Emmys

Emmys 2014: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series -- Our 6 Dream Nominees!

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Between saying an emotional goodbye to her best friend, finding out she was pregnant with triplets (!), being recalled as City Councilwoman (before getting her dream job) and freaking out over meeting Michelle Obama, Leslie Knope had quite the year. And through it all, the incomparable Poehler made her driven-yet-kind, flustered-but-in-control and unrelentingly optimistic performance look effortless.

Like a woven rug in the foyer, sometimes the Emmy nominating process needs to be dragged outside and beaten with a broom — the better to shake off the dust and achieve a new level of freshness.

More Emmy Races In Review | Outstanding Comedy Series | Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

That’s the logic behind TVLine’s Dream Emmy Nominees series — and today, we turn our attention to the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series race. Perhaps some of our six faves will be in the running at this year’s ceremony (Monday, Aug. 25 from 8pm ET/5pm PT, to be exact), or maybe you’ve got other ideas of who belongs in the mix.

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Certainly, narrowing things down to a half-dozen ladies wasn’t easy — and there’s an impassioned flurry of emails among the TVLine staff to prove it!

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So, click through our gallery (via the blue button underneath the accompanying Parks and Recreation photo or CLICK THIS LINK to see if your dream nominees match up with ours, and then hit the comments to tell us where we got it right, which ones we got wrong and what shows you think we snubbed egregiously.

And then check back Thursday as we reveal our dream picks for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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58 Comments
  1. jss0058 says:

    I forget…is Orange Is The New Black competing in comedy? If so Taylor Schilling has to be on this list.

  2. dru says:

    JLD has this is the bag, she’s phenomenal

  3. scorpo says:

    Where is Wendi McLendon-Covey for The Goldbergs, she is Julia’s ONLY competition.

  4. Philip says:

    Every year, Amy Poehler is nominated (and rightfully so) and will probably be again this year. It just sucks that she will probably lose again and mostly be the Steve Carrell in the Female Category and never win

  5. Babybop says:

    I’m sure JLD will win this… again… But it should be Amy. She is SO good in Parks.

  6. TL says:

    As long as Julia is in this category…it’s hers to lose.

  7. Wouter says:

    I hope Emmy Rossum will get at least a nomination. Shameless is one of the best shows on TV right now. She’d deserve the win if she was competing in the drama category.

    • Francine says:

      I agree, she deserves recognition. She’s fabulous. I hope being in the comedy category doesn’t hurt her chances for a nomination. This past season was the show’s most dramatic yet.

    • HAP says:

      Totally agree. Emmy was awesome, but I really don’t recall any of her scenes sharing in the “mirth” of this “comedy”.

      • EJ386 says:

        That is why it is weird they are in the comedy category. She was amazing, but had mostly drama scenes, and there is a lot of love for Noel Fisher [from me too], but also mostly dramatic scenes… Still hoping for both to win. Shameless is such an amazing show. [And I don’t like any of the other suggested nominees]

        • Joey says:

          The thing is that Mickey had a lot of funny scenes, most of which didn’t have to do with his storyline with Ian. His storyline with Kevin and Svetlana had some really funny dialogue, so I’d say he’s got more of a shot in supporting. The entire Fiona arc was pretty dark and dramatic. WHY OH WHY CAN’T THE EMMY AWARDS HAVE A DRAMEDY CATEGORY.

        • Michael says:

          Shameless is a dramedy. There are many on TV and I wish that the Emmys would establish a category for them, even if it is only for Best dramedy show. Emmy voters measure comedy by laughs. Shameless is as likely to bring tears to your eyes as it is to make you laugh.

  8. Hamza says:

    Half of this list probably will not be nominated. I think Wendi McLendon-Covey’s performance was awesome in the Goldbergs and she may just get the nomination.

    • Rich Abey says:

      I’m with you on this. She has been amazing on the Goldbergs, from being an adoring mothers whose goal in life is to wrap her kids around her as tightly as a boa constrictor to a toy-stealer to a Halloween ghost who tries to set her ‘delicious’ son up with a girl to a bad ass in the shopping mall!

