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Emmy Comedy Supporting Actor: What Will Happen?

'Modern Family' the force to reckon with

The Primetime Emmy nominations are less than 48 hours away, and we have two posts left in our “What Will Happen” series. The penultimate piece looks at supporting actor in a comedy, bursting with multiple shows with multiple candidates.

Post-‘Modern’: Since 2010, conversation in this category has begun and ended with “Modern Family,” whose Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet have combined for 11 nominations and three victories (two for Stonestreet, one for Burrell) in three years. Vote-splitting has not been an issue.  Show fatigue could trim those numbers this year, but the “Family” guys are still the default choice. And it’s worth noting that kid thesp Nolan Gould has as many winning moments as the grown-ups.

Cluster-pluck: “Modern Family” isn’t the only collision of comic actors. The revival of “Arrested Development” offers no fewer than four potential choices: Michael Cera, David Cross and past nominees Will Arnett and Jeffrey Tambor. For my money, Cera’s work, particularly as the Netflix season wound down, stood out.

Hale to the ‘Veep’: Tony Hale might have been savvy to hitch his wagon solely to “Veep” and not submit for “Arrested” as well — instead of diluting his base, he enhanced it. Though he has competition among “Veep” showmates Reid Scott, Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh, there’s just something about Hale that stands out.

‘Park’ place: This should go without saying, but it’s just a crime that “Parks and Recreation” has never drawn a supporting actor nomination. Nick Offerman is ridiculously overdue, while Aziz Ansari is gold every time he opens his mouth. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt’s bigscreen presence (“Zero Dark Thirty,” for example) should have reminded voters that his Andy Dwyer on “Parks” is an act — one of the best.

A ‘Big Bang’ theory: Also forever shut out of the supporting actor noms is “The Big Bang Theory,” which is overdue for a huge night at the Emmys. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are both in play, each with nice emotional moments to go with their everyday zingers.

Just one of the ‘Girls’: Adam Driver’s “was it or wasn’t it?” scene on “Girls” was as pure a conversation starter as anything in halfhour TV in 2012-13. The moment climaxed (to say the least) a caustically grim arc for the actor that wasn’t exactly laugh out loud, but fits with the same voting camp that makes a comedy heroine out of Nurse Jackie. Christopher Abbott and Alex Karpovsky are also in the “Girls” mix, but Driver’s in the driver’s seat.

Farewell, my lovelies: Last-chance nominations are at stake for “30 Rock” actors Jack McBrayer and Tracy Morgan, as well as John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson of “The Office.” All have been previously nominated except Krasinski, whose final season as Jim Halpert took on the added tension of marital strife.

Return trips: Just because I’ve come this far without writing about 2012 nominees Max Greenfield (“New Girl”) and Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”) doesn’t mean they can’t earn repeat trips. Greenfield was less of an attention-getting phenom in 2012-13, but his hopes might be enhanced by castmate Jake Johnson’s move into the lead category.

Looking for love: Donald Glover, Danny Pudi and Jim Rash of “Community” are all deserving of noms, but if it didn’t happen before, it doesn’t seem like it would happen now. Hosting this year’s Emmys keeps 2007-10 nominee Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) in the conversation. Fred Armisen has his fan club for “Portlandia,” as do Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele.”  Chris Messina and Ike Barinholtz of “The Mindy Project” might be the best hopes from new series, at least from the broadcast networks.

In memoriam: He’ll be remembered during the Emmycast, but Cory Monteith of “Glee” passed away well after the TV Academy voting  deadline.

One man’s wish list: Burrell, Cera, Greenfield, Nayyar, Offerman, Pratt.

One man’s best guesses: Burrell, Driver, Greenfield, Hale, O’Neill, Stonestreet.

Previously:
Emmy Drama: What Will Happen?
Emmy Comedy: What Will Happen?
Emmy Drama Lead Actor: What Will Happen?
Emmy Drama Lead Actress: What Will Happen?
Emmy Comedy Lead Actor: What Will Happen?
Emmy Comedy Lead Actress: What Will Happen?
Emmy Drama Supporting Actor: What Will Happen?
Emmy Drama Supporting Actress: What Will Happen?

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