Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock "Hiatus"
Pro: Well, it really helps that Baldwin is the movie star doing a tv show. Plus the Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award (and I guess the Television Critic Award). He's the sole reason why the show is probably still on the air. He has some funny moments (like when he almost has the heart attack at dinner).
Con: Yikes, he's got very little screentime. On top of that, Elaine Stritch and Tina Fey seem to steal Baldwin's thunder in this episode. Plus Tracy Morgan's storyline is very distracting. I don't think voters will care too much about his phone call to his daughter, so if he loses, it's because he didn't submit a great submission.
Steve Carell, The Office "Business School"
Pro: A lot of voters will see Carell as owed, after losing to Tony Shalhoub last year (a win that even made Shalhoub himself look kind of miffed). He's got a good deal of screentime and his usual antics are more subdued. Plus he shows off his acting chops (both at the school when he realizes Ryan betrayed him and later when he encourages Pam at her art show). Terrific submission.
Con: The NBC voting block may try to support a Baldwin win over Carell, which could lead to a split and allow Shalhoub to win again. Hear that collective groan again?
Ricky Gervais, Extras "Sir Ian McKellen"
Pro: Gervais managed to get in without a big push from HBO. They must still love him for The Office. He's nominated four times this year (as a performer, producer, writer and director), so he should win something right? His screentime is pretty good.
Con: The performance is going to be very love it or hate it. I can't imagine a polarizing performance winning over bigger names with more widely appreciated roles.
Tony Shalhoub, Monk "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink"
Pro: Well, he's got the screentime...again. He's got the hammy, over-the-top character...again. He's in every scene...again. Shalhoub has won three times. They clearly like this performance and this role.
Con: And yet this particular submission feels very stale. This is probably Shalhoub's weakest submission to date.
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men "Who's Vod Kanockers?"
Pro: Well, this is his second nomination. He's on the #1 sitcom on tv. He has his brief "actory" moments.
Con: Last year's submission was better and he still couldn't beat Shalhoub. Plus his storyline is lame and I think they would awarded everyone else on his show (including Angus T. Jones) before him.
This is kind of a boring race. Charlie Sheen is completely out. I think Ricky Gervais has a better shot winning an Emmy as a producer or as a writer than as a performer. Alec Baldwin would have been a bigger contender with a better submission. This one will come down to Tony Shalhoub and Steve Carell. Shalhoub's shtick has proven time and time again to always win (and of all his submissions, I still find it odd that the one he lost with, was his best) so a win here would be unsuprising but critics, audiences and hell, Emmy ceremony attendees will all bitch and moan. Carell's submission has that great last scene, that I think will stick out to voter's minds and will let him sneak in a win here. Barely.
1. Steve Carell
2. Tony Shalhoub
3. Alec Baldwin
4. Ricky Gervais
5. Charlie Sheen