Emmys Circuit: Best Comedy Series



In this Emmys Circuit of one of Emmy’s top prizes, are we poised to see history? History could be made in the form of a history-tying 5th Series Emmy for one show…or in the form of the first streaming TV show to win…or in the form of the very first non-premium cable comedy to win. We shall see…

…and the 2013 Nominees were: 

Modern Family – winner

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory





Last year, Modern Family somewhat surprisingly limped its way to a fourth consecutive Emmy victory for Best Comedy Series, despite losing Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Indeed, we saw 5 of the 2012 nominees return last year, with Louie subbing in for the absent (and graciously absent again this year) Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not since the 2002 and 2003 ceremonies has the entire slate repeated itself, and it’s not happened once since the lineup expanded to six nominees. Just as recently as the 2012 ceremony, three contenders from the previous year were booted in favor of new shows. Though generally, this category has a high retention rate. While Drama Series has comical depth, I see only eight viable contenders for the race for Best Comedy Series.

All 2013 nominees, with the exception of 30 Rock, are eligible to return

The Contenders:


Four-time reigning champ? Check. Won Best Comedy Series against stiff competition in the past and for weak seasons? Check. Had its best season since the early goings? Check. Somehow landed in the zeitgeist in its fifth season? Check. Sans some epic snub, Modern Family is a lock to return.


Freshly crowned Critics’ Choice winner, Netflix’s streaming masterpiece Orange is the New Black aims to become the first streaming series to ever be nominated in Best Comedy Series. I hesitate to call this a lock, but with the new season so fresh in everyone’s minds, the reviews, the “conversation” surrounding it, and a spot open thanks to 30 Rock’s departure, I can’t see it missing.


Reigning Golden-Globe champion Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in a tricky situation when it comes to this category. Typically, “young male” comedies don’t make it into this race, or when there do—like Scrubs—they do so barely. Yet, Brooklyn’s Globe win is good news. Emmys are always drooling for something new to sink their teeth into. But assuming Orange is the New Black takes 30 Rock’s place…what returning show falls out to make room for Andy Samberg and co.?


In the beginning, God created multi-cam comedies.  This ratings behemoth might draw the eye-rolls of many, but it draws tears of laughter from others. Personally, I’m surprised how a show in its seventh season can continue to grow its characters and keep the audience interested. I don’t see the TV Academy kicking network comedies to the curb like they so callously did to network dramas recently. Expect The Big Bang Theory to be the sole representative of “traditional” TV sitcoms.


Last year, Louie became the first non-premium cable comedy nominated for Best Comedy Series. While this show’s fourth season hasn’t drawn as much overwhelming praise as the second and third (are we just used to its greatness now?), I don’t see it going anywhere. Then again, the show wasn’t nominated until its third season and hasn’t exactly won a ton of Emmys. Perhaps it might go the way of Parks and Recreation instead.


I often can’t tell if Julia Louis-Dreyfus is playing the funniest character on TV or if Miss Louis-Dreyfus is the funniest actress on TV. The Seinfeld alum has carried Veep to two consecutive Best Comedy Series nominations. This season had a very big storyline. I can’t see any logical reason why it’d drop out. If anything, it might land in directing or writing finally.


Season one of Girls was the conversation. The second season had “One Man’s Trash,” which ignited discussion boards and water coolers for months afterwards. The third season of Girls had…I don’t know. I hesitate to say that this show’s Emmy prospects live and die on its ability to capture zeitgeist, but I hear so little buzz for it this season. Indeed, it’s not like the show has ever been an Emmy darling…its won 1 Emmy in its two years of eligibility.


When predicting Emmys, there are two things to keep in mind: 1) HBO and 2) prestige comedies that are actually comedies. Just like two years ago when HBO’s Veep and Girls joined Curb Your Enthusiasm to account for three of the six Comedy Series slots, Silicon Valley could pull a shocking nomination. But is it too juvenile for them? More or less juvenile than Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Do they watch it? Tough calls.

Predicted Nominees, In Order Of Nomination Likelihood (NOT winning likelihood):

01. Modern Family

02.Orange is the New Black

03.The Big Bang Theory

04. Veep

05. Louie

06. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

So did I forget anyone? Where am I wrong? Speak to me, Emmy gurus!