Critics' Emmy Picks: Best Comedy Series

OITNB has an edge over standby Modern Family.

by | August 18, 2014 | Comments

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards are coming Monday, Aug. 25 on NBC. And with so many strong contenders this year, Rotten Tomatoes turned to our esteemed critics to sort through the heap of nominations, which includes Big Bang Theory, Louie, Modern Family, Orange Is the New Black, Silicon Valley, and Veep.

For the category of Lead Comedy Series, we asked 16 critics to name their picks. The results from our cross-section of Tomatometer-approved critics favored Orange Is the New Black with nine votes, but there were still strong cases to be made for the other nominees…well, every nominee except Silicon Valley.

The only one I cannot see winning is Silicon Valley although that got a lot of nominations in categories I would not have expected… I think it’s going to be Orange Is the New Black. It has all the hype and it’s a way to reward streaming.

Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media

I really, really think Veep deserves it.  It’s got a good chance; it keeps getting better and better every year.  And it’s not just a one-woman show; it’s a huge supporting cast, and the writing staff and direction are incredible. So all around, it deserves it. But I think Orange is the New Black will actually win.

Ben Travers, IndieWire

I think this is the year when they are ready to go with a non-traditional and Orange certainly has the buzz.

David Hinckley, New York Daily News

The admirable thing that Louis CK does, in which he gets to write the show the way he wants it, is the reason the quality of the show has not diminished… he goes for what is right for the series and I think it translates for every episode.

Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know

Some of the best shows in this category are the ones that tow that line between comedy and drama… Louie feels more like a true comedy to me than Orange Is the New Black.

Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine

I’m going Orange is the New Black, largely because that show has an incredibly loyal fanbase. People who like the show, love the show… and that should push it across the finish line.

Brian Tallerico,

Even though Modern Family might not have had its strongest season, it’s still a top-shelf comedy series for sure. And I think this might be the year it’s going to tie Frasier for five victories in a row.

Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times

The only thing I feel confident in saying is that Silicon Valley definitely isn’t going to win… My gut probably says Veep.

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

I’m going with Modern Family because, as much as I love the other shows, I think that it is the most complete show that mixes great writing and broad humor, and then very clever, sly humor, and emotion — and a social message.

Robert Bianco, USA Today

I think Veep is still too niche and I think Modern Family has had their time. Orange Is the New Black is what everyone is talking about.

Drew Grant, New York Observer

The perennial winner is Modern Family… but Orange Is the New Black should win.

Eric Deggans, NPR

I’m going to say Orange Is the New Black. It gained a lot of traction this year and people really love it.

Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media

I am angry about the gaming of the system when it comes to categories, so even though I think Orange Is the New Black is a great show, I kind of don’t want them to win just so they won’t be rewarded for what they did. But I have a feeling it will win. And it should win.

Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

I would love for this to be the year that Modern Family does not win… I’m really hoping that Orange Is the New Black will win. I know some people don’t really think it’s a comedy, but I think it’s the best show of that group.

Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

This may be Orange Is the New Black‘s only chance to ever cop this award, but when one considers that only one non-network show has ever won in this category (Sex in the City in 2001), Emmy seems likely to banally stick with what it knows best: Modern Family.

Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

A breakout ensemble dramedy that reached widespread acclaim despite a sometimes difficult subject matter.

Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post

More Emmy Predictions: