Here’s the latest installment of my series looking at this year’s competitors for the Emmy Awards. Today, it’s the big shows vying for the Outstanding Comedy Series trophy. 30 Rock has won it the past 3 years, but I smell an upset coming…
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
Glee: This unstoppable phenomenon is riding high with big ratings, Madonna tributes and Golden Globe and SAG Award wins. I think it has the buzz, the creative cache and a great mix of heart, humor and wit with an acerbic edge which all adds up to the strongest shot at stealing the title this year.
Modern Family: However, in this corner is the other new comedy that has great buzz, incredible reviews and non-stop hilarity. The first great family sitcom to come around in years may also be ABC’s first shot at winning this awards since the early 90’s and Roseanne.
30 Rock: After three-peating last year, this train shows no signs of slowing down. The jewel in NBC’s tarnished crown (sorry Office) still has more jokes per minute than any other show on TV and the heat of its multiple award-winning stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Look for it to compete with Glee for the most overall nominations for a comedy this year.
The Office: After winning the prize in 2006, the show has been a bridesmaid the last 3 years. I doubt that will change but who can be sad with a 5th consecutive nomination, right?
The Big Bang Theory: Ready to grab its first series nomination, Bang continues to grow in the ratings and remains a critic’s favorite. Revenge of the nerds indeed.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David can’t be ruled out at the Emmys. After 5 nominations, Curb is still a threat, especially coming off a season that featured the lauded Seinfeld reunion storyline.
Likely Contenders Battling for the last spot~
Nurse Jackie: another freshman show with a dark edge, Jackie is a breath of fresh air as it tackles a complicated woman juggling her home and work life and an addiction to pills. The show mixes humor, tragedy and absurdity beautifully, but may suffer from people thinking it’s just the “Edie Falco” show.
Weeds: Everyone’s favorite show about a pot dealing mom, Weeds was the jewel in Showtime’s comedy crown til those pesky ladies Jackie and Tara showed up. Will they grab a nomination for the second year in a row?
Two and a Half Men: despite Charlie Sheens personal troubles, Men has been nominated for the big prize 3 times and could still contend this year. It is the highest rated comedy on television after all.
How I Met Your Mother: Grabbing it’s first series nom last year, Mother continues to get strong ratings despite CBS often treating it like a bad stepchild. The first true successor to the Friends throne could find itself back in the race again after another creatively brisk year. It also has added advantage of Neil Patrick Harris!
Ugly Betty: previously nominated in its first season, Betty fell out of favor with the academy soon after. Instead its actors, costumers, and production department continued to garner nominations. Will their final creatively rejuvenated season put this deserving and already sorely missed gem back in Emmy’s good graces?
Entourage: after 4 comedy series nominations and no wins, will HBO’s Entourage still be in the game this year? I wouldn’t count it out. The biz loves satires about the biz. However, it looks like this year the boys may finally be out of luck. (And on a personal note, the show is just not funny. Bam, I said it!)
Cougar Town: A show whose name confuses too many viewers, Town has grown into a wonderful ensemble with a fiercely funny Courtney Cox Arquette leading the way. If people will give the show a shot, they’d realize it has all the brilliance of its creators work on the early years of Scrubs.
Parks and Recreation: the most improved show on TV this season, Parks is quickly rivaling 30 Rock for NBC’s best sitcom. Amy Poehler leads a cracker jack ensemble that deserves more attention and kudos by the second.
Family Guy: this animated Emmy winner shocked the industry by landing in the running for Best Comedy Series last year. However, the buzz has faded and I think it may be returning to the “Animated” category in the future…
On the ballot but not gonna happen: Better Off Ted, Scrubs, New Adventures of Old Christine, The Middle, Hung, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Chuck, United States of Tara, Community, Party Down, Desperate Housewives.
~Now, here’s how I’d rank my top 10 favorites from this list…
2. Modern Family
3. 30 Rock
4. Ugly Betty
5. Nurse Jackie
6. Parks and Recreation
7. The Office
8. Cougar Town
9. The New Adventures of Old Christine
10. Better Off Ted
~And finally these are the big 7 contenders I think will actually land the nominations for Best Comedy Series:
30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glee, Modern Family, Nurse Jackie, The Office
(I’d say How I Met Your Mother and Weeds are the most likely to usurp a spot)