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Emmy slugfest over best drama actor: Jon Hamm vs. Steve Buscemi

March 21, 2011 |  9:00 am

After three past losses for his work on "Mad Men," Jon Hamm will finally win best TV drama actor at the Emmys, according to three of the six pundits polled by Awards Tracker. The gurus are our forums' moderators, who monitor the Emmy voting process closely and believe that Hamm can finally prevail because of the emotional impact and range he displays in the Season 4 episode that he will probably submit to Emmy judges: "The Suitcase."

Mad Men Boardwalk Empire TV newsOur other three pundits are betting on Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire," which will certainly be a major Emmy contender. The hot new HBO series recently won best drama series at the Golden Globes, halting beat "Mad Men's" three-year winning streak, and may soon do the same at the Emmys.

For the last three years, the Emmy contest for best TV drama actor was dominated by Bryan Cranston, but he's not eligible now because "Breaking Bad" had no new episodes airing during the Emmy eligibility period that ends May 31. Five-time loser Hugh Laurie ("House M.D.") has never won. Other nominees last year included Hamm, Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") and Matthew Fox ("Lost"). All may return except Fox.

Other top contenders: Simon Baker ("The Mentalist"), Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment"), Idris Elba ("Luther"), Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy"), Jeremy Irons ("The Borgias"), Andrew Lincoln ("The Walking Dead"), William H. Macy ("Shameless"), Timothy Olyphant ("Justified"), Bill Paxton ("Big Love") and Tom Selleck ("Blue Bloods").

Our participating Emmy pundits: Chris Beachum, Matthew Cormier, Marcus Dixon, Darrin Dortch, Rob Licuria and Matt Noble. Below, they rank their top six predictions for best TV drama actor according to likelihood of winning (1 is most likely). Also, see their rankings for best drama series and comedy series.

-- Tom O'Neil

DRAMA ACTOR

Beachum

Cormier

Dixon

Dortch

Licuria

Noble

Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"

2

1

1

2

1

2

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"  

  6


3

4

6

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
 

3



5

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"

4

2

6

5

3

3

Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

1

3

2

1

2

1

Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"

3




5


Hugh Laurie, "House M.D."

5

5

5

6

6

4

William H. Macy, "Shameless"

6

4

4

4



Photos, from left: Jon Hamm in "Mad Men"; Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire. Credits: AMC, HBO

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