There’s new blood coming to Emmy’s comedy race this year, and it’s long overdue.
When the Primetime Emmy nominations are unveiled July 10, there are sure to be some stalwarts among the contenders for best comedy: namely, “Modern Family,” which has clinched the top prize for four consecutive years. Also likely to return is “Veep,” which has been nominated the last two years, and “The Big Bang Theory,” a three-time nominee in the category.
Another strong contender is Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” which has been nonmed for its past two seasons, but has slipped a bit on the pop culture radar the last year. And Louis C.K.’s “Louie” returned for its fourth season on FX after a 19-month hiatus, but the series is by no means a slam dunk: it was only nominated for the top prize once (in 2013) in its three previous seasons.
Which brings us to the new blood, beginning with Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” The first season of the prison-set series was submitted in the drama category at both the SAG Awards and Golden Globes, where it failed to make an impact, outside of a Globe nod for star Taylor Schilling. The powers that be switched it to the comedy arena for the Critic’s Choice Award and the gamble paid off; it snagged awards for supporting actress Kate Mulgrew, guest star Uzo Aduba, and best comedy series. Will it work for the Emmy race as well? Most likely.
Also likely is the Andy Samberg comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which surprised many by winning Golden Globe Awards in January for best comedy and Samberg for comedy actor. While it doesn’t have the watercooler status of “Orange,” it has enough of a fanbase and strong critical support to break in. The same could be said of another freshman series, HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” a recent entry that has many admirers, particularly for star Thomas Middleditch.
And many fingers are crossed for NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” While not a new series—it’s about to enter its seventh and final season—it’s coming off one of its strongest years yet. Star Amy Poehler is consistently nominated, but show itself has only been recognized with a nom once, in 2011. A return to the category would be a welcome addition—if a longshot.
As the clock ticks down to Thursday’s pre-dawn nominations announcement, here are our picks for the most likely comedy series contenders: