Emmys 2013: The Lead Comedy Actor Race in Review, Including Our 6 Dream Nominees

Emmy Best Actor Comedy NomineesLet’s be honest: For years, this category had been more or less a toss-up between The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons and 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, right? Right. But then, outta nowhere, Two and a Half Men survivor Jon Cryer stole the prize out from under both of ’em in 2012. So now, as the trio face an increasingly formidable threatLouis C.K., come on down! — the competition once again actually feels… competitive!

More Emmy Races In Review | Outstanding Comedy Series | Lead Comedy Actress | Supporting Comedy Actor | Supporting Comedy Actress | Outstanding Drama Series | Lead Drama Actor | Lead Drama Actress | Supporting Drama Actor | Supporting Drama Actress | Outstanding Reality-Competition Series

Review this slideshow of the major contenders — including TVLine’s Dream Nominees — then hit the comments to vote for who you think are the six best. And check back Tuesday as we tackle the Lead Comedy Actress race!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. erin says:

    YAY for Adam Scott & Jake Johnson!

  2. JON says:

    How can you not include Joel McHale as your dream nominee????

  3. Joel says:

    If Jon Cryer gets a nomination again it just shows what a joke the emmys are

    • Aprilcot says:

      THIS. I threw up in my mouth a little when he won last year. I thought Jon was really great in the earlier seasons of the show, but Cryer (and the show) have been pretty terrible for awhile now.

    • J. Norman says:

      For me,Cryer’s win last year took all credibility out of the Emmy’s forever

      I can’t even imagine what type of strong arming and inside deals must have been in place for Cryer to be nominated, much less win, the Emmy.

      It had to be some type of insider power play to take a swipe at Charie Sheen.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Sure Jon Cryer winning was a huge letdown, but I think they made up for it by giving Louie C.K. a statue for writing. That balanced things out a little, didn’t it?
        I honestly think the real reason Cryer won was because he is a very nice guy in real life, and Hollywood loves him for that. But that’s not a good reason to vote for him. Ideally last year C.K. would have gotten it for acting, and Chris McKenna would have gotten the writing statue for Community’s timeline episode.

    • adamcala1234 says:

      Well I’m glad Jon Cryer won last year… I think he deserved it.

    • Lana says:

      Amen to that!

  4. Sarah says:

    I would love for Adam Scott and Jake Johnson to get nominations this year. Jim Parsons is worthy of another nomination as well. Those are the only three that I feel strongly about this year.

  5. Eddie says:

    Rainn Wilson should be nominated for “Dwight Christmas”

  6. Jen says:

    John Krasinski, anyone? or would he be more of a supporting actor? either way, he needs an Emmy.

  7. Claudia says:

    my vote would be for Johnny Galecki for Big Bang. I would also like to see Simon Helberg to get recognition for his portrayal of Howard – sheer genius.

    • lariet50 says:

      I’m hoping Simon Helberg will get recognized in the supporting category – he had a stand-out year. I’m also hoping Galecki and Parsons get nominations. Beyond that, I only care about Jake Johnson and NOT seeing Jon Cryer in there. I have nothing against him, but “Two and a Half Men” is a total joke.

  8. Aprilcot says:

    Alec Baldwin
    Jake Johnson
    John Krasinski
    Joel McHale
    Jim Parsons
    Adam Scott

    I’m not much of a BBT watcher anymore, but I can recognize how talented Jim Parsons is. I would love to see this go to Adam Scott. He is amazing on P&R and is underrated, IMO.

  9. Vlada says:

    I would put on the list Neil Flynn from The middle

    • Kari says:

      Agreed – his performance is so understated, and this season he’s been a standout. His reaction to Sue’s winning at tennis or the failed fishing trip or even Brick’s camping trip? Fantastic!

  10. Spencer says:

    Adam Scott all the way!!

