Inside Emmy: Handicapping the Best Supporting Comedy Series Actor Race

Jeremy Piven, who won this category the last three years as “Entourage’s” Ari Gold, isn’t in contention, freeing him to consume as much mercury-tainted sushi as he wants on awards night… and freeing the category to new blood.

According to Neal Justin, TV critic for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Neil Patrick Harris should win the award this year simply “for hosting every event in Los Angeles this year.”

Here are the contenders:

Kevin Dillon – “Entourage” (HBO)
Why he’ll win:
He’s actually been nominated the last two years, and if it weren’t for co-star Piven’s success, Johnny Drama would prolly have a trophy by now.
Why he won’t:
“I’m just not sure he’s going to pick up Piven’s votes, although he’s very good in the role,” Justin says.
Watch clips of Kevin here.

Neil Patrick Harris “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS)
Why he’ll win
: “This will be a way for Emmy voters to recognize a show that hasn’t gotten a lot of recognition, and probably won’t otherwise this year,” Justin says. “I would say Neil Patrick Harris has the edge this year, with Tracy Morgan having a close shot. If you’re going to bet money, Harris is your man.”
Why he won’t: “Mother has never won anything except craft awards.
Watch NPH clips here.

Rainn Wilson – “The Office” (NBC)
Why he’ll win:
Schrute Farms sent out beautiful gift baskets full of beats to Emmy voters this year. But seriously, he’s been around this race for a while and we can’t see what the edge is this year.
Why he won’t: Wilson been nominated the last three years, but hasn’t won yet. “If he hasn’t won by now, he probably isn’t going to,” Justin notes.
Watch Rainn in full episodes of here.

Tracy Morgan – “30 Rock” (NBC)
Why he’ll win:
“Personally, I’d give my vote to Morgan,” notes Justin. “He had a terrific year.”
Why he won’t: He’ll split the “30 Rock” vote with McBrayer, and there won’t be enough juice to take down Neil Patrick Harris.
Watch Tracy in full episodes here.

Jack McBrayer – “30 Rock” (NBC)
Why he’ll win:
Voters swayed by NBC page Kenneth’s savant-like knowledge of Emmy history
Why he won’t: If “30 Rock” rocks this category, Tracy Morgan gets a trophy, not him.
Watch Jack in full episodes here.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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