  9. Lisa says:

    Emmy Rossum deserves the nomination and so does Julie Bowen but Amy Poehler DESERVES to win this thing. Parks is so criminally underrated it hurts

  10. Ron says:

    My 6 dream nominees:
    – Amy Poehler (Parks & Rec) *also my dream winner*
    – Taylor Schilling (OITNB)
    – Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
    – Malin Ackerman (Trophy Wife)
    – Patricia Heaton (The Middle)
    – Emmy Rossum (Shameless)

    The 6 I think will get nominated:
    – Amy Poehler (Parks & Rec)
    – Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
    – Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
    – Taylor Schilling (OITNB)
    – Lena Dunham (Girls)
    – Emmy Rossum (Shameless)

  11. NYCER says:

    Amy Poehler needs to win. It’s criminal that she hasn’t just like it was all sorts of wrong for Steve Carell not to win even once for THE OFFICE. Emmy Rossum and Mindy Kaling deserve nods as well. Rossum was epic in this past season of SHAMELESS.

    • Michael says:

      I think that Michael Scott was a very polarizing character. His buffoonery was oft offensive or so uncomfortable to watch that many a viewer had to shield their eyes. I loved it, but I’m not surprised he didn’t win. Leslie K. can be a bit of a buffoon as well, but there is a heart and likeability that Michael Scott didn’t always, or even usually, possess. Amy deserves the win for creating such a rich character.

  12. S. says:

    I hope Mindy Kaling gets a nomination. Fingers crossed. The show really is getting stronger and stronger. This is a textbook example about why you should give shows time. If she and Chris can just get in, they’ve got a shot. It’s like Tatiana Maslany or Matthew Rhys. Viable if they can just get the nomination. Modern Family’s vulnerable this year so if TMP could just get in and pick the eps (6 I think) they’d have a good chance–at least it’d then gain momentum. “Sent from my smart phone, which I have. Case. Charger. Everything.”

  13. TVFan says:

    Kaley Cuoco!!!

    • jss0058 says:

      I often think kaley should be nominated when I watch TBBT but then when I step back and look at the other options she she just doesn’t compare

    • dru says:

      to be honest, she could get in (in supporting i guess). Emmy voters obviously like the show, and the comedy ladies field is not that strong his year

    • dan says:

      Kaley submits herself in the supporting actress category along with Mayim Bialik.

  14. Zoe says:

    Can we just give the win to Amy Poehler? I don’t think JLD would mind.

  15. Television Scout says:

    I want to try a different approach here – I want to focus on nominating actresses for this category, and I’m staying away from nominating stand up comics and writers … and JLD. Time to stop the ‘rubber stamp’ approach of nominating the JLDs and Poehlers and Kalings because a studio/production company is pushing them for nominations. Boy, somebody (and I’d love to know who) is pushing Mindy Kaling very, very hard – not sure why. I like all three women, and I think all three are talented, but JLD is the only ‘actress’ of the bunch, and she can mail it in at this point on Veep and still get a nomination. That’s not right. So, enough. Let’s try something different. I think television should demand a bit more from their comedies, and their actress nominations as well.

    Here’s a list of six actresses [plus two of my favorites who are deserving of a nomination] in lead roles in a comedy series during the 2013-14 season – these are actresses’ actresses – pros, week in and week out.

    1) Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) – to not include her on a list is simply not right

    2) Patricia Heaton (Middle) – she’s been pulling everyone else along for years – she’s earned this

    3) Mayim Bialik or Kaly Cuoco (TBBT) – they deliver, big, week in and week out – talent

    4) Emmy Rossum (Shameless) – good choice, from your TVline list

    5) Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) – true, show not what it once was, but MM can act

    6) Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia) – a little gem of a show, and Browstein can act

    and two of the most underrated, forgotten actresses working this past season in comedy series –

    5) Rashida Jones (Parks and Rec) – yes, this show did have an actual *actress* in the cast

    6) Alyson Hannigan (HIMYM) – the backbone of this series – often forgotten, but essential

    • jss0058 says:

      half of the women named here are supporting. And the fact that you don’t consider Poegler or Kaling to be actresses because they were writers/comedians is seriously flawed. I would say based on the work delivered as actresses they more than stand up to the other ladies bases on the material given

      • Television Scout says:

        Fair enough – we’ll have to agree to disagree. Kaling is not an actress – not a good one. I don’t give out awards for poor acting. I’m sorry, I don’t like dispensing bad news and criticism, but she’s **not** an Emmy caliber actress, and frankly, it is a slap-in-the-face to other actresses who work their butts off each week to get shunned by the ‘Kaling-is-so-wonderful’ machine. It’s getting disgusting. On Office, it worked – her poor acting was part of the show, part of the humor and realism of the premise, and that was fine. I loved it. She’s very good in small doses – she is a proto-supporting actress. But as a lead for 22 minutes? It doesn’t work. But we’ll disagree on this one, that’s okay. Good luck defending her Emmy-worthy skills as an actress.

