Who will be the big comedy winner at the 2013 Emmy awards? The nominations will not be announced until July, with the big award being doled out in September. But with Friday marking the end of the eligibility period (meaning only shows that have aired between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013 will be considered), we at least have some idea of how the pack is shaping up. Here are some of the newcomers, old favorites and potential surprises in 2013 Outstanding Comedy Race:
The Mindy Project: In a year with very little to offer in new comedies, "The Mindy Project" was one of the brighter stars, finding its voice after a rocky start. But the show might still need some more time to grow before it earns Emmy attention.
New Girl: The "meh" first season of "New Girl" was, unsuprisingly, passed over in this category by the Emmys last year. But the show came into its own in Season 2, posing itself to nab at least a nomination in 2013.
Old Show Ponies
Girls: The first season of HBO's hit scored five nominations. But its second season took a bleak turn, alienating some fans and critics, while entrancing others. Another nomination seems likely, but a win would depend entirely on whether Emmy voters could appreciate creator and star Lena Dunham's darker vision.
VEEP: Some were surprised that the political comedy was nominated for its first season last year. It's second season has been even better. So "VEEP" may even have the big award in its sights in addition to another nomination.
30 Rock: Even when it began to sag, "30 Rock" beat out its other NBC comedy competition to an Outstanding Comedy nomination in years past. This year being its swan song, "30 Rock" might again get a nom to honor all the boundaries it pushed.
Modern Family: "Modern Family" has failed to live up to the brilliance of its freshman outing in the three seasons that have followed, but that didn't stop it from winning Outstanding Comedy last year. Expect another nom at the very least.
The Big Bang Theory: The CBS comedy does not have the sheen of some of its more high-brow competitors, yet it continually impresses Emmy voters, earning Outstanding Comedy nominations the last two years. In a weak year for comedy, there's no reason to think that voters won't be any less impressed.
Parks and Recreation: After last year's infuriating Outstanding Comedy nomination snub, "Parks and Rec" deserves at least a nom. But it might again be overlooked in favor of its NBC colleague "30 Rock," which had its final season this year.
Arrested Development: Like "House of Cards," the recently released season of "Arrested Development" faces the challenge of being a Netflix show. That it was revived from the dead this year makes it even more unconventional. Working in its favor is that its original network incarnation garnered a slew of Emmy nominations, including noms for Outstanding Comedy, which it won in its first season.
Louie: Critics have long been clamoring for "Louie" to be recognized as an Outstanding Comedy nominee. Its creator, Louis C.K., has been nominated for his work on the show, winning last year for Outstanding Writing. A less-than-impressive comedy pack may mean the critics will finally get what they want in 2013.