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The Early Emmy Line

As ballots are sent, B&C lays out the odds on the nominees 7/29/2005 08:00:00 PM Eastern

We won't know the winners until Sept. 18 when CBS airs the
Prime Time Emmy Awards, but everybody in
Hollywood is guessing who'll be taking home the gold. Judging tapes for the
awards that will be given out on the telecast (in other words, the big ones)
will be sent starting Aug. 8. Here, B&C takes a stab
at sizing up the competition in the top categories and handicapping the odds.
Next week: The critics weigh in with their picks.


Some observers think the 15 nominations for Will
& Grace
is the funniest Will & Grace moment of the season.
That fading sitcom matches ABC's Desperate Housewives
for most nominations for a series this year. But the poisoned tarts and horny
moms of Housewives could take this category in a walk.
CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond might take a farewell win,
of course. Another statue for last year's winner, Fox's Arrested
, might be justified. And everybody loves NBC's
Scrubs, but like a brother, if you know what we mean.

ODDS: Desperate
is tops at 2-1 odds to win. Everybody Loves
, 3-1; Arrested Development, 4-1;
Will & Grace, 6-1; and Scrubs,


NBC warhorse The West Wing improved when it hit the
campaign trail, but not enough to deserve a nomination over FX's
Nip/Tuck or The Shield. HBO's
Six Feet Under should have won this category when it was
better in earlier years. Fox's 24 is pulse-pounding, but
it's a parlor trick that doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. ABC's
Lost took an old Hollywood-movie concept—marooned
strangers thrown together—and turned it into something far weirder. But our
vote would go to Deadwood, HBO's &@#$ fantastic
frontier series. David Milch's writing was out-&$@#*-standing!

ODDS: Deadwood,
2-1; Lost, 3-1; Six Feet Under, 4-1;
The West Wing,5 -1; 24,


Tony Shalhoub won in 2003 for USA's Monk. Ray Romano won in 2002 for CBS' departing hit
Everybody Loves Raymond. Eric McCormack won in 2001 for
NBC's Will & Grace, but now that the gay angle
doesn't seem so fresh, he doesn't seem so funny either. NBC's wacko
Scrubs star Zack Braff is a funny fellow, and we'd be
pleased if he won, but very surprised. Romano could get the sentimental vote,
but our Ouija board points to Jason Bateman of Fox's Arrested

ODDS: Romano, 3-2; Shalhoub, 2-1;
Bateman, 4-1; Braff, 6-1; McCormack, 10-1


Hank Azaria was marvelous in a breakthrough role on Showtime hit
Huff. The network was also smart to send
DVDs of the series to voters before it aired, but it won't be enough. Kiefer
Sutherland once again made Fox's 24 riveting. Hugh
Laurie is a deserving underdog as Dr. Gregory House on Fox's
House and won the award from the Television
Critics Association. We're betting on James Spader, who delivers as the
deliciously devious Alan Shore on ABC's Boston Legal.
But we're hoping for Ian McShane, as the black-hearted tyrant on HBO's

ODDS: Spader, 2-1; McShane, 3-1;
Sutherland, 4-1; Laurie, 7-1; Azaria, 10-1


Patricia Heaton of CBS' Raymond won
in 2000 and 2001 and will win again only if Emmy voters go off on a nostalgia
jag. Jane Kaczmarek of Fox's Malcolm in the Middle has
been nominated five times without a win, and the only way she gets it is if the
Desperate Housewives split their vote. Speaking of which:
Teri Hatcher's lonely Susan and Felicity Huffman's stressed-out Lynette
seem like relatively normal folks acting abnormally, and they're getting the
most press. But Marcia Cross as the uptight Bree—”Martha Stewart on
steroids”—is way out there in American Beauty-land.
She's so over-the-top we want her to land there. We like Cross in this race.

ODDS: Hatcher, 3-2; Huffman, 2-1;
Kaczmarek, 3-1; Cross, 5-1; Heaton, 7-1


Did Emmy voters really think that Glenn Close's season-long gig on
FX's The Shield was worthy of nomination
and series star Michael Chiklis wasn't? Well, the Emmys can be that way.
ABC's Alias didn't draw as many raves this year, which
paradoxically means it might be time for tardy Emmy trend spotters to finally
notice Jennifer Garner. Both Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit
and Patricia Arquette for
Medium star in depressing shows, but Hargitay has star
power. We'd like to see the Emmy go to … Frances Conroy, nominated twice
before as the lovingly flawed matriarch on HBO's Six Feet
. But probably this is Close in a cakewalk. Emmys go to big
movie stars who show up on TV.

ODDS: Close, 2-1; Hargitay, 3-1;
Arquette, 4-1; Conroy, 5-1; Garner, 7-1


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