Emmy Spotlight: Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jun 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The departure of Ray Romano’s venerable CBS vehicle “Everybody Loves Raymond” opens the door for some new contenders in the lead comedy actor category, and a pair of NBC stars, Jason Lee of “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office’s” Steve Carell, are poised to take advantage. They’re the early favorites, even in a field that includes last year’s winner, Tony Shalhoub of USA’s “Monk.”

“Happily, there are new faces in this category. … That’s always refreshing,” said The Surf Report’s Diane Gordon.

But the absence of an obvious favorite also means anything can happen in this category. “It gets a little harder here, since the high-quality classic sitcom genre-‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Frasier’-seems to be in abeyance at the moment,” said Lifetime’s Tim Brooks.

TVWeek’s Emmy Panel

  • Matt Roush, senior TV critic for TV Guide

  • Diane Gordon, author of the television e-mail newsletter The Surf Report

  • Tim Brooks, executive VP of research for Lifetime

  • Ray Solley, program development consultant

    Panelists’ predictions

    Jason Lee, ‘My Name Is Earl’ (NBC)

    “Earl is a breakout character, a loser trying to redeem himself, and Jason Lee brings great heart as well as a goofy look to this appealing character.”

    -Matt Roush

    Steve Carell, ‘The Office’ (NBC)

    “Voters will want to reward the unconventionality of this semi-improv comedy.”

    -Tim Brooks

    “The show has momentum and awareness of Carell is at an all-time high.”

    -Diane Gordon

    Jason Bateman, ‘Arrested Development’ (Fox)

    “There’s still a lot of affection for this show, despite its demise. Bateman was the sarcastic calm at the center of a manic storm. And he’s been nominated before.”

    -Matt Roush

    Tony Shalhoub, ‘Monk’ (USA)

    “A past winner in a terrific role-even if the show’s quality has wavered recently. The Emmy nominations often stay in a comfort zone of familiar faces.”

    -Matt Roush

    Zach Braff, ‘Scrubs’ (NBC)

    “He has arrived, even if the show is still treated by NBC like a bastard stepchild.”

    -Matt Roush

    TelevisionWeek staff picks

  • Eric McCormack, ‘Will & Grace’ (NBC)

  • Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (HBO)

  • James Denton, ‘Desperate Housewives’ (ABC)

  • Jason Lee, ‘My Name Is Earl’ (NBC)

  • Steve Carell, ‘The Office’ (NBC)

    2005 contenders

    Winner: Tony Shalhoub, ‘Monk’ (USA)

    Other nominees:

  • Jason Bateman, ‘Arrested Development’ (Fox)

  • Ray Romano, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ (CBS)

  • Zach Braff, ‘Scrubs’ (NBC)

  • Eric McCormack, ‘Will & Grace’ (NBC)