Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Emmy Week (2013): Time to Liven Up Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards. Can Louis C.K. Save the Day?

For the past 6 years 2 shows have won Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards, 30 Rock and  Modern Family.  From 1999 until 2006 only one show repeated their victory and that show was Everybody Loves Raymond.  Between 1999 and 2006 shows like Ally McBeal, Friends, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, Arrested Development, and The Office each took their turn at the podium.  Each of these shows won in a year with critical support, they were the best seasons of their shows history, and deservedly.  The only win I would argue against was Everybody Loves Raymond's repeat, which should have been a repeat win for Arrested Development, or even Desperate Housewives.

As stated above 30 Rock and Modern Family have dominated these categories for six years, and this could be the seventh, this award winner has gotten stale like back to the days of Frasier's 5-peat in the mid to late nineties.  The big question of the week is can comedian Louis C.K. come in and save the day making this category a bit more interesting?

Ove the years only a few shows have repeated in this category, Frasier has the most wins at 5.  There are three shows tied with four wins: All in the Family, Cheers, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Four shows have three wins: 30 Rock, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Modern Family, and Taxi.  Seven shows have 2 wins: Everybody Loves Raymond, Get Smart, The Golden Girls, I Love Lucy, The Jack Benny Show, Murphy Brown, and The Phil Silvers Show.

Of the 65 years only 20 years have had repeat winners, which is pretty great at creating variety in this category, but we are in a drought.  Both Modern Family and 30 Rock are heavy front runners this year, but there is one upstart who could change it all, and that's Louis C.K. for Louie.

Over the years shows like Louie rarely win in the series category, but do score nominations.  Curb Your Enthusiasm is obviously the closest show to compare.  Curb  has been nominated for 39 Emmy Awards, but only won 2, only one non technical award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.  Louie has just tied Curb's record of two wins, one for writing last year, and one for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.  C.K. himself has been nominated all three the show has been on the air for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, but this is the first year the show has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series.  Can Louis C.K. do what Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld from an HBO series could never do with Curb, win?

Louis C.K. is nominated for nine Emmy Awards this year, and the answer is maybe.  Is there Modern Family fatigue?  The show was nominated for fewer awards this year, and one of their cast members was snubbed for the first time since the first season.  The show also has no writing nominations.  Can 30 Rock swing back for the purpose of sentimentality?  The show won it's first Emmy in 3 years Outstanding Casting, which is fairly rare for a show in its last season.  The only problem is that only two shows have won for their final seasons, and they are Everybody Loves Raymond and Barney Miller.  30 Rock may win win an acting and writing or directing, but not series.

Does this open the door for Louie?  Why not The Big Bang Theory, the most watched show comedy on television?  Bang has no writing or directing nominations, along with some of the other major technical awards that signal a win here.  Girls is too polarizing and has lost its sheen, and while Veep has the clout it did not score a writing or directing nomination in a show where those factors are the most important.

My gut says Modern Family will keep the snooze fest of this category alive, but I am going to go out on a limb, and predict that Louie will shake things up, and pull out a surprise victory in this category.

No comments: