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'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston breaks into the Emmy list of Top 10 semifinalists for best drama actor

July 2, 2008 |  4:02 am

Despite getting rave reviews from TV critics, Bryan Cranston routinely got snubbed by TV academy voters while starring opposite seven-time nominee Jane Kaczmarek on "Malcolm in the Middle." But now Cranston's finally gotten his big Emmy break at Bryan_cranston_breaking_bad last: He's made it onto the list of Top 10 semifinalists for best drama actor for portraying a different kind of wigged-out father on "Breaking Bad." His inclusion in the Top 10 rundown is a nice shockeroo, considering his show is a low-rated new cable series on AMC, which has only done well recently at the Emmys.

Below is a full list of contenders, which is unofficial because the TV academy ridiculously refuses to disclose the actors' lists while it nonetheless publicly reveals the Top 10 contenders for best drama and comedy series. However, Gold Derby has obtained this info from a reliable source. Cited with each entry is the title of the sample episodes that judges evaluate before returning ballots that are due by July 10. At that point accountants will combine judges' scores on a 50/50 basis with results of the original popular vote to determine the nominees to be unveiled on July 17.

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" ("Paul and Gina: Week 4")
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("Last Day of Summer")
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Pilot")
Patrick Dempsey, "Grey's Anatomy" ("Freedom, Parts 1 & 2")
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("There's Something About Harry")
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Wheel")
Eddie Izzard, "The Riches" ("Last Temptation of Wayne")
Hugh Laurie, "House" ("House's Head")
Denis Leary, "Rescue Me" ("Babyface")
James Spader, "Boston Legal" ("The Court Supreme")

Seven entries are repeats from last year's Top 10: Chandler, Dempsey, Hall, Izzard, Laurie, Leary and Spader. Missing from last year's lineup: Matthew Fox, who represents yet one more star of "Lost" snubbed in other Top 10 runoffs. So far only supporting stars Michael Emerson and Naveen Andrews have been on an acting list.

Other notable omissions: Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Rob Lowe ("Brothers and Sisters"), Peter Krause ("Dirty Sexy Money"), Christopher Meloni ("Law and Order: Special Victims"), Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors"), Anthony LaPaglia ("Without a Trace").

Photo: AMC