Will ‘Modern Family’s’ farewell season benefit from expanded Emmys field for Best Comedy Series?

In the early 2010s it was unthinkable that “Modern Familywouldn’t be nominated for Best Comedy Series at the Emmys. After all it did win a record-tying five times in a row (2010-2014). But the television academy gradually moved on, and it earned its last Best Comedy nomination in 2017 for its eighth season. The show said goodbye in 2020 after 11 years on the air, so could it make a comeback with its swansong? It could benefit from the academy’s decision to expand the top category.

The Emmys recently announced new guidelines for deciding the number of nominees in each category based on the number of submissions in those categories, but for Best Comedy and Best Drama the fields are automatically expanding from seven slots to eight. That opens the door for more new shows, but also former favorites to get back into voters’ good graces.

But that’s not all. In addition to the expanded field, Best Comedy Series has also emptied out of many of last year’s contenders. The reigning champ “Fleabag” finished its run, so it’s not back to defend its title. So did fellow nominee and three-time winner “Veep.” And two other nominees, “Barry” and “Russian Doll,” took extended hiatuses, so neither of them aired new episodes during this eligibility period. The only shows returning from last year’s lineup are “The Good Place,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek.” Which means there are five openings.

As of this writing three of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed think “Modern Family” will receive its ninth nomination: Eric Deggans (NPR), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby). So do four of our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s nominations, and five of our All-Star Top 24, who got the highest scores when you combine prediction results from the last two years.

If “Modern Family” does get back in for nomination number-nine, it would tie “All in the Family” as the third most nominated show in the history of the category. Two shows share the all-time record with 11 bids apiece: “Cheers” and “M*A*S*H.” Do you think it’ll get a farewell hug?

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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