Lena Dunham in "Girls"

Lena Dunham's "Girls" was funnier and more consistent this year. (Mark Schafer / HBO / June 11, 2013)

"Modern Family" has won the Emmy for comedy series four years running. The only show to take it five straight years? "Frasier." Should "Family" win again, we might need therapy. An early look at this year's comedy races.


"Modern Family"(ABC)

"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

"Veep" (HBO)

"Louie" (FX)

"Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix)

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox)

Prime contenders: "Girls" (HBO), "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)

Bubbling under: "Silicon Valley" (HBO) "New Girl" (Fox), "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime), "Shameless" (Showtime), "Alpha House" (Amazon), "House of Lies" (Showtime).

For your consideration: "Silicon Valley." "You can't call it satire when you are showing it like it is," Mike Judge has said of his latest show, a spot-on, hilarious skewering of geek culture and modern capitalism with all the self-loathing and absurdity that those subjects require.

Analysis: The new Emmy rule that could expand the series categories to seven nominees (should the sixth and seventh vote-getters be within 2% of each other) could well come into play here, allowing all five of last year's eligible shows ("30 Rock" lives only in our memories) to return, along with two stellar newcomers ("Orange" and "Brooklyn"). Should the field stay at six, "Girls" could be vulnerable as the noise around the show (it always seemed like everyone who watched also blogged about it) quieted and became more reasonable. (And where's the fun in that?) Seemingly lost in the conversation is that Lena Dunham's series was funnier and more consistent than ever this year.


Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

Louis C.K., "Louie"

Andy Samberg, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"

Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"

Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"

Prime contenders: William H. Macy, "Shameless"; Robin Williams, "The Crazy Ones"; John Goodman, "Alpha House"