        Both Kaling and Poehler are very talented, but on P&R, the acting is being done by Jones, not by Poehler. AP is great at mugging for the camera, and that’s funny stuff, but giving her an acting award for that mugging? If you want to do that, that’s perfectly okay – your opinion. But not me – I’m not going to award that SNL-level skit stuff in the best comedy actress category – not when there are better choices. I save the S&L level awards for the ‘variety’ show categories. That seems perfectly fair to me – Amy P. is terrific, and she deserves all the writing/producing awards coming her way. Her hosting of the GGs with Tina Fey is outstanding – no one better. But giving her an award for her ‘acting’ – that’s not right, the quality isn’t there. Do we give awards based upon specific merit, or just because it is fashionable?

        I don’t agree with your assessment that ‘half of the women named here are supporting.’ Go ahead- name them. MM is a lead actress, so is Cuoco, and Bialik has reached a point in the TBBT where she is doing enough substantial work to give her more than ‘supporting’ – although, if show and voters wanted to place her in the supporting category, I’m fine with that. Same with Hannigan – she’s a lead on that show – no more or less than Aniston years ago on Friends. Schilling and Heaton? Leads. Rossum? You may be right – perhaps she’s not a lead, but you’ll have to take that up with TVLine.

    • JLD can “mail it in”…but she doesn’t. She 100% deserves a nomination. She works hard “every week”. If someone is deserving, they’re deserving.

      I don’t think you know too much about the Emmys. More than half these choices are technically supporting actresses.

      • Television Scout says:

        See my note to jss above. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Supporting actresses on the list (beyond Rossum)? Name them.

      • Code Boy says:

        She may deserve a nomination, but does she deserve another Emmy? I’m going to put my rubber stamp away, how about you?

        • JLD has actually never technically been my 1st choice (I’ve always rooted for Poehler for the most part). But, yah!, she, without a doubt, deserves a nomination. And I don’t begrudge her wins because she works hard. She’s a great physical comedian (watch the last episode of Veep). And she can hurl insults like no other. These are not lazy wins or nominations.

          • Code Boy says:

            So, I guess you are keeping your rubber stamp – is that what you’re really saying?

            “If this year’s ballot is like last year’s, then Bialik, Cuoco, Brownstein, Rashida Jones and Hannigan will all be competing in supporting.”

            I guess that’s good enough then – business as usual. The rubber stamp of approval by you. I guess we’re all set then, right? You’ve got it all figured out, you’re right, the rest of us all wrong. Good luck.

          • Aprilcot says:

            I agree with you 100%. I’m always rooting for Amy, but JLD is amazing and I can’t be upset when she wins.

          • @Code Boy

            It’s not my fault those actresses compete in supporting. It’s THEIR choice. What are you talking about?

  16. webly3 says:

    Taylor Schilling and Wendi McLoven-Covey replacing Amy Schumer/Malin Akerman (I do love both Trophy Wife/Inside Amy Schumer though) and add Patricia Heaton as a seventh nominee would make a perfect list.

    • Code Boy says:

      Agree, but you’ll have to convince folks up-thread – they don’t believe Schilling and Heaton are lead actresses, but are supporting actresses.

  17. HAP says:

    Glad to see you lead with Malin Ackerman. She was really good. Highly unlikely she will get a nomination. ABC really did not support this show.

  18. Brian says:

    Sadly, I don’t believe Amy Poehler will ever win now because of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her amazing performance in “Veep” (which is just ever so slightly better, probably due to it being on HBO). Emmy Rossum REALLY deserves a nomination this year. JLD will likely win this award.

  19. Meridethparry11@gmail.com says:

    My dream six:
    Taylor Schilling(orange is the new black)
    Mindy Kaling (the mindy project)
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
    Lena Dunham( Girls)
    Amy Poehler(Parks and Rec)
    Emmy Rossum(Shameless)

  20. Tahoe Mike says:

    I’d be interested, but I hate the new gallery format and can’t be bothered to ever look through another one. Integrate them back into the articles, or consider them dead to me

    • Aprilcot says:

      Agreed. I didn’t even look at who they chose, I just put in my own two cents. If you have to *explain* where to find the gallery, you have a poor layout.

