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Emmys: Guest Actress (Comedy) – Becky Ann Baker and Taraji P. Henson, Two Standouts Who Played Mothers, Could Help Their Comedies Win Top Prize

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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2023 Emmy Predictions:
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY -Janine's plan for a Memorial Day weekend solo trip is derailed when her mother shows up unannounced asking for help. Elsewhere, Gregory notices his colleagues are great at small talk and realizes he needs to brush up on his people skills. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 (9:00-9:32 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Gilles Mingasson) QUINTA BRUNSON, TARAJI P. HENSON

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug 17, 2023): Becky Ann Baker as Dottie Lasso in “Ted Lasso” and Taraji P. Henson and Vanetta in “Abbott Elementary” both play mothers of the leading characters of their beloved comedy shows, both of which are the two frontrunners for outstanding comedy series. Not to mention, Quinta Brunson, the lead comedy actress contender for “Abbott,” is also present for her guest stint on “Saturday Night Live.”

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

A win for Baker could mean “Ted Lasso” will likely go for a hat trick in the top category after winning the past two years. A Henson victory could help push “Abbott” to be the first broadcast comedy winner since “Modern Family” and the first to win without a writing nom since “Friends.”

The rankings for the category are below.

The final Emmy voting rounds open on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. PT and close on Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. PST. The 75th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Monday, January 15, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The Creative Arts ceremony will occur on Saturday, January 6, and Sunday, January 7. An edited version will air on FXX on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET. All events will take place at the Peacock Theater at LA Live.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Creative Arts predictions in all categories.


And the Nominees Are:


  1. Becky Ann Baker — “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
    Episode submission: “Mom City”

  2. Quinta Brunson — “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Episode submission: “Host: Quinta Brunson”

  3. Taraji P. Henson — “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
    Episode submission: “Mom”

  4. Harriet Walter — “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
    Episode submission: “So Long, Farewell”

  5. Judith Light — “Poker Face” (Peacock)
    Episode submission: “Time of the Monkey”

  6. Sarah Niles — “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
    Episode submission: “Smells Like Mean Spirit”


All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Network)**


** This official list and/or category submission is not yet complete or confirmed and is subject to change.

2022 category winner: Laurie Metcalf as Weed in “Hacks” (HBO)


Emmy Awards Predictions Categories

DRAMA SERIES | COMEDY SERIES | LIMITED OR ANTHOLOGY SERIES | TV MOVIE | LEAD ACTOR (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTOR (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | LEAD ACTRESS (DRAMA) | LEAD ACTRESS (COMEDY) | LEAD ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (DRAMA) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (COMEDY) | SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | TALK SERIES | SCRIPTED VARIETY | GAME SHOW | DIRECTING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | WRITING (DRAMA, COMEDY, LIMITED/TV MOVIE) | REALITY (COMPETITION, STRUCTURED, UNSTRUCTURED, HOST)

Creative Arts and Other Emmy Categories

GUEST ACTOR (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTRESS (DRAMA) | GUEST ACTOR (COMEDY) | GUEST ACTRESS (COMEDY) | VOICE-OVER | SHORT FORM | DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC | ANIMATED | OTHER CATEGORIES

About the Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmy Awards, better known as the Emmys, are given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Since 1949, the awards have recognized excellence in American primetime television programming. They are divided into three classes – Primetime Emmy Awards, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards (honors artisan achievements), and the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (recognizes significant engineering and technological contributions). The typical eligibility period is between June 1 and May 31 of any given year. The Television Academy comprises over 25,000 members, representing 30 professional peer groups, including performers, directors, producers, art directors, artisans, and executives.

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