The “Arrested Development” funnyman takes center stage and runs with it as the put-upon son of a divorcing couple.
“House of Lies”
In the Showtime program’s third season, Cheadle’s portrayal of management consultant Marty Kaan took self-loathing to new heights.
<p>“Louie”<br /><br />The comic continues to revolutionize television and though he already has four Emmys, he has never won for acting.</p>
“The Big Bang Theory”
Galecki enjoys great chemistry with all his co-stars and is consistently winning as the intelligent but put-upon roommate Leonard.
As one of four senators who live together, Goodman is reliably great as a likable straight-talker who refuses to campaign.
The stage star proves a commanding screen presence as Patrick, a gay video designer in San Francisco navigating relationships.
“Key and Peele”
With partner Jordan Peele, Key makes up one half of the smart, funny duo that delivers bigger laughs more consistently than “Saturday Night Live.”
Playing a twisted version of himself, LeBlanc has never been more daring or hilarious, willing to make himself the butt of some pretty harsh jokes.
Dysfunction never looked as appealing as in the form of the freeloading, useless father of seven Frank Gallagher, perfectly played by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Macy.
Not unlike his fellow comic Louis C.K., Maron is doing TV his way and delivering a sharp, prickly performance as himself.
Nobody does snark with heart better than McHale, and with the show’s recent cancellation, this is Emmy’s last chance to reward its leading man.
Merchant learned the art of uncomfortable comedy from collaborator Ricky Gervais, and somehow managed to make his shallow singleton slightly endearing.
“The Mindy Project”
Messina is a standout in a talented troupe, and the season finale sealed his status as the show’s romantic leading man.
Middleditch seemed to come out of nowhere to shine as reclusive computer programmer Richard Hendriks, ably heading a hilarious ensemble.
One of the year’s few sure bets for a nod, Parsons already has three Emmys for his role as prissy Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
He’s the best Obama impersonator around, and the sketch show continues to grow in popularity and acclaim.
“How I Met Your Mother”
In nine seasons, both Radnor and the character of Ted have grown tremendously; yet the talent actor has never been nominated — this is Emmy’s chance to right this oversight.
He won this year’s Golden Globe and his show is one of the new season’s few bright spots.
“Parks and Recreation”
Scott more than holds his own against the great Amy Poehler and often steals scenes with his silent reactions alone.
“The Crazy Ones”
His show may have lasted only one season, but don’t underestimate the love for two-time Emmy winner Williams.