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Inside track: Emmy acting races for drama series

August 7, 2010 | 12:35 pm

If you don't receive the Los Angeles Times' print edition, you don't see The Envelope's print supplements covering the Emmy derby. Here's a bit of what you're missing — Gold Derby's rundown of the acting races among drama series.

Remember: The Emmy is different from the Oscar, Grammy and Tony, which are decided by popular ballot. It's a juried award. Teams of 50 to 200 actors choose the winner of each performance category after viewing DVDs of sample series episodes or full TV movies and miniseries. When trying to predict the winners, you must know the episodes, which are cited next to programs' titles on the lists below.

Hugh Laurie House M.D

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")

SPOTLIGHT: Two-time winner Cranston faces serious challenges from Hall, who recently won the Golden Globe and SAG Award, and Chandler, who gives an explosive performance in his episode fuming at his football team, "If you don't want to be here, get out of my house!" Having the longest episodes may benefit Fox, who entered the "Lost" finale, and Laurie, who undergoes Vicodin detox in a two-hour "House" special.

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
January Jones, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights" ("After the Fall")
Glenn Close, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU" ("Perverted")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" ("Threesome")
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" ("Maternal Instincts")

SPOTLIGHT: Close has won for the last two years, but beware: Margulies is an awards darling. She won an Emmy for "ER" (1995) and recently romped at the Golden Globes and SAG for "The Good Wife." Her Emmy episode submission is strong, featuring a quiet crying scene when faced with rumors of her husband's infidelity.

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age" ("Powerless")
Michael Emerson, "Lost" ("Dr. Linus")
Terry O'Quinn, "Lost" ("The Substitute")
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" ("Half Measures")
Martin Short, "Damages" ("You Haven't Replaced Me Yet")
John Slattery, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")

SPOTLIGHT: One more lingering "Lost" mystery: Why did O'Quinn return to this race? After winning in 2007, he quit the Emmys, declaring on "The View": "When you win an Emmy for a role, you ought to be ineligible for it again – for a while – maybe for a year or two or maybe not at all – till you get another role." His agent has not responded to phone and e-mail requests for an explanation.

BEST SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" ("Bang")
Rose Byrne, "Damages" ("Your Secrets Are Safe")
Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice" ("Devil You Know")
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" ("Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency")
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" ("Love Among the Ruins")
Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife" ("Hi")

SPOTLIGHT: When most actors switch categories, they usually leap up to lead from supporting, but Moss graciously dropped down to supporting after being nominated in lead last year in order to make way for her costar January Jones. Now the inevitable plot complication: Moss must battle costar Hendricks.

Photo: Fox

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