Time to organize those Emmy office pools (why should Oscar have all the fun?), for which we offer the following tip sheet. Tune in Sept. 12 (8 p.m., Fox) to see how we did.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA ER, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The Practice, The Sopranos
WHO WILL WIN Industry darling David E. Kelley’s The Practice, for, at the very least, a truly inspired cliff-hanger.
WHO SHOULD WIN HBO’s peerless Sopranos.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY Ally McBeal, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friends, Sex and the City
WILL & SHOULD The even-funnier-after-five-seasons Friends.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES Michael J. Fox, Kelsey Grammer, John Lithgow, Paul Reiser, Ray Romano
WILL Fox; in addition to his consistently funny Spin City work, there’s the sympathy-inspiring Parkinson’s disease revelation.
SHOULD Romano, a hilariously hangdog TV husband and a damn fine comedic actor (see his Roberto Benigni on Saturday Night Live).
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES Jenna Elfman, Calista Flockhart, Patricia Heaton, Helen Hunt, Sarah Jessica Parker
WILL Flockhart; voters need to atone for leaving her high and dry last year.
SHOULD Raymond’s devilishly dry Heaton.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR, DRAMA Dennis Franz, James Gandolfini, Dylan McDermott, Jimmy Smits, Sam Waterston
WILL Smits. Emmy loves nothing more than a delirious deathbed scene.
SHOULD Gandolfini, whose virtuoso portrayal of The Sopranos’ neurotic Mob boss killed us.
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, DRAMA Gillian Anderson, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Christine Lahti, Julianna Margulies
WILL The always-worthy Margulies, primarily by default: Lahti just won, Anderson had no cancer arc this season, and the two Sopranos stars will likely split the vote.
SHOULD Falco, as much for Sopranos as for her other breathtaking HBO turn on Oz.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY Peter Boyle, Peter MacNicol, John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce, David Spade
WILL Mahoney, who may serve as the lone bone tossed Frasier, thanks to a lackluster season.
SHOULD Raymond’s Boyle, an inspired a–hole.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY Kristen Johnston, Lisa Kudrow, Lucy Liu, Wendie Malick, Doris Roberts
WILL & SHOULD Roberts, Raymond’s gleefully shrewish mom, who has kudos momentum after nabbing Viewers for Quality Television and American Comedy Awards prizes.
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA Michael Badalucco, Benjamin Bratt, Steve Harris, Steven Hill, Noah Wyle
WILL The Practice’s Badalucco will be this year’s equal-opportunity move, à la 1998 winner Camryn Manheim. (We can hear his speech now: ”This is for all the fat guys!”)
SHOULD Law & Order’s Hill, who does more with a handful of lines than most actors do with an entire script.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA Lara Flynn Boyle, Kim Delaney, Camryn Manheim, Nancy Marchand, Holland Taylor
WILL & SHOULD Marchand for The Sopranos; not since I, Claudius has TV seen such a deliciously Machiavellian mater.
OUTSTANDING WRITING, COMEDY Ally McBeal’s ”Sideshow”; Frasier’s ”Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz”; Friends’ ”The One Where Everybody Finds Out”; Just Shoot Me’s ”Slow Donnie”; Sports Night’s ”The Apology”
WILL Sports Night’s garment-rending antidrug lament will make voters swoon.
SHOULD Friends’ rip-roaring farce, highlighting the inimitable queen of goof, Lisa Kudrow.
OUTSTANDING WRITING, DRAMA NYPD Blue’s “Hearts and Souls”; The Sopranos’ “College”; The Sopranos’ “Isabella”; The Sopranos’ “Pilot”; The Sopranos’ “Nobody Knows Anything”
WILL Blue’s gut-wrenching Bobby Simone send-off.
SHOULD The Sopranos, though how you choose just one episode is beyond us.