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Ricky Gervais, 'Derek'
Nomination Status: If Netflix can make the push, Ricky Gervais has fans in the TV Academy.
In His Favor: A winner in this category in 2007 for "Extras," Ricky Gervais has one of the odder resumes of Emmy nominations going, with nods for writing and directing and acting for "Extras," writing for the "Office" Christmas Special, producing-in-name-only for the American "Office," nods as part of two Golden Globe telecasts, a couple nods for a comedy special and one animation nomination for "The Ricky Gervais Show." That's a lot of nominations for myriad projects and Gervais' "Derek" performance is probably his most ACTED performance to date, complete with hairpiece, slouched posture, varied voice and intonation and an intriguing mixture of sincerity (90%) and mockery (10%). If you believe the sincerity is closer to 100 percent, it's possible you love "Derek." If you believe the mockery is closer to 60 or 70 percent, you probably hate "Derek" with a fiery passion. A preponderance of Emmy voters in the former camp gets Gervais a nomination. A preponderance of Emmy voters in the latter camp politely ignores it. "Arrested Development" was a brand name and Netflix *did* get Jason Bateman a nomination in this category last year and Ricky is a brand name even if "Derek" is not.
Working Against Him: "Derek" is not a comedy for everybody. Let's say that. And Netflix is going to be putting most of its emphasis on "Orange Is The New Black" for comedy, even if "Orange" offers no contenders for this category.