Is Emmy tide turning? Most editors predict new winner for Best Comedy

For the last three years, the Emmys for comedy have been almost a foregone conclusion, with ABC’s “Modern Family” sweeping most of the top categories each time, including three consecutive wins for Best Comedy Series. But this year our editors are expecting a changing of the guard. Only two out of nine – Paul Sheehan and David Schnelwar – currently predict a fourth win for the popular sitcom.

But the rest can’t agree on which show will take its place. Three – Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon, and Matt Noble – currently rank the long-awaited return of “Arrested Development” as the show to beat. The series ran for three low-rated seasons on FOX, winning Best Comedy in 2004, and premiered its entire 15-episode fourth season on Netflix on May 26.

FX’s “Louie,” is backed by two editors: Rob Licuria and Tom O’Neil, who explained here why he thinks the offbeat series will win the top prize. “Louie” earned multiple writing, directing, and acting nominations for its star Louis C.K. in its first two seasons – winning for writing last year – but it has yet to be nominated for Best Comedy.

Two others – Darrin Dortch and Daniel Montgomery – are betting on HBO’s “Girls,” which was nominated last year for its freshman season and later won Best Comedy at the Golden Globes. HBO previously won the top Emmy for “Sex and the City” in 2001, but no cable series has won it since.

Our experts disagree with our editors’ bold forecasts, however; most of them predict “Modern Family” will indeed return to the winner’s circle, except for Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), who thinks “The Big Bang Theory” will finally prevail after six seasons.

Time will tell if Emmy voters decide to move on from “Modern Family,” but TV critics already have: at this year’s Critics’ Choice Awards, it received only one nomination, for supporting actress Sarah Hyland.

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