Emmys: TVGuide.com’s Picks for Lead Actor in a Drama Series

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By Joyce Eng

Emmy season is in full swing! Voters will be checking off names and shows this week they think are worthy of getting a nomination come July 18. We at TVGuide.com have a few selections in mind ourselves. Next up: our dream ballot for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
The three-time champ suffered his first loss last year, but don’t be surprised if he reclaims his crown. Cranston gave one bone-chilling, towering performance after another while we watched Walt’s ego continue to get the best of him. We love spreading the wealth, but we would not complain if Cranston won again.
Hugh Dancy, Hannibal
 And here we thought no one could play unhinged better than Claire Danes. Her husband is giving her a run for her money with his haunting, disturbed Will Graham and has managed to make him more captivating than pop culture’s most famous cannibal. (Fun fact: Two married couples have won Emmys on the same night: Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne for The Magnificent Yankee, and William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett for St. Elsewhere.)

Jon Hamm, Mad Men
It’d truly be a shame if Hamm were to go Emmy-less for playing Don Draper (let alone if the show were to never win an acting Emmy). A five-time nominee, Hamm has been magnificent as old habits died hard for the unraveling ad man. He doesn’t have another “The Suitcase”-like submission this year, but his devastating confession to the Hershey executives in the finale is equally as effective.

Damian Lewis, Homeland
 Like Claire Danes, the reigning champ has the best submission tape in “Q&A,” aka Brody and Carrie’s interrogation showdown. Sensationally gripping, it’s a master class in acting and could be the duo’s “Whitecaps,” the seminal Sopranos episode that won Emmys for James Gandolfini and Edie Falco.

Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Anyone can give an eye-catching performance in a spy games roles, but Rhys takes it to a whole new level. Subtle and showy, the actor, who earned a Television Critics Association nomination, skillfully navigates between ordinary husband and extraordinary KGB agent. Plus: The accent work alone is Emmy-worthy.

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Was it a surprise to anyone that Spacey was devilishly good at bringing Frank Underwood’s mustache-twirling diabolical ways to life? It’s a massive, flashy turn, and the two-time Oscar winner’s pedigree will only help him out here. Spacey has never won an Emmy, having been previously nominated for Recount.

Who do you hope is nominated?

Read More Emmys: TVGuide.com’s Picks for Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Today’s News: Our Take | TVGuide.com.

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