Bryan Cranston is aiming for a record-tying fourth win for Best Drama Actor at the Emmys for the final season of “Breaking Bad,” but faces a strong challenger in Matthew McConaughey, whose recent career resurgence included an Oscar earlier this year for “Dallas Buyers Club.” He just won a Critics’ Choice TV Award for his role as tortured cop Rust Cohle in HBO’s “True Detective” and hopes to cap off his year with an Emmy.
After reading our overview, be sure to check out the photo gallery at the bottom of this post, which previews the top contenders and gets you ready to make your own Emmy predictions before nominations are announced on July 10.
Cranston has earned Drama Actor bids for every season to date of “Breaking Bad,” and this year will likely be no exception, especially given the show’s massive ratings surge for its final episodes. He leads our predictions with 23/10 odds. (Click here for our complete odds.)
But McConaughey will give him a run for his money. Our Editors and Experts are evenly split between him and Cranston. Add to that the support of hundreds of Users, and he gets very close with odds of 13/5.
They’ll almost certainly be joined by returning nominee, Kevin Spacey, who played corrupt politico Francis Underwood for a second season of Netflix’s acclaimed streaming series “House of Cards” and gets 15/2 odds.
Woody Harrelson didn’t earn as much fanfare for “True Detective” as McConaughey, but he has a strong history with the TV academy, winning one Emmy (1989 Comedy Supporting Actor, “Cheers”) out of seven nominations. If “Detective” is a big Emmy success, expect Harrelson to go along for the ride. He gets 12/1 odds.
Poor Jon Hamm doesn’t have a single Emmy to show for his 11 nominations to date, including six in this category for AMC’s “Mad Men.” But despite the show’s diminishing returns – it hasn’t won a trophy since 2011 – Hamm still gets 16/1 odds.
James Spader also has odds of 16/1. He’s already a three-time winner in this category for playing attorney Alan Shore on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal,” and he’s a strong bet to return for his latest role in NBC’s surprise hit “The Blacklist.”
Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom“) may be the defending champ in this category, but so-so reviews for the sophomore season and the announcement that the upcoming third season will be its last leave him on the bubble with 33/1 odds.
Also getting 100/1 odds are two of last year’s nominees: Damian Lewis (“Homeland“), who actually won this category in 2012 but had limited screentime in an unpopular storyline last season, and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey“), who has been nominated twice before against stiff competition but is expected to be dropped from the race this year.
Below, take a photo tour through this year’s top 10 contenders for Best Drama Actor.
And be sure to use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions in this race.