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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series


STRONG EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Actor (Andy Samberg), Best Director (Phil Lord), Best Screenplay

QUESTION ONE: How will the Emmys treat Brooklyn Nine-Nine come nomination time?

The short answer, who really knows. Everything is just a crap shoot. The long answer? Probably very well because... 

There is a huge void to fill in the comedy nomination department and I think Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the two main shows to fill that void. Shows like 30 Rock, The Office, Arrested Development, and Enlightened all earned major nominations last year, but will not be eligible this year. I think the biggest beneficiary will be Netflix's Orange Is The New Black (the show made itself eligible in the comedy section), but OITNB can only cover so many categories. I believe Brooklyn Nine-Nine will help cover the rest.

I think Brooklyn Nine-Nine will earn a handful of nominations for a variety of reasons. For starters, the show is really, really good. It's produced and made by alums of Parks and Recreation and The Office, which were both shows that earned a lot of Emmy nominations in their early years. Even despite Brooklyn 99's prestige, the content of the show was really good. It started off slow, but found its groove early and ended its rookie year strong. The Golden Globes saw how good Brooklyn Nine-Nine was early on, and not only did the FOX sitcom earn nominations, it won Best Comedy Show and Andy Samberg won Best Actor in a Comedy. 

Secondly, I don't think there's much competition to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Veep and Girls will dominate most of the comedy categories, but even those shows can only earn so many nominations. As I stated earlier, I think Orange Is The New Black will also get their due, but again, who else you got? The only rookie show that could even be considered I think is HBO's Silicon Valley, but I don't think that's tough competition to beat out. NBC produced atrocious comedies this eligibility period (The Michael J. Fox Show, Welcome to the Family, etc) that aren't even on the air anymore, Showtime didn't produce new comedies of quality (and no I don't think Shameless's switch from Drama to Comedy will help it all that much), and I think HBO's Looking will be left in the dust. Outside of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who else is there really?

Lastly, the fact that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a rookie show with legitimate stars such as Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher only help make matters better for themselves. Emmys love their "shiny, new toy" and Brooklyn 99 is it. Take a look at House of Cards last year or New Girl the year before. If you're a new show with a star lead and have a critical buzz following, you're going to get *some* Emmy nominations.

QUESTION TWO: Will Andre Braugher get a nomination?

I guess a better way to phrase this question is, "Will Andre Braugher put himself in the Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor category?" The reason I bring this up is because the Best Supporting Actor field is crowded with Modern Family guys, but the Best Actor pool is WIDE open. 

Last year, the six nominees for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy were 3 Modern Family actors, Adam Driver from Girls, Bill Hader from SNL, and winner Tony Hale from Veep. The only actor nominated last year that won't be eligible this year is Hader. However, two-time Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family was NOT nominated last year. Good money says Stonestreet earns a nod this time around. 

Even if Andre Braugher did give a performance that could eek his way into the Best Supporting Actor field, the odds are just not in his favor. On the Lead Actor side however, the Emmys are just begging someone to take a nomination. Two actors who earned a nomination last year are not eligible this year: Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock and Jason Bateman from Arrested Development. I think Andy Samberg from this year is almost a lock to take one of those spots, but for the other one? I have absolutely no idea. Why not Andre Braugher?!

Plus, I think Braugher could be considered a co-lead along with Andy Samberg. Samberg is the true lead of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I could be convinced in either direction that Braugher is either a co-lead or a supporting character. It wouldn't be as terrible as the Oscars claiming John Travolta as the lead of Pulp Fiction if the show said both Samberg and Braugher are the leads of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

QUESTION THREE: How will the females fare come nomination time?

Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz play Detective Amy Santiago and Detective Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I think both have outside chances to earn nominations. However, their chances are much slimmer than Andre Bruagher's chances. The first thing the show has to do is nominate each female in different categories- Fumero as a lead and Beatriz as a supporting player. If they both claim to be supporting, then they're just going to knock each other out. While Detective Santiago clearly isn't the lead of Brooklyn 99 the way that Liz Lemon was the lead of 30 Rock or that Amy Jellicoe was the lead of Enlightened, she is however the lead the way Robin Wright is a lead actress from House of Cards or the way Amy Adams is considered a Lead Actress in the Oscar's eyes for her work in American Hustle. 

The reason I mentioned Liz Lemon and Amy Jellicoe before is because those characters left a nomination hole that needs to be filled this time around. Taylor Schilling from Orange Is The New Black is going to earn one of those lead actress spots, I guarantee it. The other spot though? Completely up in the air.

I personally think that it will go to Emmy Rossum on Shameless, but that may be wish fulfillment more than anything else. It could go to Zooey Deschanel for New Girl, but she lost her nomination last year and it's difficult to get back a nomination you lost. Same holds true for Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly). It would seem that there's a nomination up for grabs, but truthfully, I think this spot really does go back to a former nominee or someone I'm just not thinking of rather than for Fumero. Melissa Fumero does really good work on the show as a whole, but I don't know that she has a single great episode that guarantees her a spot. I think she's in the running, but unfortunately she doesn't necessarily stand out.

As for Beatriz, I think the only way she gets a nomination is if the Emmys absolutely love Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and even still, a nomination for her is slim. I think the most recent comparison is Homeland's rookie year a few years ago. Not only did Damien Lewis, Claire Danes, and the show itself all get nominations, they outright won. However, Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin didn't earn nominations for the show until a year later. Plus, there's no obvious hole to fill like there is with Andre Braugher or Melissa Fumero. Anna Chlumsky, Merritt Weaver, Sophia Vergara, Julie Bowen, and Mayim Bialik all have nominations essentially locked up. While Jane Krakowski drops out of the running because 30 Rock's no longer on the air, I feel the Emmys are more likely to give the 6th slot to Jane Lynch for Glee than Beatriz. However, I will put a lot of money that Kate Mulgrew from Orange Is The New Black will earn a nomination well before Lynch and Beatriz do (well, at least Beatriz). 

So to sum it all up, I think Melissa Fumero could earn a nomination, but Stephanie Beatriz will unfortunately be on the outside looking in.



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