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What's behind 'Modern Family's' surprising Emmy ploy?

April 13, 2010 |  2:17 pm

The news that the entire cast of "Modern Family" plans to enter the Emmy race in the supporting categories is "probably a good move by all of them," says our forums moderator Chris "Boomer" Beachum. "Ed O'Neill and Ty Burrell have excellent shots at their category. One of the ladies might make it as well (probably Sofia Vergara)."

Modern family Emmy TV news

However, the decision is an odd one for Ed O'Neill, who is obviously the lead star. Deadline Hollywood reports, "Sources said O'Neill is making the surprising move because he felt that nobody is bigger than anybody else in a show that is evolving into a true ensemble hit. When shows start out anchored by stars like O'Neill and then evolve into ensembles, egos often get bruised."

Nonsense. I think the real reason is obvious. O'Neill has agreed to drop down to supporting at the Emmys after he failed to be nominated in the lead races at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards this year. The Globes snub must've been stinging, especially since "Modern Family" was nominated for best comedy. (It lost to "Glee" at both the Globes and SAG.) The last time O'Neill starred in a hit comedy series nominated at the Globes ("Married … with Children"), he was occasionally nommed for lead actor as well.

Now heading into the Emmys, O'Neill knows he may be cursed. He's never been nominated for any Emmy in any category. Worse, "Married … with Children" was nominated for a few lowly tech Emmys eons ago but never nabbed a bid in a key category. And it never won. In fact, "Married … with Children" is one of the longest-running TV series (11 years) never to win a single Emmy.

However, most of our forum posters like O'Neill's Emmy ploy. "I'm so very glad all the cast members are submitting in supporting," says MissyGal. "Now some of them might actually have a real chance at a nomination and even a win."

BazookaJoe warns, "I hope he doesn't hurt anyone else's chances." See more of our posters' reax here.

Photo: Ed O'Neill, left, and Benjamin Bratt in "Modern Family." Credit: ABC.


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The comments to this entry are closed.


SAG doesn't have Best Supporting Actor awards for television. The Golden Globes Supporting Actor category includes all forms of television: comedy, drama, made-for-tv movie, and mini-series. So your argument is flawed. If you're going to promote yourself as having the inside track on anything, you should probably know the territory.

The emmys should have a best ensemble award. The fact is each one of these 6 actors brings so much to their role. Even the children especially the kid who plays Manny are great. All of them deserve an award.

Yeah, I have to agree with Daniel. Ed O'Neill isn't the lead; it's a true ensemble piece, with the time divided pretty equally.

If anybody (or bodies) are leads, it's Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.

"obviously the lead star" is a bit much for sure.

You characterize Ed O'Neill as "obviously the lead star," but I wonder what makes you say so. I don't think it can be the screentime. In each episode, storylines are divided pretty evenly among the actors; it would be hard to call any of them the show's lead. It's a situation similar to "Friends," another show divided pretty evenly six ways. Either everybody is supporting, or everybody's a lead.

At best, O'Neill is a borderline case. He could reasonably compete as a lead, but his supporting placement is reasonable too. He could have gone either way.



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