There’s always major competition to win a Primetime Emmy Award, but this year in particular some of the supporting fields are stacked in the comedy world. You have so many shows with ensemble casts, and within that there are many deserving nominees. We all know “Modern Family” is a great show, but at the same time it almost seems like a disservice to other comedy shows to have Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ed O’Neill only leave two spots open to other shows.
We don’t think “Modern Family” will have as great a foothold on this category in 2012, and with that be ready for a good many first-time nominees along with plenty of surprises.
The deserving nominees
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (ABC) – All of the “Modern Family” actors are stellar in their roles, but the reigning champ here brings something special — he’s basically the father version of Michael Scott from “The Office,” and manages to be so endearing even when he is doing something catastrophically wrong.
Danny Pudi, “Community” (NBC) – Last season, we would have put Donald Glover in this place thanks to his LeVar Burton meltdown. However, Pudi was really the star of season 3 through and through — in between the multiple timelines of “Remedial Chaos Theory” or his entire episode themed around the Dreamatorium. Abed Nadir may be lovable, but why Pudi is Emmy-worthy here is that he also showed the insecurity of the character and that there is a dark side laying underneath the surface.
Jake Johnson, “New Girl” (FOX) – Most voters are probably going to lean to Max Greenfield for his in-your-face portrayal of Schmidt. But what makes Johnson’s Nick more appealing to us is that rather than being externally insane, he’s more of a ticking time bomb. On the surface he seems perfectly normal — but as you dig deeper, you find a man so emotionally damaged that he may be more insane than anyone else around him.
Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC) – Who doesn’t love Ron Swanson? We still haven’t got over Offerman’s snub from last year, and he plays a character who is to this day very distinct.
Charlie Day, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FX) – Will “Sunny” ever get any love from the Emmys? If so, Day has the best shot for a character who is just delightfully certifiable and defines “bottom feeder” in every sense of the word.
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) – Just for his character of Stefon alone, Hader should get the nod. While the recently-departed Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg may both be bigger stars, Hader was a quiet force throughout almost all of this past season, taking on a variety of hilarious characters while never looking as though he is trying too hard.
Honorable mentions: Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”), Damon Wayans Jr. (“Happy Endings”), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”), Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”), Donald Glover (“Community”).
The likely nominees
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” – As we said, there will at least be one “Modern Family” nominee — and with Burrell as the reigning champ, he is going to be the likely favorite here again.
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family” – We’ll add that there will probably be two “Modern Family” nominees this year (mostly since there always are), and it’s hard to complain too much about Stonestreet being the other. Cam is complex in that he, like Burrell’s Phil, is an outsider to the Pritchett clan — and is thus often keen to get himself in the most trouble.
Danny Pudi, “Community” – We wouldn’t be surprised if Pudi is snubbed over someone like Neil Patrick Harris or Nick Offerman, but the recent edge given to his show from the Critics’ Choice Television Awards could help him.
Simon Helberg, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) – While we personally felt that there was actually too much of Howard Wolowitz on “The Big Bang Theory” this season, Helberg’s increased presence should help him obtain his very first Emmy nomination.
Max Greenfield, “New Girl” – As we said before, voters are likely going to recognize the more over-the-top character on the show in Greenfield’s Schmidt. The good news? While we prefer Johnson, this is still a deserving nomination.
Chris Colfer, “Glee” (FOX) – There had to be a “Glee” actor mixed in here somewhere, right? As talented as Colfer is, though, Kurt was given far better material in season 2.
Likely to receive votes: Nick Offerman, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live”).
Who do you want to see take home this award? Be sure to answer both with the poll and the comment box below!
Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences