This year’s Emmy winner in the Best Drama Actor race will not be a repeat, as all of the most recent past champs have left the stage. The only exception is Kyle Chandler, who previously won for “Friday Night Lights” (2011) but now contends for “Bloodline.” He faces off against Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) and Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”). After watching our editors’ slugfest on this race above, you can find links below to each contender’s episode analysis where we dive into their Emmy pros and cons.
After winning for “Friday Night Lights,” could Chandler take home a bookend Emmy for the second season finale of “Bloodline”? He plays John Rayburn on this Netflix series, a police detective who will do anything to protect his prominent Florida keys family, even if it means killing his black sheep older brother Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) and covering it up. He has submitted “Part 23” to Emmy voters. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Malek, one of television’s recent breakout stars, has earned his first Emmy nomination for his riveting performance as Elliot Alderson on USA Network’s freshman series “Mr. Robot.” Malek already has won the Critics’ Choice TV Award and been nominated for the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards for this role. He submitted the series premiere “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov” for consideration. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Odenkirk has selected “Klick,” the season two finale of “Better Call Saul,” for Emmy voters to consider. This is his second consecutive bid for playing Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on the “Breaking Bad” spinoff. Prior to “Saul” Odenkirk was an Emmy champ on the comedy side sharing in wins for Best Variety Writing: “Saturday Night Live” in 1989 and “The Ben Stiller Show” in 1993. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Rhys earned his first Emmy nomination for acting with the first episode he directed of his FX series “The Americans,” titled “The Magic of David Copperfield V.” He plays Philip Jennings, a Soviet KGB spy living in America in the early 1980s. It took Emmy voters four seasons to catch on to both Rhys’ critically acclaimed performance and that of his on-screen wife (and off-screen partner) Keri Russell. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Schreiber, a past contender at the Emmy Awards for Best Movie/Mini Actor for “RKO 281” (2000), shocked many last year when he scored his first Best Drama Actor bid for his work as the title character, a Hollywood fixed, on Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” He returns to that race this year and is looking for his first victory with his episode submission “Exsuscito.” READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
After 10 nominations — four for Best Drama Actor on “House of Cards,” four for Best Drama Series as a producer, Best Miniseries/Movie Actor for “Recount” and Best TV Movie for “Bernard and Doris” — Spacey could finally win his first Emmy Award this year. He plays the cunning, “ruthlessly pragmatic” politician Frank Underwood who will do anything for power, and has chosen the season finale (“Chapter 52”) as his submission. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
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