The Emmy race for Best Comedy Series has a familiar frontrunner — ABC’s four-time defending champ “Modern Family.” But HBO’s “Veep” and CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” are in excellent positions to upset in this category. (See the racetrack odds for all contenders here).
After reading our recap, be sure to check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this post, which previews the top contenders and gets you ready to make your own Emmy predictions before nominations are announced on July 10.
“Modern Family” has claimed this prize for four years in a row, but is it running out of steam? It failed to win an acting award last year for the first time in the show’s tenure (after two victories apiece in the past for Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet and one for Ty Burrell). Another win here would tie the Emmy record of five set by “Frasier” (1994 – 1998). It is a 2/1 favorite to prevail again.
However, keep an eye on the surging “Veep,” which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the U.S. Vice-President, a role that has already earned two Emmys. Last year, the show also picked up the Supporting Actor award for scene stealer Tony Hale and a nomination for supporting actress Anna Chlumsky. While it is in second place with odds of 4/1, it really needs to reap directing and/or writing bids to be positioned to pull off an upset and make its third try in this race the charm.
The same goes for “The BIg Bang Theory,” the most popular comedy on television in its seventh season. Jim Parsons has won Best Comedy Actor three times (and is tipped to take home a fourth this year) and got guest Bob Newhart his first Emmy last year. While this past three-time nominee only has odds of 13/2, it is certainly possible for an audience favorite to win this late in its run; “Friends” did just that in its eighth season in 2002.
“Louie,” which stars comedian Louis C.K., who also directs, writes, and edits this FX hit, reaped its first bid in this race last year and is likely to return again with odds of 8/1. New episodes have been airing in May and June, a prime slot just as the Emmy ballots were distributed to voters.
Also at 8/1 is newcomer “Orange is the New Black” from Netflix. Last year, the streaming service resurrected 2004 category champ “Arrested Development” but it was snubbed. So, a nomination for “OITNB” would be the first in this category for a non-traditional TV network.
It’s strange to characterize one of last year’s nominees as a spoiler, but that is the case for HBO’s “Girls” from actress/director/producer/writer Lena Dunham. After two straight bids as Best Comedy Series, it sits in seventh place with odds of 33/1. The show was shut out of all the recent guilds (directors, writers, producers, screen actors) awards.
Among the longshots with 100/1 odds are: NBC’s 2011 nominee “Parks and Recreation” with perennial Emmy also-ran Amy Poehler; HBO’s rookie hit “Silicon Valley” from “Office Space” creator Mike Judge; NBC’s newcomer “About a Boy” from “Friday Night Lights” creator Jason Katims; third-year FOX comedy “New Girl” with Zooey Deschanel; and the sophomore season of the FOX rom-com “The Mindy Project” from creator/star Mindy Kaling.
Below, take a photo tour through this year’s top 10 contenders for Best Comedy Series. And be sure to use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions in this race.