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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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Comments

marcus80 i dont know if you'll see this, but bored to death has been cancelled :(. it was amazing.

Doesn't anybody watch "Bored to Death"?! Such a fantastic cast and great idea for a show. I'll admit the first couple episodes were a little slow, but the last four episodes were terrific. I really hope this show catches on!

"Party Down" is the best comedy on television. It brought Rob Thomas back to television with an original and exceptional series. It has the best guest casting I've ever seen on a half hour show, really giving its guest stars - the party goers - great parts to shine in. Steven Weber, Molly Parker, and of course Kristen Bell were just three of the fantastic guest stars. Kristen Bell and her completely tanking movie career had her best role since Veronica as "Uda".

I feel Glee-ky...

Thanks to Glee to finally break the glut of the same nominees, same winners. Where does Castle fit in? That deserves some much emmy love

It was surprising how bitter the establishment/mainstream critics were that Glee won both the Golden Globe and SAG awards. They were very quick to chalk it up to the phenomenon of "splitting" of voters rather than attribute it to the freshness and the wit of Ryan Murphy's production, or of the great talent of the young performers on the show. Granted, the Golden Globes are awarded by the HFP and the SAGs are awarded by actors, so we'll see how the members of the Television Academy will vote (there's not always agreement between the Globes and the Oscars, for instance). My hunch is that Glee has a great chance of prevailing as the best comedy series (provided it can keep up the quality in the second part of season that's about to begin), because it represents such a departure for the formula--it's not just another bloody sitcom; it's innovative, creative, hilarious, heartbreaking, and charming. If not, I would love to see Modern Family get the nod, for the same reason: on the surface, it looks like a sitcom, but the layers of subtle irony are truly masterful--it deserves recognition.

The Office is my favorite show ever, but this season is simply the weakest of its six season run. I'll give it credit for when it has a good episode, it tends to be very good (Niagara, Secret Santa) but still poor in comparison to previous years. It will probably still be nominated for its usual areas (except maybe for Rainn Wilson, who hasn't had as good of episodes)and may even see some love for John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer.

Wow that Entourage, Family Guy and Two and a half men have a bigger shot of being nominated than Parks and Recreation, Community and Californication is depressing.

Parks and Recreation is the best comedy on television right now and its sad that its been completely ignored because of its slow start.


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