The Primetime Emmy nominations don't come out for another two weeks (working in Daytime, I have to differentiate between Primetime and Daytime Emmys; the rest of you are at liberty to find this practice laughably quaint), but I figured I'd get to the process of trying to guess at their annual mercurial voting practices. I'm breaking these up into a few posts over the next few days.
It's important to remember, these are who I think WILL be nominated, not who SHOULD. That's for a later post.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
How I Met Your Mother
Two and a Half Men
The traditional inertia of the Emmy nominating committee means the relatively down seasons for 30 Rock and The Office won't knock them off their perches. But this being The Year Comedy Was Discovered Again, there will definitely be room for the new. Glee will surely ride its waves of hype to a nomination, but I'm not sure it's going to dominate the way people think. Modern Family, however, is poised to be the West Wing of the comedy categories. And while we could possible see even more of the newbie comedies show up, I'm betting on Curb to show up for its Seinfeld season, and for Big Bang to get the CBS slot. As for Community, I suppose you could look to Arrested Development as proof that winky, critically-adored comedies can succeed, but the competition is way tougher this year.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin ( 30 Rock)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Joel McHale (Community)
Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Jason Schwartzman (Bored to Death)
David Duchovny (Californication)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Yes, it may well be foolish not to predict Matthew Morrison's nomination, but see above re: my prediction of Glee getting merely moderate Emmy love. But it is an awfully weak category. Baldwin, Carell, and Parsons are no-brainers to repeat. Shalhoub is repping a dead show, but the Emmys haven't shown any signs of not loving him thus far. I'm also predicting they'll rally around Sheen after all his problems. And I think Curb was enough of a buzzy favorite this past season that the questionable acting of Larry David will once again be rewarded.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Toni Collette (United States of Tara)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Patricia Heaton (The Middle)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory)
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
Lea Michele (Glee)
Courteney Cox (Cougar Town)
You can never tell for 100% sure how a new show will be received by Emmy voters, but I think we can be pretty sure that they already like Edie Falco. I'd be very surprised if she doesn't win her fourth Emmy. I'm picking her Showtime cohorts, Collette and MLP, but to be honest I'm not 100% about either of them, even if Toni did win last year (and even though Tara had an even better season this year). Tina Fey isn't going anywhere. It's conceivable that Ferrera and/or Julia Louis-Dreyfus could get bon-voyage nods for their cancelled shows, but the Emmys don't do that as often as you'd think. Instead, I'm picking half-cynically (Emmy loves Patricia Heaton and they seem to love hit sitcoms that appeal to the un-hip masses) and half-optimistically (even if I don't see Parks and Rec getting all the love it deserves, Poehler stands a good shot anyway, right?).