Will ‘Arrested Development’ beat ‘Modern Family’ for Best Comedy Series at Emmys?

Are Emmy voters ready to elevate reigning three-time Best Comedy Series champ “Modern Family” into the company of four-time winners “All in the Family,” “Cheers,” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show”?

If not, will the long-awaited return of “Arrested Development” be rewarded with a bookend to the top Emmy it won back in 2004? 

What nominations does “Arrested Development” need to reap on July 18 to be considered the most viable alternative to “Modern Family” which has leading odds of 12/5? A writing or directing bid is a virtual necessity: in the past four decades “Friends” (2002) was the only laffer to win the top prize without one of those.

When “AD” won Best Comedy Series for its freshman season, it had only seven nominations in all. It also won Emmys for directing (Anthony Russo and Joe Russo) and writing (Mitchell Hurwitz) and contended for supporting actor (Jeffrey Tambor). 

In 2005, it lost its Comedy Series title to “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Of its 11 bids overall, three were for acting — Tambor, lead Jason Bateman and supporting actress Jessica Walter — and another three were for writing. 

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The third and final season in 2006 earned only four Emmy nominations, including Comedy Series, as well as for writing, supporting actor Will Arnett and editing. 

This year, all 15 episodes of “Arrested Development” were available for streaming on NetFlix on May 26. Emmy voters were sent DVDs of some episodes and given access to the website to view the rest.

How will voters react to this new way of seeing a show? Will they reward or penalize this past Emmy favorite for making a comeback, albeit not on a TV network? 

Gold Derby predicts that “Arrested Development” will contend again for Comedy Series, but it is only in fifth place with odds of 8/1. Bateman should reap another Comedy Actor bid and is in the fourth position with odds of 9 to 1. Both Arnett (6/1) and Tambor (16/1) are favored to return in the race for Comedy Supporting Actor in third and sixth positions respectively while Walter is in the third spot for Comedy Supporting Actress at 9/2. It is not good news for Portia de Rossi, who is back in 11th place at 100/1 for Comedy Actress

WATCH: Q&As with Jason Bateman & Jessica Walter

While the show has always attracted well-known guest stars, none of them have ever been nominated. Of the many famous faces submitted this year, Henry Winkler is in the 10th position for Comedy Guest Actor while Liza Minnelli sits in seventh for Comedy Guest Actress.

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Nomination totals for “Modern Family” will also be something to watch in determining whether it is vulnerable. The freshman season of the show won six of its 14 nominations, including supporting actor Eric Stonestreet and writing. In 2011, it prevailed with five of its 17 bids, including supporting actor Ty Burrell, supporting actress Julie Bowen, directing, and writing. Last year, it dropped back to 14 nominations but still managed five wins (Stonestreet and Bowen again plus directing among them). However, it was not even nominated for writing. 

For this year, we predict five of the six adult co-stars on the program will return as nominees with only Jesse Tyler Ferguson snubbed. In the Best Supporting Actor race, Stonestreet is first at 14/5, followed by Burrell at 3/1, and Ed O’Neill in fourth place at 10/1. Ferguson is listed in seventh at 25/1. For Best Supporting Actress, Bowen is perched in first place at 12/5, and Sofia Vergara is safely in second at 9/2.

What show do you think will win Comedy Series? Make your predictions below. 

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