A funny thing happened on the way to last year's Emmy Awards race for Comedy Supporting Actor. The decision by the "Modern Family" cast to submit as supporting worked for Eric Stonestreet, who ran off with the golden statue, but was a dud for Ed O'Neill, who was the only adult on the show not even nominated.
They all entered as featured players again this year, so expect Stonestreet, O'Neill, Ty Burrell, and/or Jesse Tyler Ferguson to gobble up at least half of the six nominee positions among the nominees. Last year's other nominees were recent Golden Globe champ Chris Colfer ("Glee"), 2009 Emmy winner Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men"), and perennial also-ran Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother"), who did prevail in two other Emmy categories last year (as a guest on "Glee" and as host of the Tonys).
Several previous nominees snubbed last year and hoping to return include three-time winner Jeremy Piven ("Entourage"), three-time nominees Kevin Dillon ("Entourage") and Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), as well as "30 Rock" funny fellows Jack McBrayer and Tracy Morgan.
Among those featured on returning series looking for their first bids are: Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation"), John Krasinski and Ed Helms ("The Office"), Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and Danny Pudi ("Community"), Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar ("The Big Bang Theory"), Jason Segel ("How I Met Your Mother"), past two-time Emmy winner Ted Danson ("Bored to Death"), and all the men from "Saturday Night Live." Only a small number of freshman shows feature feasible contenders including Garret Dilahunt ("Raising Hope") and both Oliver Platt and John Benjamin Hickey from "The Big C."
Gold Derby founder Tom O'Neil and senior editors Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria offer up their predictions and discuss the possibilities in this video slugfest. They are among the experts and editors who have ranked the potential nominees in this race.
Watch our three experts slug it out over these other cliffhanger races: