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Emmy Drama Lead Actor: What Will Happen?

Lewis faces competition from Spacey, Daniels and more

We’re 10 days away from the 2013 Primetime Emmy nominations. Our ongoing final look at the most prominent categories before the reveal brings us to lead actor in a drama.

Ability and stability: None of last year’s nominees — Hugh Bonneville, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm or defending champ Damian Lewis — took a step back in 2012-13. You could speculate on whether voter fatigue might set in with the longer-running candidates, such as Hall and Hamm (each with five noms in a row), but more likely, it’s going to take a showstopping performance from an outsider to knock one of these six out.

Spacey in the ‘House’: Kevin Spacey is the prototype for someone capable of shaking up the lead drama actor ranks. His performance on “House of Cards” might be even more beloved than the series itself, and has the best chance of getting Netflix at least one nomination.

SEE MORE: Emmy Drama Lead Actress: What Will Happen?

Nimble newcomers: Jeff Daniels might have seemed an Emmy lock when “The Newsroom” premiered way back in June 2012, but fellow freshmen Spacey and Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) subsequently stole a good deal of the thunder. Aden Young (“Rectify”) also gained notice, but on a much smaller scale. Kevin Bacon (“The Following”) represents the best hope from the four main broadcast networks, followed by Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”) and Jonny Lee Miller (“Elementary”). We’ll take a moment to give a nod to Andre Braugher (“The Last Resort”), who delivered his usual excellence, albeit on a show that didn’t last.

Vetting the vets: Combined lead actor nominations on their current shows for Kelsey Grammer (“Boss”), Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”), Peter Krause (“Parenthood”), Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”) and Timothy Olyphant (“Justified”): one, for Olyphant in 2011. That’s practically sinful, yet redemption might be hard to find.

‘Treme’ time: Nope, I won’t let the work of Clarke Peters or Wendell Pierce on “Treme” go ignored, however hopeless their chances are.

One man’s wish list: Buscemi, Cranston, Lewis, Hamm, Olyphant, Young.

One man’s best guesses: Buscemi, Cranston, Daniels, Lewis, Hamm, Spacey.

Previously:
Emmy Drama: What Will Happen?
Emmy Comedy: What Will Happen?

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