Emmy voters continued to smile upon their favorite lead comedy actors, returning four of last year's nominees -- Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Louis C.K. ("Louie"), Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Don Cheadle ("House of Lies") -- and welcoming back "Arrested Development" star Jason Bateman and past nominee Matt LeBlanc ("Episodes").
Jon Cryer, who won the Emmy in the category last year for "Two and a Half Men," was left out of the race altogether this year.
Baldwin's nomination is his seventh for playing Jack Donaghy, "30 Rock's" high-achieving network executive. Baldwin won the category in 2008 and 2009 and owns four other Emmy nominations as an actor. He may be a favorite to win again for the show's final season, though a recent flap over insensitive comments he made on Twitter could hurt his chances.
Louis C.K. has won three Emmys for writing, including two last year -- for his FX comedy, "Louie," and his self-distributed stand-up comedy special "Live at the Beacon Theater." Thursday's acting nomination is his third for playing a fictionalized version of himself on "Louie."
Parsons took this category in 2010 and 2011 before Cryer bested him last year. Voters have nominated Parsons five times for his portrayal of the geeky, introverted Sheldon on CBS' popular series "The Big Bang Theory."
Cheadle has been nominated for both seasons of Showtime's "House of Lies," where he plays a charming management consultant. Over the years, Emmy voters have recognized him for supporting roles in the TV movies "Things Behind the Sun" and "The Rat Pack," as well as a guest turn on "ER" Cheadle is still looking for his first Emmy win.
Bateman returns to the Emmys with Neflix's revitalized "Arrested Development," which originally ran on Fox for three seasons from 2003 to 2006. Voters gave Bateman a nomination in 2005 for playing the hapless Michael Bluth, the good son and straight man trying to steer his family away from financial ruin and perpetual embarrassment.
LeBlanc has been nominated five times, three for his supporting role on the ensemble comedy "Friends" and now twice for playing a heightened, fictionalized version of himself on Showtime's "Episodes."
The Emmy Awards are to be handed out on Sept. 22, with the ceremony airing live on CBS.
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