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Can Jim Parsons make a big bang at the Emmys again? [video]

June 17, 2011 |  3:17 pm

Jim parsons big bang theory emmyIs "The Big Bang Theory" the new "Third Rock From the Sun"? That is, will it finally get an Emmy nomination for best comedy series after its star won the lead actor's prize? "Third Rock" didn't break into the series race till 1997, one year after John Lithgow led the way by winning his first of three best actor Emmys.

Jim Parsons' victory last year set off a real bang at the Nokia Theatre since it defied the longstanding prejudice Emmy voters often have against young-skewing TV comedies. It also jolted the Emmy recipient.

"It's very hard to get your feet on the ground and absorb the experience in the moment," Parsons says in our webcam chat about his win. "It has a real feeling of unreality to it and I found it hard to wrap my brain around."

Currently, Parsons stars on Broadway in "The Normal Heart," which just won the Tony Award for best revival of a play, but its victory was bittersweet. The enormous hubbub and critical praise surrounding the current production inevitably makes you wonder: Was a crucial opportunity lost? Why did it take 26 years for "The Normal Heart" to get its first Broadway staging? If it had made it to the Great White Way 26 years ago and had been greeted with the same wild acclaim, its message –- a desperate cry to halt the dawning AIDS crisis -– may have helped to save millions of lives.

But Parsons has a positive outlook toward its current Broadway debut: "In some ways, this production is offering people a chance to mourn, the chance to have enough perspective and distance to take in, emotionally, what that meant to go through."

We discuss "The Normal Heart" and "The Big Bang Theory" in depth in our webcam chat below.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jim Parsons at the Emmys. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images