A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMC
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Before the Ballots: Actor & Actress
2012 Primetime Emmy® Award Pre-Nomination Special Report
Good morning. It's Thursday, May 31, 2012, 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
Here's the thing about great TV: the best shows and stars stay strong each year, and yet every year brings new programs and fresh opportunities when it comes time for awards. This year's menu of potential Emmy acting nominees in comedies and dramas, which will be announced the morning of July 19, will likely include both the familiar and the surprises, the perennially-picked talent alongside a few from-left-field entrants.
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.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM USA NETWORK
Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler is a virtual lock for an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. She's been nominated twice before for this show but hasn't won. Last year's comedy winner Melissa McCarthy of Mike & Molly should snag another nomination, as should Tina Fey for 30 Rock and Laura Linney for The Big C. Then there's Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who's in the running for Veep and will likely be on the ballot.
Entertainment Web site Indiewire said possible surprise nods may come for Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Christina Applegate in Up All Night, Kat Dennings in 2 Broke Girls or even Patricia Heaton in The Middle.
Deschanel has a lot of fans. "Zooey Deschanel has practically hypnotized the country with her doe-eyed quirkiness," said Lauren Swanson, SheKnows.com Entertainment Editor. "There's something about her that is different from any other comedic actress out there. She is sarcastic, non-conformist, and just delicious to watch."
Christina Applegate is also a top contender, said Erin Fox, the managing editor of pop culture site Snakkle.com. "Her perfect comedic timing is unwavering as her character navigates dealing with a neurotic husband, struggling with a high maintenance boss/best friend and being a working mother."
Guys Who Make us Laugh
Place your bets now that two-time winner Jim Parsons from Big Bang Theory and Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock will nab their usual Emmy nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy. Both have won before, and Parsons may be on track for his third win. Baldwin has already won three times. "Not having Alec Baldwin in the Emmy nominations for comedy would be like ordering a BLT without the bacon. His role as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock has become so ubiquitous. That in itself is a testament to his abilities as a comedic actor," Swanson said.
Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki also has a good shot at another nod, as does Louis CK from Louis, while Don Cheadle makes his case with his new show House of Lies. Indiewire expects possible surprises could come for Joel McHale in Community, Ed Helms in The Office, Will Arnett in Up All Night, Warwick Davis in Life's Too Short, Matthew Morrison in Glee or Ashton Kutcher in Two and a Half Men.
Snakkle's Fox is raising her hand for Arnett. "Since Will Arnett was never awarded for his amazing work as Gob Bluth on Arrested Development, perhaps voters will be drawn to root for Arnett's broader, sweet, touching, yet still brilliantly hilarious performance as stay-at-home dad Chris Brinkley on Up All Night," Fox said.
Reigning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Kyle Chandler had the good fortune of not going up against three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston last year. But Cranston will be in the running this go-round since Breaking Bad returns in time for consideration. Cranston is sure to land a nod as the chemistry teacher turned meth king, but Fox thinks this might be four-time nominee Jon Hamm's year. After all, he's helmed the Emmy-winning Mad Men and has yet to take home his own trophy.
He'll vie against Homeland's Damian Lewis. "[Lewis] was a revelation as the mysterious half-mad, half-cunning POW who returns home to a hero's welcome, and the suspicions of a relentless CIA agent," Fox said. "He has the advantage of freshman year show buzz and incredible reviews behind his amazing work."
Other actors who may land nods are Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire, Michael C. Hall for Dexter and perhaps Kelsey Grammer for Boss and Dustin Hoffman for Luck.
Claire Danes is nearly a shoe-in for a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama on the heels of her Golden Globe win for Homeland. Juliana Margulies, who took home the Emmy last year, is sure to land a nomination again. Don't count out Elisabeth Moss, whose work on Mad Men serves as a strong anchor for that show, critics say.
This year's breakout hit Downton Abbey is eligible in the series category this year so expect a nomination for Elizabeth McGovern, while Glenn Close for Damages and Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order are always strong contenders for lead actress nominations.
"Downtown Abbey single-handedly made British costume dramas sexy, and that's mostly thanks to Elizabeth McGovern and her exquisite acting skills," Swanson said. "But there are quite a few solid contenders, including Claire Danes and last year's winner Julianna Margulies."
Whoever winds up on the ballot, there's a lot of talent on the tube these days.
Daisy Whitney for Cynopsis
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