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Emmy Comedy Lead Actor: What Will Happen?

Baldwin, Cheadle, Cryer, Parsons, Louis C.K. seek return trips

Bullish on Baldwin? Cheeky for Cheadle, C.K. or Cryer? Step four in our plan to scan the final nomination possibilities and probabilities for this years Primetime Emmys is upon us, as the spotlight turns to lead actor in a comedy.

Hello, goodbye: Like co-star Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin has been nominated during the entire run of “30 Rock” (winning the Emmy in 2008 and 2009) and figures to cruise to a seventh consecutive nod in its farewell season. Baldwin’s most recent Twitter dustup, which might or might not have deterred TV Academy members, came only one day before this year’s nomination voting ended.

Hello, hello: Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”), Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”) are the other eligible 2012 nominees, all with reasonable shots of repeating. Some believe Cryer’s Emmy win last year was to some degree Hollywood giving him a reward for surviving the Charlie Sheen brouhaha, but it was Cryer’s seventh nomination (the first six as a supporting actor) for playing Alan Harper.

Goodbye, goodbye: Sheen’s exit from “Men” took him out of the Emmy race in 2012, but he hadn’t been nominated since 2009. “Anger Management” puts him back in the running, but after its much-publicized launch, the show has fallen far off the radar.

Goodbye, hello: Jason Bateman, nominated in 2005 for “Arrested Development,” could return thanks to Netflix’s revival after an eight-year absence, which would be one of the longest in Emmy history for playing the same character. The new season of “Arrested” gained momentum as it progressed but put Bateman’s Michael Bluth in a slightly darker, less likeable place. Another potential post-hiatus nominee is Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”), nominated in the category the last time he was eligible, in 2011. Meanwhile, Johnny Galecki earned his first nomination the same year but, despite staying the course on “Big Bang,” fell out of the finals in 2012.

What up? Two actors are trying to follow the Cryer path of moving up from supporting to lead with success: Jake Johnson of “New Girl” and Adam Scott of “Parks and Recreation.” Their clever work – not to mention their wonderful onscreen romantic liaisons with the lead actress on each of their comedies – helps make their case, but both will still have to battle some perception that they are flying too high.

Nice to see you: He won’t be a factor in the nominations, but I’ll take one last opportunity to standing-O Josh Gad, unfailingly hilarious on “1600 Penn.”

One man’s wish list: C.K., Gad, Galecki, Johnson, Parsons, Scott.

One man’s best guesses: Baldwin, C.K., Cheadle, Cryer, Johnson, Parsons.

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

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