Emmys
emmy lead actress comedy

Emmys 2016: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series — Our 8 Dream Nominees!

We’re less than a week away from official 2016 Emmy nominating season, and that fact fills us with one part unbridled excitement, and one part nameless dread.

With 2015 Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nominees Lisa Kudrow, Amy Poehler and Edie Falco ineligible this time around, there’s a good chance we’ll see some real change in the category. But will the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences give us change we can believe in?

It’s a brutally deep field this year — TVLine’s own hotly contentious email thread on the subject yielded no fewer than two dozen worthy candidates! — which is why we only narrowed our list down to a not-entirely-realistic eight dream nominees. (That said, the Supporting Actress in a Comedy race actually had eight women in the running in 2015, so our hopes for an octet isn’t totally without precedent.)

For the record, 2016 Emmy nominations will be made from June 13-27, and announced July 14. The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is slated to air Sunday, Sept. 18 on ABC.

Check out the gallery below — or click here for direct access — to see our picks, then tell us if they warrant a “Kween!,” a “Blerrrg!” or a cosmic knuckle sandwich!

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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37 Comments
  1. Sarah says:

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus will win, and rightfully so. I would love to see Gina Rodriguez get a nom.

    • Hellas13 says:

      JLD is the only playing in a comedy (meaning a work that is humorous)!!!

      • Jamie says:

        Lmao are you her mom? Or one of the her producers? Because you just keep hopping around these articles, talking about how it’s the only comedy. We get it, you’re obsessed with Veep.

        • Hellas13 says:

          Ummm no. I’m not obsessed with Veep. My point is that a comedy by definition is a humorous show. From the list presented the ONLY humorous show is Veep.

          • Jamie says:

            In your opinion. Crap tons of people find the other shows humorous, and humor is rather subjective. I know quite a few people who don’t think Veep is funny at all. But that’s their opinion.

  2. Lyn says:

    I don’t watch any of those shows and don’t plan to start, so none of the above.

  3. Brandy says:

    Gina Rodriguez deserves to be nominated and win not Rachel Bloom

  4. I’m surprised and disappointed that there was no mention of at least a nom for Mindy Kaling

  5. abz says:

    I hope it’s not Julia Louis-Dreyfuss again. Enough already. It’s just like when the had the endless Modern Family nods/wins a few years ago
    Yes to Rachel Bloom and Ellie Kemper. Both hilarious!!
    I seriously hope Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does okay in its new Friday slot. I want it to continue. It was such a delight when I bingewatched it a few weeks ago.

    • Jorf says:

      But c’mon, Julia Louis Dreyfus is a comedy god and continues to be hysterical and brilliant week after week. In contrast, Modern Family became less and less funny as seasons went by.

      • abz says:

        I’m not saying she isn’t funny. It’s just that she’s already won what the last four years in the category? Does she really need a fifth? There are many great actresses out there doing some really great comedic work. I’d really love to see them get a shot.
        In someone else’s hands, who knows how Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would have turned out, but Rachel Bloom is absolutely hilarious (ditto to Donna Lynne Champlin and Santino Fontana).
        Then there’s Ellie Kemper and I’d even add Anna Faris for Mom too (in addition to Allison Janney of course who is more of a Co-Lead Actress than a Supporting Actress I think). The have both been so funny while bringing in real emotion to the role and blending the darkness/pain with humor. Mom is such an interesting and unique comedy. I love that it isn’t just stupid jokes all the time (e.g., 2 Broke Girls) and it’s actually serious with real stories and real emotions driving the characters. Same goes for Kimmy Schmidt this past season with dealing with the bunker PTSD).

      • The Beach says:

        I wish the Emmys did a comedy cast award like the Golden Globes do because the entire Veep cast is exceptional and the writing is top notch. The zingers come so fast it’s hard to catch all of them.

  6. Taylor says:

    No Gina Rodriguez?!

  7. webly3 says:

    The exclusion of Lady Dynamite in Comedy Series and for Lead Actress is sad. But, I do like these noms. There are so many great leading women in comedy. On my list, I have

    Maria Bamford – Lady Dynamite
    Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
    Aya Cash – You’re the Worst
    Ilana Glazer – Broad City
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
    Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

    I do watch Girls, Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish, and Playing House. This race is super hard to decide. My dream noms might change to accommodate for so many great performances.

  8. LT says:

    Rachel Bloom all the way!

  9. Lala says:

    No to Rachel Bloom or Gina Rodr…just no!

  10. A. D. says:

    Horrible choices!

  11. Nerogrid says:

    Seriously, where is Gillian Jacobs for LOVE?

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Natalie Zea needs to be on this list. The Detour is the best comedy on TV at the moment and Zea delivers every time she’s on screen.

  13. Spence says:

    Yes to Ellie Kemper!! Her lack of nomination for season one was ok in my mind, but her work in season 2 was stellar and deserving of not only the nomination, but the win as well. Tracee and Constance are also amazing and would love to see them nominated!

    • HAP says:

      I thought she got robbed last year when two of her supporting cast got nominations, as well as the show. Geez. She IS Kimmy Schmidt. Love her.

  14. ToyCannon says:

    My Nominees
    — Rachel Bloom
    — Anna Faris
    — Ellie Kemper
    — Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    — Martha Plimpton
    — Gina Rodriguez
    — Constance Wu

  15. kmw says:

    I agree with most of this list and I definitely think Julia Louis Dreyfus will be the winner if she is nominated

  16. Bryan says:

    – Gina Rodriguez
    -Lena Dunham
    -Rachel Bloom
    -JLD
    -Kristen Schaal (her Oprah moment in this season’s XMAS episode of The Last Man on Earth
    was the best)
    -Constance Wu
    -Ellie Kemper

  17. Steven says:

    Rachel Bloom
    Gina Rodriguez
    Wendi McLendon-Covey
    Constance Wu
    Martha Plimpton
    Aya Cash
    Sutton Foster

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  19. The Watcher says:

    If the award is actually for the best acting by a Female Lead… Constance Wu

    If the award is instead going to whoever the Female Lead of your Favorite Show is… then unfairly she won’t get the golden idol.

  20. Will says:

    ew Lena Dunham? This list just lost any interest or agreement I had…

  21. Juan says:

    How dare you not put Gina Rodriguez in here. She has been beyond amazing. I also loved Constance Wu, Trace Ellis Ross and Rachel Bloom but I’m so disappointed that Gina isn’t on here.

  22. flutiefan says:

    Constance Wu NEEDS a nomination, at the very least.

  23. HAP says:

    Tough field. Can’t help but believe that JLD will get the win again. But, that said, Ellie Kemper deserves because she is Kimmy and did not get a nom last year. And, explain to me how you can put up Ilana Glazer without Abbi Jacobson. I am so in love with Abbi.

  24. Col says:

    Wendi McLendon-Covey should be nominated. The Goldbergs is hilarious!!