‘Hot in Cleveland’ no ‘Golden Girls’: All four ladies go supporting

TV Land has exclusively confirmed to GoldDerby that all four “Hot in Cleveland” stars — TV vets Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time“), Jane Leeves (“Frasier“) Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me!“) and TV legend Betty White — will vie for Emmy gold in the Comedy Supporting Actress race. While White was expected to contend there, it is a surprise that the three others are not vying for lead actress nods given the show’s parallels to White’s last long-running laffer “The Golden Girls.”

White won one of her five primetime Emmys in the Comedy Actress race for the first season of “The Golden Girls” back in 1986. She and her castmates Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan — who played best friends sharing a house — competed in this category for four years running. McClanahan won in 1987 and Arthur prevailed in 1988. They all lost to Candice Bergen in 1989 for the first season of “Murphy Brown” and White went on to be nominated for the show’s final three years. She lost to Bergen twice more (1990, 1992) as well as Kirstie Alley (“Cheers,” 1991).

On “Hot in Cleveland,” White is playing a part akin to that of Estelle Getty on “Golden Girls” — the sassy octogenarian who steals every scene. Getty was nominated in the supporting race for all seven seasons of the laffer. She won just once — in 1988 — and her and Arthur’s victories that night gave “Golden Girls” bragging rights to being only the second series in which all the regulars owned Emmys (“All in the Family” was the first and “Will & Grace” went on to accomplish this impressive feat as well).

While White has amassed 16 Emmy nominations, her co-stars have had little love from the TV academy. Bertinelli has never been nominated, Leeves contended once in supporitng for “Frasier” (losing in in 1998 to Lisa Kudrow for “Friends”) and Malick was nominated twice in this category for “Just Shoot Me,” bested first by Kristen Johnston for “3rd Rock From the Sun” in 1999 and then Doris Roberts for “Everybody Loves Raymond” in 2002 .

“Hot in Cleveland” marks the first original series for TV Land which launched in 1996 as an offshoot of Nick at Nite airing reruns of classic sitcoms. Like those shows, “Hot in Cleveland” is a traditional multi-camera sitcom shot in front of an audience. It debuted last June to 4.75 million viewers, becoming the most-watched program in that network’s history.

Earlier this year, White won the SAG Award for Female Coemdy Actor over Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Jane Lynch (“Glee”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). However, those kudos do not separate out lead and supporting performances. The show’s foursome was also nominated for Best Comedy Ensemble, but  lost to the cast of “Modern Family.”

Below is the list of TV Land Emmy submissions for “Hot in Cleveland” and their other original programming.

“Hot in Cleveland”
Comedy Series
Comedy Supporting Actress: Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, Betty White
Comedy Guest Actor: Tim Conway, Joe Jonas, Wayne Knight, Huey Lewis, Jon Lovitz, Carl Reiner
Comedy Guest Actress: Melanie Griffith, Susan Lucci, Juliet MIlls, Amy Sedaris, Sherri Shepherd, Mary Tyler Moore, Amy Yasbeck
Comedy Writing: Chuck Ranberg, Anne Flett-Giordano, Suzanne M. Martin, Vanessa McCarthy
Comedy Directing: Andy Cadiff, David Trainer, Gil Junger, Michael Lembeck
Mullti-Camera Art Direction
Multi-Camera Cinematography
Comedy Picture Editing
Multi-Camera Hairstyling
Multi-Camera Makeup (Non-Prosthetic)
Music Direction
Half Hour Sound Mixing
Series Technical Direction

“AFI Life Achievement Awards: A Tribute to Mike Nichols”
Variety, Music or Comedy Special
Picture Editing, Special

“Africobra: For the People”
Nonfiction Special
Writing, Nonfiction
Art Direction, Variety, Music or Nonfiction

“Retired at 35”
Comedy Actor: George Segal
Comedy Actress: Jessica Walter

“TV Land Awards 2011”
Special Class Program

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