I give you permission to tune in to the Emmy Awards telecast this Sunday to see the parade of stars on the red carpet, to watch the scripted entertainment segments and to catch any Kanye West-type improvisations at a kudocast, but don't bother sitting through the whole three-hour show just to see who wins. Below is my fool-proof list of predictions from a seasoned Emmy pundit who's proved to be a fool often in the past. Compare these noodlings to the forecasts made by other Emmy prophets.
By the way, if I'm correct in some top categories, this will be the first time in Emmy history that the winners in all major series races from one year (best comedy and drama series plus lead actor and actress) returned together. That could turn out to be tragic. Read more here.
The closest the Emmys came to repeating in the past occurred in 1968 when all of the victorious lead series actors returned from 1967: Bill Cosby ("I Spy"), Barbara Bain ("Mission: Impossible"), Don Adams ("Get Smart"), and Lucille Ball ("The Lucy Show"). "Mission: Impossible" won best drama series both years, but there were different winners of best comedy. "The Monkees" won in 1967, "Get Smart" in 1968.
Below is my quick, easy list of predictions. Read my in-depth analysis of top races here.
DRAMA SERIES – "Mad Men"
COMEDY SERIES – 30 Rock"
TV MOVIE – "Grey Gardens"
MINI-SERIES – "Generation Kill" (very close contest with "Little Dorrit")
REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM – "Amazing Race"
VARIETY SERIES – "Saturday Night Live" (yes, I'm daring to vote against "The Daily Show," which has won this category for the past six years)
REALITY HOST – Jeff Probst, "Survivor"
DRAMA ACTOR – Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (Gabriel Byrne of "In Treatment" is in close second place)
DRAMA ACTRESS – Glenn Close, "Damages"
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR – Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" (Michael Emerson of "Lost" may usurp)
SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS – Rose Byrne, "Damages" (last year's champ, and double Oscar victor, Dianne Wiest of "In Treatment" can prevail here again)
COMEDY ACTOR – Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" (Steve Carell of "The Office" and Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" have an outside shot)
COMEDY ACTRESS – Tina Fey, "30 Rock" (Toni Collette could easily win for portraying four personalities in "United States of Tars" -- voters are suckers for actors playing multiple roles)
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR – Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS – Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
TV MOVIE/MINI ACTOR – Ian McKellan, "King Lear"
TV MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS – Sigourney Weaver, "Prayers for Bobby" (if one of the "Grey Gardens" gals pulls through, it'll be Jessica Lange, not Drew Barrymore)
TV MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTOR – Tom Courtenay, "Little Dorrit"
TV MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Marcia Gay Harden, "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler"
Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences