Emmy season is here! For the next two weeks, voters will be checking off names and shows they think are worthy of getting a nomination come July 10. We at TVGuide.com have a few selections in mind ourselves. Next up: our dream ballot for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Louis C.K., Louie
For anyone who doesn't think C.K. stretches that much acting-wise, just watch Season 4. As Louie tipped more toward the dramatic this year, C.K. showed his range, maturing his fictionalized self slowly but surely while never losing sight of the ambling sad sack we know so well. C.K. has pocketed four Emmys, but none have been for acting.
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
While there's obviously a trace of the real C.K. on Louie, the fake Matt LeBlanc is so dementedly twisted that we simultaneously hope the show's crazy plots are fake and (somewhat) true. That would not be possible without LeBlanc's complete lack of self-consciousness and bold, all-in approach. Unlike last year, when Season 2 of Episodesaired a full year before the Emmys, Season 3 will be far fresher in voters' minds, having aired earlier this year.
William H. Macy, Shameless
The Showtime series' genre switch from drama to comedy remains questionable, but it would be a, well, shame if Macy were to go unrecognized with at least a nomination during the show's run. Yes, Frank is aggravating and we want to kill him, but Macy has remained consistently excellent. With the comedy field far less crowded than drama, this is his is best shot at finally cracking the shortlist.
Chris Messina, The Mindy Project
Messina stole our hearts in the first season as the office curmudgeon/technophobe and kept them forever last season, as he beautifully chipped away at Danny's Staten Island bravado while he reconciled his feelings for Mindy (and manhandled that 20-piece Bradley Cooper suit). Every stolen glance said so much while Dr. C said so little. And, of course, he gives the most thoughtful Secret Santa gifts in the world.
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Middleditch isn't your average commanding lead, but his accidental tech entrepreneur is the star-making turn you're not aware of yet. A bubbling ball of anxiety, Middleditch is stealthily earnest in his awkwardness that is nerdy yet lovely, and never reaches into the stereotypically grating territory.
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Samberg's Golden Globe win took some by surprise (we called it), but it shouldn't have. While the SNL alum predictably brought the laughs, Samberg grew more impressive as the season went along, fleshing out his potentially one-dimensional hot-shot detective with heart and depth, culminating in a sweet speech to Santiago in the season finale. Not counting 2012 Globe winner Matt LeBlanc, who wasn't eligible at that year's Emmys, a reigning Globe champ hasn't missed a nomination at the subsequent Emmys since David Duchovny in 2008.
Who would you nominate?