Month-in-Advance Emmy Predictions 2010 (Part 1 of 3 - The Comedies)
I didn't realize until yesterday that I've been writing articles on this site for a full year. It hit me because the very first piece I wrote about was early Emmy predictions for the 2009 awards season. So even though this wasn't planned, it's kind of appropriate that the first article I write about to commemorate my one-year anniversary is another set of early predictions for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
So now, I will attempt to accurately predict who the nominees will be in 26 categories in 3 different areas (comedy series, drama series and made-for-television/miniseries). Since I plan on discussing each of the three sections at length, I've decided to split the articles up, so you won't wear out your index finger scrolling down the page.
NOTE: Unlike last year, I won't be guessing the reality program categories. This is for a few reasons. But the major reasoning is this: I don't care about those shows.
The Emmy nominees will be announced exactly a month from today, on July 8th, 2010. So then, let us commence. . .
- CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
- MODERN FAMILY
- THE OFFICE
- 30 ROCK
- if they go with seven nominees again: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Reasoning: Annual regulars and past winners The Office and 30 Rock should be shoo-ins, as usual. Newbies Glee and Modern Family are both riding waves of momentum big enough to not only guarantee them nominations, but outside shots of dethroning 3-time champ 30 Rock, especially the latter of the two. Now that it's finally eligible again, Curb Your Enthusiasm will probably make the list, too.
That just leaves the final sixth spot, which I think will go to Entourage, not so much because its sixth season was warmly received by all (it wasn't), but because it seems that Emmy voters really dig the show, as evidenced by it earning a nomination last year for a decent (but hardly awards-worthy) fifth season.
If there are indeed seven nominees, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a few other shows appear on the list, maybe even taking Entourage's spot. How I Met Your Mother is a popular sitcom that earned it's first Comedy Series nomination last year, and with Neil Patrick Harris continuing to stand out, the show has a lot going for it. Not to mention, that snazzy DVD package paying homage to Singin' in the Rain isn't hurting its chances.
Family Guy has a shot to get nominated again, but I have a gut feeling it won't. In the entire history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, only twice have animated series made the cut. Translation: their chances are really, really, really bad. The Big Bang Theory should have been nominated last year, and voters may be ready to finally acknowledge that the program itself is good and not just Jim Parsons, but I'm not holding my breath. Lastly, I personally ate up Weeds. I thought it was almost as funny and engaging as season four. It didn't earn stellar ratings, and that might hurt its chances in the end.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
- THE BIG BANG THEORY (Jim Parsons)
- CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (Larry David)
- MONK (Tony Shalhoub)
- THE OFFICE (Steve Carell)
- 30 ROCK (Alec Baldwin)
- TWO AND A HALF MEN (Charlie Sheen)
With Curb back in the mix, that means Larry David's odds are good. This is the last time Tony Shalhoub will ever find himself eligible as a nominee for Monk, and as passed years have shown, any year he's a nominee, he's a threat for the win. This year is especially no different, as there doesn't seem to be a major, sure-fire frontrunner.
Nevertheless, Alec Baldwin has won two years in a row, and he's unquestionably the best part of 30 Rock. I'm not quite tired of seeing him win yet, but I do wonder if Steve Carell will ever be anything more than a bridesmaid. Nevertheless, his nomination is automatic. While I don't think anyone at this point in time is guaranteed to win, word on the street is Jim Parsons could walk away with it. I haven't watched The Big Bang Theory regularly this year, but just based on what I've seen, I have no doubt that he could pull off a win.
That just leaves the last vacancy, which I believe will go, once again, to Charlie Sheen. I don't think his show is as funny as passed nominations may have indiciated, but both he and Jon Cryer do deliver. His recent public troubles may hinder him a great deal, but ultimately, I think voters will see passed this.
A lot of other people predicting the nominees seem to think Glee's Matthew Morrison will place. Personally, I don't get it. He's fine enough on the show, but I don't think he's done anything worthy of a nomination. In fact, his wholesome Will Schuester is almost too schmaltzy to stand at times.
