With all six of last year's supporting players eligible again, not to mention a hoard of oncoming "Arrested Development" men and past nominee (and Emmys host) Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother"), things were looking dour for Johnson. That is, until he decided to make the shift from the Supporting Actor race to the less-crowded Lead Actor category.
But lest you think Johnson's switcheroo is category fraud, it's undeniable that his character truly had a leading role this time around. While his character Nick was integral in the first season, it was the second season when he really came front and center thanks to his increased screen time and lovey-dovey relationship with Jess (Zooey Deschanel).
Johnson told Gold Derby's Chris Beachum last month, "To be totally honest, I was really happy" with the increased screen time for Nick. "I felt like Season Two, from the very beginning, [the writers] had him honed in and it was just a lot of fun to play him this year." (Watch the complete Q&A here.)
If the Emmys nominate Johnson next week, they won't be the first organization to recognize his talent. The Critics' Choice Television Awards cited Johnson last month, while the Television Critics Association named him as one of the five funniest people on television, regardless of gender and screen time.
Find out July 18 if Johnson makes the cut with the Emmys. In the meantime, vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.