(First in a series of analyses about all the Emmy contenders.) After three consecutive Emmy wins in the best comedy series category, 30 Rock may be upstaged this year. Frankly, it’s anybody’s to win. HBO has Curb Your Enthusiasm coming off a very strong season plus perennial nominee Entourage, CBS has The Big Bang Theory, Two And a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother, in addition to 30 Rock, NBC has veteran The Office and promising sophomore Parks & Recreation and Showtime has Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara. But it’s two plucky newcomers, ABC’s Modern Family and Fox’s Glee, that have been stealing the early buzz. Since their fall launch, the two freshmen series have dominated the awards circuit. Glee won the best comedy series prizes at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, dethroning reigning champ 30 Rock at both. Modern Family won the DGA Award for comedy series and two WGA Awards, for new series and episodic comedy. (30 Rock won the best comedy series award and split the episodic comedy win with Modern Family). Both Modern Family and Glee also won Peabody Awards, along with a string of other accolades. So they have a big momentum in the top comedy category going into the Emmys. Things are a little different in the lead acting categories. The entire cast of Modern Family was submitted for supporting, as was the majority of the Glee cast including standout Jane Lynch. Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison will be competing in the lead acting field where 30 Rock’s Tina Fey and especially Alec Baldwin will still be the ones to beat. To make things even more intriguing, both Modern Family and Glee are produced by the same studio, 20th Century Fox TV, which will be mounting big campaigns for both. The studio wouldn’t discuss its Emmy marketing campaigns for the shows, with a 20th insider only saying that “both are getting robust campaigns”. And if pushing for both Modern Family and Glee is not enough, 20th has two more comedy contenders it’s going to promote heavily: last year’s best series nominees How I Met Your Mother and Family Guy.
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