This season was a successful one for freshman comedies, with a whopping seven broadcast half-hour series making it to a second season, led by breakouts 2 Broke Girls and New Girl, and joined by several cable newbies including HBO’s Veep and Girls and Showtime’s House Of Lies. They will likely make the Emmy race more interesting, but it will be hard for newcomers to challenge the reigning best series winner, ABC’s Modern Family. Coming off wins two years in a row and still delivering the goods, ABC’s comedy juggernaut, the highest-rated series on television, remains the one to beat. Its competition includes three critically praised but ratings-challenged NBC series: 30 Rock, which is nearing the end of its run; Parks And Recreation; and Community.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
Here’s our assessment of the chances for a baker’s dozen of this year’s comedy series (in alphabetical order) and their stars:
Having just wrapped what’s been called one of its strongest seasons (and that’s saying something), NBC’s critical darling — a three-time Emmy winner for comedy series — is a safe bet for another nod. So are its leads, five-time nominees Tina Fey (who took home the prize in 2008) and Alec Baldwin (who won in 2008 and ’09). The show’s only potential stumbling block, however surmountable it may be, is the possibility that the cast’s on-screen shenanigans might be overshadowed by their off-screen ones (Baldwin’s threats to depart the series as well as Tracy Morgan’s gay-slur-laden stand-up set).
THE BIG BANG THEORY
Now that CBS’ comedy finally was nominated for the best series Emmy last year, it doesn’t take a genius like Sheldon Cooper to figure out it’s likely to be given a second turn at bat. With back-to-back lead actor wins under his belt, Jim Parsons is also a lock. Johnny Galecki, having bagged his first nod last year, is looking good to enter that race, too. The wildcards are the underrated Kaley Cuoco, who’s yet to receive her past-due lead actress nomination; and erstwhile Blossom, Mayim Bialik, who, thanks to the memorable impression she’s made as “the female Sheldon”, could break into the supporting actress derby. (more…)