Emmy Picks, Day Four: The Actors

The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday on ABC. And in preparation, we thought it would be fun to give you a little help on your office pool. Welcome to Day 4 of our Emmy preview!

We’ve already handicapped both supporting races and the lead actresses. Now it’s time to look at the actors.

Best Actor, Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Steve Carell, The Office; Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies; Tony Shalhoub, Monk; Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Who we’re pulling for: We weren’t the biggest fans of the fourth season of The Office. It was hit and miss , with episodes ranging from profoundly funny to profoundly stupid. Still, Steve Carell was a supreme constant. He managed to inject Michael Scott with an underlying humanity, even in the most absurd situations. This is the third time Mr. Carell has been nominated and, thus far, he hasn’t won. But doesn’t it feel like he should have?

Prediction: With apologies to Mr. Carell, we’d be shocked if Alec Baldwin didn’t win for 30 Rock. And honestly, that will make us very happy too. Mr. Baldwin gives a universally beloved performance on a show that will most likely go home with a lot of awards. Also, um, he’s Alec Baldwin!

Best Actor, Drama: Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Hugh Laurie, House; James Spader, Boston Legal

Who we’re pulling for: From his opening moments on screen, scribbling a note on a cocktail napkin and smoking a cigarette, we’ve fallen head-over-heels for Jon Hamm. We have no doubt that if we met him on the street, we’d react to him just like Regis Philbin. Mr. Hamm is a complete revelation on Mad Men, giving a career defining performance in the same way that James Gandolfini did on The Sopranos. His barely there acting style is what we like most: it’s almost like he is Don Draper.

Prediction: The problem with being an effortless performer is that it’s tough to win awards for acting that way. However, given the other nominees (Bryan Cranston, really?) we have a hard time believing Mr. Hamm won’t be accepting his well-deserved award come Sunday night.

Tomorrow: the Shows.

Emmy Picks, Day Four: The Actors