Will win: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Jon Cryer’s the biggest dark horse here. He’s a nomination staple and former winner on the supporting side, so his move up to leading-man territory could result in a win. But it will be tough for him to push past even more popular nominees Parsons and Baldwin. I’m just working on the assumption that Jim Parsons wins this race until Big Bang ends in 10 years. He’s this decade’s Kelsey Grammer.
Will win: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Another tough one, particularly when you think bigger picture. Kathryn Joosten just passed away, which, for better or for worse, makes her a threat to win. This is the last time Kristen Wiigcan be nominated in this category for her work on SNL (she’ll surely be nominated when she comes back to host the show in a year). Mayim Bialik’s work is well-regarded and voters will get a great taste of it while they’re watching episodes of Big Bang for other categories. And obviously, the Modern Family women are here too. Sorry, Merritt Weaver.
Joosten’s nomination will probably be as far as that goes. People thought Wiig was going to win last year because of Bridesmaids and we’ve seen recent long-time nominees lose yet again in final opportunities. But I’m struggling to pick between Bowen, Vergara, and Bialik. Bowen and Bialik should have better tapes and there’s bound to be a moderate surprise in these major categories, so let’s go with the Big Bang star.