I do think two other actors should make the list. David Duchovny is a lot of fun to watch on Californication, ditto to Hung's Thomas Jane. The latter has the advantage of belonging to a new series, while the former has failed to earn mentions two years in a row. Both, however, may miss out due to the fact there's just a lot of heavy competition in this field.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
- THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)
- NURSE JACKIE (Edie Falco)
- 30 ROCK (Tina Fey)
- TRACEY ULLMAN'S STATE OF THE UNION (Tracey Ullman)
- THE UNITED STATES OF TARA (Toni Collette)
- WEEDS (Mary-Louise Parker)
Like Shalhoub, this is the last time voters will be able to nominate and/or reward Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Christine. She's been nominated for every year leading up to this one, and what better way to send her off (besides giving her the trophy for a second time) than to give her a goodbye mention?
Tina Fey and Toni Collette are locked, but unlike the leading actor category, there is a frontrunner here: Edie Falco. I'm a little surprised she didn't win the Golden Globe, so Collette may be a bigger threat than I realized, but regardless, I'd be willing to bet money (and by "money," I mean, like, 25 cents) that she walks away with this thing the night of August 29th.
While I can kind of understand the lack of confidence people have in her show not getting nominated, I don't understand why Mary-Louise Parker isn't on everyone's predictions lists. She's as entertainingly sarcastic and heartbreakingly broken in the show's fifth season as she has been in the past.
And now, the wild card, and it's a big one. Don't ask me why, because I can't articulate it, but I have a strong feeling there will be a wild card lead actress nominee this year, a la Sarah Silverman from 2009. And I think that person will be Tracey Ullman from State of the Union. For one, she's playing several parts. For another, she's hilarious in each of them. And for another, this time around, she qualifies to be in the comedy series category, instead of variety or comedy special, which I think bodes well for her.
There are a lot of other worthy women, too. Ordinarily, I'd say Cougar Town's Courteney Cox-Arquette would make the cut, but giving how terribly voters treated her when it came to Friends (literally all of the other five actors got nominated at least once; she got nothing), I'm not too sure they've wised up yet. Desperate Housewives' best years are behind it, but watch the episode "If. . .," and tell me Felicity Huffman isn't still killing that part. Glee's Lea Michele has a very strong possibility of making the cut, but for now, I'm not quite ready to say she's in.
Now that the Saturday Night Live funny woman is Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler has to try to get nominated elsewhere, and her show (Parks and Recreation) and her performance have gotten better ink lately. This is the last time either Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) or Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) could earn nominations, but neither lady has a lot of buzz to their credit.
She's won before in the past, and I do think voters like her, but I really hope Patricia Heaton isn't nominated for The Middle. I've caught bits and pieces of it while waiting for Modern Family to start, and from what I've seen, both the show and its leading lady are painfully unfunny.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
- ENTOURAGE (Jeremy Piven)
- HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Neil Patrick Harris)
- MODERN FAMILY (Ty Burrell)
- MODERN FAMILY (Eric Stonestreet)
- THE OFFICE (Rainn Wilson)
- TWO AND A HALF MEN (Jon Cryer)
I'm not really sure why Jeremy Piven didn't even get a nomination last year, but hopefully, voters will let him out of the doghouse this year. He's playing one of the funniest, most explosive characters on television. If you don't nominate him, it's not because you don't remember him. It's because you don't like him.
Jon Cryer shouldn't have much of a problem making the cut after winning (why?!) last year over the likes of Rainn Wilson, who's in, and Neil Patrick Harris, who many think will finally win. If circumstances were similar to last year's, I'd say give it to either Wilson or Harris, and let's call it a day. However. . .
I didn't plan on Modern Family. Every line that comes out of Ty Burrell's mouth is hilarious, and if you're not laughing at him, you're laughing because of Eric Stonestreet. Watching Burrell's Phil trying to act cool, or Stonestreet's Cameron getting rough in his clown get-up. . .it's pretty impossible not to laugh.
The reserves? Voters have really warmed up to Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), and he could easily take the place of his co-star (not unlike what went down last year). Great as both Burrell and Stonestreet are, Ed O'Neill has his moments on Modern Family as well, though if I was voting, I'd put Rico Rodriguez above him. Definitely the funniest kid on TV today.
