The 2012 Emmy campaign is just getting underway, but there are new developments affecting the 2013 race — brought to you by this week's broadcast network upfronts.
In contrast to drama, comedy has been an area where ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have held strong at the Emmys against their cable competitors. In 2011, all six comedy series nominees came from those four networks, as did three of the five writing noms, eight of the 12 lead acting noms and all 12 supporting acting noms.
Well, the competition from broadcast networks is only going to get more intense going forward: The 2012-13 fall schedule adds eight new comedies compared with the previous year.
NBC has opened up comedy hours at 9 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 p.m. Fridays. Fox has moved "Glee" to a 9 p.m. Thursday drama slot and added two halfhour laffers to Tuesdays (including "Ben and Kate," pictured above). And ABC has brought two comedies back to the 8 p.m. Friday hour.
Obviously, this increased quantity won't necessarily yield increased quality, but it does boost the possibilty of that happening. It doesn't take much — a Zooey Deschanel here, a Max Greenfield there — to potentially shake up the competition.
It's also interesting to think about what affect the fall schedules might have on the drama races, where broadcast has struggled. Logically, broadcast will further recede from the scene. But consider that although there will be a bit of a decline in quantity, it will be easier to focus on those that remain — especially with a changing of the guard that bids farewell to such perennial contenders as Hugh Laurie of "House." Drama still figures to be cable's domain, but might it be easier in 2012-13 for voters, starved for the next great broadcast drama, to find a new favorite?
We'll learn the answer ... 14 months from now.