HEY, ‘FAM­ILY,’ MAKE ROOM …

Los Angeles Times - - THE ENVELOPE - Glenn.whipp@la­times.com

‘Mod­ern Fam­ily” won its fifth straight com­edy se­ries Emmy last year, ty­ing the record held by “Frasier.” Can it break the record this year? A num­ber of no­table new­com­ers stand in the way. An early look at the Emmy com­edy races:

Prime con­tenders: “Jane the Vir­gin,” “The Co­me­di­ans,” “black-ish,” “Parks and Recre­ation,” “Girls”

Bub­bling un­der: “Hap­py­ish,” “Broad City,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Brook­lyn Nine-Nine,” “Episodes,” “Shame­less,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “Nurse Jackie,”

“Fresh Off the Boat,” “To­geth­er­ness”

For your con­sid­er­a­tion: “Parks and Rec’s” fi­nal sea­son gen­er­ated but a frac­tion of the fawn­ing farewells ac­corded to “Mad Men” and David Let­ter­man, but the se­ries was just as ground­break­ing in its weekly em­brace of in­tegrity, op­ti­mism and break­fast. “Parks’ ” last 10 episodes en­hanced its le­gacy of sin­cere silli­ness, mean­ing it’s now up to Tele­vi­sion Academy vot­ers to send it out in a proper fash­ion.

Anal­y­sis: With the cat­e­gory ex­pand­ing to seven nom­i­nees and “Or­ange Is the New Black” shift­ing (against Net­flix’s wishes) out of com­edy and over to drama, there’s room for two new shows (or an old fa­vorite, see above) and ev­ery rea­son to be­lieve that the rest of last year’s well-loved class (“Mod­ern Fam­ily,” “Veep,” “Louie,” “Sil­i­con Val­ley” and “The Big Bang The­ory”) will re­turn. It’s hard to bet against Tina Fey and Robert Car­lock’s “Kimmy Sch­midt,” given Emmy vot­ers’ in­tense love for their “30 Rock” over the years. And “Trans­par­ent” has earned ec­static re­views and has the tran­scen­dant Jef­frey Tam­bor — a pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion.

COM­EDY AC­TOR

Jef­frey Tam­bor, “Trans­par­ent”

Jim Par­sons, “The Big Bang The­ory”

Louis C.K., “Louie”

Billy Crys­tal, “The Co­me­di­ans”

Wil­liam H. Macy, “Shame­less”

Don Chea­dle, “House of Lies”

Prime con­tenders: Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”; Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”; An­thony An­der­son, “black-ish”

Bub­bling un­der: Thomas Mid­dled­itch, “Sil­i­con Val­ley”; Andy Sam­berg, “Brook­lyn Nine-Nine”; Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jun­gle”; Ian McKel­lan, “Vi­cious”; Randall Park, “Fresh Off the Boat”

For your con­sid­er­a­tion: Forte had no fear on “Last Man,” tak­ing the show’s premise to log­i­cal ex­tremes and trust­ing the au­di­ence to fol­low. When the Griz­zly Adams-style beard dis­ap­pears into the scenery, you know the ac­tor is on the right track.

Anal­y­sis: Tam­bor is an ab­so­lute lock (prob­a­bly for the win too), and Crys­tal has built up plenty of good­will to win a nod for his first-year show. Chea­dle won nom­i­na­tions for each of his show’s three el­i­gi­ble sea­sons, as has LeBlanc. Macy, mean­while, broke through last year when “Shame­less” jumped from drama to com­edy. Likely, one of the three vets won’t re­turn, more if vot­ers de­cide to re­ward An­der­son for his fresh, in­ven­tive work as the pa­tri­arch on “black-ish.”

COM­EDY ACTRESS

Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus, “Veep”

Gina Ro­driguez, “Jane the Vir­gin”

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recre­ation”

El­lie Kem­per, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt”

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”

Amy Schumer, “In­side Amy Schumer”

Prime con­tenders: Lily Tom­lin, “Grace and Frankie”; Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”; Lisa Kudrow, “The Come­back”

Bub­bling un­der: Con­stance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat”; Tracee El­lis Ross, “black­ish”; Lena Dun­ham, “Girls”; Anna Faris, “Mom”; Kristen Schaal, “The Last Man on Earth”

For your con­sid­er­a­tion: Schumer has dom­i­nated the cul­tural con­ver­sa­tion in re­cent weeks with her bril­liant, cut­ting com­edy sketch se­ries. Some vot­ers might ding her for the show’s for­mat and limited run, but I’d guess most will be ea­ger to break with tra­di­tion and salute her gutsy work. Space lim­i­ta­tions con­strict a full ac­count­ing of the high­lights. Just start with her turn as Bill Cosby’s de­fense at­tor­ney and work back from there.

