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Drama, comedy dark horse Emmy contenders

Actors who may be in the nomination mix

DRAMA

Walton Goggins, “The Shield”: Goggins was always underrated as a willing member of the Strike Team but his turn as Lem’s killer, and the guilt that eats away at him, has made him more than Emmy worthy.

Omar Epps, “House”: Epps and his “House” colleagues aren’t always given much to do opposite the big, bad doc, but Epps makes the most of his character’s limited opportunities.

Michael K. Williams, “The Wire”: And speaking of Omar … Of all the characters on HBO’s superb series “The Wire,” Williams’ Omar is probably the most charasmatic. He’s just as quick to whistle a show tune as he is to murder you in cold blood.

COMEDY

Ed Helms, “The Office”: As anger-managing Cornell grad Andy Bernard, Helms would shift from obsequiousness to obstinacy on a moment’s notice, generating laughs either way.

Steven Merchant, “Extras”: At 6-foot-a-billion, Merchant would seem to have an inherent advantage reaching comic heights. But even tucked behind his tiny agent’s desk as Darren Lamb, Merchant almost never has a moment onscreen when he isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, whether it’s the smallest gesture or quickest under-the-breath comment.

Doug Savant, “Desperate Housewives”: Savant, along with the other “Housewives” fellas, deserves credit for not getting pushed around by the much more showy performances of the ladies of Wisteria Lane

Jason Segel, “How I Met Your Mother”: Judd Apatow buddy Segel proved his comedy chops way before “Mother” and remains a solid supplier of laughs in in CBS’ charming, underrated sitcom.

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