In the forum topic in which I asked why Emmy voters are such snobs, DS0816 posted the following reply which merits its own discussion:
This is really a topic not so much specifically about Modern Family but about numerous series winning three or beyond top Emmys…while others, also deserved, never won.
It’s been going on, at least in comedy, for the last five decades.
The Dick Van Dyke Show won best comedy series four times in the 1960s.
All in the Family (four) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (three) won a combined seven of the ten years that were the 1970s.
Beginning in 1979 with the freshman season of Taxi and leading to the third (of four) Emmys for Cheers in 1989, these two series combined for having won six of those eleven years in best comedy series.
In the 1990s, Cheers won its fourth Emmy (1991) and Frasier won its first five season (1994 to 1998).
In the 2000s, we had some breathing room in the first half of the decade but ultimately experienced seeing 30 Rock win its first three seasons (2007 to 2009). And, every year thus far in this current decade of the 2010s, the best-comedy Emmy has been awarded to the first five seasons of Modern Family.
When you get down to it…with the last eight consecutive years of 2007 to 2014, there have been only two individual series which have been awarded the Emmy for outstanding comedy series.
This is more about voting patterns. (Or, as I have referred to it, recalling my take on last year’s nominations, “rubber-stamping.”)
One reason I think for this is that there is no ‘IOU’ with the comedy categories, in the same way there is with Drama. Breaking Bad had a huge IOU hanging on it as it became the biggest show in the world for the two years it won. No comedy programme, probably Friends is the most recent one, has been the biggest show worldwide for YEARS. And for Comedy I think voters look for the funniest, and the competitors 30 Rock had didn’t match it until Modern Family came along. And for the past six years, MF has been one of the funniest shows on TV, and of the Emmy nominees.
^ Along with that, I think it’s also a case where – even moreso than Drama – Comedy can be SO subjective, especially now, when we live in an era of many niche shows in various outlets. It can be hard to drum up support for something as carrying an IOU when only a select number of comedies are broad enough to play well with most Academy members.