Anal­y­sis: Poehler and Falco are leav­ing, but Tele­vi­sion Academy mem­bers should bring them out for a cur­tain call. Else­where, it’s a battle of vet­er­ans (Fonda, Tom­lin, Kudrow) against rel­a­tive new­com­ers (Ro­driguez, Kem­per, Schumer). I’m bet­ting vot­ers fol­low the bet­ter shows.

COM­EDY SUP­PORT­ING AC­TOR

Ti­tuss Burgess, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt”

An­dre Braugher, “Brook­lyn Nine-Nine”

Ty Bur­rell, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”

Tony Hale, “Veep”

Hugh Lau­rie, “Veep”

Eric Ston­estreet, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”

Prime con­tenders: Jesse Tyler Fer­gu­son, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”; Fred Ar­misen, “Port­landia”; Josh Gad, “The Co­me­di­ans”; Sam Water­ston, “Grace and Frankie”; Martin Sheen, “Grace and Frankie”

Bub­bling un­der: Adam Driver, “Girls”; Ed O’Neill, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”; Nick Of­fer­man, “Parks and Recre­ation”; Terry Crews, “Brook­lyn Nine-Nine”; T.J. Miller, “Sil­i­con Val­ley”; Jaime Camil, “Jane the Vir­gin”

For your con­sid­er­a­tion: On public ser­vice merit alone, Ar­misen de­serves a nod for bring­ing aware­ness to early on­set grumpi­ness. I no longer feel alone.

Anal­y­sis: With Emmy fa­vorite Lau­rie on board, this might be the year “Veep” scores as many noms as “Mod­ern Fam­ily.” Ston­estreet, Bur­rell and Hale have won in the past five years, but Burgess’ out­ra­geous work on “Kimmy” could well up­end the cat­e­gory.

COM­EDY SUP­PORT­ING ACTRESS

Al­li­son Jan­ney, “Mom”

Julie Bowen, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”

Kate McKin­non, “Satur­day Night Live”

Ju­dith Light, “Trans­par­ent”

Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Mayim Bia­lik, “The Big Bang The­ory”

Prime con­tenders: Jane Krakowski, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt”; Car­rie Brown­stein, “Port­landia”; Mer­ritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie; Sofia Ver­gara, “Mod­ern Fam­ily”

Bub­bling un­der: Betty White, “Hot in Cleve­land”; Me­lanie Lynskey, “To­geth­er­ness”; Carol Kane, “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt”; Amanda Peet, “To­geth­er­ness”; An­drea Navedo, “Jane the Vir­gin”; Amy Lan­decker, “Trans­par­ent”

For your con­sid­er­a­tion: In terms of de­gree of dif­fi­culty, it’s hard to beat Lynskey’s work on “To­geth­er­ness,” which evokes laugh­ter, em­pa­thy and con­nec­tion in equal bal­ance. Oh, and she kills at kick the can.

Anal­y­sis: Look for sta­bil­ity to pre­vail here with all of last year’s nom­i­nees (ex­cept for “Or­ange’s” Kate Mul­grew, who has been moved to drama) re­turn­ing. Light and Krakowski, both play­ing ir­re­sistible nar­cis­sists, are the lead­ing can­di­dates to join them.

Chris Has­ton NBC

THERE WASN’T much fan­fare for the fi­nal sea­son of “Parks and Recre­ation,” but there was still plenty of heart in its last episodes to war­rant recog­ni­tion.

Jaimie True­blood HBO

ME­LANIE LYNSKEY finds just the right bal­ance in “To­geth­er­ness.”

Ali Gold­stein Com­edy Cen­tral

AMY SCHUMER’S sketch show spot­lights a dar­ing mind at work.

Fox

WILL FORTE isn’t afraid to take “The Last Man” for a hairy ride.

Au­gusta Quirk IFC

A SALUTE to “Port­landia’s” Fred Ar­misen, from one grump to an­other.

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