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Emmy Breakdown: Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

In the weeks leading up to the 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards, I'll be looking at the nominees in some major categories and trying to predict who's most likely to win in these Emmy Breakdowns. Up today: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") — Baldwin surprised a lot of people by winning a Golden Globe in January, but that win and this nomination both were well-deserved. "30 Rock" eventually found its footing as an ensemble show, but for a large part of the season, Baldwin was the man responsible for making it funny, and he did so with ease and classic deadpan wit. The rest of the show has grown up around Baldwin, but I still don't think "30 Rock" could work without him. My only concern about his chances: Do enough people watch "30 Rock" to want to see him win? Chance of winning: Moderate to high.

Steve Carell ("The Office") — Some "Office" fans might love the Jim and Pam storyline; others might love Dwight's antics. But when it comes down to it, "The Office" is still a show about Michael Scott, and that has everything to do with Steve Carell. He's put monumental effort into making an unlikable character seem sympathetic, good-intentioned and sometimes even sweet. The writing for Michael occasionally was too over-the-top or inappropriate this year, but Carell deserves credit for reigning his character in most of the time. He's been nominated before, but I think this might be his year to take home the trophy. Chance of winning: High.

Three more actors and their chances, so

Ricky Gervais ("Extras") — I was shocked to see Gervais nominated here — not because he shouldn't have gotten the honor but because "Extras" was such a niche show. I'm not sure Gervais was ever as good at playing Andy Millman as he was as playing David Brent on "The Office," but he certainly has his fans. I doubt they're enough to send him home with a win, but then again, he could be the category's surprise spoiler. Chance of winning: Moderate to low.

Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") — Shalhoub is funny and all, but he's won three times in this category in the past four years, and I think it would be wise to reward someone else this time around. Really, nothing against him, but I think "Monk" and Shalhoub have gotten their due, and it's time to move on. It's pretty obvious how much voters love him, though, so he can't be counted out. Chance of winning: Moderate.

Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men") — Again, I plead ignorance on "Two and a Half Men," though I will say that the few times I've seen it, I've found Sheen to be one of the least-funny things about it. I don't mean to be snarky, but I would love for someone who watches the show to explain Sheen's appeal to me; I just don't see it. I don't think he's the strongest actor in the category, regardless, and I wonder if he will be one of those perennial nominees who never breaks through for a win until his show's final season. Chance of winning: Moderate.

Baldwin and Carell photo Source
Shalhoub photo Source
Gervais photo Source
Sheen photo courtesy of CBS

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