The Emmys Report: Drama Lead Actor and Actress Races
The Emmys Report: Drama Lead Actor and Actress Races
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
A lot is made of the overwhelming number of great leading roles for women on cable, but if the official Emmy ballots are any indication, women are still a minority when it comes to starring TV roles.  On the official ballot sent to Emmy voters, there are 70 contenders for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, but only 48 for the Lead Actress category.

But the numbers don't help the major networks.  Despite the fact that more than 60 percent of the potential nominees come from the five major networks, it's the cable guys and gals who take the lead at the Emmys.

See More:
Drama Series Predictions>>

Out of all the candidates eligible, here are my shortlists for the 15 men and women to watch as the likeliest nominees.


Lead Actor Top Contenders:
Battlestar Galactica (Edward James Olmos)
The Beast (Patrick Swayze)
Big Love (Bill Paxton)
Boston Legal (James Spader)
Breaking Bad (Bryan Cranston)
Crash (Dennis Hopper)
Dexter (Michael C. Hall)
House (Hugh Laurie)
In Treatment (Gabriel Byrne)
Kings (Ian McShane)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Chris Meloni)
Mad Men (Jon Hamm)
Rescue Me (Denis Leary)
The Shield (Michael Chiklis)
24 (Kiefer Sutherland)

If voters pick with their hearts, Patrick Swayze will get in along with old standards like James Spader for his final season.  If they vote based on name recognition, it will benefit Dennis Hopper and Ian McShane, as I'd wager most Emmy voters haven't seen their shows.  But hopefully the Emmys will reflect last year's nominees, with a blend of adventurous cable work and thrilling major network stars.

My Predictions:
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

It's hard to argue against any of those nominees, but they would be missing out on FX, which is currently the absolute best network on TV.  Michael Chiklis and Denis Leary have delivered two of the finest performances of the year, and if neither are nominated, it will be a tragedy.

My Wishlist:
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Laurie, House
Ian McShane, Kings
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Michael Chiklis, The Shield
Denis Leary, Rescue Me



Lead Actress Top Contenders:
Battlestar Galactica (Mary McDonnell)
Big Love (Jeanne Tripplehorn)
Brothers & Sisters (Sally Field)
Brothers & Sisters (Calista Flockhart)
The Closer (Kyra Sedgwick)
Damages (Glenn Close)
E.R. (Angela Bassett)
Grey's Anatomy (Ellen Pompeo)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Mariska Hargitay)
Mad Men (January Jones)
Mad Men (Elisabeth Moss)
Medium (Patricia Arquette)
#1 Ladies Detective Agency (Jill Scott)
Saving Grace (Holly Hunter)
True Blood (Anna Paquin)

Yawn.  My main problem is that this category feels old already.  Cable divas like Sedgwick and Close absolutely deserve nominations, but it's time for some fresh blood.  Perhaps Emmy voters will get adventurous with a Mad Men dame or, heopfully, a fangbanging, gap-toothed waitress.

My Predictions:
Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace

In a perfect world, Emmy voters would actually honor sci-fi.fantasy as a genre.  They'd see the heroic fall of Mary McDonnell's President Laura Roslin, Anna Paquin's optimism in the face of tragedy, or Eliza Dushku, who successfully and effortlessly became a new character every single week.

My Wishlist:
Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Eliza Dushku, Dollhouse



But if you'd prefer to make up your own mind, here are lists of all the eligible men and women for this year's Emmys.  I'll warn all Supernatural fans not to get too excited by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles being on the list as it only means they filled out the proper paperwork, unlike Tom Welling, who didn't even btother.