  11. mark says:

    Say what you will about the office without Steve Carell, John Krasinski gave an impeccable performance this year…especially in Customer loyalty. He and Jenna Fischer both deserve a nomination

  12. Jamie says:

    I’d like to see this:
    Jake Johnson
    Alec Baldwin
    Jim Parsons
    Adam Scott
    Louis C.K.
    Joel McHale

    With either Alec Baldwin winning for old-times sake and his absolutely stellar work on a fantastic final season or Jake Johnson in a huge upset. I did not like Nick in Season 1 but Jake Johnson has truly done some incredible comedy bolstered by some strong writing for his character this season. I’d be curious to see what episode he submitted, but he deserves a nomination based on his moonwalk-escape alone :D

  13. Eliza says:

    My favs: Louis C.K., Joel McHale, Adam Scott, and Jake Johnson. And I think Jeremy Sisto is great on Suburgatory.
    Also, I agree John Krasinski should be nominated! He was impeccable. Love him.

  14. Ralph says:

    PLEASE no more Alec Baldwin

  15. TobyG. says:

    Joel McHale!!!!!!!!! Although I would also love to see Matthew Perry get it as a little F.U. to the network for cancelling that great show.

    • Maris says:

      That’s what I thought about Matthew Perry too, I really enjoyed him on Go On and I hope he gets nominated, Go On’s cancellation was the saddest for me this season

    • Zach says:

      I was so bummed when Go On was cancelled. Matthew Perry was great, the entire cast was great.

  16. Babar Suhail says:

    Neil Patrick Harris, anyone?

  17. Paul8148 says:

    Parson, Baldwin, Johnson, Scott, Louie C.K, and Flynn would be my six.

    As for the winning, I will say if Parson summits the Newhart episode or The Love Potion episode he will likely win.

    Krasinski I think put himself in supporting like past years.

  18. knd says:

    Louie CK, Joel McHale, Adam Scott, Jake M. Johnson and Jeremy Sisto

  19. Darkhorse David Puddy says:

    Alec Baldwin
    Don Cheadle
    Jake Johnson
    Jim Parsons
    Jeremy Sisto
    Patrick Warburton

    • Zach says:

      Warburton would be a good choice. Rules of Engagement has been on for seven seasons, and while never great, I do not think I have ever seen a show (other than perhaps The League) stay so consistent. It’s really the cast that makes that show.

  20. Leah says:

    Adam Scott, Louie C.K., Jake Johnson, and Alec Baldwin for sure. I would lovelovelove to see Adam Scott get some recognition.

  21. Mike R. says:

    Adam Scott… Yes!

  22. A says:

    umm defenitely NO to Alec Baldwin (seriously this man has been nominated and won this category too many times. congrats to him, but enough already). NO to Jon Cryer, Matt LeBlanc (I’ve seen their names way too much on the Emmys).
    How about Billy Gardell, James Roday, Dulé Hill, Rainn Wilson? Fantastic and hilarious actors!
    And on a side note, how come USA shows (Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, etc.) get no love from the Emmy’?

  23. CJS says:

    Jim Parsons
    Adam Scott
    Joel McHale
    Don Cheadle
    Alec Baldwin
    John Krasinski (he isn’t on the list, but I really think he should be)
    As for who wins, I could see it going to Baldwin or Krasinski as a last hurrah. I could also see it going to Scott or McHale in a massive upset. However, I hope that either Parsons or Cheadle win.

  24. Benjamin Lister says:

    Joel Mchale for the win

  25. Lecholls says:

    Jake Johnson and Adam Scott deserve nominations. I love the idea of James Roday and Dule Hill, but it’ll never happen. Jon Cryer should not even be considered.

  26. Eli says:

    For the last time TVLine, this was NOT TBBT’s best season yet. Not even close. Both objectively and subjectively. Stop making those silly claims, are you getting paid to be fanboys or something?

  27. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Dream nominees for me: Louie C.K. (ftw), Jason Bateman, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and….I guess Jim Parsons and Joel McHale. In any other year I would have been dying to pick McHale, but season 4 of Community…ugh. And I hate TBBT, but this category feels weak this year, so I guess I will have to pick him.
    Here’s who I think will get nominated: Louis C.K. (maybe for the win), Jim Parsons, Don Cheadle, Jason Bateman, Jon Cryer, and Alec Baldwin. Matt LeBlanc is in a 7th spot here and could sneak in, but I can’t figure out who he would get it over.

