Emmys 2012: A new batch of Emmy incumbents take over from the old guard

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louie-season-3-fx.jpgAfter last year's Emmy slate was full of repeat nominees, we exasperatedly called for term limits on how many times a person or show can get nominated in the major categories. It was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek: Because the academy would never actually make such a move, we decided to have a little fun with it.

Nope, Emmy incumbents -- or perennials, as we've called them in the past -- are a fact of life that's here to stay, so why not embrace the concept? Of course, the academy has made it easier on us to do that, as a number of traditional Emmy nominees did not get the nod this year.

But just because "The Office," Hugh Laurie and Kyra Sedgwick didn't get nominated this year, doesn't mean that there aren't people to take their place -- incumbents such as Jon Cryer, Jim Parsons, Edie Falco and Alec Baldwin. But these folks, who are now multiple nominees, are showing that sometimes incumbency isn't such a bad thing in Emmyland:

Louis C.K.: We all knew that he'd get nominated for writing, producing and editing "Louie" again, but his second consecutive nod for acting as a mild surprise, mainly because we didn't think the academy was paying that much attention. We can see him getting nominated as long as the innovative "Louie" stays on the air. Whether he'll win, though, is another matter.

Melissa McCarthy: While we're big fans of her work, we still think she's getting nominated off the strength of "Bridesmaids." She did, however, have a much better year on "Mike & Molly" than she did last year, when she took the Emmy home. Once you win one, you're pretty much in for life -- just ask Parsons about that.

Amy Poehler: Hard to believe, but Poehler's lead actress in a comedy nod is her fifth acting nomination; she got nominated twice in the supporting category for "SNL" and now three times as the lead in "Parks and Recereation." We put her in this "new incumbents" list because her buddy Tina Fey's multiple nominations get more press. We just hope she doesn't become the female version of Laurie: talented, deserving, but always on the outside looking in.

Steve Buscemi: "Boardwalk Empire" is just the type of sweeping, serious show that the academy loves, so it's likely you'll see Buscemi -- getting his second nomination in a row for the show -- on the nominee list for some time to come. He's the heart and soul of "Empire," and will likely be the guy to get a nod even if the show is in an off-year.

Aaron Paul: Another case where once you win, you're in. As powerful as Bryan Cranston's performances have been on "Breaking Bad," Paul has taken on more of the emotional weight of the show as the years have gone on. While Walter White gets more sinister, Jesse Pinkman gets more tortured and unsure, and Paul pulls off that conflict with ease. Expect him here again for both halves of the show's final season.

Claire Danes: Once she won for "Temple Grandin," you knew that once she found a good series to star in, she'd be nominated every year. And with the stunning success of "Homeland," it's a good bet that we're going to be seeing her at the Emmys for a number of years to come.

Peter Dinklage: He won last year for "Game of Thrones" and is nominated again this year. We just wonder when he'll submit himself as a lead actor, because that's pretty much what he is on the show right now. And given the ratings HBO is getting for "GoT," we can see the show continuing for quite awhile.

Photo/Video credit: FX