Cranston, Hamm, Hall and Laurie are locks, but who will join them on the Emmy ballot?
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Kiefer Sutherland of '24'
Kiefer Sutherland, "24"
Nomination Status: After a year away, Sutherland may get a nostalgic second wind in this category.
In His Favor: Kiefer Sutherland has seven Emmy nominations for his performance as Jack Bauer, six in this category and one for "24: Redemption." But last year, he failed to make the cut in this category, as Emmy voters soured on the series in general. Does "24" have one last gasp of support for a season which closed strong but meandered lost in the wilderness for at least the first half of its run? Nobody will doubt that Sutherland had plenty of opportunities to emote this season, especially in the waning episodes when Jack Bauer took one death very, very personally and went on an extended killing-and-torture spree. This will be the last chance for voters to say farewell to Jack Bauer, causing past support to resurface, especially in a category with a clear opening.
Working Against Him: Strong closing aside, it wasn't a great season for "24" and it wasn't like Sutherland suddenly got to show intriguing new colors in the Jack Bauer tapestry. No, Jack Bauer just got extra-Jacked in the final episodes. Sutherland has always played "torment" well and voters may just go "Been there, done that."