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Can 'Glee' or 'Modern Family' beat '30 Rock' at the Emmys?

March 18, 2010 |  2:54 pm

It's only March, but already our feisty Emmy gurus Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria (AwardsHeaven.net) are coming out swinging with early batches of predictions: nominees for best TV comedy series.

Boomer and Rob agree on five of the six nominees in that Emmy category: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Glee," "Modern Family," "The Office" and "30 Rock." Rob thinks "Entourage" will be in that sixth spot. Boomer's betting on "The Big Bang Theory." Neither has the guts at this point to predict if any TV show can crush undefeated three-time champ "30 Rock," but Boomer and Rob both provide in-depth, lively analysis of likely nominees.

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BEST COMEDY SERIES: ROB'S PREDIX
FRONT-RUNNERS
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Entourage"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

POSSIBLE
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Family Guy"
"How I Met Your Mother"
"Nurse Jackie"
"Weeds"

ROB'S COMMENTARY: When deciding on which shows are out in front for Emmy's top comedy series category this early in the game, I  look at past nominees, buzz and ratings, and the choices made by the two primary "Emmy precursors": the Golden Globe Awards and the SAG Awards.

There are six series in the running out of the seven nominated last year for Best Comedy Series: "Entourage," "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Weeds."

Four comedies made it into the top categories at this year's SAG Awards and Golden Globe Awards: awards favorites 30 Rock and "The Office," as well the hottest new shows of the season, "Glee" and "Modern Family." The fifth choice for the HFPA was "Entourage," while the SAG voters went with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (which was not eligible for Emmy consideration last year).

So that gives us nine series to work with, and I would argue that CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" plus freshman cable series "Hung" and "Nurse Jackie" are also in the running, which gives us 12 comedies to choose from. (I don't think that, with this kind of competition, the likes of "Californication," "United States of Tara," "Community," "Parks & Recreation" and "Cougar Town" have a realistic shot this year.)

It's safe to say that "30 Rock" is the category front-runner at this point. And even though it is having a relatively weak season, "The Office" will also make another appearance. I am confident that the two breakout new comedies, "Glee" and "Modern Family," will be nominated as well (and if either of them are snubbed, expect howls of protest, the loudest emanating from me).

The "Seinfeld" reunion on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will prove hard to resist for Emmy voters, and so that will likely be in the list. It also appears that, regardless how weak "Entourage" appears to be each season, it makes the cut, and this year will likely be no different.

That is six nominees, which gives us a white hot race for the seventh spot (if there is to be one) with the likes of last year's breakthrough nominees "Family Guy" and "How I Met Your Mother," CBS geekfest "The Big Bang Theory," and probably Showtime's "Weeds" or "Nurse Jackie" the most likely contenders for that final spot.


BEST COMEDY SERIES: BOOMER'S PREDIX
FRONT-RUNNERS
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"The Office"
"30 Rock"

POSSIBLE
"Entourage"
"Family Guy"
"How I Met Your Mother"
"Nurse Jackie"
"Two and a Half Men"
"Weeds"

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: Even though it is only mid-March, one thing is clear in the comedy categories.  There are several new series with excellent reviews and great ratings ready to challenge the returning shows and performers. The 2009 race came up with seven programs in contention for the big prize, but only one of them is no longer eligible ("Flight of the Conchords"). Assuming the category doesn't have any ties and has an expected six nominees, that means these new highly regarded shows will have to kick out some veterans to make some room.

Certainly, three-time champion "30 Rock" and "The Office" will continue to hold their slots.  After that, I am going to surprise most people by knocking off the remaining nominees from last year ("Entourage," "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Weeds") — some because of weak seasons and some simply because of age.

Two new shows are almost guaranteed to contend for the first time — "Glee" (reigning Globe and SAG champion) and "Modern Family" (the best-reviewed comedy in many years).  With such a buzzed "Seinfeld" reunion, I think "Curb Your Enthusiasm" returns to the category after taking a year off. 

The one remaining slot will go to a CBS comedy in its third (and most popular) season yet:  "The Big Bang Theory." That is not too far-fetched since other CBS comedies like "Two and a Half Men" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" also received their first comedy series nominations in their third seasons as well.

Photos: 20th Century Fox TV Productions

http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2010/03/daytime-emmys-will-go-on-and-with-a-new-voting-system.html

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