2011 Emmy Predictions for Comedy: Will 'Glee' Fall and 'Parks and Rec' Rise?
2011 Emmy Predictions for Comedy: Will 'Glee' Fall and 'Parks and Rec' Rise?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
In 2005 Desperate Housewives was the hot new show on TV and it earned 15 Emmy nominations for its first season, but despite a ton of buzz, it failed to win the award for Outstanding Comedy Series. The following year, amid much criticism that the show was too dramatic and serious, it was surprisingly dropped from the Comedy Series race and only picked up seven nominations.

I mention this story at the start of my predictions for this year's Emmy nominations for Comedy because it seems eerily similar to Glee. The show had a ton of buzz for its first year, didn't win for Outstanding Comedy Series, and now, with criticism about its overly dramatic second season, there's a chance it too could be left out in the cold.

Glee may seem more stable than Desperate Housewives did, but Glee's nomination total will definitely have a significant drop from last year's 20. Stars like Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele will most likely fail to earn nominations this year and while I might be crazy, I think it will be left out of the race for Comedy Series.

On the other hand, Parks and Recreation is poised to be the new king of comedy. With a ton of buzz for the show and its star Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation has taken over where aging giants The Office and 30 Rock left off, and it should be a major player after only scoring one nomination in its first two seasons.

The real challenge is predicting how well new shows will do. After a lot of success with dramas, FX could finally be a serious contender for comedies with Louie, the edgy new series headed by the very funny Louis C.K. Showtime's female-centric dramedies (Weeds, Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara) have always done well, and The Big C will likely follow suit. And for the first time, TV Land could be a big factor with Hot in Cleveland, a show full of past Emmy nominees.

See My Emmy Predictions for the Drama Categories>>
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Here are my rather bold predictions for this year's Emmy nominees in the Comedy categories.

30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
The Big C
Hot in Cleveland
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation

I'm going out on a big limb predicting that Glee will get dropped from the list, but in a very competitive field, I could see it happening. Modern Family is guaranteed to return and 30 Rock is still beloved, even if its best days are behind it. The Big Bang Theory is the most popular show on TV, The Big C is the well-acted new Showtime series (like Nurse Jackie, which got nominated last year) and Parks and Recreation is generally regarded as the funniest show on TV and had a breakout year.

My one true wildcard is Hot in Cleveland. The show has a cast that has a strong track record at the Emmys and the show got two SAG Award nominations, with a win for Betty White. If the older Emmy voters are desperate to remember the more traditional sitcoms of the past, this show could sneak into the race.

Aside from Glee, I'm also leaving off The Office, which has been nominated for the past five years, but which has slipped in terms of quality. With so much fresh blood (including longshot contenders Louie and Community), I think voters will stop rubber-stamping this dinosaur.

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K., Louie
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Rob Lowe, Parks and Recreation

After the first three names on the list, this field becomes wide open and rather weak. It's why LeBlanc and Lowe (who are, in my opinion, supporting actors on their shows) have a great shot. It's also why a beloved cult performer like Louis C.K. can easily enter the race and shake things up. Sadly, with such an uncompetitive field, I'm worried that a beloved icon like William Shatner might somehow score a nomination for the canceled $#*! My Dad Says. If you think I'm being crazy, look at 2006 when Stockard Channing was nominated for Lead Actress for Out of Practice, a CBS sitcom canceled after just 14 episodes.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Laura Linney, The Big C
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town

Last year Falco won for her new Showtime dramedy. Two years ago Collette won for her Showtime dramedy. If that pattern holds, Linney is guaranteed a win, but Poehler could stop her with pure comedy. Cox is the only nominee I'm shaky on, and I could see her getting knocked out for a fourth Showtime lady (Mary-Louise Parker for Weeds), an old favorite (Patricia Heaton for The Middle) or a surprise nominee in Mike and Molly's Melissa McCarthy.

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation

Last year Ed O'Neill was the single adult from Modern Family not to be nominated, so this year I think they'll spread the love and it'll be Jesse Tyler Ferguson's time to sit out. I also think a ton of sympathy for Jon Cryer after the Charlie Sheen debacle will help him, and a huge year for Parks and Recreation will help Offerman enter the race. I'm leaving Chris Colfer off because I feel like Glee is going to get snubbed a lot for a more dramatic sophomore season, and Colfer had almost no funny moments for the whole year.

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Wendie Malick, Hot in Cleveland
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men

As with Cryer, I think the sympathy factor will help Taylor score another nomination. The real challenge here is Hot in Cleveland, which is doing the same thing as Modern Family and submitting all four ladies in this category. White has the prestige and Malick has the flashiest and hammiest role, which usually wins votes (it helped her score two nominations for Just Shoot Me!).

However, if Hot in Cleveland gets as much love as I think it will, I could imagine a scenario where Taylor and Bowen are left off and the other two Cleveland ladies (Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli) get in as well. Do not underestimate the passion Emmy voters will have for a throwback series with established sitcom stars, especially since White, Malick and Leeves have all been nominated in this category for previous roles.

The 63 Annual Emmy Award nominations will be announced Thursday, July 14 at 8:35am ET/5:35am PT by Fringe's Joshua Jackson and Mike and Molly's Melissa McCarthy.

(Image courtesy of NBC/FOX)