With Mad Men and 30 Rock poised for big wins, Sunday's Emmys could look like a rerun
Do the same people get nominated every year because they are always doing the best work on television, or because Emmys voters like them a lot?
My experience as a music critic covering the Grammys leaves me a bit cynical on this score -- I still remember one recording studio owner and Grammy voter laughing as he explained how he handed his ballots over to his secretary every year "because she listens to more music than I do".
Considering that they were the second and third-highest winners last year (30 Rock got seven last year and Mad Men won six), it seems the Emmy academy loves nothing more than a good rerun.
Still, here's my take who's winning and losing come Sunday's contest --
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Entourage, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, 30 Rock, Weeds
Should win and will win: 30 Rock, because Emmy loves the show and star Tina Fey.
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Steve Carell, The Office; Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords; Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory; Tony Shalhoub, Monk; Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Should and will win: Big Bang's Parsons. Because he's a new face on a show Emmy might love. And Baldwin's too annoying to win twice in row.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?; Toni Collette, United States of Tara; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds; Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
Should win: Tara's Collette, for making a mom with split personalities believable and side-splitting.
Will win: Fey. See first entry.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Big Love,Breaking Bad, Damages, Dexter, House, Lost, Mad Men
Should and will win: Lost. For being the only series to get better in the wake of last year's writer's strike.
Should win: Dexter's Hall. For making the most monstrous character -- an unapologetic serial killer -- funny and sympathetic.
Will win: House's Laurie or Mad Men's Hamm -- because both are about due and didn't win last year.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, Damages; Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Holly Hunter, Saving Grace; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef
Should win: American Idol - tackles the toughest task in TV, building a new pop star before our eyes during a live show, creating the most-watched show on television.
Will win: Amazing Race. Because it always does.
HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars; Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race; Heidi Klum, Project Runway; Padma Lakshmi (Host) and Tom Colicchio (Co-Host), Top Chef; Jeff Probst, Survivor; Ryan Seacrest, American Idol.
Should win: Keoghan. Because I've never understood why the guy who hosts and helps produce the most Emmy-winning reality show on TV, didn't win an Emmy last year.
Will win: Seacrest.
Should win: Daily Show. Still highlighting the absurdities of political and media life, from pointing out how conservatives are championing as a minority party things they criticized as a majority party, to wondering where the mainstream media was on exposing dysfunction at ACORN.
Will win: Saturday Night Live. Game-changing Palin satire will steamroller everybody.