Battlestar Galactica (Edward James Olmos)
The Beast (Patrick Swayze)
Big Love (Bill Paxton)
Bones (David Boreanaz)
Boston Legal (James Spader)
Breaking Bad (Bryan Cranston)
Brotherhood (Jason Clarke)
Brotherhood (Jason Isaacs)
Brothers & Sisters (Rob Lowe)
Burn Notice (Jeffrey Donovan)
Castle (Nathan Fillion)
The Cleaner (Benjamin Bratt)
Crash (Dennis Hopper)
Criminal Minds (Thomas Gibson)
Criminal Minds (Joe Mantegna)
C.S.I. (George Eads)
C.S.I. (Laurence Fishburne)
C.S.I. (William Petersen)
C.S.I. Miami (David Caruso)
C.S.I. New York (Gary Sinise)
Dexter (Michael C. Hall)
Dirty Sexy Money (Peter Krause)
Eleventh Hour (Rufus Sewell)
Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller)
Flashpoint (Enrico Colantoni)
Friday Night Lights (Kyle Chandler)
Fringe (Joshua Jackson)
Gossip Girl (Chace Crawford)
Gossip Girl (Ed Westwick)
Harper's Island (Christopher Gorham)
House (Hugh Laurie)
In Treatment (Gabriel Byrne)
Kings (Ian McShane)
Kyle XY (Matt Dallas)
Law & Order (Anthony Anderson)
Law & Order (Linus Roache)
Law & Order (Jeremy Sisto)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Vincent D'Onofrio)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Jeff Goldblum)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Chris Noth)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Chris Meloni)
Legend of the Seeker (Craig Horner)
Leverage (Timothy Hutton)
Lie to Me (Tim Roth)
Life (Damian Lewis)
Life on Mars (Jason O'Mara)
Lost (Matthew Fox)
Mad Men (Jon Hamm)
The Mentalist (Simon Baker)
NCIS (Mark Harmon)
Nip/Tuck (Julian McMahon)
Nip/Tuck (Dylan Walsh)
Numb3rs (David Krumholtz)
Numb3rs (Rob Morrow)
Prison Break (Dominic Purcell)
Raising the Bar (Mark-Paul Gosselaar)
Rescue Me (Denis Leary)
The Shield (Michael Chiklis)
Sons of Anarchy (Charlie Hunnam)
Southland (Ben McKenzie)
Supernatural (Jensen Ackles)
Supernatural (Jared Padalecki)
True Blood (Stephen Moyer)
Trust Me (Tom Cavanagh)
Trust Me (Eric McCormack)
The Tudors (Jonathan Rhys Meyers)
24 (Kiefer Sutherland)
The Unit (Dennis Haysbert)
The Unusuals (Jeremy Renner)
Without a Trace (Anthony LaPaglia)


Army Wives (Catherine Bell)
Army Wives (Kim Delaney)
Battlestar Galactica (Mary McDonnell)
Big Love (Jeanne Tripplehorn)
Bones (Emily Deschanel)
Brothers & Sisters (Sally Field)
Brothers & Sisters (Calista Flockhart)
Castle (Stana Katic)
The Cleaner (Amy Price-Francis)
The Closer (Kyra Sedgwick)
Cold Case (Kathryn Morris)
C.S.I. (Marg Helgenberger)
C.S.I. Miami (Emily Procter)
C.S.I. New York (Melina Kanakaredes)
Damages (Glenn Close)
Dollhouse (Eliza Dushku)
E.R. (Angela Bassett)
Fringe (Anna Torv)
Ghost Whisperer (Jennifer Love Hewitt)
Gossip Girl (Leighton Meester)
Grey's Anatomy (Ellen Pompeo)
In Plain Sight (Mary McCormack)
The L Word (Jennifer Beals)
The L Word (Laurel Holloman)
The L Word (Mia Kirshner)
Law & Order (Alana de la Garza)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Kathryn Erbe)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Julianne Nicholson)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Mariska Hargitay)
Legend of the Seeker (Bridget Regan)
Lie to Me (Kelli Williams)
Lincoln Heights (Nicki Micheaux)
Lipstick Jungle (Kim Raver)
Lost (Evangeline Lilly)
Mad Men (January Jones)
Mad Men (Elisabeth Moss)
Medium (Patricia Arquette)
The Mentalist (Robin Tunney)
#1 Ladies Detective Agency (Jill Scott)
Private Practice (Kate Walsh)
Samurai Girl (Jamie Chung)
Sanctuary (Amanda Tapping)
Saving Grace (Holly Hunter)
Secret Life of the American Teenager (Shailene Woodley)
Southland (Regina King)
Swingtown (Molly Parker)
True Blood (Anna Paquin)
The Unusuals (Amber Tamblyn)
Without a Trace (Poppy Montgomery)

                
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images courtesy of AMC and FX)

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