Comedy Series

Jun 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

With last year’s winner, “Everybody Loves Raymond” (CBS), no longer around, the battle for top sitcom shapes up as a likely showdown involving perennial favorites and 2005 nominees “Desperate Housewives” (ABC) and “Will & Grace” (NBC) and a pair of innovative NBC upstarts, “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office.” But despite some signs of life in the state of TV comedy, experts still take a dim overall view.

Matt Roush, senior TV critic for TV Guide, described the comedy contenders as “a much weaker field than the drama categories, as usual” but did find reason for hope: “There’s some new blood to consider, which could make the race more exciting than it has been in a while.”

Added panelist Ray Solley: “TV comedy has become more sophisticated over the past couple of seasons.”

TVWeek’s Emmy Panel

  • Matt Roush, senior TV critic for TV Guide

  • Diane Gordon, author of the television e-mail newsletter The Surf Report

  • Tim Brooks, executive VP of research for Lifetime

  • Ray Solley, program development consultant

    Panelists’ predictions

    My Name Is Earl (NBC)

    “A true feel-good show about an underdog’s redemption, with vividly portrayed oddball characters you instantly love-even the hateful ones like Joy.” -Matt Roush

    “Could be seen as a little blue-collar, which is bad for votes, but to the extent that it mocks blue-collar, that is good for votes.” -Tim brooks

    Desperate Housewives (ABC)

    “Because it’s still so popular and noisy, it will get nominated-even though the show is way

    too uneven to deserve it.

    Classic Emmy tradition is to keep rewarding a show regardless of the quality of a specific season.”

    -Matt Roush

    Will & Grace (NBC)

    “Final-season sentimentality.”

    -Diane Gordon

    “Smart, sassy and a sentimental favorite.”

    -Tim Brooks

    The Office (NBC)

    “Pioneering a new type of sitcom, the ‘improv-com.'”

    -Tim Brooks

    “The only must-see TV comedy on the air. The show got better and better as the season progressed.”

    -Diane Gordon

    Entourage (HBO)

    “Smart and inside-Hollywood, which insiders may like.”

    -Tim Brooks

    TelevisionWeek staff picks

  • The Office (NBC)

  • My Name Is Earl (NBC)

  • Scrubs (NBC)

  • Arrested Development (Fox)

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

    2005 contenders

    Winner: Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)

    Other nominees:

  • Arrested Development (Fox)

  • Desperate Housewives (ABC)

  • Scrubs (NBC)

  • Will & Grace (NBC)