Will tonight's Emmy bash be marked by an outpouring of "Glee"?
Don't bet against it. The freshman musical sensation has amassed a staggering 19 nominations, which means we could see a steady parade of so-called "Gleeks" to the winner's podium.
Then again, Emmy could toss a great big slushy in their faces.
New blood among the nominees, after all, doesn't always result in new winners. Emmy voters tend to ride their horse into the ground.
That's why "30 Rock" will be gunning for its fourth consecutive triumph as TV's Outstanding Comedy, and why "Mad Men" is a decent bet to win its third straight Outstanding Drama trophy.
"The Amazing Race" will go for its eighth consecutive win in the reality competition category.
Meanwhile, Glenn Close, Alec Baldwin and Bryan Cranston all could pull off a three-peat in their respective categories. And let's not overlook "Monk" star Tony Shalhoub, who already has three Emmys and a remarkable eight nominations to his credit.
This glut of reruns is one of several problems plaguing the Emmy telecast, which too often proves to be a snoozer. Oh, but we can always hope.
"Glee," along with other newbies "Modern Family" and "The Good Wife," offers the prospect of some extra Emmy sizzle and a real threat to the old guard.
Especially intriguing is the Outstanding Comedy category, where "30 Rock" could be knocked off its pedestal by either "Glee "or "Modern Family." Both are legitimate heirs to the crown. The former is a genre-melding, buzz-making phenomenon, while the latter rescued the family sitcom from oblivion. It will be fun to see how this one plays out.
Here's a rundown of major categories and some picks, most of which favor Emmy newcomers. Wager at your own risk:
The nominees: "Breaking Bad" (AMC), "Dexter" (Showtime), "The Good Wife" (CBS), "Lost" (ABC), "Mad Men" (AMC) and "True Blood" (HBO).
The lowdown: Emmy is still madly in love with "Mad Men," so look for the streak to continue. But I'd love to see "Lost" go out with a farewell prize. Then again, voters might be as conflicted over the show's epic finale as the viewers were.
Best Actor: Drama
The nominees: Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights," NBC), Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad," AMC), Matthew Fox ("Lost," ABC), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter," Showtime), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men," AMC) and Hugh Laurie ("House," Fox).
The lowdown: Fox brought a wealth of emotional depth to his last go-round as "Lost's" most tortured castaway, and long-overlooked Chandler consistently sparkles. But it's about time that Hall finally gets his due for his blazingly brilliant depiction of an enigmatic serial killer.
Best Actress, Drama
The nominees: Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), Glenn Close ("Damages," FX), Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC), January Jones ("Mad Men," AMC), Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") and Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer," TNT).
The lowdown: I would leave wet smooches all over the TV screen if Britton pulled off a stunning upset, but look for Margulies to take home the trophy. In her triumphant return to television, she already has captured a Golden Globe and SAG Award.
The nominees: "30 Rock" (NBC), "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO), "Glee" (Fox), "Modern Family" (ABC), "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime) and "The Office" (NBC).
The lowdown: A really tough call. It's tempting to think that voters will embrace "Modern Family," the more traditional and consistently funniest show. But look for "Glee" to be this year's belle of the ball.
Best Actor, Comedy
The nominees: Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock"), Steve Carell ("The Office"), Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Matthew Morrison ("Glee"), Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory," CBS) and Tony Shalhoub ("Monk," USA).
The lowdown: It's galling that "The Big Bang Theory" thus far has failed to gain admittance into the Emmy comedy club. Voters will make up for this oversight by rewarding Parsons, the show's hilariously fussy nerd.
Best Actress, Comedy
The nominees: Toni Collette ("The United States of Tara," Showtime), Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie," Showtime), Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine," CBS), Lea Michele ("Glee") and Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation," NBC).
The lowdown: Multitalented Michele carries such a heavy load, but the hunch here is that she'll have to wait for Emmy glory. Instead, I'm thinking the veteran Falco will reign supreme.
And the Emmy also should go to ...
--Supporting Actor, Drama: Terry O'Quinn ("Lost").
--Supporting Actress, Drama: Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men").
--Supporting Actor, Comedy: Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother," CBS).
--Supporting Actress, Comedy: Jane Lynch ("Glee").
--Reality Competition Program: "Dancing With the Stars."