"I'm happy to be in the same barn with all these other cats," Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") says in our podcast chat about being nominated for best drama actor at the Emmys opposite Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Hugh Laurie ("House"). "It makes me walk a few inches higher off the ground, believe me."
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Chandler is not merely in the company of prestigious rivals, he has a real chance to beat them. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly predicts Chandler will prevail, and Tucker may be right. Chandler picked a good episode of "Friday Night Lights" to give to Emmy judges — "East of Dillon," in which he has a powerful locker-room scene, bellowing to the high-school football team he coaches, "If you don't want to be here, get out of my house!" Actually, Chandler didn't really pick the episode himself, as he revealed in our podcast. "I let other people choose it because I couldn't go through the whole season and objectively try to pick something," he says. "I asked people who are respected and who are involved with the show.
"My strategy was to have no strategy," Chandler says in reference to his Emmy candidacy. Though he took a hands-off approach to episode selection, he nonetheless paid attention to the shrewd Emmy campaign run by DirecTV, which included sending all 14,000 members of the TV academy DVDs of the complete fourth season as NBC aired them just weeks before Emmy voting.
"I saw a lot of the material before it went out," he says. "I thought it was fantastic for that support. That's what it's all about. Standing behind the product. To go out there, do all that and pull it off, we've all got our hands in the air."
Photo: NBC / DirecTV