Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem were romantic partners who broke up, then did a few pilots together, and now are good friends as well as co-creators and showrunners for Showtime’s dark comedy Nurse Jackie. But they are going into the series’ second Emmy comedy nomination competition knowing that star Edie Falco confessed in her 2010 Lead Actress acceptance speech, “I’m not funny.” How to campaign after that? Wallem and Brixius talk to Deadline TV Contributor Diane Haithman about their series that looks at the lighter side of addiction, infidelity, malpractice, dysfunctional families, and death:
DEADLINE: Last year, Nurse Jackie received eight Emmy nominations, and Edie Falco won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. How important were those?
LIZ BRIXIUS: The first year that we were eligible for Emmys was after our second season of shooting, so for two years we didn’t know if we had the kind of show that the TV Academy would respond to at all. Suddenly we realized that, whatever we were doing, somehow we’d hit a vein of gold. That validated us.
LINDA WALLEM: It makes you raise your game throughout the year as you’re shooting.
DEADLINE: Some showrunners insist that Academy members vote according to what’s considered “hot” each season. What do you think?
BRIXIUS: I think they might go in with a few favorites in mind, but watch with a really open mind. I know for a fact that happened our first year because we were not a …