Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor.
Just when we think we’ve finally got them figured out, those wacky folks in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continue to surprise us in the Golden Globe Awards television races. They remain as unpredictable as ever in the nominations for the 2014 awards, with perhaps the biggest surprise being that Showtime’s Homeland – after winning the top drama series prize two years in a row — wasn’t nominated at all this time. In fact, Homeland generated precisely zero noms after having swept the series and acting categories a year ago, as did its stars and last year’s winners, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
TCA: Andy Samberg, Producers Say Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Is No Spoof Or Satire, But A Workplace Comedy
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Today at TCA, cast and producers of Fox’s new cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine said they will tap into their pool of funny friends as cameo guest stars —especially star Andy Samberg’s pals from SNL (Fred Armisen has a cameo in the pilot).
But after the panel, creator/executive producer Michael Schur said audiences should not expect cast members of his other comedy, Parks And Recreation, to appear on Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast anytime soon. “Nick Offerman has already volunteered” to appear, Schur said, but he and fellow creator/EP Dan Goor (also a Parks And Rec producer/writer) wants to let the Brooklyn cast “get on track” before trying any cross-pollination.
UPDATE: NBC’s ‘Guys With Kids’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’ & ’1600 Penn’ Cancelled, ‘Parks & Recreation’ Renewed
2ND UPDATE, 2:45 PM: More cleanup at NBC. Freshman comedy Guys With Kids and sophomore Up All Night also are gone. It comes down to Go On, The New Normal and Community on the comedy side, on which NBC is yet to make a decision… Hannibal looks promising on the drama side, and people are cautiously optimistic about Community among half-hours. The cancellation of both Whitney and Guys With Kids means that NBC won’t have an existing multi-camera companion for the only multi-cam new comedy series it has picked up so far, Sean Saves The World. It may be paired with another multi-cam comedy project that is awaiting word on a pickup, pilot Undateable. As for Up All Night, the cancellation is a formality as the series died when the plan to convert it from a single- to multi-camera format fell apart. The axing gives CBS the free and clear to pickup its untitled Greg Garcia comedy pilot, starring Up All Night‘s Will Arnett, to series.
Related: NBC’s New Series Pickups
UPDATE, 1:58 PM: The axe has begun to fall on NBC’s bubble comedies: Whitney and 1600 Penn. The cancellation of Whitney frees up two comedy pilots to get series orders — NBC’s Undateable, which stars Whitney‘s Chris D’Elia, and CBS’ Friends With Better Lives, which stars Zoe Lister Jones. Whitney has been a lightning rod since its launch, drawing polarizing reactions and getting mostly panned by critics. It started off OK in the ratings last season but gradually fizzled. It returned late last fall and did decent business on Wednesday but its long-term prospects remained dim. Not much to say about freshman 1600 Penn, whose cancellation was a mere formality after a dismal midseason run.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development a comedy project from Parks And Recreation writer-producer Alan Yang and the series’ co-creator/executive producer Greg Daniels. The untitled comedy, from Universal TV and Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods, centers on a strict “Tiger Dad” who, after a near-death experience, tries to reprogram his super-responsible son to be more like his fun-loving immature roommates. Yang will write the script and executive produce with Deedle Dee’s Daniels and Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor
In Season 4’s final episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), deputy director of the parks and rec department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, is devastated to learn that she has, by a narrow margin, lost her bid for a city council post. But wait, Leslie fans: on recount, it turns out she’s actually won the race!
Success has been kind of like that all along for Parks and Recreation, the heartland workplace comedy created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who also worked on NBC’s multiple Emmy-winning series The Office: Not without anxiety.
After a rocky start with critics who thought the single-camera mockumentary too much resembled The Office, Parks and Recreation grew in critical acclaim. Last year, the show received its first nomination for comedy series and its second for Poehler for comedy actress. Although pundits saw a second series nomination as a strong possibility this year, Parks and Recreation was knocked off the best comedy list by newcomers Girls and Veep. However, star and show producer Poehler earned her third acting nom, as well as her first for writing. Schur also received a writing nom, demonstrating that the TV Academy still has a fondness for the series.
