Can ‘Parks and Recreation’ make an Emmy comeback?

Two years ago, “Parks and Recreation” managed to make its way into the Best Comedy Series category, which came as a surprise to many. The following year, awards-watchers were even more surprised to see the show suddenly left out.

The show’s omission last year was likely caused by the fact that there were too many established Emmy favorites returning to the race – “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the last of which wasn’t on the air when “Parks” broke through – along with two cool new shows that were fresher in the minds of Emmy voters (“Girls” and “Veep“).

In general, “Parks” has not been a hit with Emmy voters. Since its premiere in 2009, the show has only received eight nominations. Amy Poehler has been nominated three times for Best Comedy Actress (2010 – 2012). In 2011, in addition to Comedy Series and Comedy Actress, it received a nod for Sound Mixing. And in 2012, it received another Sound Mixing nod and two writing nominations. It didn’t win any of those nominations.

Some shows have come back after being left out of the top races. “Friends” won Comedy Series in 2002 on its fifth nomination, which came for its eighth season. “Lost” was infamously snubbed for Drama Series in 2006 after winning the prize the year before, but they made it back in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Others haven’t been as lucky. Among long-running programs that have only had brief stints in the best series categories only to be dropped entirely are “Home Improvement” (nominated 1992-1994), “Scrubs” (2005-2006), “Malcolm in the Middle” (2001), “3rd Rock From the Sun” (1997-1998), and “Ally McBeal” (1998-1999). “McBeal” was an especially interesting case because it was dropped from the Best Comedy race in 2000 despite having won in 1999.

As well reviewed as “Parks and Recreation” has been over its run, it seems its chance with Emmy voters might already have come and gone. Premiering at a time when it was difficult to get into the race against so many perennial nominees hurt it during its first two years. And being snubbed the year after its first and only Comedy Series bid showed voters may not be as fond of this program as they seemed. But the Emmys have a tendency to surprise us; will they do so with this little show?

It currently ranks eighth in our overall odds for Best Comedy this year, though our users are slightly more optimistic than our experts or editors, with 11 predicting it to win. All three groups, however, expect Poehler to compete for Comedy Actress for the fourth time, with more than 60 users favoring her to finally win.

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