As with the women, some top-notch performances are recognised in the second-banana categories. There are also plenty of notable omissions, but there’s now so much good TV around that not everyone can be rewarded.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy:
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, ‘Glee’
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, ‘Modern Family’
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, ‘Modern Family’
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, ‘Modern Family’
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, ‘Two And A Half Men’
Any one of the ‘Modern Family’ nominees would be a worthy winner here, and while Ed O’Neill might be regarded as unlucky to miss out I’m particularly pleased that the sometimes overlooked Jesse Tyler Ferguson gets a shout. So with half of the nominees, the wisdom of the ‘Modern Family’ strategy becomes clear here. Or does it? What happens if the ‘Modern Family’ vote gets split? Neil Patrick Harris should, of course, have won last year, and dude who did, Jon Cryer, surely won’t win twice in a row. (Incidentally, does anyone else remember ‘Partners’? In the UK it was shown at about midnight. I liked it a lot.) Personally I would give it to Harris or Eric Stonestreet, but with all of that going on I just wonder whether Chris Colfer might sneak through the middle.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama:
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, ‘Breaking Bad’
Martin Short as Leonard Winstone, ‘Damages’
Terry O’Quinn as John Locke, ‘Lost’
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, ‘Lost’
John Slattery as Roger Sterling, ‘Mad Men’
Andre Braugher as Owen, ‘Men Of A Certain Age’
Another enormously strong category. We haven’t seen ‘Certain Age’ in the UK yet but Andre Braugher is always value, and anything connected with ‘Breaking Bad’ is award-bait. Last year’s winner, Michael Emerson, was if anything even better this season, but I wonder if the Losties in the Academy might decide it’s Terry O’Quinn’s turn this time? If so he’ll be doing well to hold off the stellar John Slattery, scene-stealing as ever in ‘Mad Men’, where it must be pretty hard to steal a scene. (And hard luck on Bryan Batt and Vincent Kartheiser, both of whom deserve to be here. Possibly also half the cast of ‘Lost’. And Robert Sean Leonard.) I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though, if Martin Short’s playing against type as sleek, amoral Leonard Winstone in ‘Damages’ could just get there – the Academy’s love for Bryan Cranston demonstrates just how much the voters like comic turns going straight.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy:
Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel, ‘Glee’
Neil Patrick Harris as Bryan Ryan, ‘Glee’
Fred Willard as Frank Dunphy, ‘Modern Family’
Eli Wallach as Bernard Zimberg, ‘Nurse Jackie’
Jon Hamm as Dr. Drew Baird, ’30 Rock’
Will Arnett as Devin Banks, ’30 Rock’
If Jon Hamm gets this one while missing out on the big prize yet again, I will not be pleased. I’d like to think, though, that it’s a Mike O’Malley/NPH showdown, with O’Malley probably getting it for making the very most of what could have been a relatively insignificant part.
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama:
Beau Bridges as Detective George Andrews, ‘The Closer’
Ted Danson as Arthur Frobisher, ‘Damages’
John Lithgow as Arthur Mitchell, ‘Dexter’
Alan Cumming as Eli Gold, ‘The Good Wife’
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney, ‘The Good Wife’
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper, ‘Mad Men’
Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan, ’24’
Now, here’s where I don’t get the whole “guest”/”supporting” thing. Alan Cumming was in 7 episodes of ‘The Good Wife’, Gregory Itzin was in 8 of the last season of ‘24’, and if someone told me that Robert Morse was in every episode of ‘Mad Men’ I wouldn’t be astonished; ditto John Lithgow and ‘Dexter’. Cumming, of course was great; there perhaps isn’t more fun to be had among all the nominated acting performances than Itzin’s big, broad, President Logan; and Morse’s playing of eccentric shrewdness was absolutely precise. Ted Danson was as good as ever in ‘Damages’, but this time round the character seemed oddly out-of-place. I’d love Dylan Baker to get it for his ironic ‘The Good Wife’ psychopath, but although we haven’t yet seen season 4 of ‘Dexter’ I’ve heard enough about Lithgow’s performance to suggest that he’s the favourite here. And Andre Braugher should have been nominated for ‘House’, of course.