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Emmy Predictions: Best Writing & Directing in a Comedy Series

I continue my series of Emmy predictions with the people eligible in the categories for Best Writing in a Comedy Series and Best Directing in a Comedy Series. I’m going to take a look at the categories and make groupings: Tier One, Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One placements are for people/programs that I fully expect to get an Emmy nomination. Tier Two are people/programs that are still in the running but could be left out. And Tier Three are people/programs that I don’t expect to be nominated, but they would be a little bit of a surprise. Let’s take a look at the categories…

BEST WRITING – COMEDY SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Louie – “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1” – Pamela Adlon & Louis C.K.
The Office – “Finale” – Greg Daniels

*These are the only two contenders I feel completely confident in predicting. Louie won this category last year and this was the only episode the show submitted. Usually when a top contender only submits one episode for consideration, its chances are significantly increased. Even though The Office has fallen out of favor with some viewers and the voters, I still expect the series finale to get nominated. The show was still nominated in Writing after it was dropped from the other main categories in 2010 & 2011. Plus series finales usually get nominated and this one was particularly well received.*

TIER TWO:
Arrested Development – “Blockheads” – Mitchell Hurwitz & Jim Vallely
Girls – “Bad Friend” – Lena Dunham & Sarah Heyward
Girls – “One Man’s Trash” – Lena Dunham
Girls – “Together” – Judd Apatow & Lena Dunham
The Mindy Project – “Pilot” – Mindy Kaling
Modern Family – “Career Day” – Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh
Modern Family – “Fulgencio” – Bill Wrubel
Modern Family – “The Future Dunphys” – Elaine Ko
Modern Family – “Goodnight Gracie” – Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman
Modern Family – “Mistery Date” – Jeffrey Richman
Modern Family – “My Hero” – Abraham Higginbotham
Modern Family – “Party Crasher” – Christopher Lloyd & Danny Zuker
Parks and Recreation – “Halloween Surprise” – Michael Schur
Parks and Recreation – “Leslie and Ben” – Michael Schur & Alan Yang
30 Rock – “Hogcock!” – Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock
30 Rock – “Last Lunch” – Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield

*There’s a lot of contenders waiting in the wings. Arrested Development was smart by only submitting one episode, but they submitted one that wasn’t very memorable and the writing was one of the things most criticized by critics and fans. Also watch out for The Mindy Project‘s pilot episode. The category favors pilot episodes and Mindy Kaling is a previous nominee. It could sneak through some bigger contenders and get nominated. The other contenders: Girls, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock are all previous shows that have been nominated or even won this category. It’s just hard to decide what will get nominated and especially what episodes the voters are going to prefer. For some reason 30 Rock‘s finale episode was split into two different votes (even though that’s not the case in the Directing category). I would put that as more of a lock if that hadn’t had happened.*

TIER THREE:
The Big Bang Theory – “The Closet Reconfiguration” – Maria Ferrari, Steve Holland, Eric Kaplan, Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro & Jim Reynolds
The Big Bang Thery – “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation” – Adam Faberman, Maria Ferrari, Steve Holland, Eric Kaplan, Chuck Lorre & Steven Molaro
Community – “Basic Human Anatomy” – Jim Rash
Community – “Intro to Felt Surrogacy” – Gene Hong
Enlightened – “The Ghost Is Seen” – Mike White
Episodes – “Episode Nine” – David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
Girls – “Boys” – Murray Miller
Girls – “On All Fours” – Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner
Girls – “Video Games” – Bruce Eric Kaplan
The Mindy Project – “Take Me with You” – Jeremy Bronson & Mindy Kaling
New Girl – “Cooler” – Rebecca Addelman
New Girl – “Eggs” – Kay Cannon
New Girl – “Neighbors” – Berkley Johnson
New Girl – “Quick Hardening Caulk” – Brett Baer, Dave Finkel & Ryan Koh
New Girl – “Virgins” – Elizabeth Meriwether
New Girl – “Winston’s Birthday” – Brett Baer & Dave Finkel
Parks and Recreation – “Bailout” – Joe Mande
Parks and Recreation – “Ron and Diane” – Megan Amram & Aisha Muharrar
Parks and Recreation – “Two Parties” – Dave King
Veep – “Andrew” – Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche
Veep – “Helsinki” – Armando Iannucci & Ian Martin
Veep – “Hostages” – Sean Gray & Armando Iannucci
Veep – “Midterms” – Armando Iannucci & Will Smith
Veep – “The Vic Allen Dinner” – Simon Blackwell & Armando Iannucci

