Emmy Episode Analysis: Jeff Daniels (‘The Newsroom’) is up for Drama Actor reelection

Defending Best Drama Actor champ Jeff Daniels is back to vie for another Emmy for his portrayal as Will McAvoy, an anchor for fictional cable news network ACN on HBO’s “The Newsroom.”

Exclusive: Netflix Emmy episode submissions for ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Orange’ …

SYNOPSIS: In Daniels’s submitted episode, “Election Night, Part 2,” the 2012 Presidential election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is well underway. During the chaos of the election, Will must deal with rumors that his senior staff is getting ready to resign after a major reporting error. Will gathers everyone during a break and tells them that he takes full responsibility and sent in his resignation, but they all agree that the whole team shares the blame, not just Will.

Will is also juggling a major life decision involving his romance with his producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer). MacKenzie confronts Will about taking the next step in their relationship, and he confesses that he in fact purchased a ring to propose to her, but returned it. As the night closes with ACN breaking the big news of President Obama’s reelection, Will races around the newsroom looking for MacKenzie, finds her, and pulls her aside privately to confess his love and propose to her with the ring it turns out he never returned. She says yes, and Will is able to announce to the newsroom that the two are engaged.

Will Emmy voters reelect Daniels as Best Drama Actor? Let’s analyze the pros and cons:


Daniels has a lot to do, bouncing all over the newsroom with several different storylines that place his character front and center. It’s a very impressive display.

Daniels may not get a grand speech like he did last year, when he won for the “Newsroom” pilot, but he does have a very endearing proposal scene, and if Emmy voters are in the mood for love, this may be irresistible to them.

Against all odds, he won last year. And against all odds, he was nominated again this year. There’s no doubt Daniels has strong support among the industry, but we keep underestimating him.


Daniels won last year thanks in part to a long, flashy Aaron Sorkin speech. This time, there’s nothing close to that.

Will is somewhat calm compared to other characters in this category, so Daniels doesn’t get many emotional fireworks to display, and even in an episode about an important election, he’s still rather subdued.

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Daniels currently sits last in our standings with 100/1 odds. Are we underestimating him yet again? Make your predictions below.

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