Emmy Spotlight 2007: Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Jun 4, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Having won what will likely be only his first Emmy for “Entourage” last year, the rubber-faced Jeremy Piven is poised to dominate his category for as long as the hit HBO comedy is on, especially now that perennial nominees such as Sean Hayes, Bryan Cranston and Brad Garrett are out of the picture.
“Manic Monday,” the episode Mr. Piven had been planning to submit, features uber-agent Ari Gold both easing up on his cutthroat tendencies as he mourns the loss of Vincent Chase as a client and exercising his profane best when he remembers how awesome it feels to fire an employee.
Regardless of whether he repeats as winner this year, it’s unthinkable that Mr. Piven, also the only comedy actor to find himself up for a Golden Globe this year in the all-inclusive (drama, miniseries, TV movie, etc.) supporting actor category, would not be on the ballot.
Likely joining him will be 2006 Emmy nominee Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men,” which after four seasons is still prime time’s top-rated sitcom. Mr. Cryer’s meek Alan Harper remains the willing foil to his carefree, womanizing brother, played by Charlie Sheen, but this past season has given him more to do, such as going through yet another belittling divorce that leaves him further in need of Mr. Sheen’s unwilling benevolence.
Fellow CBS sitcom “King of Queens” enjoyed a resurgence in the ratings in its final season, which could result in a nomination for veteran Jerry Stiller, who plays Kevin James’ quirky live-in father-in-law.
Similarly, having already shown “The New Adventures of Old Christine” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus the love last year, the Academy could be inclined to reward Clark Gregg, who plays her ubiquitous ex-husband, with a nomination this year.
While a handful of annual shoo-ins have signed off in the past two years, this category has already become rather crowded, largely thanks to a handful of submissions from “Ugly Betty”—although the most deserving of the supporting male cast, 12-year-old Mark Indelicato, who plays Betty’s fashion-savvy nephew, Justin, seems to be missing from the list of actors who are offering episodes for consideration.
Picking up the slack are “Ugly Betty’s” Eric Mabius, Tony Plana and Michael Urie, all of whom provide excellent support but don’t always pop out of their scenes the way Mr. Indelicato does.
Also very much deserving of their first Emmy nominations are “The Office’s” Rainn Wilson, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Neil Patrick Harris and “Scrubs'” John C. McGinley. They may all qualify as supporting talent, but in reality they often take the lead in making their respective shows the veritable giggle-fests they are.
Another one to watch is relative newcomer Jack McBrayer, whose spot-on turn as sycophantic yet enigmatic NBC page Kenneth on “30 Rock” makes him one of the few actors on the critically acclaimed sitcom who can rival Alec Baldwin in scene domination.
“My Name Is Earl’s” Ethan Suplee, who plays Jason Lee’s sweet, dunce-cap-worthy brother Randy, could score a nod if all of the “Ugly Betty” boys cancel each other out or if Mr. Wilson, Mr. Harris and Mr. McGinley are denied yet again.
At a Glance
Leading Contender
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage” (HBO)
Other Likely Nominees
Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men” (CBS)
Neil Patrick Harris, “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS)
Rainn Wilson, “The Office” (NBC)
John C. McGinley, “Scrubs” (NBC)
One to Watch
Jack McBrayer, “30 Rock” (NBC)

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)