*While I’m not predicting any of these shows, the Emmys do some strange things in these categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Girls – “One Man’s Trash” – Lena Dunham
Louie – “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1” – Pamela Adlon & Louis C.K.
Modern Family – “Goodnight Gracie” – Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman
The Office – “Finale” – Greg Daniels
30 Rock – “Last Lunch” – Tina Fey & Tracy Wigfield

*I think Modern Family will return to this category with the season finale “Goodnight Gracie”. It was one of the show’s most talked about episodes and it was written by the same two writers that won the category in 2011. I’m predicting “One Man’s Trash” from Girls. It was the only submission solely written by Lena Dunham. And even though 30 Rock screwed up by splitting up both parts of the finale, I think the second part co-written by Tina Fey will still get recognized.*

BEST DIRECTING – COMEDY SERIES:
TIER ONE:
Louie – “New Year’s Eve” – Louis C.K.
30 Rock – “Hogcock!/Last Lunch” – Beth McCarthy-Miller

*Once again, I think Louis C.K. is a lock for a nomination. The show only submitted one episode and that helps tremendously. He was also nominated for a DGA for the same one. Beth McCarthy-Miller has been nominated for numerous Emmy awards and I think the series finale combination of 30 Rock will secure another one for her.*

TIER TWO:
Arrested Development – “Off the Hook” – Mitchell Hurwitz & Troy Miller
The Big Bang Theory – “The Proton Resurgence” – Mark Cendrowski
Girls – “On All Fours” – Lena Dunham
Girls – “One Man’s Trash” – Richard Shepard
The Mindy Project – “Pilot” – Charles McDougall
Modern Family – “Arrested” – Gail Mancuso
Modern Family – “Career Day” – Jim Hensz
Modern Family – “Fulgencio” – Lev L. Spiro
Modern Family – “The Future Dunphys” – Ryan Case
Modern Family – “Games People Play” – Alisa Statman
Modern Family – “Goodnight Gracie” – Steven Levitan
Modern Family – “Open House of Horrors” – James Bagdonas
Modern Family – “Party Crasher” – Fred Savage
Modern Family – “Schooled” – Jeffrey Melman
The Office – “Finale” – Ken Kwapis

*This is another big group of contenders. Arrested Development did another smart thing by only submitting one episode for consideration. Unlike the writing category, the submitted episode was one of the best of the mixed review season. This category also favors pilots so that helps out The Mindy Project. The Office series finale is also very much in the mix. Mark Cendrowksi received a DGA nomination this year and The Big Bang Theory has never been hotter. Maybe it will finally break through in the Directing category. Lena Dunham got a nomination last year and won the DGA award in January, but her submitted episode was particularly memorable and I don’t think it will happen again. And of course, Modern Family is always a contender. They submitted a lot of episode so it will come down to deciding what episode the Emmy voters prefer.*

TIER THREE:
The Big Bang Theory – “The Closet Reconfiguration” – Anthony Rich
The Big Bang Theory – “The Parking Spot Escalation” – Peter Chakos
Community – “Intro to Felt Surrogacy” – Tristram Shapeero
Girls – “Boys” – Claudia Weill
Girls – “It’s a Shame About Ray” – Jesse Peretz
Glee – “Diva” – Paris Barclay
Glee – “Shooting Star” – Bradley Buecker
New Girl – “Chicago” – Jake Kasdan
New Girl – “Cooler” – Max Winkler
The Office – “New Guys” – Greg Daniels
Parks and Recreation – “Article Two” – Amy Poehler
Parks and Recreation – “Leslie and Ben” – Craig Zisk
Parks and Recreation – “Two Parties” – Dean Holland
Raising Hope – “Burt Mitzvah: The Musical” – Eyal Gordin
30 Rock – “Game Over” – Ken Whittingham
30 Rock – “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World” – Jeff Richmond
Veep – “Andrew” – Christopher Morris
Veep – “Helsinki” – Becky Martin
Veep – “Running” – Tim Kirkby
Veep – “Signals” – Chris Addison

*While I’m not predicting any of these shows, the Emmys do some strange things in these categories sometimes so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see any of these names slip through the cracks and appear on the Emmy list on July 18th.*

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FINAL PREDICTIONS:
Arrested Development – “Off the Hook” – Mitchell Hurwitz & Troy Miller
Louie – “New Year’s Eve” – Louis C.K.
Modern Family – “Goodnight Gracie” – Steven Levitan
Modern Family – “Party Crasher” – Fred Savage
30 Rock – “Hogcock!/Last Lunch” – Beth McCarthy-Miller

*For the last three spots I went with Arrested Development, which I think will be its consolation prize for not getting in Best Comedy Series. And then I went with two Modern Family episodes. Steven Levitan won this award last year and Fred Savage is quickly becoming a respected TV director. I think their episodes will be the one that receive the most votes, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see another Modern Family episode take one of their places.*

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