Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Emmy Musings: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Now that the 2011-2012 TV season is almost over, it’s hardly too early to start thinking about the Emmy nominations, which will be announced in July. Consider these preliminary thoughts rather than official predictions – look for those at the beginning of July. As always, chime in with your reactions and predictions in the comments, and don’t hesitate to let me know if I left any strong contenders off the list!

Last year’s ineligible nominees: Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) – now in lead

Last year’s eligible nominees:
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
This actor won this award last year on his second try, and he’s been just as entertaining and hilarious this past year. A number of actors have won this category multiple times, so Burrell has a good shot at repeating, and he’s a lock for another nomination since this show is still very much on top.

Chris Colfer (Glee)
This young actor continues to be one of the standout players on his show in its third season. After being nominated for a SAG Award and winning a Golden Globe in 2011, Colfer was snubbed by both organizations this past year, indicating that his show has lost steam. He might still be back since Emmy voters often hold on to old fads for a long time even after they’re no longer delivering top-notch performances.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
This actor has managed to get nominated for the past two years despite no one thinking that he will, and, like the past two years, most are predicting that he won’t be nominated again. Kevin Dillon managed to score three consecutive nominations, even after showier costar Jeremy Piven got snubbed, so I suspect that Ferguson will be back again for a third time.

Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
After being the only adult cast member snubbed for the show’s first season, O’Neill earned his first-ever Emmy nomination last year for playing the patriarch of this particular modern family. The show continues to be a hit, and his role is very central to the show, so it’s a good bet that he’ll be back to contend again, and, if this show goes the way of “The West Wing,” he might be the cast member to win this year.

Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
This actor won this award two years ago for the freshman season of this comedy series, and he continues to be the showiest male member of the ensemble, which all but guarantees his inclusion once again. The show is still popular enough that it will almost certainly continue to have its players nominated for the forseeable future, and definitely this year.

Past nominees:
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
After four consecutive nominations, this extremely popular actor was unceremoniously left off the list last year. He won an Emmy in 2010 for guest-starring on “Glee,” which means that he’s not overdue for a win. Voters don’t tend to welcome back past nominees except during final seasons in this category, so I wouldn’t count on Harris returning.

New contenders:
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
This actor has been praised as the funniest part of FOX’s new hit show, and he would be a truly fun inclusion in this race. He would fit in well with the other men previously recognized in this category, so he’s definitely a possibility. He’ll just have to break into an already crowded lineup and represent his show.

James Spader (The Office)
For his recurring role this past season, Spader will likely be considered a supporting player. Though he doesn’t necessarily deserve it, he may break into this category since he has a history of being nominated, winning three times out of four between 2004 and 2008 for “The Practice.” The show isn’t at its peak anymore, so the question is whether he’ll be the outlier or if he’ll be included as the best part of the show.

Other possibilities:
Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation)
It’s a crime that this actor has been snubbed for the past two years, especially since voters recognized the show in the Best Comedy Series category last year. Cryer being ineligible should hopefully pave the way for him to finally be nominated, though John Krasinski never managed to get in for his deadpan even in less crowded years. Here’s hoping!!


timetraveler said...

I don't think he will be nominated, but as far as I was concerned this year on The Office Spader's presence was the only thing that I really enjoyed. There were several episodes where he was actually given something to work with and he was terrific!

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