoco (“Based on a True Story”), especially because the two actresses are no strangers to the category (Parker has even won it twice before.)

Current Contenders (In Alphabetical Order):
Sara Bareilles, “Girls5eva” (Netflix)
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Rose Byrne, “Platonic” (Apple TV+)
Kaley Cuoco, “Based on a True Story” (Peacock)
Harriet Dyer, “Colin From Accounts” (Paramount+)
Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear” (FX)
Reneé Elise Goldsberry, “Girls5eva” (Netflix)
Selena Gomez, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
Devery Jacobs, “Reservation Dogs” (FX)
Diarra Kilpatrick, “Diarra from Detroit” (BET+)
Rose McIver, “Ghosts” (CBS)
Sarah Jessica Parker, “And Just Like That” (Max)
Maya Rudolph, “Loot” (Apple TV+)
Jean Smart, “Hacks” (Max)
Kristen Wiig, “Palm Royale” (Apple TV+)

More Comedy Category Predictions:
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

To see IndieWire’s full set of predictions for the 76th Emmy Awards click here.

Last Year’s Winner: Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”
Still Eligible: Yes.
Hot Streak: Quinta Brunson, Jean Smart, and Ayo Edebiri are all coming off an Emmy win for the most recent season of their shows. If Brunson were to win, it would be the first time a Black actress has ever won twice (and twice consecutively). If Edebiri were to win, she would just generally be the first Black actress to win for a Lead and/or Supporting comedy performance two seasons in a row. If Smart wins, she moves up the list of actresses with the most Emmys in this category, up next to legends like Lucille Ball.
Notable Ineligible Series: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (ended); Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me” (ended); Jenna Ortega, “Wednesday” (Season 2 is not eligible); Natasha Lyonne, “Poker Face” (Season 2 is not eligible)

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