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EMMYS: Comedy Lead Acting Race Handicap

By | Thursday August 23, 2012 @ 8:00pm PDT

Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor

Veteran nominees and previous winners make up most of the actor and actress nominations this year, with the exception of two first-timers: Lena Dunham of HBO’s Girls and Zooey Deschanel from Fox’s The New Girl. Here’s a look at each performer’s history with the TV Academy and where they stand in this year’s Emmy race:

COMEDY ACTOR

ALEC BALDWIN (30 Rock, NBC)

Emmy Pedigree: This is Baldwin’s sixth nomination in a row in this category for 30 Rock, and he’s got 14 Emmy noms in total (including a pair this year because he is also honored as one of the show’s producers). He’s converted two of those into wins, in 2008 and ’09. That’s to go along with three Golden Globe triumphs (2007, ’09, ’10) and a record seven SAG Awards. Jack Donaghy, Baldwin’s impossibly colorful and bombastic creation on 30 Rock, is truly a character for the ages. As good as everyone on the show is, without Baldwin it would never have survived.

What We Say: Everyone is relieved that Baldwin never followed through on his annual threats to leave the show. Yet barring an unforeseen flood of late buzz, his Emmy-winning days appear over.

DON CHEADLE (House of Lies, Showtime)

Emmy Pedigree: This is Cheadle’s fifth Emmy nomination, and he’s still looking for his first win. His first pair came in 1999, as supporting actor in the HBO original The Rat Pack and as lead in the film A Lesson Before Dying. He also had a supporting nom in 2002 for the telepic Things Behind the Sun and guest actor in a drama in 2003 for an episode of ER. Oh, yes, and Cheadle also landed an Oscar nomination as lead actor in 2005 for his work in the film Hotel Rwanda. His only major award win came in 1999 when he took home a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sammy Davis Jr. in Rat Pack. His character on House of Lies, Marty Kaan, is a wonderfully bold and original creation. Too, Showtime is on something of a roll in placing lead actors in the
series categories.

What We Say: Cheadle has made a big impact on House of Lies in a short time with his comic vitality and effortless charisma. As such, he has a shot at an upset here. Read More »

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EMMYS: Deadline/TVline Comedy Races

Here’s is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy comedy races:

Deadline/TVline: 2011 Comedy Series Overview
Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits is more intense than ever, with Modern Family and Glee. That is, if a duo of up-and-comers — Community or Parks and Recreation — don’t act as spoilers. Past Emmy stalwarts 30 Rock or The Office could resurface. Or Showtime’s bold female-skewing dramedies Nurse Jackie or newbie The Big C might seize the spotlight. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory could finally score a nod or How I Met Your Mother in its sixth season. Underdogs include ABC’s The Middle and Fox’s Raising Hope.

Deadline: Do We Need A Dramedy Category?
Deadline: ‘Modern Family’s Chris Lloyd
Deadline: ‘The Big C’s Jenny Bicks
Deadline: ‘Parks & Recreation’s Michael Schur
Deadline: ‘Community’s Dan Harmon
Deadline: ‘Nurse Jackie’s Brixius & Wallem

Deadline: 10 Comedies Pick Best Episodes
While some comedy series producers are still finalizing their selection of episodes to submit for Emmy nomination consideration, most have already chosen their best. Each series may submit 6 episodes for the Outstanding Comedy Series, as … Read More »

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EMMYS BACKSTAGE: Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons was asked backstage if winning for lead comedy actor helped partially make up for the fact his CBS series The Big Bang Theory wasn’t nominated for top comedy series. “Well, I don’t know,” he said. “It was such a good selection of shows nominated. Who are you going to give the boot to?… I hope everybody’s happy that we brought home some gold to the show. But it would be good if we were all here together.” He said that they’re feeling the pressure of Big Bang‘s move to Thursday nights this fall. “It’s a big night. But I feel, knock on wood, that we’ve got such a loyal fan base, they’ll feel happy to watch us wherever it is.” As for his own win? Parsons said it felt “absolutely dreamlike…I’m thrilled, I’m honored, but I’m stunned too.” — Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s Emmy coverage.

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Emmy Scorecard: Lead Comedy Actors

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actor race:

JIM PARSONS, THE BIG BANG THEORY

Why He Got Nominated: Because he’s widely regarded in the Hollywood creative and critical communities as the funniest guy on TV as CBS/Warner Bros TV’s Big Bang nerd Sheldon Cooper. That isn’t necessarily enough to land him the Emmy. He’s also got to convince the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. But it’s a good start.

Why He Has To Win: It’s the 2nd consecutive nomination for Parsons after having been previously snubbed, and his submitted episode “The Pants Alternative” is a showcase for his uproarious drunk scene. A lot of people had predicted he’d win a year ago, but Alec Baldwin snatched it away. This time, Parsons has the advantage of being a fresh face and a guy who is perceived to have paid dues (at least some). “He’s the guy who should win because he’s right now the consistently best sitcom lead week in and week out,” believes one producer.

Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Some will resent the fact that Parsons threatened to hold out and break ranks with his co-stars in seeking a raise far greater than the $100,000 per episode offered by Warner Bros TV ($250,000 per according to some reports). This is also the most competitive acting category at this year’s Emmys, with Parsons having to knock off both a 2-time category winner (Baldwin) and a three-timer (Tony Shalhoub).

ALEC BALDWIN, 30 ROCK

Why He Got Nominated: You couldn’t have … Read More »

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