The race to the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards is heating up with official nominations set to be announced next month. The eligibility period covers shows that aired between June 1, 2011, and May 31, 2012, and rumors are already starting to fly about the presumptive nominees.
The 2011-2012 TV season was filled with tons of great performances, and the voters will certainly have their work cut out for them, especially given the pool of actors and actresses who are due (or overdue) for an Emmy of their own.
From repeat nominees who never seem to clinch a win to great performers who have been repeatedly overlooked, these TV stars are clearly due for Emmy glory this year.
Danny Pudi, "Community"
"Community" has been in the headlines a lot this year, thanks to the much-publicized schedule change and firing of creator Dan Harmon. But there's no such thing as bad publicity, and maybe all that chatter about the show will have increased the number of Emmy insiders ready to give the show its time in the sun.
Danny Pudi, who plays Abed Nadir, was the standout of the ensemble cast this year. In addition to being the most consistently funny member of the cast, Pudi brought depth to the role in episodes where he played Evil Abed, as well as battling his own mental illness in episodes like "Virtual Systems Analysis." Danny Pudi has great range, and both he and "Community" are deserving of some accolades.
John Noble, "Fringe"
Both Anna Torv and John Noble play two roles each on "Fringe," a sci-fi series set in our universe and a parallel one. That gives them both a chance to show great range, and while Torv is certainly deserving of accolades for her work this season, arguably more deserving is veteran actor John Noble. And while "genre" shows (ie. sci-fi and fantasy programs) like "Fringe" usually get overlooked at awards shows, Noble shouldn't be.
His battle with mental illness and his father-son relationship have always been at the heart of his performance on the show. This season, the stakes had never been higher for Walter (Noble's character), which added tension to the series. But it's also worth noting that Walter got a bit of a reboot this season, and that allowed Noble to add a layer of subtlety to Walter's scenes. One great example of Noble's acting from this season was the episode "Alone in the World," where Walter is haunted by hallucinations about Peter, and nearly lobotomizes himself to stop them.
Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Buscemi got a nomination last year, but lost out to Kyle Chandler. However, Buscemi is still deserving of a win this year, although the field is filled with plenty of equally deserving lead actors. In a season marked by arrest, partnerships, and marriage, Buscemi's role as Nucky Thompson once again showed that this beloved actor is one of the most nuanced and powerful working in America today. It may not end up being his year, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve an Emmy for his work.
Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Hamm's a natural to include on any list of TV stars who are overdue for an Emmy; he's been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the last four award cycles. In a season where Don Draper had to deal with a new wife, a growing daughter, plenty of work-related drama, and the death of a colleague, Hamm is overdue for this coveted award.
But perhaps even more deserving of an Emmy this year (especially given the fact that Jon Hamm will most certainly be given even juicier material to work with in the show's final season) is Hamm's co-star, Christina Hendricks. This year, her character Joan had to contend with a new baby, breaking up with her Army husband, and selling her body for a stake in SCDP. But in addition to those dramatic highs, Hendricks also masterfully controlled those small moments, convincingly showcasing subtle pangs of loneliness in that lovely scene with Don in the bar after they test-drive the Jaguar.