Glee, Modern Family: Emmys reflect shift in comedy

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A major shift for the better in network sitcoms was reflected in Thursday's Emmy nominations with newcomers "Glee" and "Modern Family" leading the comedy field with 19 and 14, respectively.

The Fox musical comedy about a high school glee club led all series in nominations followed by the AMC drama, "Mad Men," which earned 17 despite a lackluster season. The most nominated production of the season was the World War II mini-series, "The Pacific," which earned 24 for HBO.


But the strong showing by "Modern Family" is the one likely to be of most interest to Baltimore viewers. Julie Bowen, who grew up in Baltimore, was nominated as best supporting actress -- one of two performers from the series up for that award. The other is Sofia Vergera.

"I am thrilled by the nominations and excited for our show, but I find it baffling that such a prestigious honor doesn't come with someone to change diapers," Bowen said in an email response to the "Sun" late Thursday.

"Modern Family" is also nominated as best comedy, and one of its primary architects is Baltimore Friends School graduate Jason Winer, who is an executive producer and director on the series. Winer, who won the Directors Guild of America award for his direction of the pilot for the show, picked up an Emmy nomination Thursday for his work.

There was another big Baltimore name among the directors getting major Emmy nominations Thursday: Barry Levinson was nominated as best director in movies, miniseries or special for his HBO docudrama, "You Don't Know Jack," about Dr. Jack Kevorkian. The film, which was co-produced by Levinson and Tom Fontana, was also nominated as best made-for-TV movie.


Baltimore native Robin Veith also picked up another Emmy nomination for her work on AMC's "Mad Men." She and series creator Matthew Weiner were nominated for the episode "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency." Veith is no longer with the show.

Maryland resident Terry O'Quinn, picked up a nomination as best supporting actor in a drama for his work in the last season of ABC's "Lost."

Baltimore producer-writer David Simon's HBO drama "Treme" received two nominations -- one for best directing in a drama (Agnieszka Holland) and one for music and lyrics (Steve Earle).

For the last three years, Tina Fey's "30 Rock" has swamped the comedy competition. But "Glee" and "Modern Family" break the historic network sitcom formula and offer a more inclusive, multicultural sensibility -- even they both celebrate some very traditional values.

As impressive as the showing by "Modern Family" is in the best supporting actress category, the series came up even more dominant in best supporting actor with three nominees: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell.

Here's a listing from AP of nominees in some of the  major categories: