At 60, will Emmy have a Hugh Laurie moment? Isn’t it time?
The race for best dramatic actor is the most competitive at the annual awards, which air at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday on ABC.
Laurie has never won for playing the brilliant, sarcastic doc on Fox’s “House.” He’ll have to overcome first-rate competitors: Jon Hamm of “Mad Men,” Michael C. Hall of “Dexter,” Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” Gabriel Byrne of “In Treatment” and three-time winner James Spader of “Boston Legal.”
Nostalgia will permeate the 60th annual prizes. The telecast will celebrate with TV themes sung by Josh Groban, familiar TV sets (“M(ASTERISK)A(ASTERISK)S(ASTERISK)H,” “The West Wing”) and distinctive presenter pairings (such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler).
The five Emmy hosts are competing for the reality-host prize: Tom Bergeron of “Dancing With the Stars,” Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol,” Howie Mandel of “Deal or No Deal,” Heidi Klum of “Project Runway” and Jeff Probst of “Survivor.” The likely victor? Bergeron for cutting up with charm.
There are heavy favorites in many other contests.
Movies and miniseries: The HBO miniseries “John Adams” won eight technical awards. Look for it to add prizes tonight for miniseries, directing, writing, actor (Paul Giamatti as president No. 2) and supporting actor (Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin).
Laura Linney as Abigail Adams will probably win, too, but she faces strong competition from Judi Dench of “Cranford” and Phylicia Rashad of “A Raisin in the Sun.” Ultimately, “John Adams” seems likely to surpass the record 11 Emmys won by “Angels in America” four years ago.
HBO’s “Recount” should breeze to the best-movie honor. Laura Dern could win supporting actress for showily playing Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris - if the more deserving Eileen Atkins doesn’t triumph for “Cranford.”
Reality contest: CBS’ “The Amazing Race” has won five years in a row. Don’t look for that to change.
Variety: Comedy Central’s “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” has won five years in a row. Don’t look for that to change.
Comedy: The favorites are NBC’s “30 Rock” and stars Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. I think Baldwin will win, but I give the edge to HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus of CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
Drama: The best bets for your office pool are AMC’s “Mad Men” for series and Glenn Close of FX’s “Damages” for actress. Laurie should finally win for “House,” and there’s a bonus: He gives a terrific speech.