• Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (Live from Studio 6H)
• Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments)
• Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)
• Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men” (Frodo’s Headshots)
• Larry David “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Palestinian Chicken)
• Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (The Werewolf Transformation)
Alec Baldwin is on his sixth nomination and had won twice already. While his episode Live From Studio 6H is a good one where he gets to do various characters that’s reminiscent of his winning episode, it’s not a surefire material that will give him his third Emmy. Also, the fact that 30 Rock has been some sort of a perennial nominee but not the Emmys choice for any win (they have been empty handed the last two years) gives him a disadvantage. Maybe they’ll wait for 30 Rock’s swansong last year for him and the rest of the show to be competitive again. Don Cheadle is the newbie nominee in this group, and I think it’s a result of how weak the options were this year. House of Lies isn’t necessarily a funny show, nor his submission, the pilot, has anything new to offer. I’d even put this role in the veins of David Duchovny in Californication and Thomas Jane in Hung which were both snubbed for an Emmy nomination. His exception for a nomination is a combination of a weak competition plus his star status, but not even his Emmyless state will help him all the way to the podium this year. With Leblanc coming back next year, plus a plethora of new shows, I’d be surprised if he even managed a consecutive nomination. Louis CK will surely be the winner if we based it on whole season performances. However, given his submission “Duckling”, I think it can be a hit or miss for the voters. On one hand, he gets to have 40 minutes of screentime in his episode, and this one targets more of the heart than the laughs with him doing stand up comedy for the troops. On the other hand, there isn’t any LOL moments that one expects to see given the double screentime his episode had. I think he has some other episodes that were more competitive than this one, but its not wise to dismiss his chances altogether. However, with all his other nominations (a record breaking SEVEN!), he can easily be a victim of vote splitting among voters where they will reward him with an Emmy. After six consecutive nods and one victory in the Supporting category, Jon Cryershifts to Lead status and easily gets a seventh nomination. His episode is classic Emmy bait as he gets to lose his mind and suffers a breakdown with everything happening around him. This has a combination of physical comedy, one liners, and I see him very competitive since no one submitted a sure fire winning submission. If anything, dislike towards his show is what hinders people from dismissing his chances because he is so in the race. The Emmys love his Alan Harper role so much (to the point they nominated it last year over Barney Stinson), and with a surprise SAG nom earlier this year, I can see him winning all the way. Maybe it’s because they don’t love actors portraying themselves but Larry David hasn’t still won an Emmy for his performance in the show despite him being continuously nominated. Two years ago, I predicted him with that Seinfeld episode which I took as a sign that Emmy voters will eat up, and yet he still lost to Jim Parsons. This year, he again submitted the show’s best episode, and if overdue status is to be considered, then he’ll definitely have a chance again. He is funny in his submitted episode, but it does not cater to everyone and might be divisive in general. Voters seem to love Jim Parsons‘s Sheldon Cooper so much to the point that he won against Steve Carell’s last year, and despite strong submissions from a should be three-peat of Alec Baldwin, a last for Tony Shalhoub, and a Seinfeld ep from Larry David two years ago. This year, Parsons submitted an episode that highlights the wackiness of Sheldon with him not wanting to get a haircut from others because his usual barber is in the hospital. It features him suffering a semi-breakdwon while playing the bongos during midnight and visiting the barber with scissors on his hands. It’s not as strong as his first win, but I see voters checking his name off here.
There is no standout performance per se, so we might be in for a surprise, but the past four years led us to wins in traditional sitcoms. I see the trend happening this year between Jon Cryer and Jim Parsons; however, I’m giving the edge to Parsons to mark a threepeat in this category.
Prediction: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Dark Horse: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”