"30 Rock" (NBC)
FOR THE RECORD:
For your consideration: "Arrested Development." The resurrected cult comedy dropped all 15 of its new episodes
Analysis: "Modern Family" has won for each of its three seasons, and now probably isn't the time to start betting against it. Dethroning it will take a bloc of voters uniting behind one show, and since people who love "Louie" also probably like "Girls" and "Veep" and "Arrested Development," finding such a show might prove problematic. For the contenders, winning a nomination in this particularly strong field will be a victory in itself.
COMEDY LEAD ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Prime contenders: Matt LeBlanc,
Bubbling under: Jake
For your consideration: Neil Flynn, "The Middle." Flynn's family comedy doesn't win the accolades or ratings of that other ABC Wednesday night comedy, but it's just as good in mining humor from family dynamics. Flynn may be a man of few words as the no-nonsense dad, but he makes each and every word count, providing the family — and the show — a solid center. The man's a master at pep talks too.
Analysis: Cryer, last year's unexpected winner, might not even be nominated. Or maybe we're just underestimating his chances — again — and he'll win back-to-back
COMEDY LEAD ACTRESS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Prime contenders: Laura Dern,
For your consideration: Laura Dern, "Enlightened." Her show has been canceled. And (ridiculously) she wasn't nominated last year. But Dern's intricate performance as a woman on a mission to be an "agent of change" was a complete and utter marvel, the best work in a pretty great career. It won't be forgotten, and it'd be nice if Emmy voters made a statement for ambition and excellence, nominating her here.
Analysis: Thanks to a tie, there were seven nominees last year. Without any slam-dunk newcomers (Kaling has an outside shot, at best), six of the seven should return, with the last spot likely coming down to a choice between Falco or McCarthy.
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Ed O'Neil, "Modern Family"
Adam Driver, "Girls"
Max Greenfield, "New Girl"
For your consideration: Adam Driver, "Girls." You saw "On All Fours," right? That Driver could do that and still make you feel something for the character is a testament to his talent.
Analysis: This could (and should) be the year when voters end the "Modern Family" blockade in this category. The arrival of "Arrested Development's" cast might provide the necessary means, though they're far from the only worthy alternatives. It'll likely come down to how many voters decide to reunite with the Bluth family and whether enough think there's room for the guys on "Girls."
COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Allison Williams, "Girls"
Bubbling under: Ellen Barkin,
For your consideration: Anna Chlumsky, "Veep." Her scenes with her family have been among the season's funniest. With Louis-Dreyfus winning an Emmy last year, castmate Chlumsky should be next in line.
Analysis: Bowen, Vergara and Bialik should all return as nominees. After that, it's wide open, with the "Arrested Development" and "Girls" ensembles poised as contenders and three-time nominee Krakowski, absent last year, deserving a final curtain call.