Will ‘Big Bang Theory’ explode at Emmys?

After six seasons, the stars seem to have finally aligned for “The Big Bang Theory” at the Emmys.  

It is the highest-rated comedy on TV, averaging 20 million viewers per week for new episodes on CBS and millions more for the reruns that are syndicated nationally on TBS and by local market. And it has been attracting attention from the various precursor prizes, including nominations from three of the big four guilds (SAG, PGA, DGA) as well as three wins at the recent Critics’ Choice TV Awards — Comedy Series, Supporting Actor (Simon Helberg) and Supporting Actress (Kaley Cuoco).

Neither of those actors has contended at the Emmys before but Gold Derby predicts Cuoco will reap her first bid this year. And two-time Comedy Actor champ Jim Parsons — who lost the CCTA prize to “Louie” multi-hyphenate Louis C.K. — is expected to win again at the Emmys.  

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Parsons was the first of the cast to contend at the Emmys, with his second season nod in 2009. While he lost that race to Alec Baldwin — who repeated for “30 Rock” — he went on to win in 2010 and 2011 before ceding his crown to Jon Cryer last year for his first lead nod for “Two and a Half Men.” 

In 2009, “Big Bang” also contended for Guest Comedy Actress (Christine Baranski) and Art Direction.

It repeated in those races in 2010 as well as Makeup and Technical Direction plus Parson’s successful bid for a total of five nominations.  

The show finally broke into the Comedy Series category for its fourth season in 2011, losing to “Modern Family,” which also bested it last year.

In 2011, Johnny Galecki contended in Comedy Actor against Parsons and the series was nominated for Art Direction and Editing, bringing its bids up to five again. Last year, it was also nominated for Editing and Technical Direction and Mayim Bialik contended for Supporting Comedy Actress, for another total haul of five nominations. 

This year, the series is poised to break into the double digits when Emmy nominations are announced next Thursday. 

It is in second place for Comedy Series with odds of 4 to 1 to finally depose the frontrunning “Modern Family” which has odds of 12 to 5 for a four-peat. Parsons is tied for Comedy Actor with Baldwin as both have odds of 10 to 3 to win a third time. While Bialik is expected to contend again for Comedy Supporting Actress, both she (10/1) and Cuoco (25/1) are far behind frontrunner Julie Bowen (“Modern Family) who is at 12/5 to repeat. 

Bob Newhart, who was feted by the CCTA for his lifetime achievement, is predicted to finally win his first Emmy for his guest spot on “Big Bang.” With odds of 27/10, he leads Guest Comedy Actor over  two-time category champ Justin Timberlake (“Saturday Night Live“) who has odds of 14/5. 

“Big Bang” is on a roll with the creative arts, having contended three times for Art Direction and twice each for Editing and Technical Direction. Expect it to pick up bids in all those races as well as perhaps Makeup where it contended once before. 

And it could finally score it first Directing bid. In January, Mark Cendrowski became the first helmer of a multi-camera comedy to be nominated by the Directors Guild of America in seven years. James Burrows (“Will & Grace”) was the last director of this format to contend with both the DGA and Emmys (2004). Although the DGA cited Cendrowski for his work on the season premiere, he has entered the episode that featured Newhart to the Emmys.

It will be an uphill battle for “Big Bang” to win Comedy Series without that directing nomination. The last laffer to pull this off was “Friends” in 2002 but it had contended in that category four times previously. 

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