2011 Primetime Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series

The 2011 Primetime Emmys are so close! September 18th to be exact. Up until the ceremony airs on FOX, I’ll be working through most of the major categories and discussing who could win, who should win and of course, who will win. I’ll likely be tackling two categories in each post, just so you know.

With only six days until the Emmy ceremony, I’ll be burning through all the major categories this week. Today we dip into the acting side of things and the supporting comedy races. I have to admit that both of these categories a smidgen boring – thanks Modern Family – but the discussion is worthwhile nonetheless. Here we go.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Chris Colfer, Glee
  • Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

What won’t happen: I just said that these categories are a bit boring, but that is mostly because I think Modern Family is taking away spots from better, more worthy performers on better series like Community, Cougar Town and Parks and Recreation. However, the mass of Modern Family folks means that this race is somewhat difficult to predict. On one hand, we could guess that the Family gentlemen will split the vote somehow, leading to a victory for Chris Colfer or Jon Cryer (god help us). Colfer might be the front-runner anyway considering his performance in the submitted “Grilled Cheesus” is a damn fine piece of work. And theoretically, voters might have felt sorry enough for prior winner Cryer to give him the win. On the other hand, Emmy voters clearly love Modern Family and they could just as easily still give this award to one of the men, even with the split vote. Eric Stonestreet won last year and picked a solid episode, Ty Burrell is still the best performer on the series and Ed O’Neill is Ed O’Neill. Although I like him a lot and his work in the submitted episode is great, I think Jesse Tyler Ferguson might be the only Modern Family guy to not have much of a chance. Cryer has to be out too, right?

What could happen: Between Colfer and the Burrell/O’Neill/Stonestreet trio, anything can happen. I already mentioned Colfer’s performance. Between the three Family guys, I think Ed O’Neill picked the best episode, both performance- and buzz-wise, but it might not be flashy enough to grab the trophy. Stonestreet picked a solid episode and Burrell’s work in “Good Cop Bad Dog” is enjoyable, but neither of those stand out in my mind too much. As a former winner, Stonestreet might need an obvious powerhouse performance. I’d personally rank the three O’Neill, Stonestreet and Burrell but the voters could – and probably do – feel differently.

What should happen: My Modern Family malaise is well-documented so it should come as no surprise that I’m all in on Chris Colfer. Sure, he’s work in “Grilled Cheesus” isn’t funny at all, but it’s well-rounded and moving. Amid a sea of solid, admirable comedic performances, Colfer might be in a great position.

What will happen: The Glee buzz has died down, but if there’s anyone who has survived the sophomore slump, it’s Chris Colfer. He’s won a Golden Globe since last year, this year he grabs the Emmy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
  • Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
  • Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

What won’t happen: This category is certainly less interesting than the male side of things. Again, there are a number of performances I would have preferred to see nominated and the lack of Parks and Recreation, Cougar Town and Community ladies is even more detrimental here. This is still a weird category, however. As it looks now, there are probably five people truly in the race. Jane Krakowski has been nominated in this category three times now, but that’s all the love she’s going to get. There is too much going on above her.

What could happen: Jane Lynch won this award last year and is hosting this year, so expecting her repeat isn’t remotely out of the question. Folks have cooled on Sue Sylvester, but that’s not really Lynch’s fault at all. The two Modern Family women were given much better material in season two (at least I think) and the series’ general perceived quality will only help them in the fight to win this category. Neither of them picked particularly good episodes, though, and if I were a betting man, I’d say Sofia Vergara has a much stronger shot to win than Julie Bowen. Everyone in the world now loves Betty White and if someone told me that she won 100 percent of the vote, I wouldn’t even blink an eye. And Kristen Wiig is coming off a summer where she became a movie star, which never hurts your chances to take home the trophy.

What should happen: Honestly, I don’t really love any of these performances enough to vouch for them that strongly. I liked Julie Bowen’s work a lot during this past season of Modern Family, but I don’t like the episode she chose at all. I’m over Betty White and don’t really think Kristen Wiig had many overly awesome bits last year on Saturday Night Live. Obviously Bridesmaids ruled, but still. Jane Lynch smartly chose a more grounded episode of Glee and yet it is hard to stump for a performer when the series so obviously works better without the character. So by default, I’m going with Sofia Vergara. The episode she chose is fine and she was very funny very often last season. I guess.

What will happen: It’s probably down to Betty White and Jane Lynch. Having the latter when while hosting would be a nice little treat, but I’m inclined to assume that the reign of Betty White is only going to continue. That makes me sad, but the Emmys often do that to me.


One response to “2011 Primetime Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series”

  1. Season Two of Glee was practically a one man show. The only story line anyone cared about was Kurt’s. Modern Family, however, is so evenly balanced that it’s difficult for any one actor to stand out. I don’t watch Jon Cryer’s show so can’t comment. I would say its either Colfer or Ty Burrell.


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