‘Modern Family’ gay wedding is prime Emmy bait for Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and …

Dearly beloved “Modern Family” cast, do you take this Emmy to be your lawfully wedded award, to win or to lose, as long as you both shall live (at which point the award will be sold at auction)?

The two-part Mitch/Cam wedding was a creative and ratings juggernaut for ABC, culminating in a fifth season that many considered to be a step up from the stale, yet still Emmy-winning, Season 4.

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By bookending the entire season around the gay wedding, it created a sense of importance and cultural relevance the show hasn’t felt since its first blockbuster year on the air.

But which cast members get the biggest Emmy boost from the wedding two-parter?

Don’t forget, if an episode has “Part 1” and “Part 2” in the title, they’re eligible to be entered together for Emmy consideration even if they don’t air on the same night. That’s the scenario that allowed Amy Poehler to enter both “Emergency Response” and “Leslie and Ben” at last year’s Emmys, though it still didn’t help her overtake Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“).

‘Modern Family’ Emmys upheaval? Eric Stonestreet, Steven Levitan nix category switch

Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson have the biggest Emmy advantage with the two-part wedding for obvious reasons. But Emmy voters may argue that Stonestreet takes the cake, as he’s the more over-the-top emotional of the two, particularly in the scene outside the closed laundromat when he worries about not receiving his tuxedo in time. This two-time champ (2010, 2012) sits at sixth on our Comedy Supporting Actor chart with odds of 16/1 while Ferguson is in fifth with odds of 12/1. 

So as not to compete against each other at the Emmys, Ferguson may be wise to submit the episode just prior to the wedding titled “Message Received.” That’s the one where he has the gut-wrenching scene with O’Neill about his father’s awkwardness with attending the gay wedding. We also get a feel for Mitchell’s life before he came out of the closet via a series of old answering machine messages.

Ed O’Neill, who is fourth on our chart with odds of 10/1, also has a lot to do in the two-part finale, particularly in his scenes with the other father of the groom played by guest star Barry Corbin. But it’s the scene at the end when he saves the day by suggesting his conservative country club as the wedding venue and happily walks his son down the aisle that could sway voters. However, O’Neill shouldn’t forget an episode from earlier in the season titled “Three Dinners” in which his character cries after hearing that his best friend is leaving the country.

Watch: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (‘Modern Family’) confesses
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Sofia Vergara doesn’t get much screen time in the wedding episodes outside of her scenes with guest star Celia Weston, while Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen are good, but not great, as the neurotic Dunphys playing their part as wedding officiant and “best person,” respectively. All three supporting players have better episodes to submit to Emmy judges. Burrell, who won back in 2011, is far ahead of last year’s champ Tony Hale (“Veep) with odds of 9/4 versus 10/3.  And two-time champ Bowen (2011, 2012) leads the Comedy Supporting Actress category with odds of 12/5 over Emmy darling Allison Janney (“Mom”) at 27/10 and Vergara with odds of 9/1. 

A surprise Emmy contender could be never-nominated Sarah Hyland who plays the oldest Dunphy daughter Haley. She comes into her own this episode as she realizes that she’s in love with the male nanny played by Adam DeVine. Though never nominated at the Emmys, Hyland received a surprise bid from the Critics Choice TV Awards last year.

If Nathan Lane gets nominated in the ultra-competitive Comedy Guest Actor category, he could very well earn his first Emmy award after five previous losses (all in the guest categories). His character Pepper Saltzman takes center stage as the outrageous wedding coordinator who’s thrown into a tizzy as the first three wedding plans all end up failing.

Watch: Emmy predictions slugfest over Best Comedy Series, Actor and Actress

“Modern Family” is currently tied with a trio of other Best Comedy Series winners with four total wins: “All in the Family,” “Cheers” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” If the show prevails for its just-concluded fifth season, it will equal the record of all-time series champ “Frasier.”

And you know what? It’s probably going to happen.

Gold Derby’s exclusive Emmy odds for Best Comedy Series predict that “Modern Family” is a shoo-in for another win with odds of 21/10. The other top contenders are: “Veep” (odds of 9/2), “Louie” and “The Big Bang Theory” which are both at 13/2, and two freshman series — “Orange is the New Black” with 10/1 odds and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” at 16/1. Make your Emmy predictions in this race at the bottom of this post using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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Below: Watch our video (or listen to the audio podcast version) as we come out swinging over which programs and stars are ahead in the races for Best Comedy Series, Actor and Actress.

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