  21. Rich Abey says:

    My 3 nominees:
    – Amy Poehler: She won the Golden Globe this year. Will that give her the momentum to finally win her first Emmy? She sure deserves it.
    – Julia Bowen: Awesome as usual but very unlikely she will win.
    – Wendi McLendon-Covey: Was sparkling as a kick-ass adoring mother on The Goldbergs.

  22. Parker says:

    Amy Poehler!!!!!

  23. schu says:

    I like seeing all the love for Patricia Heaton in the comments, she really does a great job on The Middle. I’d still love to see a Modern Family woman in this category, they still hold their own. JLD does have it in the bag though I’m sure, with Amy Poehler as the (forever) dark horse behind her.

  24. Manas Kj says:

    What about wendy mclendon covy from goldbergs- you choose malin of trophy wife over her?? that’s dumb!!

  25. Aprilcot says:

    I don’t know who TVLine has suggested, because I refuse to read these ridiculous slideshows now. But here are my choices:
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    Amy Poehler
    Taylor Schilling
    Mindy Kaling
    I really think this is JLD’s to lose; she is absolutely brilliant on Veep, but I’d really like to see Amy Poehler take it home. It’s criminal that she hasn’t won yet.

    • Television Scout says:

      For you viewing pleasure ;), here is the list of six nominations that TVLine noted on their gallery [gotta give the ‘Gallery’ a chance to win you over ] –

      1. Malin Ackerman (Trophy Wife)
      2. Mindy Kaling (Mindy Proj)
      3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
      4. Amy Poehler (P&R)
      5. Emmy Rossum (Shameless)
      6. Amy Schumer (Inside Amy S)

      [I just ran into Amy Schumer’s agent – he begged me to put her name on my list as well]

      I checked last season’s (2013) list for a memory refresher to give us a reminder of who was on the list last season –

      1. Laura Dern (Enlightened)
      2. Lena Denham (Girls)
      3. Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
      4. Amy Poehler (Parks & Rec)
      5. Tina Fey (30 Rock)
      6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

      I’m catching hell for my list, but I’ll stick with it – I think it has merit and leans more towards the broadcast side of the shop –

      1. Taylor Schilling (OITNB)
      2. Patricia Heaton (Middle)
      3. Kaly Cuoco (TBBT)
      4. Emmy Rossum (Shameless)
      5. Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
      6. Alyson Hannigan (HIMYM)

      Some new faces, and perhaps a chance for actresses like Cuoco and Hannigan to take a shot at the best actress category instead of the supporting actress category. Frankly, Cuoco and Hannigan are now paid (for this past season for AH) enough each week where they truly are ‘lead’ actresses and can separate themselves from the ‘ensemble’ cast mindset – I think that was the thinking for Jennifer Aniston when she won her Emmy. She’s in every episode, key to each episode, making big-time money for her work, no shame in considering oneself a lead actress – and working 22-24 episodes a season.

      That’s my dream at this point – that Cuoco and Hannigan roll the dice and submit their names as lead actress in comedy and really shake up the status quo of the Fey-Poehler-JLD-Kaling “it’s her turn” mindset. Also, to get actresses on the list who’s shows bring in large audiences like TBBT and HIMYM, and semi-large audiences [M&M and Middle.]

      Good discussions on this page – lots of passion, which is what we want to see. We’ll see how this all shakes out [July].

  26. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I wish we lived in a world where Emmy Rossum could get an Emmy nomination, but let’s be honest, she has no shot in the drama category either. They just don’t really notice Shameless, which is weird, because Joan Cusack gets nominated in the guest category every year for that show. In addition to Emmy winning an Emmy, I would also like to see Julia Louis-Dreyfuss nominated, as she is the queen, Mindy Kaling, Edie Falco, Taylor Schilling, and Lena Dunham. I didn’t care for the last season of Girls, but Lena can still make me laugh. I think the actual six nominated will be JLD, Lena, Edie, Taylor, Amy Poehler, and right now I’m thinking Mindy Kaling might be able to pull off a nomination. I’ve also got news for you guys…I’m pretty sure Amy Schumer submitted herself in the supporting actress category. It’s what she did last year too. Weird, right?

  27. Tran says:

    Lena Dunham (Girls), Anna Faris (Mom), Amy Poehler (Parks and Rec), Julia Louis Dreyfuss (Veep), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) and Malin Akerman (Trophy Wife).

  28. Josh Labron says:

    Amy Schumer is actually submitting in supporting not lead. Yeah, weirdly Amy Schumer from Inside AMY SCHUMER, is submitting supporting