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Tina Fey, America Ferrera, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Christina Applegate will be nominated for best comedy actress

July 16, 2008 |  1:21 pm

Our Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria predict that four of last year's five finalists for best comedy actress will return to the race when nominations are announced on Thursday morning: winner America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") and 2006 champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") as well as Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds"). Bumped from their lists is 2005 winner Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") in favor of Christina Applegate of freshman hit "Samantha Who?"

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They do not see a nod for the other newcomer, Anna Friel of "Pushing Daisies," nor nominations for either of the other "Desperate Housewives" –- one-time nominee Marcia Cross and never-nominated Eva Longoria Parker -- who landed in the list of Top 10 semifinalists. (Somewhere snubbed Teri Hatcher must be smiling at this prospect!) And sassy Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Program") will have to be content with her jaw-dropping inclusion in this initial round of voting. The reason for that, I think, is the monotone, clueless style of her comic performances — they're fun to watch, but not emotionally flashy enough for Emmy voters.

To find the final five nominees, Rob and Boomer follow the actual voting process. First, they predict the order of the semifinalists as determined by the popular vote by the TV academy's actors' branch.

Here's how Boomer thinks the popular vote tallied — 1.) Tina Fey 2.) America Ferrera 3.) Mary-Louise Parker 4.) Christina Applegate 5.) 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Anna Friel 9.) Eva Longoria Parker 10.) Sarah Silverman

How Rob ranks the popular vote outcome — 1.) Tina Fey 2.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 3.) America Ferrera 4.) Mary-Louise Parker 5.) Anna Friel 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Eva Longoria Parker 9.) Christina Applegate 10.) Sarah Silverman

Then they predict how the panel judges scored the sample episode entries.

Here's how Boomer ranks the judges' views of the episodes — 1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 2.) Tina Fey 3.) Christina Applegate 4.) America Ferrera 5.) Marcia Cross 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Mary-Louise Parker 8.) Anna Friel 9.) Eva Longoria Parker 10.) Sarah Silverman

How Rob thinks the judges ranked episode entries — 1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus 2.) Tina Fey 3.) Christina Applegate 4.) America Ferrera 5.) Mary-Louise Parker 6.) Felicity Huffman 7.) Marcia Cross 8.) Eva Longoria Parker 9.) Anna Friel 10.) Sarah Silverman

They combine these two results on a 50-50 basis, just like the accountants do, to determine the final ranking of the nominees. The lower the score the higher the chance of being nominated.

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Top five = nominees)
1.) Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day") — 3 points
2.) America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court") — 6 points
2.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One & a Half Men") — 6 points
4.) Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ("The Restraining Order") — 7 points
5.) Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman") — 10 points
6.) Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know") — 12 points
7.) Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don't Be Scared") — 15 points
7.) Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes") — 15 points
9.) Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets") — 16 points
10.) Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings") — 20 points

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS: ROB'S PREDIX
(Top five = nominees)
1.) Tina Fey, "30 Rock" ("Sandwich Day") — 3 points
1.) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" ("One & a Half Men") — 3 points
3.) America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" ("Odor in the Court") — 7 points
4.) Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds" ("Bill Sussman") — 9 points
5.) Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?" ("The Restraining Order") — 12 points
6.) Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now I Know, Don't Be Scared") — 12 points
7.) Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives" ("Now You Know") — 14 points
7.) Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies" ("Bitter Sweets") — 14 points
9.) Eva Longoria Parker, "Desperate Housewives" ("In Buddy's Eyes") — 16 points
10.) Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program" ("Bored of the Rings") — 20 points

Rob's commentary: Tina Fey will benefit greatly from a strong popular vote and from choosing very wisely with her episode, which will have likely garnered quite a few laughs form the panel voters. Similarly, I think Emmy fave Louis-Dreyfus is in much the same position. Ferrera and Parker will score high enough votes to make it through, and then it is a question of exactly how popular "Samantha Who?" actually is –- at this stage, my gut feeling is that Applegate is in, and if there’s a tie, then Huffman is close behind. It is a shame that Silverman’s popular vote would have been on the lower end, which will not help her in making that historic bid in this category.

(Photo: ATAS)

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