Is 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' snubbing the Emmys?
There's something odd about "Curb Your Enthusiasm" debuting its eighth season now – just weeks after the close of the Emmy eligibility period. It looks like Larry David's show deliberately chose to dodge the race. Why? Maybe it's because Emmy voters haven't displayed much, well, enthusiasm toward "Curb" in the past.
The HBO laffer has received 34 nominations from 2002 to 2010, but it has won only one prize: best direction for Robert B. Weide's helming of the 2002 episode "Krazee-Eyez-Killa."
"Curb" is a fictionalized version of David's life as a mega-wealthy producer and writer of the acclaimed NBC laffer "Seinfeld" (for which he won two Emmy Awards in 1993). In the series, he has been married many years to Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines), but is in the process of a divorce as the current season starts. David's character is a good-intentioned curmudgeon who focuses on petty things and constantly gets into spats with anybody and everybody, often coming across as unintentionally mean. Much of this season will move from Los Angeles to David's native New York City for the first time and will feature regulars Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Bob Einstein, Richard Lewis, J.B. Smoove and Wanda Sykes plus guest stars Gary Cole, Michael J. Fox, Rosie O'Donnell, Ana Gasteyer, Ricky Gervais, Michael Gross and Harry Hamlin.
"Curb's" best year at the Emmys was 2003, scoring 10 nominations and Weide's win. It's been nominated for best comedy series six times. David himself has been nominated four times in the lead actor category (2003, 2004, 2006, 2010). Other major mentions have been for Hines (supporting actress in 2003, 2006) and Shelley Berman (playing David's father as a guest star in 2008). Its last season, airing in the fall of 2009, featured a "Seinfeld" reunion, which sparked lots of media hype but modest Emmy love. It garnered only four nominations, and none for guest stars Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" has scored other awards: It won best comedy series at the Golden Globes in 2002 and best comedy ensemble at the SAG Awards in 2004. It won two prizes from the Producers Guild (2002, 2004), one from the Writers Guild (2005) and one from the Directors Guild (2002).
Whatever happens next, don't expect any Emmy Award nominations for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" when they are announced Thursday. The show did not air any new episodes during the 2010-2011 season.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Larry David in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Credit: HBO