After looking at the possible Emmy nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series, we now turn to the Emmy race for Outstanding Lead Actor. Here are my top contenders for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy.
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Four of these six contenders are all locks to be nominated for the Emmy again this year. For 30 Rock’‘s final season, six-time nominee and two-time Emmy winner, Alec Baldwin, will garner another nomination easily; the only question is whether he walks away with the statue or not. Along with Baldwin, last year’s winner, Jon Cryer, The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons, and Louis C.K. will all return to the Lead Actor field this year. Even though Cryer won last year’s Emmy, I expect his chances to be a lot lower this time around. I could also see Emmy voters rewarding C.K. for his writing rather than his acting, which means that this could become a really tight two-person race between Baldwin and Parsons, especially since The Big Bang Theory is enjoying a commercial and critical high right now.
My two other picks for nominations in this category are a lot less certain. Don Cheadle was nominated last year for House of Lies, when it was Showtime’s shiny new thing. Personally, I think Cheadle is good enough that he grabs another nomination this year, but there are also many reasons to doubt this. A lot of the luster has rubbed off of House of Lies, and while many people would blame the writing for the show’s lack of quality and certainly not Cheadle’s solid performance, I could definitely see House of Lies‘ inconsistency hurting Cheadle’s chances, allowing someone like fellow Showtime actor, Matt LeBlanc from Episodes, to possibly swoop in and steal his spot.
Lastly, Jake Johnson gave my favorite performance on all of TV this year, and I truly believe that Emmy voters will recognize how great he was and give him a well-earned nomination. As Nick Miller on New Girl this season, Johnson got to do it all. At certain times, Nick could be a cynical grouch, vowing off anything that didn’t allow him to drink beer and watch TV. Then he could also be a neurotic nerd, wearing awful yellow-colored track suits or openly binge drinking at a zoo in an attempt to channel his inner Hemingway. Mostly, this season, however, Nick Miller was a romantic hero, a man that took action by kissing Jess and later carrying her to his bed, a guy who didn’t let his own insecurities chip away at the growing relationship he had with the girl of his dreams. Nick Miller was a lot things this past season of New Girl, all of them great, and throughout all of the character’s shifting moods and actions, Johnson did the incredible feat of making Nick feel real, genuine, and relatable. He’s my dream pick, not just for a nomination at this year’s Emmys, but to win the whole thing.