Emmy Preview: Lead Actor in a Drama

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We know who the nominees are, and we've taken a look at some of the biggest snubs, but now it's your turn to weigh in on the 2012 Emmy Awards TV Fanatics! Staff writer Dan Forcella is here to give you quick refresher on each of the major categories, and then turn it over to you all to let us know who should win come September 23.

Other categories previewed so far: Lead Actress ComedyLead Actor ComedySupporting Actress ComedySupporting Actor ComedyComedy Series, Lead Actress Drama.


Bryan Cranston will probably be making history this September. Only one man has won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series on four separate occasions. Cranston will most likely be joining Dennis Franz in the prestigious class in 2012. The way things are going, he will probably make history again in 2013 and once more in 2014 before Breaking Bad ends.

Walt and Hank

Currently a three-time champion for his work on the AMC drama, Cranston was gentlemanly enough to persuade his series and network to hold off on production so that his fellow lead actors could have a chance at an Emmy. I'm joking, of course, but 2011 was the only time the man didn't win for his portrayal of Walter White.

Also working in Cranston's favor is the fact that the two men that I thought had the best chance of knocking him from the throne, Kelsey Grammer and Dustin Hoffman, were not even nominated! With Grammer's four Emmys as a lead in comedy, and Hoffman's pair of Oscars, I thought either one of these guys might have a shot at winning this thing.

Alas Cranston is left with a similar crop of individuals who couldn't defeat Kyle Chandler last year.  Jon Hamm, Steve Buscemi, and Michael C. Hall have each been nominated multiple times in the category, but never have they won. It doesn't help Hamm and Hall that they joined the race the same year that Cranston did.

New to the group this year, and probably the only two that have a chance to top Cranston, are Damian Lewis and Hugh Bonneville. I say that for two reasons.

  1. Both Homeland and Downton Abbey seem to be loved by the Emmys at this point.
  2. Both guys are new to the field, so we have no idea how much the Academy may love either of them. It's the power of the unknown.

Who did enough to win the prize? And who just didn't have the stuff? It's your turn to let us know who you think should win this year's Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series?

Vote in the poll below and then sound off in the comments!

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Agreed. Cranson should have won hands down. Homeland is excellent but Breaking Bad is simply in a league of it`s own.


hall is very convincing as a serial killer who is conflicted. he deserves a nod. dont know the others very much or at all.. I refuse to watch breaking bad.. for the reasons I stated before. Will not promote making or distributing drugs..


Bryan Cranston hands down! His performance in "Crawl Space" was his best performance of the entire series so far. There is no other nominee that puts on the kind of performance he does as Walter White. Don't get me wrong the other nominees are great, but Cranston is in a league of his own.


I'm 100% sure Lewis (and of course, Danes) will win this year. Cranston was incredible in season 4, with much more consistent showcase episodes than the season 3 options for which he already won, but no one is going to hand a 4th Emmy to someone just like that, especially with other worthy showcases around. I personally think you put too much stock in Grammer and Hoffman, they gave pretty self-important performances, that's usually their 'thing'. But Lewis was wonderful, unfussy, and helped his show's story along. Hall absolutely doesn't deserve it now, and Hamm has had better chances before.