September 20, 2012



Yesterday, we looked at the major Movies/Miniseries categories at Sunday’s Emmy Awards.  Today it’s time for the season’s honored comedies:


“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“Girls” (HBO)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“30 Rock” (NBC)
“Veep” (HBO)

WILL WIN: MODERN FAMILY, unexcitinglyfor the third year in a row–more from a process of elimination than anything else.  30 Rock has had its day, Girls needs one more season under its belt to prove it’s not a flash in the pan, Veep is more admired than loved, The Big Bang Theory is more loved than admired, and Curb Your Enthusiasm had a classic episode (“Palestinian Chicken”) but not a classic season.  That leaves Family, a smash hit everyone in the industry can feel good about.

SHOULD WIN:  GIRLS shouldn’t have to wait–it is, with the un-nominated Louie, the most arresting, exciting half-hour to hit television in years.



Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Louis C.K,”Louie”
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”

WILL WIN: Jim Parsons, with almost exactly the same reasoning.  Baldwin is a multiple winner, Cryer isn’t even the signature star of his show (which itself wasn’t nominated), and the other 3, while deserving, are on niche shows that probably can’t break through.

SHOULD WIN:  Larry David, because it’s time.  Louis C.K., however, should win the writing and directing awards for Comedy (partly because Lena Dunham chose to use the problematic Girls pilot script rather than, say, the brilliant party episode, as her submitted writing episode).



Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”
Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

WILL WIN:  The smart money is all on Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a proven Emmy favorite with the kind of showcase role that makes voters swoon, but we’re going to cross our fingers and say that this year, the award will go where it belongs:  Amy Poehler.  For the election episode alone, for the debate episode, and for generally transforming Leslie Knope from a cartoon into one of the most layered, beloved characters on television.

SHOULD WIN:  Duh, Poehler.



Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”
Max Greenfield, “New Girl”
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”

WILL WIN:  One of the Modern Family pack.  Let’s say Ed O’Neill.

SHOULD WIN:  Greenfield, who similarly to Poehler, somehow turned Mr. Douche Jar into a character you cared about in the course of a single season.



Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Kathryn Joosten, “Desperate Housewives”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie”
Kristen Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

WILL WIN: Kathryn Joosten.  It’s easy to be cynical about why, but Joosten did terrific work on the last season of Housewives, and no one could begrudge her the posthumous honor.

SHOULD WIN: Julie Bowen had a very strong season on Family, as funny as ever but with a character who deepened as the season went on.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."