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Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Firsts and Lasts

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  • DS0816
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    A pattern has taken hold in the Emmys category Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

    Since 2011, the winner has been someone for the first or the last season of his respective series:

    • 2011: Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC) — Last
    • 2012: Damian Lewis, Homeland (Showtime) — First
    • 2013: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO) — First
    • 2014: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC) — Last
    • 2015: Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC) — Last
    • 2016: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot (USA) — First
    • 2017: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC) — First

    If this pattern continues, my feeling with 2018 is the winner will end up being, for a given series’ premiere season, Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor (ABC).

    Does anyone have any theories why this has played out?

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    Eden
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    You’re just giving me hope for a Matthew Rhys win next year.

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    Anonymous
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    Does this pattern help Bateman to win? He is the only contender with a first or last season that got a SAG nomination. Maybe someone will come along the second half though. I’m rooting for Jason Mitchell for The Chi. I’ve only seen the pilot and I’m not sure if he’ll go lead or supporting.

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    hats-off
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    This is a pretty neat and interesting trend, but each of those performers had other specific unique circumstances that lead to their wins (albeit buzz surrounding a final season or dazzling debut certainly helped).

    Unless Rhys is absolutely undeniable (which isn’t likely since his performance is usually quiet) there wont really be any final season contenders. Additionally, all of the freshman season contenders like Bateman and Highmore don’t have the kind of media frenzy buzz that surrounded the performances Malek and Brown consistently for an entire year. (Not including Daniels or Lewis since the tape system is a different beast)

    Unless something huge (like handmaids tale level) debuts this spring, I expect either Malek or Brown to win their second with Rhys as a boy-can-dream Longshot dark horse.

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    sofan
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    #1202449350

    James Franco winning his Emmy confirmed.

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    Anonymous
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    James Franco winning his Emmy confirmed.

    He missed SAG to Bateman.

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    sofan
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    He missed SAG to Bateman.

    Does not matter.

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    Anonymous
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    He missed SAG to Bateman.

    Does not matter.

    Franco couldn’t even get a Globe nomination and The Deuce has been underperforming. I doubt he gets nominated.

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    boss
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    According to this trend Kevin Spacey would have easily won though we all know what happened.

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    DS0816
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    It turns out the pattern held..

    Eden should be happy with the result.

    The winner of the 2017–18 Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX).

    The winning performance is for a series’ last season.

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    flv4466
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    You’re just giving me hope for a Matthew Rhys win next year.

     

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    Eden
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    Eden should be happy with the result.

    Oh, I am.

    I wanna hear early predictions for next year based on this theory. Kit Harington and Rami Malek will compete for their final season. Sean Penn won’t be nominated, but looking forward to seeing someone new.

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    Hunter-ish
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    I swear I will cry of happiness if Malek can get back in and win.

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    AayaanUpadhyaya
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    I think the Acting Branch not liking Game of Thrones apart from their irrational love for Dinklage is why I won’t be predicting Harrington – though he is definitely getting nominated.

    It’s exciting to see who will win this next year, as Brown is not winning again for This is Us and Rhys is ineligible.

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    Mukund
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    I think the Acting Branch not liking Game of Thrones apart from their irrational love for Dinklage is why I won’t be predicting Harrington – though he is definitely getting nominated. It’s exciting to see who will win this next year, as Brown is not winning again for This is Us and Rhys is ineligible.

    Maybe Odenkirk pulls through this time.

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