2016 Emmy Contenders: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

After seven nominations for playing Don Draper, the eighth time was the charm for Jon Hamm, who finally took home the prize last year for “Mad Men” in its final season. With Hamm now out of the race, the path is cleared for an actor who has never won for his current role. Some of the category’s frontrunners have won previously, some for lead actor, some in other categories, including Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”), who won for “Friday Night Lights”; Bobby Cannavale (“Vinyl”), a “Boardwalk Empire” winner; Aaron Paul (“The Path”), who won for “Breaking Bad”; and “Billions” pair Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, who took home prizes for “Homeland” and “John Adams,” respectively. Actors who have received previous noms for their current characters without a win include Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”), Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”). The likely newcomer to the mix is Rami Malek, who has garnered praise for “Mr. Robot.”

The category could also offer some surprises: Terrence Howard (“Empire”), Clive Owen (“The Knick”) and Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) are among those who have yet to be recognized for their strong work.


Hugh Bonneville (DOWNTON ABBEY)

Bobby Cannavale (VINYL)

Kyle Chandler (BLOODLINE)


Paul Giamatti (BILLIONS)

Damian Lewis (BILLIONS)

Rami Malek (MR. ROBOT)


Liev Schreiber (RAY DONOVAN)

Kevin Spacey (HOUSE OF CARDS)


Steve Buscemi (HORACE AND PETE)

Hugh Dancy (THE PATH)

Sam Heughan (OUTLANDER)

Terrence Howard (EMPIRE)

Wagner Moura (NARCOS)

Clive Owen (THE KNICK)

Aaron Paul (THE PATH)

Matthew Rhys (THE AMERICANS)

Michael Sheen (MASTERS OF SEX)

James Spader (THE BLACKLIST)

Justin Theroux (THE LEFTOVERS)

Dominic West (THE AFFAIR)


Timothy Dalton (PENNY DREADFUL)


David Duchovny (THE X-FILES)

Travis Fimmel (VIKINGS)

Frank Grillo (KINGDOM)

Josh Hartnett (PENNY DREADFUL)

John Benjamin Hickey (MANHATTAN)

Freddie Highmore (BATES MOTEL)


Peter Krause (THE CATCH)

Andrew Lincoln (THE WALKING DEAD)


Mads Mikkelsen (HANNIBAL)

David Morse (OUTSIDERS)

Jeremy Piven (MR. SELFRIDGE)

James Purefoy (HAP AND LEONARD)

Josh Radnor (MERCY STREET)

Michael K. Williams (HAP AND LEONARD)

Aden Young (RECTIFY)

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