“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Emmy history: five noms, including two wins
The case: Parsons had a particularly rich year material-wise, with his brilliant but socially inept character, Sheldon Cooper, finally making great (albeit clumsy) strides in his relationship with Mayim Bialik’s Amy. (See standout episode “The Habituation Configuration,” which culminated with a drunken Sheldon learning to stand up for his woman.) It also doesn’t hurt that, going into its seventh season, “Big Bang” continues to be the highest-rated comedy on broadcast TV.
Trivia: Parsons, who played hospital administrator Tommy Boatwright in Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” on Broadway two years ago, will reprise the role in HBO’s upcoming adaptation directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt.