There are two guaranteed openings in the Emmy Award race for Best Comedy Actor with the departure of Steve Carell ("The Office") and the ineligibility of Matt LeBlanc ("Episodes") due to no new episodes this season. Of the other four nominees from last year, reigning two-time champ Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and his co-star Johnny Galecki are expected to possibly return, as are two-time winner Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") and Louis C.K. ("Louie").
Four-time nominee Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") is eligible once again and should be a strong bet to gain a slot. Matthew Morrison ("Glee") is the only other man who has been nodded before for his current role. With new lead billing on his show, six-time supporting nominee and 2009 winner Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") has also decided to try for this lead category.
Actors who have attempted in previous seasons with no success are Kevin Connolly and Adrian Grenier ("Entourage"), Garret Dillahunt ("Raising Hope"), David Duchovny ("Californication"), Neil Flynn ("The Middle"), Billy Gardell ("Mike and Molly"), Ed Helms ("The Office"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Rob Lowe and Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation"), Danny McBride ("Eastbound and Down"), Joel McHale ("Community"), Lucas Neff ("Rasing Hope"), Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother"), Jason Schwartzman ("Bored to Death").
Rookie shows have the following eligible contenders: Tim Allen ("Last Man Standing"), Will Arnett ("Up All Night"), Don Cheadle ("House of Lies"), Warwick Davis ("Life's Too Short"), Jeremy Sisto ("Suburgatory"), and Elijah Wood ("Wilfred"). Ashton Kutcher is also eligible for the first time for the long-time hit "Two and a Half Men."