When Joel McHale and Sofia Vergara announce the Emmy nominations on Thursday morning (July 8), there’s a strong likelihood that at least one of their shows — “Community” and “Modern Family” — will on the list for outstanding comedy series.
Unfortunately, though, we get the feeling that not both shows will make the cut. Much as we’d like to think both shows will on the list — as we had in our super-sized ballot a few weeks ago — we’re resigned to the idea that “Community” could be left on the outside.
After an unusually good year for TV comedy, at least three of the six nominees are likely to be first-timers — “Modern Family,” “Glee” and “The Big Bang Theory,” which had a breakout year in 2009-10. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and holdovers like “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “How I Met Your Mother” (even though they didn’t have their best seasons) are strong contenders too. That means more than a couple of shows will get snubbed.
“Better Off Ted”: Canceled because of low ratings after a truncated second season, “Ted” probably doesn’t stand much of a chance — despite some of the most screamingly funny moments on network TV last season. The episode where Veridian uses an employee’s death on the job to make everyone work even more was brilliant.
“Chuck”: We had this to say about NBC’s cult favorite last year: “No other show blends comedy, action and genuine emotion as well as ‘Chuck’ does.” That’s still true — and unfortunately, it’s also still true that the show’s unlikely to get much Emmy recognition.
“Community”: Along with its Thursday lead-out “Parks and Recreation” (see below), this show has one of the better chances of actually being nominated. Come for the blizzard of pop-culture references, stay for the surprisingly well-rounded characters and strong bond between them.
“Cougar Town”: If there were a “best show with a bad title” category, “Cougar Town” would be a shoo-in. Let us join the chorus of people who tell you that it has transcended its unfortunate moniker (and the early episodes that were trying a little too hard) to become one of the brighter ensemble shows on TV.
“The Middle”: The unsexiest of ABC’s Wednesday trio also quietly became more and more assured of itself over the course of its first season. Genuinely funny kids and good comic chemistry between Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn make this family comedy an underrated gem.
“Parks and Recreation”: No show since its creative forebear “The Office” has improved more from its first to its second season. In an ideal world, it would take “The Office’s” place on the Emmy ballot this year, but we’re not convinced that will be the case.
“Party Down”: The recently canceled Starz comedy has a good-sized following within the industry, but we’re skeptical it’s big enough to earn the show a nomination. More’s the pity.
“United States of Tara” and/or “Nurse Jackie”: Either show would be a worthy replacement for fellow Showtime series “Weeds,” which earned a nomination last year. But we don’t think more than one of them would make the list, which means that at least one of the deserving shows will get snubbed.
Coming Wednesday: The unlikely drama nominees
Photo credits: ABC, NBC