Can anybody break the Jim Parsons/Alec Baldwin logjam in this category?
Louis C.K. of 'Louie'
Louis C.K., "Louie"
Nomination Status: Emmy voters nominated him last year. That was the hard part. Now that he's there, he should be safe.
In His Favor: One could make a fine argument that "Louie" is the best comedy on TV -- I'd say "Top two..." and be done with it -- and if you think that, Louis CK's performance is absolutely integral. You can minimize his performance by saying, "He's just playing himself" or "He's not acting" or "He's no Rob Schneider," but those statements would minimize you equally. Watch "Duckling." Watch "Pamela." Watch "Joan." Watch "Tickets." Watch "Niece." That's acting. And it's acting that combines humor and pathos in a way that's basically unique to the candidates in this category.
Working Against Him: As Emmy categories go, this one is probably the most mainstream-skewing (or maybe just behind Supporting Actor, with its four "Modern Family" nominees). By that standard, "Louie" is an arty little show on a network Emmy voters only kinda get. That's why it was surprising he was nominated last year. This year, it'd be disappointing if he weren't.