Can you believe that Fox, which has been telecasting for nearly three decades, has only produced two Emmy-winning Best Comedy Series — “Arrested Development” (2004) and “Ally McBeal” (1999) — and a single Best Drama Series — “24” (2006)?
Such a low tally must give Fox execs pause. Do they worry that their shows just aren’t as good as those airing on the other Big Four networks? Has Fox never truly been forgiven for its silly late-1990s/early-2000s identity crisis when its roster was filled with “When Animals Attack!” and “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?”
Or is the network — gasp! — cursed? (In which case, where are Agents Mulder and Scully when we need them?)
Well, guess what, Fox execs? You have a serious chance this year of making a name for yourself in the Best Comedy Series category in the form of hip, young-skewing “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The bumbling officers of the 99th Precinct may actually help break your Emmy curse!
At first glance, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” seems to have a lot going for it. Golden Globe wins for Best TV Comedy Series and Best TV Comedy Actor? Check. Airing in the coveted post-Super Bowl time period? Check. Talented cast including Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher and Terry Crews? Check.
However, as we all know, the Emmys love rewarding the same winners over and over again in the top categories, making it especially difficult for new shows and stars to break through on their first go-around.
In fact, in the past 20 years of Best Comedy Series winners, only four of those went to first-season shows: five-time record holder “Frasier” (NBC) in 1994, the aforementioned “Arrested Development” in 2004, thrice-winning “30 Rock” (NBC) in 2007 and reigning four-time champ “Modern Family” (ABC) in 2010.
Fox’s two previous wins for Best Comedy Series means that it by far has the fewest Emmys of the Big Four networks since the TV academy introduced this category in 1952. Of course, Fox wasn’t launched until October 1986, which helps explain that low number.
NBC is the ultimate champ with 26 winning laffers over the decades, followed by CBS with 22 and ABC in third place with nine. HBO’s “Sex and the City” (2001) is still the only non-network show to win Best Comedy Series.
According to early Emmy predictions from our Editors and Users, there’s good news for Fox as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” appears in our sixth place position for Best Comedy Series with 12/1 odds. But it has some tough competition if it hopes to win here.
The other likely nominees are all oldies but goodies: “Modern Family” (19/10 odds), “The Big Bang Theory,” (9/2 odds) “Veep” (11/2 odds), “Louie” (9/1 odds), “Girls” (10/1 odds) and “Parks and Recreation” (25/1 odds). And let’s not forget, there will be a guaranteed open slot this year since “30 Rock” is no longer eligible.
Below, watch the cast and producers of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” accept their Golden Globe last month for Best Comedy Series. Is this win enough to push them over the edge? Unlikely, since last year’s Globe winner “Girls” didn’t repeat at the Emmys, nor did two-time Globe champs “Glee” (2009-2010) and “Desperate Housewives” (2004-2005), or other recent Globe winners like “Extras” (2007) and “Ugly Betty” (2006).