  28. Potato Strong says:

    Why exactly does Bateman deserve a nomination?

  29. Lucy Carmichael says:

    Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory
    Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men
    Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
    David Duchovny, Californication

  30. Oh god please not Cryer again. I agree with the rest of the list though. Especially Cheadle, Scott, Parsons, & Galecki.

  31. Fran Wes says:

    Chris Messina
    Jake Johnson
    Joel McHale
    Jim Parsons
    Adam Scott

    • Aprilcot says:

      Good call on Chris Messina! Totally didn’t even think of him, but I think he’s great on Mindy. After how abrasive Danny was in the pilot I like the direction that the character is taking and I think Messina plays it well.

  32. YowzaPowza says:

    Jake Johnson and Adam Scott aren’t leads. I hate when people submit themselves into categories they don’t belong in. The lead of New Girl is Zoey. The lead of Parks and Rec is Amy. That’s it. Those shows have one lead. The guys aren’t it.

    • meg says:

      I would argue about Johnson. I don’t watch Parks and Recreation, but Jake Johnson has completely stepped up as the male lead in New Girl. The Nick/Jess relationship is very much the center and heart of the show. His going after male lead takes nothing away from Zooey Deschanel or Greenfield/Morris… both of whom told him to go for lead. He has had the most A-stories of the men and had more screentime. His romance with Jess has moved him up to male lead.

  33. AJ says:


  34. J says:

    Nothing to say about Jason Bateman huh? I think he obviously deserves it most because he inspired such a loyal fanbase that a show came back from being canceled 7 years later and on top of that when it came back (phenomenally I might add) it is good and popular enough from them to consider continuing it whether on Netflix or through some other venue

  35. Maria says:

    Jake Johnson, Adam Scott, Alec Baldwin, Louis CK, Jason Bateman all deserve a nomination.

    Jim Parsons, John Cryer, Matt LeBlanc, Louis CK, Johnny Galecki will get the nominations

    Joel McHale (as much as I love him) didn’t have a great year due to the dismal season.

  36. May says:

    Jake johnson

  37. Alice Ryan says:

    For once, I’d like to see more people that haven’t been nominated be nominated. I’d like to Jeremy Sisto and Johnny Galecki in the mix.

  38. John DeMayo says:

    Wait… SERIOUSLY? You guys REALLY think that this was the best season of The Big Bang Theory? Have you guys at tvline not seen Seasons 1 through 4? Really?

    • ElenaGreece says:

      Totally agree with you! Season 6 was a very uneven season. Some good ideas but poorly developed. I personally disliked the fact that the characters (especially Raj) became complete stereotypes. The only one who deserves to get a nomination (and to win) is Howard (I mean Simon Helberg). He is a fine comedian and he should be recognized for his work. He manages to shine even in the most mediocre scenes!

      • John DeMayo says:

        Yes, exactly. Well that and the fact that the show has become far too reliant on the typical “relationship drama” storylines. It’s almost as if the writers got lazy after they got the “three season renewal”… because Seasons 5 and 6 have been extremely mediocre. 6 is a bit better than 5… but nowhere close to the greatness of the show’s early seasons. The decline in quality is painfully obvious… so I’m completely baffled as to why TVline thinks it is at its absolute best. Unless of course they’re being paid off…

  39. Zach says:

    The part of me that likes rooting for the underdog makes me want Jeremy Sisto to win. The episode with him coaching t-ball was priceless. He dominated in the finale, and his guitar playing is always great.

    • Zach says:

      Also, where the hell is Josh Radnor! Did anyone else see The Time Travelers? I was astounded by both his performance and his pipes.

  40. Patti says:

    My picks would be
    Jake Johnson of New Girl
    James Roday of Psych

  41. Aubrey says:

    Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki all the way! Pure geniuses!