The Emmys: The History of Outstanding Comedy - FOX

This is a series of articles that review how each network performed in the outstanding comedy Emmy category throughout the years. I will continue this series with a look at Fox's performance. Since the network wasn't around until the late 80's, this article will be a lot shorter than the past ones. But, before we get to that, you can read my past Emmy articles below.

The title card for the pilot of 'Ally McBeal'.
The Fox network launched an hour before midnight on October 9, 1986. Because of this, it makes sense they were entirely absent from the category in the 80's since they were barely starting as a network. Fox was mostly absent in the 90's as well until they received their first nomination for the first season of 'Ally McBeal' in 1998. This made them the second non-Big 3 network to receive recognition in the category. Just one year later, right before the end of the century, Fox won their first Emmy in the category for that same series. Fox was off to a great start and it seemed like this young network would continue to be a strong competitor. Unfortunately, this was about as good as it ever got.

Wins: 1
Nominations: 2

Stewie and Lois in 'Family Guy'. 
'Ally McBeal's momentum stopped at the turn of the century and Fox was entirely absent from the category for the 52nd ceremony. But, in 2001, Fox took home a nomination for the second season of 'Malcolm in the Middle'. Despite that, the series did not win and would not return in the 2002 or 2003 ceremony, leaving Fox absent once more. The network's luck turned around as 'Arrested Development' bagged the award in 2004, this marked Fox's second win in the category. The series was Fox's sole presence in the category in 2005 and 2006 but was only nominated and never won again. Unfortunately, Fox had to sacrifice awards recognition for ratings, and since 'Development' struggled in the ratings, the series was canceled after its third season. The network didn't return until 2009 when 'Family Guy' was nominated for its seventh season. It's tough to say if this was a good or bad decade for Fox, but they clearly didn't look as hot as they did towards the end of the 90's.

Wins: 1
Nominations: 5

The title card for 'Glee'. 
While Fox-produced 'Modern Family' dominated in the category, the network itself did not have the same luck. The network received a nomination for 'Glee' in 2010 and 2011 even though it was technically a dramedy and they've been entirely absent since. While Fox's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' won the Golden Globe for best comedy, that didn't translate to Emmy success since the series has not gotten any recognition in the category. Also, both 'Bob's Burgers' and 'The Simpsons' were nominated for Outstanding Animated Program, but neither has broken into the Outstanding Comedy Category like 'Family Guy'. Nevertheless, they're still a relatively new network, so it's possible that they turn things around. But, it doesn't seem like they have what it takes to make a comeback.

Wins: 0
Nominations: 2

The Breakdown
In total, Fox has won 2 Emmys for outstanding comedy with 9 nominations. Here are two graphs showing Fox's trend in the category.

While Fox is a lot younger than the other Big 4 networks, it's safe to say that their performance in this category has gone down as a disappointment. They haven't won an award in over a decade and it has been six years since their last nomination.

Fox never really amounted to anything here. 2 wins in 30 years is not much to brag about. They've produced some critically acclaimed sitcoms like 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', 'The Last Man on Earth', and 'The Grinder', but none of them have gotten any Emmy love in this category. Fox's situation right now reminds me of ABC. They only won twice from 1952 to 1979 but managed to make a comeback in the 80's. The problem with this comparison is that ABC only had to compete against 2 networks at the time whereas Fox has 4 broadcast networks, streaming, and so much more. It's not going to get any easier for them, but we've seen some remarkable comebacks in the history of the Emmys so I wouldn't count them out just yet.

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