EMMYS: Comedy Farewells

Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor.

A pair of long-running NBC comedies — 30 Rock and The Office — will be attempting a rare feat this year: They’ll be trying to win a top series Emmy in their final season. Both have tasted victory in the Outstanding Comedy Series race before, The Office taking the prize in 2006 and Rock in 2007, ’08 and ’09. But winning as a last hurrah is a whole other ballgame, though it’s happened four times before: The Mary Tyler Moore Show snared the comedy series prize in 1977, Barney Miller took it in 1982, Everybody Loves Raymond carted off the comedy trophy in 2005, and The Sopranos earned the top drama series statuette in 2007. Many other long-running series have tried to generate Emmy love in their last year. A few, like Seinfeld, have even been favored. (Seinfeld lost in its final season in 1998 to Frasier, which earned its record fifth statuette in a row.) But most series fail to cart off the gold amid the perception that their best days are behind them, whether accurate or not. As one Emmy-winning producer says: “By the time a show is in its final season, it’s no longer considered fresh or cool, and voters much prefer to reward the hot new thing. It’s just human nature.”

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview

Given this assessment, 30 Rock executive producer Robert Carlock — himself a three-time Emmy winner — admits to having no expectation of winning this year. 
“But I know what I need to do to make it happen,” he adds. “Every time I won, my son made me carry his C-3PO figurine with me. Every time we lost, I forgot 
to bring it. So I think I’ll take it again this year.”

Related: EMMYS: ‘Big Bang Theory’s Science

  1. A few, like Seinfeld, have even been favored. (Seinfeld lost in its final season in 1998 to Frasier, which earned its record fifth statuette in a row.)

    I could totally see why Seinfeld was favored. Nice…

  2. I think it’s much more likely that Greg Daniels gets the writing Emmy for “Finale” than the show getting the series Emmy. He had “The Office” back in its old form for the back half of the season, but it takes more than one half of a season to win. He wrote a textbook series finale masterpiece and and absolutely deserves the individual win; the series doesn’t.

  3. As much as I love 30 Rock, it should not win Outstanding Comedy Series at the emmys this year just because it was its final season. While the final season of 30 Rock was good overall, lets face it, the show’s quality was nowhere near as great as it once was which is expected after seven seasons.

    Parks & Recreations is much more deserving for outstanding Comedy Series. Amy Poehler in particular is long over due for an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy.

    1. Parks & Rec is long overdue a Best Comedy award but I think it would probably fit their description from the article of something that voters don’t see as “fresh” or “current”. Personally I think it’s gotten better each year, but I will not be surprised if Girls takes home the award this year, as Modern Family has taken a hit this year.

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