Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
It’s hardly a secret that the cast of ABC’s Modern Family have owned this category the past three years, winning each time. But the surprise this year is that the guy who has carted off two of those three Emmys – Eric Stonestreet – curiously wasn’t even nominated this time. So what has been four nominees is now just three: Ty Burrell (who won in 2011), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill. That trio will be competing with one returning nominee in SNL’s Bill Hader (who departed the show this past season) and a pair of first-timers in Tony Hale of HBO’s Veep and Adam Driver from the same network’s Girls. While the smart money remains on one of the Family nominees winning, it’s very much a wide open race.
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Emmy History: Four nominations. One win.
Why He Could/Should Win: Besides having won once before, Burrell enjoyed a banner year as Phil Dunphy on Family, including a spectacular turn opposite guest star Matthew Broderick in one memorable episode.
Why He Could/Should Lose: The fact his show’s vote is split three ways leaves Burrell cloaked in uncertainty. One of his winless costars could take it home.