It is much harder to predict winners of the Emmy Awards than it is NFL games. I'm usually happy to hit 30 or 40 percent. This year, I see repeat winners and a show that goes mad for AMC's "Mad Men."
So here goes my predictions for the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS and will be competing for viewers with the big NFL game on NBC in which the Dallas Cowboys show off their new stadium in a game against the New York Giants.
Best Drama: AMC's "Mad Men" is favored, with its main competition coming from the two network shows nominated: Fox's "House" and ABC's "Lost." Go with "Mad Men" to repeat.
Best Comedy: NBC's "30 Rock" has owned this award and is mainly competing against
little-watched cable comedies and NBC's "The Office." A win by CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" would be a surprise. Go with "Rock" again.
Made-for-TV Movie: One of the four HBO nominees will win. I'd vote for the moving "Taking Chance" but expect "Grey Gardens" with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange will win.
Best Dramatic Actor: Bryan Cranston's win for "Breaking Bad" was a nice story last year, but this time around I see either Hugh Laurie of "House" or Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" winning. Go with Laurie, whose character went through a lot last season.
Best Drama Actress: Wouldn't it be something if the least-known actress -- Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men" -- beat an impressive field of vets like Sally Field, Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close, Mariska Hargitay and Holly Hunter. Nice but not likely. My mind says Close, but I'm picking Moss.
Best Dramatic Supporting Actor: William Hurt ("Damages") is the big name who appears likely to get votes just for agreeing to do a TV series. But I'm going with a deserving character actor whose name isn't that familiar, although he's been on several hit shows: John Slattery of "Mad Men."
Best Dramatic Supporting Actress: Tough call. I'd give it to Cherry Jones, who was exceptional as the first female president on "24." But I suspect one of the women on HBO's little-watched "In Treatment" will win. Go with Hope Davis.
Best Comedic Actor: Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" would be a mild surprise in a field that includes bigger names like Tony Shalhoub, Steve Carell, Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen. Go with Parsons. If it isn't him, it will be Baldwin.
Best Comedic Actress: Tina Fey of "30 Rock" should win even if she was funnier as Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live." If not Fey, Toni Collette of Showtime's little-watched "United States of Tara."
Best Supporting Comedic Actor: Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother," though I would much prefer Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock").
Best Supporting Comedic Actress: Amy Poehler of "Saturday Night Live," though a win by multi-talented Kristin Wiig of "Saturday Night Live" would be deserving, too.
Best Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ian McKellen for the PBS production of "King Lear," though anyone nominated in this category deserves to win.
Best Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Drew Barrymore or Jessica Lange for "Grey Gardens." Go with Barrymore, whose performance was image-shattering.
-- Alan Pergament