Joel McHale, "Community"
Nomination Status: A respected comic-on-the-rise could be ready for that bump-in-stature.
In His Favor: Of the big new-ish comic ensembles, "Modern Family" doesn't have a clear male lead. "Parks and Recreation" doesn't have a clear male lead. "Community" does and it's McHale, who's looking to become the latest "Soup" alum to move onto a bigger awards stage. If Greg Kinnear can get an Oscar nomination, surely Joel McHale can get an Emmy nomination? He's done a good job of bringing his naturally snarky persona into a scripted context on a show that many people love, proving to be both a clown and a romantic lead. Also, he's announcing the nominations with Sofia Vergara, somebody must suspect that "Community" will have some nominations coming somewhere.
Working Against Him: McHale plays the straight man a lot on "Community," meaning that he often lays back and lets wacky comedy happen around him, merely raising an eyebrow. It's going to come down to whether or not the Emmy pool is part of the passionate "Community" cult. If they are, we may be ranking several of its stars too low.