2012 Emmy rankings: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Mad Men’ supporting stars battle

We’ve been saying over the past several weeks that some of the supporting categories this year for the Primetime Emmy Awards are even stronger than the leads, and in no better place do we see that than in the category of Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. At least four of the people nominated could feasibly win in another year, and there are three contenders here to all have a chance to pull something off.

At the end of the day, we really see this race being all about one show and one show only — “Breaking Bad.” Either one of its actors will win, or a split vote will cause someone else to emerge.

The rankings

6. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey” – We were surprised to see Carter nominated over Josh Charles of “The Good Wife,” and despite him having the same name as our site here (which gets him a few brownie points), it’s not enough to move him from the bottom of our leaderboard.

5. Brendan Coyle, “Downton Abbey” – Out of the two “Downton” stars, Coyle clearly does have the larger fan base, and has a tiny change of sneaking in and actually taking home a trophy. However, the key word here is “tiny,” and Carter will probably take away enough votes from him to make him a non-factor.

4. Jared Harris, “Mad Men” – It was a (pleasant) surprise to see Harris get the nod this year over John Slattery from the AMC show, who is a fine actor who really did no have enough to do. We also think that Lane Price had some great work leading up to his death. If there was lesser competition, his final scene inside of a Jaguar may have been enough to secure him the trophy — unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough this year.

3. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” – You know this is a good year for awards shows when Aaron Paul is not at the top of this list. Jesse Pinkman is brash, crass, and we love just about every swear word that comes out of his mouth. He also elevates Bryan Cranston’s own performance as Walt to another level.

2. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” – The reigning champion has a great opportunity to take home another trophy this year due to “Blackwater,” and the largest things standing against him may be a desire by voters to spread the wealth. Could Aaron Paul and our #1 choice split the vote? It’s possible, and that’s why this is the closest disparity between #2 and the top spot in any of our rankings yet.

1. Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad” – To be a great villain, you don’t want to look unstoppable. You want them to be magnetic, so much so that you start to ignore their faults and misgivings. The shrewd, calculating nature of Gus Fring has made him the best TV villain since “Dexter’s” Trinity Killer played by John Lithgow, and season 4 may be remembered as the best “Breaking Bad” has to offer because of his performance.

Who do you think is the most deserving of this award? We want to hear from you below! If you do want to check out some more editions of our Emmy rankings series, be sure to either click on the image to the right or head over to this link.

Photo: ABC


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