Emmys 2011: The best comedies that WON'T be nominated

emmys-2011-unlikely-comedy.jpgA wave of new shows swept the comedy categories at the Emmys last year, with "Modern Family" and "Glee" each picking up multiple awards and Jim Parsons of the relatively young "Big Bang Theory" ending Alec Baldwin's two-year reign as best comedy actor.

This year, though? We're betting that with one or two exceptions, the nominees for best comedy series will look a lot like they did last year. Which means, unfortunately, that our list of the best comedies that won't get nominations on Thursday (July 14) also looks a lot like the 2010 list.

There is some hope for shows hoping to break through this time: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which was one of the nominees last year, isn't eligible this time around. So if we assume repeat nods for "Modern Family," "Glee," "30 Rock" and "Nurse Jackie" (all of which seem likely), that leaves two spots open. The bet here (you can see my nomination predictions at GoldDerby.com) is that "The Big Bang Theory" and "Parks and Recreation" will grab the final two spots, leaving the following deserving shows on the outside.

Here are Zap2it's picks for the best comedy series that won't hear their names called when the Emmy nominations are announced Thursday.

"Chuck": So-called genre shows historically don't get a ton of respect from the TV academy (see "Battlestar Galactica," "Buffy" et al). "Chuck's" devoted fans know it's a lot more than a spy show with a bit of a sci-fi twist, but the academy hasn't seemed to notice. Alas, that will probably continue this year.

"Community": No other comedy on TV is as flexible as "Community," whose writers and cast tackled everything from zombies to conspiracy theories to the nature of friendship (as filtered through "My Dinner with Andre") last season. That willingness to break from a standard format could impress Emmy voters enough to earn it a surprise nomination -- but it could also turn people off.

"Cougar Town": The Cul-de-Sac Crew produces more pause-the-DVR-because-you're-laughing-too-hard moments than any other show we watch -- while also finding a way to make us really care about its characters. That's no small trick -- yet some people still haven't gotten over the title, and even if they have, we'll admit to "Cougar Town" being an acquired taste.

"How I Met Your Mother" and/or "The Office": We're grouping these two because they're both veteran shows that had very up-and-down seasons in 2010-11. When they are clicking, though, they're still in the top tier of TV comedy, and both are past nominees for best comedy ("The Office" won in 2006). We wouldn't be surprised if one of them (but not both) snags a nod on Thursday, but we aren't holding our breath.

"Raising Hope": It was an ugly year for new comedies on the broadcast networks -- only this show, CBS' "Mike & Molly" and ABC's "Happy Endings" lived to see a second season. "Hope" overcame a slightly shaky start to become a warm and very funny family comedy, but like its spiritual counterpart "The Middle" on ABC, we're betting its charms won't be quite enough to break through at the Emmys.

"United States of Tara": What turned out to be the show's final season wasn't especially funny, but it was frequently brilliant (and the category is "best," not "funniest" comedy). Toni Collette is probably a shoo-in for another nomination, but the show itself is too big an underdog.

Which comedies do you want to see nominated on Thursday?
Photo/Video credit: ABC, NBC, FOX