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Emmy Predictions 2012: Comedy categories

The Primetime Emmy Awards are coming this Sunday, Sept. 23rd. ABC will be airing them with Jimmy Kimmel as the host. Every day this week I’ll be giving my predictions in every category. Today I’ll be taking a closer look at the Comedy categories. While you can usually bet on Modern Family doing very well, this year it’s not far out ahead as the previous years. What could possibly dethrone it? Let’s take a look…

Best Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

WILL WIN: Modern Family
SHOULD WIN: Girls

Even though Modern Family has won this category the past two years, it’s competition is much tougher this time around. The Big Bang Theory & Girls are going to give it a run for its money. BBT has never been more popular and it had a pretty good season. I can see this winning based on popularity. Girls is the hot new show that received some important nominations. It could be a surprise winner here (and it would be deserving too). This is Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s 7th nomination in the category. Will voters think that it’s overdue and time to award it? Probably not, but it could happen. All that being said I think Modern Family will take it for the third time. It’s still popular and had a pretty great season. Voters aren’t sick of it yet so I think it will easily win again. But there are still outside chances for most of the other nominees. It not as big of a frontrunner as it has been the past two years.

Best Actor – Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

WILL WIN: Jim Parsons
SHOULD WIN: Louis C.K.

This is a two person race between Louis C.K. & Jim Parsons, with Don Cheadle having an outside chance. Louis C.K. has an incredible episode submission with “Duckling”. It’s a one hour episode and he gets some great stuff to do. But voters don’t always pay attention to tapes and the lack of a Series nomination really plays against him. Parsons has won the past two years and the increased nominations/popularity with BBT is a positive factor in his favor. It’s one of those roles that Emmy voters love to award and this year will be no different. Don Cheadle is the only other possibility to win. He’s a respected actor and is pretty prominent in his series. He could win if some vote-splitting occurs.

Best Actress – Comedy Series:
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

WILL WIN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
SHOULD WIN: Lena Dunham

This category is extremely competitive. The Emmy voters couldn’t even narrow it down to 6, not to mention the women that were snubbed (Laura Linney, Martha Plimpton, Laura Dern) that could have easily won in any other year. I think we can count out Tina Fey & Melissa McCarthy. Voters are pretty much over 30 Rock and I really think McCarthy won last year based on Bridesmaids and not her mediocre CBS sitcom. Falco is probably out too, but she has a great dramatic tape that voters can be attracted to. As much as I love Lena Dunham’s performance and would love to see her win, I think her performance is too natural and understated to compete with the broader comedic performances. That leaves Deschanel, Louis-Dreyfus & Poehler. I think Deschanel is much more of a threat than people give her credit for. It’s one of those quirky roles that Emmy voters love to award. Poehler would be a stronger contender had Parks and Recreation been nominated for Series (which it deserved to win, but wasn’t even nomination. Big WTF? moment.) And that leaves Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Her show got a surprise Comedy Series nomination and she’s a previous winner that is well respected in the TV community. I would be surprised if she doesn’t win, but this category is so ridiculous that anything can happen.

Best Supporting Actor – Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

WILL WIN & SHOULD WIN: Ed O’Neill

As much as I love Max Greenfield & Bill Hader, I don’t think they have much of a chance here. The Emmys have had a love affair with Modern Family the past couple years and I think this category will be a revolving door of Modern Family winners until all 4 of the adult males are awarded. Ty Burrell could possibly repeat a win. He’s the most beloved character on the show and has some great moments in his tape submission. Ferguson still doesn’t have a win and has a pretty good tape. But I think voters will award O’Neill this year. He’s a respected veteran actor that has yet to win an Emmy and I think that will change this year. He had an amazing season with multiple episodes that could win him an Emmy. He was my favorite of the cast this past season and I think voters will feel the same way.

Best Supporting Actress – Comedy Series:
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

WILL WIN: Sofia Vergara
SHOULD WIN: Julie Bowen or Merritt Wever

This is the toughest category to predict. I think Merritt Wever is the only person that doesn’t stand a chance. She is such a scene stealer and one of the most talked about things on Nurse Jackie (and I personally think she’s a comedic genius), but the other five have much stronger cases to make for winning. Mayim Bialik is a role very similar to Jim Parsons’ that Emmy voters have gone nuts over, so it could happen in this category too. Julie Bowen won last year and the love for Modern Family could earn her another victory. Kathryn Joosten has previously won two Emmys in the past for her role as Mrs. McCluskey (in the guest category) and her recent passing (R.I.P.) could earn her some sympathy votes. And this was Kristen Wiig’s final season on SNL, which could mean that voters will see this as their last opportunity to award Wiig for her tenure on the show. But I’m actually going to go with Sofia Vergara finally picking up an Emmy. As I’ve stated numerous times in this post, Modern Family is a huge Emmy favorite and Vergara is one her third Emmy nomination without a win. Many think that she’ll be a shoe-in next year because of her pregnancy storyline in the upcoming season. But I don’t think voters will really take that into consideration with their ballots. Even if she has a fantastic season coming up, they can still give her a second statue next year.

Best Writing – Comedy Series:
Community – “Remedial Chaos Theory” – Chris McKenna
Girls – “Pilot” – Lena Dunham
Louie – “Pregnant” – Louis C.K.
Parks and Recreation – “The Debate” – Amy Poehler
Parks and Recreation – “Win, Lose or Draw” – Michael Schur

WILL WIN: Girls
SHOULD WIN: Community

This is my favorite category in the Comedy categories. Community, Louie & Parks and Recreation should have all been nominated in the Series category as well. At least the writers branch got it right. I think Community should just be happy that it was nominated and Louie* would’ve been more of a contender had he submitted “Duckling” instead. I would like to think Parks and Recreation has more of a shot at winning, but their lack of a Series nomination doesn’t look good and two nominations could cause some vote splitting. That leaves Girls to take it. I think Lena Dunham had much stronger episodes, but “Pilot” episodes always do well in these categories and Dunham is a fantastic writer. She should take this in a cake walk.

Best Directing – Comedy Series:
Curb Your Enthusiasm – “Palestinian Chicken” – Robert B. Weide
Girls – “She Did” – Lena Dunham
Louie – “Duckling” – Louis C.K.
Modern Family – “Baby on Board” – Steven Levitan
Modern Family – “Virgin Territory” – Jason Winer
New Girl – “Pilot” – Jake Kasdan

WILL WIN & SHOULD WIN: Louie

This is much harder to predict than the Writing category. Lena Dunham stands less of a chance here than in Writing or Actress. She had much better directed episodes this season and they like veterans much more than newcomers here. I don’t think New Girl will take it home either, despite “Pilot” episodes mostly win here. Curb Your Enthusiasm has a great shot. It’s won here previously and that particular episode picked up the DGA award earlier in the year. I could see it winning here. Modern Family always has a chance when it’s nominated. But I think this is the best chance for the Emmys to give Louis C.K. an award for Louie. It’s a well-directed episode with a lot of big moments and complicated situations (helicopter shots, big crowd scenes). He’s the frontrunner but Curb Your Enthusiasm or Modern Family could take this away from him.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the Drama predictions. Drama Series is ridiculously hard to predict.

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