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Emmy inside track: The race for TV drama actor

After winning the Emmy for TV drama actor three years in a row, Bryan Cranston is now out of the derby because "Breaking Bad" wasn't televised during the award's eligibility period (June 1, 2010 - May 31, 2011). That's good news for three repeat contenders who are always nominated and never win: Michael C. Hall (who won a Golden Globe and SAG Award for "Dexter"), "House M.D.'s" Hugh Laurie (two Globes and two SAG trophies) and Jon Hamm (one Globe but no solo laurels from SAG for "Mad Men").

Jon hamm mad men suitcase newsMost pundits believe Laurie probably never will win because of the Emmy's voting method. Winners are decided by a jury of actors who watch sample episodes submitted by each nominee. Laurie gives a fireworks performance, yes, but it's of an arrogant, unhuggable character. Maybe we shouldn't discount his chances too much, however, considering James Gandolfini won three times for portraying a murderous thug on "The Sopranos."

Hamm may have a good shot this year thanks to a strong episode of "Mad Men" titled "The Suitcase," which he'll probably submit. It's a real winner, giving him a showcase to display a wide range of emotions. He even gets drunk and has crying scenes.

Hamm's toughest competition may be Steve Buscemi, who's widely considered to be "an actor's actor" starring in the white-hot new HBO series "Boardwalk Empire."

Below is a breakdown of how the race looks like right now. Expect Buscemi, Hall, Hamm and Laurie to fill up four of the six nominee slots in this category. They'll probably be joined by Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), who was nominated last year too. Who'll nab the sixth slot?

Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Billy Campbell, "The Killing"
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"
Hugh Laurie, "House M.D."
Andrew Lincoln, "The Walking Dead"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Timothy Olyphant, "Justified"
Ray Romano, "Men of a Certain Age"

Sean Bean, "Game of Thrones"
Matt Bomer, "White Collar"
Jeffrey Donovan, "Burn Notice"
Idris Elba, "Luther"
Joseph Fiennes, "Camelot"
Charlie Hunnam, "Sons of Anarchy"
Michael Imperioli, "Detroit 1-8-7"
Peter Krause, "Parenthood"
Denis Leary, "Rescue Me"
Bill Paxton, "Big Love"
Wendell Pierce, "Treme"
Tom Selleck, "Blue Bloods"


Emmy cliffhanger: What'll win best TV drama series?

Poll: Why can't Hugh Laurie or 'House M.D.' win the Emmy?

Poll: Will 'Modern Family' win best comedy series again at the Emmys?

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jon Hamm in "The Suitcase" episode of "Mad Men." Credit: AMC

Comments () | Archives (13)

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Matt Bommer? Really? Why aren't you putting too the guys from "The vampire diaries" and "Supernatural" in that list? The guy is not a very good actor, and "White collar" is definitely one of the worst shows right now. The fact that the show didn't do anything over the edge doesn't mean it's well executed or it's a serious show. The only reason why the show is still on air is because the guy is very good looking (exactly the same case for the other shows I mentioned, "TVD" and "S").

Hugh Laurie should finally win! He deserves on it

@Dolphin, I know that but ratings do help a lot. There is a reason you will never see Larry David win one and why Kelsey Grammer won for Fraiser 4 times. Viewership is fairly important here.

Matt Bomer plays one of the few roles so well one could never imagine any other actor playing the role. Unusual nowadays, he deserves a nom.

Kyle Chandler absolutely deserves to be in the final 6 again this year. 4 out of 13 eps come to mine this season that could be submitted for Mr. Chandler. I hope the series finale is his submission, as he does it all (as does Connie Britton) ... and many times with little to no dialogue where he is the best in the business. He not only deserves be nominated, for his performance this season, he deserves to take the Emmy home.

To GL: The Emmy is awarded for an individual's performance in a role. "Popularity" is a measurement of the performance of the network. Voting is performed by members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mr. Chandler's performance will be judged by a voting of his peers and not by 'popularity' of the series. Perhaps you are thinking of the People's Choice Awards?

Simon Baker deserves the emmy.his performances in season 3 have been outstanding

Simon Baker should be nominated as best actor of comedy and drama at a time. The Mentalist works because Baker

Ray Romano needs to be in there! He is killing it on Men of a Certain Age

I agree with you in 3 out of your 5 obvious choices. House MD is pretty much just waiting to either be canceled or be pushed to its end. I don't see people as energetic about the show as they were before. My predictions are these:

Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire" (Possibly the favorite to win. It really depends how the jurors respond to the series. I say that if it grabs Best Drama, he will win.)

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" (Should have won last year. The traction he got from Globes and SAGs probably tainted his chances. I believe he will be considered a "Kira Sedgwick" in years to come. He will eventually win.)

Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" (The unfortunate thing about Hamm is that his timing is always off. His show is usually way over once competition is in full throttle. I do believe he will win someday, and I hope he does because I always feel bad for him when he loses. His show has entered a veteran status phase. It could go both ways for him.)

Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias" (Veteran Oscar winner actor. Pivotal HBO master series. A combination that will not be overlooked.)

Bill Paxton, "Big Love" (Correct me if I am mistaken, but I don't think Paxton has ever been nominated before. His series just closed which Emmy voters love to recognize. Ala Matthew Fox for Lost.)

Ray Romano, "Men of a Certain Age" (Beloved by the Academy, in a very meaty character. This could be the surprise of the day. Wild card)

Alternatives or (Why they won't make it.)

Simon Baker, "The Mentalist" (Nominated for the first season of his show, completely over hyped. His chances of getting back in the club are very minimal.)

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" (Weak series, and ultimate cancellation make this actor the black sheep. Don't hold your breaths though.)

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" (To me, his show should be doing so much better in terms of popularity in order for me to really take him as a serious contender.)

Hugh Laurie, "House M.D." (He has been nominated so many times before and has gone empty handed in years where his show and character were at its prime. That has phased out. His show is pretty much at the brick of end)

Andrew Lincoln, "The Walking Dead" (Great freshman start, but I am viewing him as the next Matthew Fox. It will depend on how his series fairs in the future. It has to prove that it is not something the Sy-fy channel could've come up with.)

William H. Macy, "Shameless" (Freshman show, and ambiguous at that. Some may argue that it is a comedy. But then again Showtime has been able to present a similar feat with Edie Falco. This could be another surprise if Romano is a no show.)

Sean Bean, "Game of Thrones" (Freshman show. The competition is fierce. He will have to really milk it to get in.)

Matt Bomer, "White Collar" (His role is not flashy or meaty enough to really be considered a game changer.)

Everyone else is a long long long long long long shot.

I'd love to see Ray Romano somehow sneak into that sixth slot! His work on Men of a Certain Age is terrific, and he's got at least one excellent tape to submit.

Neither Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy") and Ray Romano ("Men of a Certain Age") should be overlooked.

Simon Baker does not deserve to be nominated!

I think Jeremy Irons and William H. Macy will duke it out for the final spot and might even take the place of Kyle Chandler.


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