Sunday night at 8, CBS will host the latest installment of the Primetime Emmy Awards. Though there are some glaring omissions among this year's nominees (OK, one last time: No major nominations for "The Shield"? GRRRRR!!!!), I still plan to watch, and I've still picked my favorites. Of course, my favorites almost never win, but I dare to dream.
Below is my list of the nominees for all the major categories, along with my picks for who should win, and who likely will win. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Christian Clemenson, "Boston Legal"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
William Hurt, "Damages"
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
John Slattery, "Mad Men"
Should win: Though this is a very strong category, it's a bit compromised by the fact the year's best supporting male dramatic performance, by Walton Goggins on "The Shield," wasn't nominated. Having said that, there are some great performances here, and it's tough to pick my favorite. I'd probably just barely go with Michael Emerson's always-perfect turn as Ben on "Lost" over Aaron Paul's wrenching work as a lonely drug dealer on "Breaking Bad." But it's hard to bet against Emerson, whose creepy stares and deadpan delivery are the best thing about many a "Lost" episode.
Will win: Unless the want to give William Shatner a winning sendoff following the final season of "Boston Legal," I'm guessing Emmy voters will back me up, finally rewarding Emerson.
Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Rose Byrne, "Damages"
Hope Davis, "In Treatment"
Cherry Jones, "24"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"
Should win: This is a hard category for me for a totally different reason -- I don't watch "In Treatment" or "Grey's Anatomy." So I'm going with Cherry Jones who, as "24's" first female president, actually managed to make the show's ridiculous dialogue sound less ridiculous.
Will win: A toughie, but Chandra Wilson is a favorite with critics and fans and her show is still popular, so I'm guessing Emmy voters will bless her with a statue.
Best Supporting Actor Comedy
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"
Neil Patrick Harris "How I Met Your Mother"
Jack McBrayer, "30 Rock"
Tracy Morgan "30 Rock"
Rainn Wilson, "The Office"
Should win: Though he's often overshadowed by co-stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan is an essential part of the "30 Rock" equation as lunatic comic Tracy Jordan. He's coming off of an especially strong season, and it's first nomination, so I'd love to see him win.
Will win: However, I'm pretty sure the Emmy will go to Neil Patrick Harris who, incidentally, is hosting the freakin' Emmys! He's a critic's darling, an industry darling, and he's funny. Sigh. Better luck next year, Tracy.
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy:
Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds"
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live"
Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live"
Should and Will Win: Though all her competitors are great, Amy Poehler is my bet for the win, as Emmy will likely want to reward what was more or less her "SNL" swan song. Also, the new mom performed on the show almost right until she went into labor. So I think an Emmy is the least we can do.
Best Actress, Drama
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Should Win: A toughie. I think it's inexcusable that Kyra Sedgwick has never won an Emmy for her stellar work as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson on "Mad Men," but I also love Elisabeth Moss's quiet, understated work as the talented, career-minded Peggy on "Mad Men." I guess, when you get down to it, I'm rooting for Sedgwick, but just by a hair.
Will Win: Again, the category is wide open, but voters rewarded Glenn Close last year for "Damages," and I expect they'll do it again. She's a film actress, which always catches voters' eyes. She plays a flashy character, and she's a gracious winner. All things Emmy likes. Sorry, Kyra, Elisabeth and company: I think Glenn's got this one.
Best Drama, Actor:
Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
Should win: Look, I love Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall, but Bryan Cranston is just The Man. His performance in "Breaking Bad's" second season was even better than his Emmy-winning work in season one. This is a career defining performance, and I'd love to see him collect another statuette...
Will Win: ... but I think voters are going to go with Jon Hamm. He's glamorous and his show has burst into pop culture in a way "Breaking Bad" hasn't. Hamm is a star and Emmy likes stars, regardless of their decision to reward Cranston last year. I think he takes it home.
Best Actress, Comedy:
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"
Sarah Silverman, "The Sarah Silverman Program"
Should win: Can I just say that it's so nice to see the female-centered categories so full of quality nominees this year? It's a strong contrast to the Oscars, which often struggle to find enough actresses to fill the categories. Anyway, I'm going with Tina Fey who, even in an uneven season, was always a pleasure to watch as dippy but lovable Liz Lemon.
Will Win: The only thing I can say definitively here is that quirky category newcomer Sarah Silverman won't win for her work on her own Comedy Central sitcom (unless, of course, she does win. Emmy can surprise us, after all). Other than her, I think all the other nominees have a strong shot. But I think Emmy will go glamorous and pick Toni Collette, a former Oscar nominee who plays multiple roles on Showtime's "United States of Tara."
Best Actor, Comedy:
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 Win: I love Jemaine Clement, but it's hard to top Alec Baldwin's oily, hilarious work as money-loving Jack Donaghy. He had another strong season, and I'd love to see him take it home.
Will Win: Everyone's gone gaga over category newcomer Jim Parsons, and Emmy does like to reward dark horses on occasion (case in point -- giving a statuette to Zeljko Ivanek over Ted Danson last year). But I think Baldwin will still win. Jack Donaghy is pretty hard to resist.
Best Comedy Series:
"Flight of the Conchords"
"How I Met Your Mother"
Should Win: Can I tell you which show I really, really, really DON'T want to win? "Entourage." This show is pleasantly amusing at best, and certainly not one of the five best comedies on TV. Other than that, it's hard, but I'm going to pick "30 Rock." Yes, the season was a little shaky at times, but there were so many great moments (Oprah! Kidney Now! "I want to go to there"!) that it can't be overlooked.
Will Win: "30 Rock," unless Stewie from "Family Guy" blackmails the Emmy voters into giving that series a statue.
Best Drama Series:
Should and Will Win: Again, the category is compromised by the omission of "The Shield." That said, it's hard to see "Mad Men" losing this one, despite the presence of the excellent "Big Love" and "Breaking Bad." And you know what? I'd be fine with a "Mad Men" win.