Variety Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable Discussions

5 Jun

The pre-Emmy nomination roundtables are in full flow and Variety has produced supporting and lead actor/actress discussions in both comedy and drama categories. These panels are all around 15 minutes long and feature actors from both cable and network shows.

comedy lead

Today I am going to focus on the comedy actresses (plus it’s the unofficial Ellie Kemper week here at TV Ate My Wardrobe) and the shows these are the shows that are represented; New GirlEnlightenedVeepSuburgatoryThe Office, The Mindy Project, 2 Broke GirlsThe Big Bang Theory and Cougar Town.  Network and cable shows feature, along with multi-cam and single camera shows. Some of the participants are also involved behind the scenes as Zooey Deschanel is a producer on New Girl and both Laura Dern and Mindy Kaling are creators of their respective shows. Mindy Kaling is also in the writers’ room on The Mindy Project and she mentions that this helps the show be a little more feminist.

comedy actress

The difference in a cable show versus a network one is a lot to do with format and time restrictions; network sitcoms have to be the same length every week, whereas on cable the time can vary by a substantial amount. Network shows have a set commercial break pattern which could stifle the creative element, but all of the shows featured have found a way to work within these parameters.

When they shot Enlightened (which HBO has sadly cancelled) they had all of the scripts for the season written ahead of time, a show like New Girl adds things at the last minute and as both Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone mention their scripts often change from the table read to the day of shooting. Simone adds that she is constantly surprised by where they take the characters as they aren’t usually given advance notice of their season long arc. This organic approach has really helped a show like New Girl particularly with the big ‘will they/won’t they’ story in season 2. It isn’t just New Girl that has this style as Busy Philipps’ comments about Cougar Town sound like they share a similar approach. For the shows that are filmed in front of a live studio audience such as The Big Bang Theory it sounds like it needs to be more structured that this. On Veep they workshop the episode ahead of time as this is a process that creator Armando Innaucci favors and the cable format aids this. There is also a discussion about Netflix and how this digital model is even more flexible than both cable and network.

Watch both panels below and for more of Variety’s Emmy roundtable season head here.


3 Responses to “Variety Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable Discussions”


  1. Chris Messina and the Art of a Strong Supporting Role | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 6, 2013

    […] that these supporting parts are less worthy. As this Hollywood Reporter piece shows (and the supporting comedy actress panel from yesterday) sometimes these supporting characters are more beloved than the title […]

  2. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 7, 2013

    […] is the last we have seen of Kemper talking about her role on this show as she takes part in both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy discussions. Kemper talks about her experience coming […]

  3. Amazing Outfits Aplenty at the Variety Emmy Studio | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 31, 2015

    […] an annual Emmy studio and while they have favored panels in the past (and they might still go down this route) over the weekend a variety of comedy and drama stars from […]

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