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Emmy contenders: What happens when costars face off?

August 4, 2011 |  3:30 pm

Ty Burrell 
With all six of its adult leads earning Emmy nominations this year, “Modern Family” will dominate the Emmy ceremony, regardless of who takes home a statuette. In fact, the sophomore comedy earned so many noms for so many familiar faces that the September event might end up looking more like a cast and crew party than the TV industry’s biggest party of the year.

“I wish my Aunt Connie would get nominated,” jokes Ty Burrell, who’s sharing the supporting actor in a comedy category with fellow cast mates Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. “I haven’t seen her in about a year.”

All kidding aside, Burrell says that seeing everyone nominated at the same time seems like a once-in-a-lifetime experience but adds that it also “feels a little crazy.” “I have a feeling that we may figure something out in the future about rotating people in the men’s category, at least, where there are four of us. Maybe we’ll draw straws or something,” he says with a laugh.

Jim Parsons Burrell isn’t the only nominee who shares a category with cast mates. Josh Charles and Alan Cumming both received noms for supporting actor in a drama for “The Good Wife”; “Modern Family’s” Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara are in the comedy supporting actress slot together, and Jim Parsons is nominated for lead comedy actor alongside his “Big Bang Theory” costar Johnny Galecki.

And while it might seem like actors competing against their coworkers could turn a perfectly civil Emmys celebration into a backstabbing “All About Eve,” Parsons says nothing could be further from the truth.

“It felt like there was more to celebrate. And it felt more fun,” he says. Parsons took home the Emmy last year for his role as Sheldon Cooper, but he says that being nominated with Galecki means this year is a no-lose situation.

“That being said, none of us might win, and that’ll be fine too — even then it’s still a no-lose,” he says. “Maybe a couple more people will check out the show now.”

It’s somewhat unusual for a show to earn extra Emmy attention in its fourth season.

“Maybe having more people to play off had an effect on the perception of the show,” says "Big Bang" executive producer Bill Prady, referring to the addition of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. “If I had any idea, then that’s all we would do.”

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— Christy Grosz

Photo of Ty Burrell, top, by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times.
Photo of Jim Parsons by Charles Sykes/Associated Press.

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