Michael Emerson, last year's winner, will likely take on Aaron Paul, Terry O'Quinn and more
Dean Norris of 'Breaking Bad'
Dean Norris, "Breaking Bad"
Nomination Status: A worthy outsider who could break in if "Breaking Bad" plays strong
In His Favor: Watch the episodes "Sunset" and "One Minute" and then put Norris' work alongside any other actor in this category and, with the possible exception of co-star Paul, Norris comes out on top. This season, Norris took a character who had occasionally been a joke previously and made him tragic and made him heroic. If Emmy voters watch enough "Breaking Bad" episodes, they'll almost have no choice but to let Norris in. He was that good this season. This would just be a great story: Familiar character actor with 25 years of solid credits finally gets his Emmy spotlight? Go Dean!
Working Against Him: There's just a lot of depth in this field and a lot of depth on Norris' own show. In this category alone, voters would have to be able to look and recognize Norris against Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks, each of whom could make a claim for a nomination. He may just get upstaged by bigger stars or people from bigger shows.