The 2011 Emmy nominations are likely to set up a Mad Men vs. Boardwalk Empire showdown for Best Drama. As for Best Comedy, a rematch between Glee and Modern Family may be at hand whether the shows have the most nominations or not. However, although the two made a big splash as freshmen favorites last year, can they avoid a sophomore slump at Emmy time, or will other new favorites make a splash?
Both Glee and Modern Family were the biggest new comedy hits of 2010, leaping over old favorites like 30 Rock and The Office. However, as with most smash hits, the two shows faced more critics in their second season, although Glee got torn apart a lot worse.
As such, since Modern Family avoided a large amount of criticism in Season 2 — at least more than Glee did — it may be the clear favorite for a second straight victory. However, Glee did win at the Golden Globes months ago, in the midst of its Season 2 backlash, so it can’t be counted out quite yet.
But there are other comedies critics have favored this year and will be rooting for to make an impact on nomination day. The main wild card may be The Big Bang Theory, which is CBS’s new comedy leader after Two and a Half Men collapsed under the Charlie Sheen debacle.
Chuck Lorre’s other hit has never been nominated for Best Comedy despite Jim Parsons’ win for Comedy Actor last season. Yet that is likely to change in 2011: Its ratings and new place on the CBS pecking order could post a challenge to Modern Family.
However, the NBC comedy lineup is still out there and doesn’t just include 30 Rock and The Office anymore. New critical favorite Parks and Recreation could sneak in for the first time, while long shot cult hit Community has placed high on many critics’ “wish list” Emmy ballots. But 30 Rock should take a spot after it suffered its first loss last year, and The Office could return for its final episodes with Steve Carell.
While cable dominates the drama categories, it may have a small place in comedy, especially since HBO doesn’t have Curb Your Enthusiasm eligible this year. However, Showtime has The Big C and Nurse Jackie to offer, and perhaps the Academy’s love for Betty White could get TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland some attention.
Before last year, 30 Rock always had the most comedy Emmy nominations by a wide margin, but things are a bit more wide open now. Yet Modern Family should have the edge Thursday, especially since most of its cast will likely get nominated again; maybe Ed O’Neill will join them this time. Still, with Glee in an uncertain position, and other new darlings rising up, comedy may not be a two-show race in 2011.
Buddy TV- “2011 Emmy Predictions for Comedy: Will Glee Fall and Parks & Rec Rise?”