Monday, June 23, 2008

Early Emmy Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Contenders are listed in the order I think they’re likely to get nominated. The first ten represent my predictions for the top ten run-off, with the first five as my predictions for the eventual nominees.

Four out of five seem highly likely – Hugh Laurie, Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, and James Spader. Each are only slightly handicapped: Laurie and Spader were unexpectedly snubbed two years ago (and their submitted episodes still have not yet been revealed); getting nominated for a non-HBO cable show isn’t usually as easy as it should be for Hamm; and Hall was horrifically and shockingly snubbed last year for the first season of “Dexter”. I think this is the year where Denis Leary falls off the list, especially given the arguably more popular Michael Chiklis dropping off after only two years of being nominated for “The Shield”. Much as I’d love to predict Eddie Izzard, he didn’t get in last year with a killer submission and his material this year wasn’t quite as terrific. Both Kyle Chandler and Matthew Fox face separate challenges: “Friday Night Lights” doesn’t have enough buzz, especially this year, and Fox, to be blunt, isn’t that great as Jack on “Lost” (and his episode submission is as of yet unknown). Though this could be the year where “Battlestar Galactica” finally breaks through and Edward James Olmos gets into the top ten, he barely had any material this season. Bill Paxton and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers will also have to rely on their shows making the cut, and neither has extraordinary buzz, however much their respective networks hype them. I think the final two slots in the top ten will go to two great lead actors on two relatively small cable newcomers: Gabriel Byrne of “In Treatment” and Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad”. I give Byrne the upper hand, especially since even “Mad Men” hasn’t yet been nominated for an Emmy and two nominees in the same category from an AMC show seems highly unlikely.

Current predicted winner: Jon Hamm

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