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Television: Drama Actor

2008 Golden Globes nominees

Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Hugh Laurie, “House”
Bill Paxton, “Big Love”
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, “The Tudors”

Forever looking for new faces to splash across the kudo landscape, the HFPA will find nobody fresher than Jon Hamm, whose dapper take as an ad exec with a mysterious past was pitch perfect in AMC’s well-received “Mad Men”. Critics and fans — especially female ones — weren’t shy about hiding their admiration for Hamm, and the HFPA may want to anoint him sooner rather than later.

Hugh Laurie’s inclusion in this category is almost perfunctory at this point, the Brit immersing himself as Dr. House so well. He won last year, and his show’s ratings continue to be stellar. While ratings don’t always matter, “House” is the only show here whose home is on broadcast, not cable, and that wide exposure could make a difference with voters who don’t want to be seen as exclusionary.

Michael C. Hall continues his smooth transition from “Six Feet Under” to “Dexter,” a series that recently made AFI’s list of the top 10 shows from 2007.

While the Emmys have mostly ignored polygamy drama “Big Love,” the HFPA members are fans of Bill Paxton’s work as the husband of three. This is his second consecutive nom.