In the first Emmy Awards showdown between freshman shows “Glee” and “Modern Family” last year, the ABC family laffer prevailed over the mega-buzzed Fox musical comedy. Since then, “Glee” has won another Golden Globe while “Modern Family” bagged the ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Can either win the next Emmy for Best Comedy Series?
Two other shows will certainly return as nominees: three-time champ “30 Rock” (celebrating its 100th episode this season) and 2006 winner “The Office” (for Steve Carell‘s final season). While Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” made the field last year and won an Emmy for leading actress Edie Falco, a disappointing second season might stop it from reaping a repeat bid. And last year’s nominee “Curb Your Enthusiasm” won’t be back because it had no new episodes this past season.
That means there might be two open slots on the list of six nominees.The best chances among the new comedies belong to “Hot in Cleveland” (the first TV Land scripted series with small screen vets Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White), “The Big C” (Showtime dramedy with three-time Emmy winner Laura Linney), “Raising Hope” (small town family show created by Emmy winner Greg Garcia), “Louie” (FX series produced, directed, written, and starring stand-up comedian Louis C.K.), “Episodes” (Showtime satire with Matt LeBlanc), and “Mike and Molly” (CBS show with breakout film star Melissa McCarthy of “Bridesmaids”).
A few previous series nominees would like to make a comeback this year, including 2009 contenders “Family Guy” (making another run away from animation), “How I Met Your Mother” (with perennial nominee Neil Patrick Harris), and “Weeds” (starring three-time nominee Mary-Louise Parker) plus HBO’s “Entourage” (nominated in 2007, 2008, and 2009). One previous nominee that won’t be back in the race is “Two and a Half Men,” which was not submitted on the Emmy ballot.
Several returning comedies have not been nominated for the big prize but could break through this year: “The Big Bang Theory” (starring last year’s lead acting winner Jim Parsons), “Parks and Recreation” (with last year’s acting nominee Amy Poehler who is also a producer and writer for the show), “The Middle” (starring two-time Emmy champ Patricia Heaton), “Community” (which received no nominations in 2010) and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (featuring Emmy vet Danny DeVito).
Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil and senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria offer up their predictions and discuss the possibilities in this video slugfest. They are among the experts and editors who have ranked the potential nominees in this race.
Watch our three experts slug it out over these other cliffhanger races:
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