The rise of the funny girl this year

Victoria Leigh Miller

The 64th Prime Time Emmy nominations are out -- and the joke is on us. With nominees like Kristin Wiig, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Lena Dunham, it looks to be the year of the funny girl.

Sure, we expected to see serial nominees Sofia Vergara and her "Modern Family" co-star Julie Bowen, who've both been nominated three times in the past for the Outstanding Supporting Actress category (Bowen even won it last year). But there are some new girls in town, signaling the rise of the funny girl and funny TV shows in general.

While there have always been funny ladies on TV (yes, we still love Lucy!), it's only recently that there's been a resurgence of the funny gal as the central character on a series.

"New Girl" executive producer Liz Meriwether told The Wrap, "I feel like, on these new shows, women are the central focus, the central comedic focus. They're not just playing the foil or the straight man… The female characters are the ones generating the jokes, and I think that's true on all the new shows, and that's really cool."

Heck, even the Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality Competition Program has a funny lady in the mix! Television icon Betty White nabbed a nom in that category -- and she unseated longtime nominee and winner Jeff Probst to boot. (White's "Off Their Rockers" is a hidden-camera show that features pranks by senior citizens. At this point, though, it looks like the joke is on Jeff Probst!)

Meanwhile, even though Jimmy Kimmel will be the host of the Emmys, expect him to take a back seat to the hilarious speeches from some of these sure-to-win funny ladies this year.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sept. 23 on ABC.