‘The Big Bang Theory’ Set for Emmy Explosion

A version of this article was published to Gold Derby on July 12th as “Will Big Bang Theory Explode at Emmys?

After six seasons, the stars seem to have finally aligned for The Big Bang Theory at the Emmys.  It is highest-rated sitcom on television, as new viewers are regularly discovering it through syndication.  This season marked its highest Nielsen ratings yet: new episodes were watched by an average of twenty-one million viewers including DVR.

This past year has also marked the show’s most successful awards run.  The Big Bang Theory dominated the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, winning Best Comedy Series, Best Supporting Actor for Simon Helberg and Best Supporting Actress for Kaley Cuoco.  Lead actor Jim Parsons, supporting actress Melissa Raunch and guest actor Bob Newhart helped the show lead all programs among total nominations.

Neither of The Big Bang Theory’s first two seasons scored any Emmy nominations, but the third season surged in viewership and reaped three nominations.  The next three years yielded five nominations apiece, but The Big Bang Theory could double that total when nominations are announced next Thursday morning, given its building momentum from the precursor awards.

Jim Parsons has won two of his four nominations for lead actor in a comedy series and is the show’s biggest lock.  The series has been nominated for best comedy and editing the last two years and has been nominated twice for technical direction and three times for art direction.  Supporting actress Mayim Bialik is expected to repeat her nomination, as she is ranked fifth by Gold Derby’s odds; Kaley Cuoco is ranked sixth, so is predicted to garner her first nomination.  Simon Helberg is ranked eighth, while 2011 nominee Johnny Galecki is ranked ninth for lead actor.  His buzz has been dwindling, as he has been overshadowed by his co-stars; if he returns, it will truly demonstrate The Big Bang Theory as a force to be reckoned with.  Six-time nominee Bob Newhart just picked up an honorary Critics’ Choice award is ranked second in guest actor.

Another possible forecaster of Emmy gold is if The Big Bang Theory scores its first directing nomination.  Series director Mark Cendrowski surprised everyone when he became the first multi-camera comedy nominee with the Directors Guild of America since Will & Grace in 2005.  The Emmys nominated two laugh-track episodes in 2011, so The Big Bang Theory’s chances might be even better here.  Although the DGA nominated Cendrowski for his work on the season premiere, Cendrowski has instead submitted the episode that guest starred Newhart to the Emmys and which aired after the DGA’s eligibility period (so could theoretically be nominated by them next year).  A directing nomination is important because only one comedy in the last fifteen years—Friends in 2002—has won the series race without either a directing or writing nomination and Friends had been nominated for both in prior years.  If The Big Bang Theory does win, it will be the first multi-camera series since Everybody Loves Raymond in 2006.