familyguychangeFor only the second time in history, an animated TV show has been nominated for a Best Comedy Series Emmy Award alongside the live action counterparts. After being canceled a few years ago before being famously resurrected, Family Guy breaks into the top category this year against 30 Rock, Entourage, Flight Of The Conchords, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and Weeds.

Due to a rule long complained about by those in the field, animated shows can not compete in both the Best Comedy Series category and the Best Animated Series category. So in order to attempt the jump a show has to forego what might be an easier nomination in the animation category for a longer shot at the overall comedy category. The Simpsons and King of the Hill have tried in the past but failed to make it, meaning their show got recognition in neither category those years. The only other animated program to make the top category was The Flintstones in 1961.

UPDATE: Creator Seth MacFarlaine discusses his thoughts on the nomination with Reuters.

The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20. Other animated nominees follow:

Outstanding Animated Program (for programming less than one hour)
– American Dad
– Robot Chicken
– South Park
– The Simpsons

Outstanding Animated Program (for programming one hour or more)
– Afro Samurai: Resurrection
– Destination Imagination (Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends)

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
American Masters, Ron Rifkin as Narrator
Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane as Peter Griffin
Robot Chicken, Seth Green as Anakin Skywalker/ Bob Goldstein/ Imperial Officer/ Ponda Baba/ Robot Chicken Nerd
The Simpsons, Hank Azaria as Moe Syzlak
The Simpsons, Harry Shearer as Kent Brockman/ Lenny/ Mr. Burns/ Smithers
The Simpsons, Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics
– 81st Annual Academy Awards, Song Title: Hugh Jackman Opening Number
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All, Song Title: Much Worse Things
A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, Song Title: I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus
Flight Of The Conchords, Song Title: Carol Brown
Saturday Night Live, Song Title: Motherlover
– The 2008 ESPYS, Song Title: I Love Sports

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Ghost Whisperer
Legend Of The Seeker
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The Simpsons

Outstanding Special Class – Short-format Animated Programs
-Disney’s Phineas And Ferb, The Monster Of Phineas-N-Ferbenstein
– SpongeBob SquarePants, Dear Vikings

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
– Generation Kill
– Into The Storm

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series
– Battlestar Galactica
– Fringe
– Ghost Whisperer
– Heroes
– Sanctuary