Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
Nomination Status: A nomination lock and a deserving frontrunner
In His Favor: Last year, Paul did the hard part, breaking into a fearsome field as a relatively unknown actor on a relatively underwatched cable show. Since we know he's on the voters' radar, it's hard to imagine him falling off after a "Breaking Bad" scene in which Paul was even better, continuing to hold his own against two-time winner Bryan Cranston and solidifying his position as the heart of one of TV's best shows. If this writer had a vote in this category, Paul would get it, no hesitation. He had five or six tailor-made Emmy Episodes and he just needed to take his pick.
Working Against Him: Like we said, he did the hard part last year. Once Emmy voters notice you, they usually keep noticing you. Especially if you're this good.