Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
It’s hardly a secret that the cast of ABC’s Modern Family have owned this category the past three years, winning each time. But the surprise this year is that the guy who has carted off two of those three Emmys – Eric Stonestreet – curiously wasn’t even nominated this time. So what has been four nominees is now just three: Ty Burrell (who won in 2011), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill. That trio will be competing with one returning nominee in SNL’s Bill Hader (who departed the show this past season) and a pair of first-timers in Tony Hale of HBO’s Veep and Adam Driver from the same network’s Girls. While the smart money remains on one of the Family nominees winning, it’s very much a wide open race.
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Emmy History: Four nominations. One win.
Why He Could/Should Win: Besides having won once before, Burrell enjoyed a banner year as Phil Dunphy on Family, including a spectacular turn opposite guest star Matthew Broderick in one memorable episode.
Why He Could/Should Lose: The fact his show’s vote is split three ways leaves Burrell cloaked in uncertainty. One of his winless costars could take it home.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview READ MORE »
Emmys Live-Blog; Emmys By The Numbers; Emmy Analysis: Broadcast TV’s Big Awards Comeback; Red Carpet Executive Arrivals
Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.
Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …
Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” … Read More »