BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Steve Carell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Morrison is the only first-time nominee in the category, and even though he had some moments of brilliance this season, he chose a terrible submission episode ("Mash Up," in which he mostly raps and smiles at the kids), so a win here will only happen if Glee sweeps the ceremony. It's really surprising that David has been nominated for his acting several times, since he's much better known as a producer and writer than an actor. There may be voters who vote for him because of his Seinfeld reunion arc, but the win's not likely. Carell has been busy lately, with three movies opening so far this year, but since The Office had a weak season this year and he's announced that next season will be his last, they may wait until next year to finally (!) reward him. Reigning-champ Baldwin is consistently funny, but he didn't have as much of a great performance as in other years. This year is really a two-way battle between Parsons, who was favored to win last year (and since Emmy voters are always late to the party, this could be his year), and Shalhoub, whose show ended this year on an emotional note (Monk finally solved his wife's murder). I'm thinking that the voters will give Shalhoub one last Emmy as a parting gift.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Lea Michele, Glee
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Louis-Dreyfus won this prize four years ago for this show, but now that its been unceremoniously cancelled, I highly doubt she'll pick up another one. Michele has good potential, but just like Morrison, she chose an weaker-character episode ("Sectionals," which has her showstopping "Don't Rain on My Parade" but little else), so a win is unlikely this year. Fey, who is always wonderful, had a weak year this year (compared to previous years); sure, there were funny bits but a lot of her arc this year was standard sitcom romance. Poehler's recognition is a pleasant surprise, since the Emmys are now at least aware of Parks and Recreation, but a win isn't likely. The real showdown this year is between the two Showtime ladies (has anyone else noticed how female-driven dark comedies are becoming the network's calling card?): Collette and Falco. Falco is the easy favorite, since Emmy voters love her and many critics have hailed her as a revelation. But don't count out Collette; her role calls for a lot of showy acting, and that's the kind of thing awards voters love. However, I'd say this is Falco's.