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Cynopsis Media presents
Before the Ballots: Actor &
2011 Primetime Emmy® Award Pre-Nomination Special Report
by Daisy Whitney
Good morning. It's Monday, May 23, 2011, and this is the first of a five-part series predicting the nominees for this year's primetime Emmy® Awards. Today's installment looking at the potential nominees for Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Drama/Comedy series.
BEFORE THE BALLOTS: Actor & Actress
By Daisy Whitney
Memo to the cast of Modern Family: Last year you were all magnanimous and humble by only entering your names in the supporting acting categories at the Emmys. This year: get over it!
Many Emmy prognosticators want to see the hit sitcom's actors spread out across the leading and supporting comedy categories in the race for the most prestigious award in TV.
The nominations for the 2011 Emmy Awards won't be announced until the morning of July 14, but speculation on who will and won't be tapped for the leading acting awards is spreading through the Web and in the media community. This will be the first of our five-part series handicapping the road to the Emmy nominations. Each week we'll dive into a different awards category.
Leading Actor in a Comedy
The cast of Modern Family submitted themselves in supporting categories in a display of ensemble solidarity last year. But that reduces the likelihood of winning. This year, industry expert Shari Anne Brill, one of Co-Authors, along with Steve Sternberg, of the just-released Upfront edition of the Primetime TV Insight Series report published by Baseline Intelligence, hopes the show's stars take a different tack. She'd like to see Ed O'Neill take home the statue. "He should throw himself in for lead, especially because of how outstanding he was in Married With Children as well. I'd like to see him get some props finally," she said.
O'Neill, and perhaps Eric Stonestreet from the same show, will likely square off against some of the usual comedic suspects in the leading category. Alec Baldwin, who's won twice for 30 Rock, is a top contender for a nomination and will likely be a frontrunner for a win, Emmy predictors say. He'll face tough competition from last year's winner, Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. Steve Carell of The Office is also a virtual lock for a nod, especially in his farewell season. Also likely to round out the top six for nods are Joel McHale of Community, Matthew Morrison of Glee and Danny McBride of Eastbound & Down, said Emmy watcher Chris Beachum of AwardsHeaven .net .
"Danny McBride deserves a special Emmy for Eastbound & Down," said Frank Nicotero, comedian and host of Yahoo TV's Primetime in No Time.
There's an outside chance that Matt LeBlanc of Episodes and Matthew Perry of Mr. Sunshine could land nods, Beachum said on his site, noting too that Rob Lowe of Parks & Recreation is a contender.
Leading Actress in a Comedy
As for the ladies, Edie Falco's pill-popping Nurse Jackie will surely score a nomination to follow last year's win. Another frontrunner is Amy Poehler from Parks & Recreation. "She has been great this year," Brill said. Brill added that Modern Family's Sofia Vergara could land in the leading category, but if not she could score a nod in the supporting category. Also for leading actress Beachum expects to see Laura Linney of The Big C, Tina Fey of 30 Rock, Toni Collette of United States of Tara and Wendie Malick of Hot in Cleveland in the mix.
Leading Actor in a Drama
On the drama front, the three-time reigning champion Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad won't be in the running this year because the show's fourth season won't start until after the eligibility period for this year's award ends. That will likely make his competition quite happy and may open the door for Mad Men's Jon Hamm to take home his first trophy. Hamm has lost to Cranston the last three years. "The last season of Mad Men was a pinnacle of writing and acting, and I hope to see it all over the nominations," wrote Boston Globe writer Matthew Gilbert in an open letter to Emmy voters.
But Hugh Laurie of House is in the same spot. He's been nominated three years in a row, and five times total, without a win, so he'll be a strong contender as well. "As House slowly jumps the shark it's hard to imagine Hugh Laurie never winning an Emmy for his brilliance as Gregory House. But Pacino never won an Oscar as Michael Corleone, so anything is possible," Nicotero said.
Also expected to draw nominations are Michael C. Hall in Dexter, William H. Macy of Shameless and Timothy Olyphant of Justified. Emmy prediction site Goldderby.com also likes Steve Buscemi of HBO's Boardwalk Empire; Brill seconds the vote of confidence in Buscemi. Finally, Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights could score a nod too in the show's final season.
Leading Actress in a Drama
Last year's leading dramatic lady Kyra Sedgwick is a shoe-in for a nomination, following her win and four previous nominations. Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife also is a critical darling and has done "an outstanding job in that role," said Brill.
Emmy watchers are also betting on Kathy Bates to be a strong contender in her first season starring in Harry's Law. She'll likely be joined by Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men, perennial nominee Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Mireille Enos of The Killing. There's also Melissa Leo as a dark horse for Treme. Voters will pay closer attention to her body of work following her recent Oscar win.
This 5-part series of 2011 Primetime Emmy® Award Pre-Nomination Special Reports are available on the Cynopsis website in our special Primetime Emmy®2011 section.
Daisy Whitney for Cynopsis
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