Two guys that always get the shaft but really deserve some Emmy love are a couple of fellas that go by the name Andy: The Office's Ed Helms and Weeds' Justin Kirk. Next to Dwight, Andy Bernard is probably the funniest Dunder Miflin employee, and Andy Botwin provides the majority of the laughs when things go awry for Nancy and crew.
I do think they can be funny, but last year's 30 Rock nominees (Jack McBrayer & Tracy Morgan) shouldn't get in (again) over the likes of some of the aforementioned talent.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
- CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (Cheryl Hines)
- GLEE (Jane Lynch)
- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (Kristen Wiig)
- 30 ROCK (Jane Krakowski)
- UGLY BETTY (Vanessa Williams)
- WEEDS (Elizabeth Perkins)
I don't watch SNL regularly, but it looks like Kristen Wiig is their most reliable female entertainer now that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have moved on to bigger and better things. Just like Larry David, Cheryl Hines has been nominated in the past, and even though I've never actually found her performance to be all that great, apparently, Emmy voters do.
Jane Krakowski should have an easy time making the final six again, and Elizabeth Perkins was way too funny this season to go overlooked (see the episode where she decides to become a lesbian). There's a lot of this-is-the-last-time sentiment going around this year, and Vanessa Williams is part of the mix with Ugly Betty. She's never won, which is kind of hard to believe, so this might be her last chance to take something home.
Ah who are we kidding. Jane Lynch has had this thing won since the first Glee preview appeared on television. And she totally deserves it. Unlike the vast majority of people, I'm not crazy about Glee. It's a pretty entertaining show, with a novel idea, but the novelty has worn off a little, at least for me. While other films or television programs have nicely incorporated music into their narratives (Once, Flight of the Conchords), Glee doesn't do that great of a job integrating songs into the show. They take you out of the story slightly, and if not for Lynch, I probably wouldn't have watched at all.
Possible backups: both Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara are great on Modern Family, but I don't see either woman making it in; it's fun to watch Anna Deavere-Smith and Edie Falco play off each other on Nurse Jackie, but her part may not be showy enough; Holland Taylor always makes an impression on Two and a Half Men, but she doesn't have a whole lot of buzz in her favor at the moment.
GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
- MODERN FAMILY (Fred Willard)
- NURSE JACKIE (Harvey Fierstein)
- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (Jon Hamm)
- 30 ROCK (Will Arnett)
- TWO AND A HALF MEN (Carl Reiner)
- if they have six nominees: NURSE JACKIE (Eli Wallach)
I'm not quite sure if there will be six nominees or not for the guest performers, so I'm just listing five for now. Jon Hamm is the frontrunner as of today, and when you have a white guy like him talking about girls with "them big booties," it's not hard to see why. Carl Reiner also seems to have his spot already locked down.
Everyone else, it's just educated guesses, mostly. Fred Willard is no stranger to Emmy's guest acting category, and he was both very funny and very easy to like as Phil's dad in Modern Family. Will Arnett's always great on 30 Rock. He's been nominated before (though he missed out last year), but the scene alone where he and Alec Baldwin have their confrontation should ensure him a spot this year.
Harvey Fierstein was great in Nurse Jackie, and even though I didn't get to see his performance, I assume Eli Wallach has a good shot of making the cut, because when is he ever bad?
If Glee turns out to score big with Emmy voters, both Neil Patrick Harris and Mike O'Malley are probably looking at nominations. Earning a nod here might help push Neil to win in the supporting actor category. I also thought James Franco was funny in his guest spot on 30 Rock, so he could join Arnett or possibly take his place. It's a shame Edward Norton wasn't eligible for guest starring on Modern Family as British rock star, though I don't think anyone will overtake Hamm at this point.
GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
- CALIFORNICATION (Kathleen Turner)
- GLEE (Kristen Chenoweth)
- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (Tina Fey)
- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (Betty White)
- 30 ROCK (Elaine Stritch)
- if they have six nominees: CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (Catherine O'Hara)
Three of these ladies are pretty much solid: Betty White's the frontrunner to win, Tina Fey is an automatic nominee any time she impersonates Sarah Palin, and Elaine Stritch always manages to steal the show whenever she stops by on 30 Rock.
As far as I know, not many people are thinking Kathleen Turner will make the list. But after getting a glimpse of what she did on Californication, I don't see how she could be ignored. Kristen Chenoweth seems like a safe bet for her turn in Glee, and I don't think her winning last year hurts.
I sincerely hope Catherine O'Hara gets nominated for appearing on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Playing a nut job would seem like pure awards bait, and I don't think I've ever laughed as much seeing anyone play crazy like she did.
A nominee last year, Christine Baranski stands a good chance of getting nominated again for appearing on The Big Bang Theory. Minnie Driver did a good job on Modern Family (as did Shelley Long, who isn't eligible, unfortunately). I'm not caught up on The Office, but anything with Kathy Bates in it is usually memorable one way or the other.
DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES
- CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM ("Seinfeld" - Jeff Schaffer)
- GLEE (Pilot - Ryan Murphy)
- MODERN FAMILY (Pilot - Jason Winer)
- THE OFFICE ("Niagara" - Paul Feig)
- 30 ROCK ("Anna Howard Shaw Day" - Ken Whittingham)
As of today, this is Glee's to lose. Curb always racks up directing nods (so don't be surprised if it ends up with more than one), but if I had to pick one, "Seinfeld" struck me as the best executed of the eligible nominees. Modern Family should be another shoo-in, thanks to its newbie status, in addition to the fact that it is a very well-directed series.
The episode I picked from The Office covers Pam and Jim's wedding, which takes some expert direction to pull off. The show doesn't always earn nominations for its direction, but I think it will this time around.
Just like with movies and the Oscars, the frontrunners usually score nominations in the directing category, so I'm fairly confident 30 Rock will earn a nomination here. I haven't seen all the episodes, and "Anna Howard Shaw Day" struck me as a viable choice, so I'm going with that for now.
I was reluctant to leave Entourage off the list, considering how the series has earned a directing nod for each season up until now. However, I don't think any of its submissions are strong enough. I do wish Glee had submitted "The Power of Madonna." The black-and-white "Vogue" sequence made for one of the show's biggest highlights. In fact, it may be the only musical moment from the series that I thoroughly enjoyed watching.
WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES
- MODERN FAMILY (Pilot - Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd)
- MODERN FAMILY ("Fizbo" - Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh)
- THE OFFICE ("Niagara" - Greg Daniels & Mindy Kaling)
- 30 ROCK ("Anna Howard Shaw Day" - Matt Hubbard)
- 30 ROCK ("Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter" - Kay Cannon & Tina Fey)
Last, but not least, comes the category honoring the people who really deserve the lion's share of the credit (but won't ever get it): the writers. As you can see, I think this will be a fight between Modern Family and 30 Rock, with the former (hopefully) winning for its pilot episode. With new shows, pilots are almost always picked out, as they lay the foundation for the series. "Fizbo" may just be the funniest episode from Family's freshman year, but then again, I don't remember not laughing through any of them.
Again, I figure the wedding will carry The Office through, if it scores any mentions other than for Comedy Series and a few of its actors. "Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter" is almost assured a spot, because it's co-written by Tina Fey, and her episodes are always nominated. I'm sticking "Anna Howard Shaw Day" here since I had it in directing.
I realize that most people believe Glee will be nominated for its pilot, and it probably will. But I don't know which show to kick out. Weeds had a nicely written finale ("All About My Mother") that I wouldn't mind seeing nominated here either. But again, who do you take out?
Stay tuned for the second part of the early Emmy predictions, the DRAMAS. . .
More by this Author
1. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters I remember how cautious I was of this show when it first premiered. The character drawings seemed kind of weird, and the series seemed to be a little out there. Turns out, it was an instant...
Which ten shows left you wishing they could go on forever?
Want to know what it's like to be an extra on a Tyler Perry movie? I document my experience here.