- 1+ 21- 1Jim Parsons is one of two actors on the CBS sitcom 'The Big Bang Theory' who are nominated in this particular category. Yep, Parsons has competition from co-star Johnny Galecki this year. This is Parsons' third nomination for 'Big Bang' (he won in this category in 2010), so he's already established himself as an Emmy darling. Will that give him an advantage? Hard to say - but either way, he deserves accolades for his hilarious work as Sheldon Cooper. For those keeping score, this is Parsons' third Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy nomination. He's also won a Golden Globe (in 2010, a big year for him!) for 'Big Bang Theory.'
- 2+ 9- 5Johnny Galecki is a newcomer to the Emmy Awards, having received his first-ever nomination in 2011 for his role as Leonard Hofstadter in CBS' 'The Big Bang Theory.' He's up against his co-star, Jim Parsons (who won in this category in 2010), and faces some stiff competition. When asked about their nominations, Parsons told 'The Hollywood Reporter,' "If he wins and I don’t or I win and he doesn’t, there’ll be a cage match."
Alrighty! If one of them wins, we're holding Parsons to it: 'The Big Bang Theory' Cage Match, 2011!
- 3+ 8- 5To say that Steve Carell has been a perennial Emmy favorite might be the understatement of the year - but it's definitely true. Carell is, once again, up for best actor in a comedy series for his work on 'The Office.' It's a fitting farewell to one of the funniest actors ever to grace our small screen. Keeping score? This is Carell's sixth (consecutive!) nomination for 'The Office.' Sixth. And, guess what? He's never won. Never. Will this be an even bigger send-off for Carell? Could be.
- 4+ 4- 3Matt LeBlanc is no stranger to the Emmys, having been nominated three times for his role as Joey on 'Friends.' Now, LeBlanc is up for a Best Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy as...well...as himself on Showtime's 'Episodes.' Wait, what? Okay okay, so if he wins, do they give him two statues? And who'll accept: the real Matt LeBlanc or the fictional one? And, how will we know? Never mind. Too confusing. Kudos to Matt LeBlanc, though, for snagging his fourth Emmy nomination...
- 5+ 5- 8Okay you just knew Alec Baldwin was on this list - again. And again. And again. This is Alec Baldwin's fifth nomination for his role as Jack Donaghy on '30 Rock.' Baldwin won the Emmy in this category twice - back-to-back, in fact, in 2008 and again in 2009. Will he take home a third Emmy in this category? That remains to be seen, but he's got very, very stiff competition in Steve Carell - who no doubt has the sentimental vote locked up.
- 6+ 1- 5If you've been watching the FX dark comedy 'Louie,' you probably aren't surprised that Louis C.K. got an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Not only that, but he also snagged a writing nomination for the series, lauded by critics because, well, it's that damn funny. You might not know this, but while Louis C.K. is new to this particular Emmy category, he's been nominated (many times) before, for his work as a writer on the 'Chris Rock Show' and 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien,' and for his 2008 stand-up special, 'Chewed Up.'