Inside track: Emmy race for Best Comedy Series — what’s ahead to win?

Modern Family” has the best odds to prevail, but beware: only four shows have ever won Best Comedy Series four or more times (“Frasier,” “All in the Family,” “Cheers,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show”). Has voter fatigue finally set in?

30 Rock” also won Best Comedy three times (until “Modern Family” put a stop to it in 2010) and now it leads with the most nominations (13) among laffers. Voters may be tempted to give it a farewell hug like other past comedies that won in their final season (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Barney Miller”). But “30 Rock” hasn’t reaped a single Emmy since 2009. It got shut out 13 times last year, 14 times in 2011 and 15 times in 2010.

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Maybe “The Big Bang Theory” can finally triumph? It’s the most viewed program today (old episodes appear everywhere in TV syndication) and it doesn’t matter that it lost twice during its first four seasons. Many shows didn’t win a best-series award (comedy or drama) until their fifth season — like “24” and “The Sopranos.” However, it isn’t nominated for writing or directing and, over the past 15 years only one show won Best Comedy without one or the other bid: “Friends.”

Veep” isn’t nominated for writing or directing either, but it has the kind of snob appeal usually required to win. (Remember, the program that’s won more Emmys than any other – 37 – is about two uppity brothers squabbling over opera and vintage wine: “Frasier.”) “Veep” looks like “The West Wing” (four time winner of Best Drama Series) with laughs.

Louie” is nominated for writing, directing, acting and editing (scoring a bid for the latter is often key to victory), but it’s essentially a one-man show. Ensembles usually dominate.

Girls” is really a one-girl show (Lena Dunham), but its secondary characters are more fleshed-out than their counterparts on “Louie.” That’s a big plus. And it’s nominated for acting and directing. But, hey, not writing – and not editing. Is that a problem? Both “Girls” and “Louie” have a similar, strong plus. They’re hot and have a huge Cool Factor. Often that decides the champ. Louis C.K. has such a high Cool Factor that he just broke the record he set last year for one person scoring the most nominations in a single year.

Don’t write off “Louie” just because it wasn’t nominated for its first two seasons. Neither were “Seinfeld” (it won once) nor “Everybody Loves Raymond” (twice).


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