08/08/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Steve Carell's Emmy Chances Doomed?

Sometimes I'm tempted to dismiss Steve Carell 's shot at winning the Emmy for two reasons. He portrays what we all (including Emmy voters) hate the most -- the creepy boss from hell -- and he's already lost the race for best comedy actor twice. How can he possibly have any hope now?

This year Carell gave Emmy judges a special, one-hour episode of "The Office" titled "Goodbye Toby" as the sample of his best work. As everybody knows, size matters in Hollywood and it really, really matters at the Emmys. In the race for best comedy actor, which is usually reserved for the stars of half-hour sitcoms, one-hour episodes have won five times Steve_carell_pull_quote1 over the last eight years. Tony Shalhoub won three times for his one-hour show "Monk" in 2003, 2005 and 2006. In 2000, Michael J. Fox won for submitting his one-hour special farewell eppy of "Spin City" titled "Goodbye/Conclusion." In 2001, Eric McCormack won for "Lows in the Mid-Eighties," the one-hour flashback episode that reveals how the title characters of "Will & Grace" met.

This year we have three one-hour entries -- Steve Carell, Tony Shalhoub and Lee Pace ("Pushing Daisies") -- plus an extremely strong one-hour entry by Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"). Charlie Sheen's performance in "Is There a Mrs. Waffles?" is quite good too, but the lightweight nature of "Two and a Half Men" probably sinks him.

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