Can Facebook campaign win John Noble of ‘Fringe’ an Emmy?

When nominations for the Emmy Awards are announced on July 14, will John Noble of “Fringe” make it into the mainstream and earn a Supporting Drama Actor bid? Despite delivering much-heralded performances in the first two seasons of the sci-fi series, Noble was snubbed by the Emmys. One explanation for his exclusion is that academy voters don’t typically treat sci-fi fare seriously enough.

However, this could be Noble’s year. FOX just renewed the low-rated show. And he has the backing of some fervent “Fringe” fans. Ben Tobin has begun a Facebook campaign called “Give John Noble an Emmy For Walter Bishop.” A similar movement landed Betty White her Emmy-winning stint hosting “Saturday Night Live.”

Last week, the campaign numbered less than 350 followers. Today it has topped 6,000, and is still climbing. Tobin admits, “I realize trying to influence the decisions of the academy is a difficult task, and that they have a certain set of guidelines they consider when making a decision. But I think this has been an especially strong year for the show creatively, and that that should factor in to their decision.” Howver, he conceded, “It will be a challenge, there’s no doubt about that.”

Noble plays Walter Bishop, a lovingly-mad scientist recently reunited with his son, who helps the FBI investigate unexplained cases. It’s a flashy role, at times over-the-top, but almost always grounded in reality. And in a twist this season that could be prime Emmy bait, Noble plays an evil, alternate version of Walter (dubbed “Walternate” on the show). Two roles for the price of one! Emmy voters, are you paying attention?

The Australian actor told theTVaddict he wasn’t surprised to be overlooked in 2009. However, after failing to nab a bid for the fan-favorite episode “Peter” in 2010, he admitted, “I’ll be honest, it took me a couple of days to process it. I was stunned and then I had to let it go.” Last year’s nominees were Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age”), Michael Emerson (“Lost”), Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”), Martin Short (“Damages”) and John Slattery (“Mad Men”), with Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) taking home the award.

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