Tomorrow morning, the nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced well before breakfast, and as a TV site covering all this nonsense, it's our responsibility to bring you our Emmy predictions—wild and wacky as they may be. Seriously, the FCC requires all TV sites to make Emmy predictions. Look it up.
Last year, I semi-accurately picked 45 out of the 60 (75 percent accuracy) nominations in the ten main categories, which is nothing to pat myself on the back over. But that's because I was trying to predict what other people think... and where is the fun in that? This time around, I'm taking a slightly different approach and putting more emphasis on MY picks. Which means my accuracy percentage is about to tumble. Hard. Here are my picks for 2011 Emmy nominations in the comedy categories.
Comedies are supposed to make you laugh, right? That's why I've included Archer, Community, and Louie on the list. For my money, they're the three funniest shows on television right now. But I just don't see any of them actually getting nominated. Modern Family is a well-deserved shoo-in, but after that, 30 Rock, The Office, and Parks and Recreation will fight each other for spots. Glee is also a contender, but an uneven second season might penalize it. Also look for one of Showtime's many female-centric dramedies to crack the shortlist.
Wow, when did the lead comedy actor field get so thin? Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, and Jim Parsons are locks, and I've included them to keep my accuracy percentage at a respectable level. But after that? I even one spot blank because I couldn't bring myself to choose Glee's Matthew Morrison. Best singer? Sure. Best comedy actor? No way. Joel McHale is great, but Community is a pure ensemble and that hurts his chances. Louis C.K. is hands-down the funniest of the bunch, but it's hard to think he has a shot when the current season is where he's really starting to show his actual acting ability. Who else is out there? Josh Radnor? Ugh. I'm guessing Carell takes this one home as a parting gift.
I know what you're saying: "What!? No Tina Fey?" Yep, no Tina Fey. I know at least someone out there must think like I do, so please—give me a little support here in the comments if you aren't a Tina Fey fan. Toni Collette is the frontrunner here simply because of the amount of acting she does on the otherwise unspectacular United States of Tara. But you know who I want to see win? Patricia Heaton. She's such an underdog but so perfect on The Middle. Kaley Cuoco is also underhyped, but she's come a long way as Penny on The Big Bang Theory, so I picked her over Lea Michelle (Glee), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope), and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds). Plenty of worthy candidates here.
Look, Donald Glover cracks me up more than anyone else on network TV, so he makes my list. I've got JTF reppin' Modern Family, because I think he gives the most nuanced performance. Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet are great, but they're basically playing clowns (quite, literally, in Stonestreet's case). I also adore Ed Helms and Aziz Ansari, and Chris Colfer is Chris Colfer, so he gets a vote. But Danny Pudi is my pick because he's actually doing some real underappreciated acting here, much like the way Jim Parsons does so on The Big Bang Theory. Plus, Pudi also showed he can act like he's acting in the wonderful Abed-centric "Critical Film Studies."
Another category I consider pretty thin. Wiig's career is white-hot right now, so she makes the list against my better judgment. Betty White will be a sentimental pick forever, because she's immortal. Bet you didn't know that! Jane Lynch still manages to be funny somehow, even though she's on television 23 hours a day and always making me feel bad about myself. I'm trusting fellow TV.com writer Seth Abramovitch's call on Ellie Kemper, because he's an alright guy. Gillian Jacobs won't be nominated, but she deserves to be. I don't think people realize how funny she's made the character of Britta. But I will never tire of Sofia Vergara's shtick on Modern Family, so I give her the overall prize.
My picks—a combination of deserving and personal favorites—are certainly setting me up for disappointment, but I'll at least sleep easy.
Who would make YOUR list of Emmy nominations in the comedy categories?