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Easiest Emmy prediction: '30 Rock' will win best comedy series -- again

August 19, 2009 |  1:58 pm

"30 Rock" has not only triumphed as Emmy's best comedy series for the last two years, it's never lost and may be unbeatable. Two reasons: it's a shrewdly crafted satire (arguably, it actually deserves to win) and Emmy voters are TV industry insiders who can't resist its devilish take on their own workaday world. You must wonder: at some point, won't voters finally get bored with it winning every year, rebel and pick something else? Reality check: "Frasier" won this slot five years in a row and it wasn't even about the TV biz. It was about the radio biz — in Seattle.

Both of our Emmy seers Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) think, like I do, that "30 Rock" is a shoo-in to prevail again. Below, more of their reasoning and handicapping.

30 rock tina fey

BEST COMEDY SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1.) "30 Rock"
2.) "The Office"
3.) "Entourage"
4.) "How I Met Your Mother"
5.) "Family Guy"
6.) "Flight of the Conchords"
7.) "Weeds"
 
BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Unlike some of the acting categories, I think it's a done deal that "30 Rock" will pick up its third consecutive Emmy in the top comedy race. First and foremost, they aced their episode choices with six of the absolute best and funniest of the season. Secondly, the biggest competition (and previous winner) is "The Office," which needed to be perfect in their episode choices to have a decent shot at a win. They did a great job except for the episode "Golden Ticket," which was just a mediocre selection.

I really don't believe any of the other shows have a realistic chance of winning this category.  Looking back over the past 40 years of the Emmys, only one show has won the comedy series award without having at least one directing or writing nomination (that was "Friends" in 2002, when it was the overwhelming favorite to win anyway). I love statistics when predicting, so for my purposes it effectively eliminates "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Weeds" from consideration since they don't have those other nominations.

A victory by either of the other two nominated series ("Entourage" or "Flight of the Conchords") would be the upset of a lifetime.

Congratulations to Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels and the rest of the "30 Rock" team on another well-deserved win!

BEST COMEDY SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
(Ranked by likelihood to win)
1.) "30 Rock"
2.) "The Office"
3.) "Family Guy"
4.) "How I Met Your Mother"
5.) "Flight of the Conchords"
6.) "Weeds"
7.) "Entourage"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: I think Boomer's theory that a series is not likely to win in this category without directing and writing nominations is a good one. That being said, I have rearranged the list according to how I think each of the series might fare, depending on what I perceive to be their potential core fan base. Remember, with seven nominated series, any one of them would presumably need around 15% of the votes to scrape through with a win. My math is not the best, but you hopefully know what I'm getting at.

I think that it is safe to say that "30 Rock" will win this again. With a 22 nominations (a record for a comedy series), it is the industry favorite, probably the hottest comedy on TV and does not look like it can be beaten, regardless of what episodes it submitted to voters. In its favor is that it has submitted six of its very best ones, which will more than likely propel it to a repeat victory.

"The Office" also submitted well, and has nominations in a wide variety of categories to suggest that it has fans in various branches of the academy, so it looks to be the only real spoiler in this group.

Given that we like to talk about Emmy history, I'd like to make one comparison, even though it is a bit of a stretch. I remember quite vividly, way back in 1994, when "NYPD Blue" had 27 nominations (still a record to this day) and was the hottest series on TV. It had all five of the writing nominations and four of the 5 directing nominations (the lone fifth nominee was the pilot episode of "Lois & Clark"). It was poised to be crowned the best drama series. At the end of another marathon ceremony, John Lithgow walks out on stage, reads out the nominated series, opens the envelope, raises his eyebrows and exclaims "Picket Fences," which had only 10 nominations, eight of which were in acting categories (plus one for costuming and its series nod).

So, although we are talking about comedy here, it must be remembered that every once in a while, the Emmys like to throw up anomalies for us Emmy fans to stew over for the next 15 years. There could be any number of reasons as to why this happened, and it probably boiled down to episode selection, but keep in mind, the overwhelming favorite is sometimes skunked in the top category. Probably a one-off, but isn't it funny how similar this scenario is to "30 Rock" this year?

Anyway, back to this category. Of the other five also-rans, I want to be a little daring, and suggest that "Family Guy," with the viral campaign behind it, its recent publicity with the controversial table-read episode, and the fact that it will have a strong fan base of support that will want to see it overcome the odds, should have at least a glimmer of hope that it might win, thus being the Emmy shocker of the decade.

Both "How I Met Your Mother" and especially "Flight of the Conchords" also presumably have that passionate support that also at least keeps them in the race. The final two shows should probably be happy that they at least made it to a nomination, because they don't appear to have any strong enough argument in their favor to warrant even a fan and optimist like me at least giving them a fighting chance.

RELATED POSTS

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Dueling Emmy predix: Alec Baldwin vs. Steve Carell

Best supporting comedy actor: Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson or Jon Cryer?

Emmy battle over best supporting comedy actress: Kristin Chenoweth vs. Amy Poehler

Emmy predix: Steve Martin or Beau Bridges to win best guest actor in a comedy?

Emmy predix: Which episode of '30 Rock' will win best comedy writing?

Emmy predix: 'The Office' will win best comedy directing

Why try to fix the Emmycast? It's not broken!

Strategic DVD releases at Emmy time: 'Dexter,' 'Flight of the Conchords,' 'House M.D.,' 'Mad Men' and . . .

Photo: NBC 

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