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Actor In A Comedy Series

August 08, 2007|Tom O'Neil

Episode: "Hiatus." Jack (Baldwin) suffers a visit from his mother, a heart attack and the end of his engagement.

Plus: Baldwin's already taken a Golden Globe and awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Television Critics Assn. for this role. Playing Mr. Grant to Tina Fey's Mary could be the formula for Emmy success. After all, Ed Asner won three times doing just that.

Minus: His performance as a dad in real life could keep this six-time nominee from finally taking home his first Emmy.

Alec Baldwin "30 Rock"

Steve Carell "The Office"

Episode: "Business School." Michael (Carell) has a crisis of confidence after failing as a guest speaker at Ryan's school.

Plus: Carell shows a much-needed softer side to his usually abrasive character. After being dismissed by the students as irrelevant, Michael first goes on the attack, ripping apart textbooks, then reflects on his job status when he visits Pam's art show and realizes he is indeed a company man.

Minus: Even after smoothing out his edges, Michael remains the boss from hell, so Carell could stay stuck in Emmy limbo.

Ricky Gervais "Extras"

Episode: "Ian McKellen." To gain credibility as an actor, failed sitcom star Andy (Gervais) takes a part in a play only to discover that his character is gay.

Plus: Gervais, also nominated for writing and directing the show, is at his best when his character is at his worst, say, walking out of the play mid-performance because he does not want to kiss another man in front of his old school chum.

Minus: Voters could resent his skewering of actors and their need for fame and glory.

Tony Shalhoub "Monk"

Episode: "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink." When his therapist retires because one of his other patients may have committed murder, Monk must find the real killer if only to get back into his doctor's tidy office.

Plus: The neurotic Monk is at his neediest when, faced with the loss of his trusted confidant, he races through the five stages of grief in a matter of seconds before repeating them over and over.

Minus: After three wins in four years, the obsessive-compulsive detective may be through cleaning up at the Emmys.

Charlie Sheen "Two and a Half Men"

Episode: "Who's Vod Kanockers." Charlie (Sheen) tells Alan why he did not marry Mia and tangles with his new neighbor, Aerosmith's Steve Tyler.

Plus: The only nominee in a traditional three-camera sitcom, Sheen plays both heartfelt and hilarious here. After choosing his brother over his fiancée, Charlie has no regrets about remaining a bachelor.

Minus: Though he has starred in two successful series, Sheen may still be Emmyless because voters believe he's essentially playing himself.

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