Who will win an Emmy on Sunday?
I'm hopeful the networks will end their long addiction to reality TV, the list of highest-rated and creatively soaring TV shows will grow more common, and this year, the Emmys will get more awards right than wrong.
Here's a quick look at what I think is going to happen Sunday, when the curtains spread and the five people nominated for best reality TV host guide us through television's biggest night. (Here's a full list of nominations.)
Yeah, I don't know where that hope comes from, either.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Nominees: Boston Legal, Damages, Dexter, House, Lost, Mad Men.
Will win: I'm betting Lost will take this one, because it's better known and was virtually the only network TV show to actually improve its quality during the disastrous writers strike. Dark horse is Mad Men, which should win, but may not yet have enough fans in the Emmy academy to take it.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Nominees: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, The Office, 30 Rock, Two and a Half Men.
Will win: With star Tina Fey's devastating Sarah Palin impression and upcoming guest stints from Oprah and Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock is white hot right now and deserves this win. The only open question: Was the show buzzed about enough when Emmy voters were balloting months ago? If not, The Office is poised for a win.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Will win: Hamm deserves this one, but it's hard to know if enough Emmy people know this series. And Spader has never lost in the three years he has been nominated, even when up against James Gandolfini in The Sopranos' final season. Really.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Will win: Glenn Close deserves this one. And because she's the biggest star in the running, she's got a good shot. Otherwise, Field probably takes it as the sentimental choice.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Will win: If his boneheaded recent interviews haven't turned off Emmy voters by reminding them what a diva he can be, Baldwin should have this sewn up. Otherwise, Carell or Shalhoub are the safe choices.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Will win: Again, in my hopeful world, 30 Rock will tun Emmy's comedy slate -- including a win for Fey here -- and Mad Men will dominate drama. But Christina Applegate is a popular actress in Hollywood, and recently went through serious cancer treatment. She's the dark horse here.
Of course, my track record predicting Emmy wins is awful. Which may make writing this post the most hopeful act of all ...