The momentum for female TV comedy writers continues. On the heels of the recent success of comedy series created/co-created by women — including Fox’s New Girl, ABC’s Suburgatory and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls – and a second consecutive upfront with multiple pickups of new series from female creators including Fox’s The Mindy Project from Mindy Kaling and ABC’s How To Live With Your Parents from Claudia Lonow, female comedy writes are now making big strides in the boy’s club known as the writing for a comedy series Emmy category. Lena Dunham, creator-star of HBO’s new comedy series Girls, and Amy Poehler, star of NBC’s Parks And Recreation, today landed comedy series writing Emmy nominations alongside Parks & Rec co-creator Michael Schur, Louie creator-star Louis C.K., and Community’s Chris McKenna. Film prodigy Dunham is nominated for the Girls pilot, while Poehler is recognized for writing ”The Debate” episode of Parks & Rec. I counted only a handful times in Emmy history when two female writers have received comedy writing nominations, the last time in 2002 when Jennifer Crittenden was nominated for the “Marie’s Sculpture” episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky for the ”My Motherboard, My Self” episode of Sex And The City.
Related: 2012 EMMYS NOMINATIONS
This season was a successful one for freshman comedies, with a whopping seven broadcast half-hour series making it to a second season, led by breakouts 2 Broke Girls and New Girl, and joined by several cable newbies including HBO’s Veep and Girls and Showtime’s House Of Lies. They will likely make the Emmy race more interesting, but it will be hard for newcomers to challenge the reigning best series winner, ABC’s Modern Family. Coming off wins two years in a row and still delivering the goods, ABC’s comedy juggernaut, the highest-rated series on television, remains the one to beat. Its competition includes three critically praised but ratings-challenged NBC series: 30 Rock, which is nearing the end of its run; Parks And Recreation; and Community.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
Here’s our assessment of the chances for a baker’s dozen of this year’s comedy series (in alphabetical order) and their stars:
Having just wrapped what’s been called one of its strongest seasons (and that’s saying something), NBC’s critical darling — a three-time Emmy winner for comedy series — is a safe bet for another nod. So are its leads, five-time nominees Tina Fey (who took home the prize in 2008) and Alec Baldwin (who won in 2008 and ’09). The show’s only potential stumbling block, however surmountable it may be, is the possibility that the cast’s on-screen shenanigans might be overshadowed by their off-screen ones (Baldwin’s threats to depart the series as well as Tracy Morgan’s gay-slur-laden stand-up set).
THE BIG BANG THEORY
Now that CBS’ comedy finally was nominated for the best series Emmy last year, it doesn’t take a genius like Sheldon Cooper to figure out it’s likely to be given a second turn at bat. With back-to-back lead actor wins under his belt, Jim Parsons is also a lock. Johnny Galecki, having bagged his first nod last year, is looking good to enter that race, too. The wildcards are the underrated Kaley Cuoco, who’s yet to receive her past-due lead actress nomination; and erstwhile Blossom, Mayim Bialik, who, thanks to the memorable impression she’s made as “the female Sheldon”, could break into the supporting actress derby.
There is an awards show where Community is the most nominated program! The quirky NBC comedy series leads the pack at the 2nd annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards with six nominations, including best comedy series and best comedy actor Joel McHale, followed by another NBC Thursday comedy, Parks & Recreation. Lauded AMC dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad each have five noms. NBC was the most nominated network with 14 nominations followed by ABC with 13 and Fox and HBO with 12. The list includes a lot of long-time awards underdogs and fresh newcomers. Winners of the awards, given away by the Broadcast Television Journalists Assoc., an offshoot of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, will be announced at a gala awards dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 18.
Here is a list of the nominees:
Best Drama Series
Breaking Bad – AMC
Downton Abbey – PBS
Game of Thrones – HBO
The Good Wife – CBS
Homeland – Showtime
Mad Men – AMC