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Pre-Emmy Conventional Picks

September 16, 2007 4:10 PM

Surveying predictions from handicappers and critics, “Sopranos” is expected to dominate with its 15 nominations and pick up its second trophy for outstanding drama series. If “Sorpanos” wins, it will be the first time a series has won an outstanding drama Emmy for its final season.

The workplace-comedy three-way of “Ugly Betty,” “30 Rock” and “The Office” is at the heart of the comedy series category. Critics give a slight edge to “The Office,” which won last year and has only improved. But “Betty” is a heavily nominated series and could take the prize as well.

Outstanding drama actor is predicted to come down to Hugh Laurie (“House”) or James Gandolfini (“Sopranos”). Laurie was snubbed from a nomination last year, but critics say Gandolfini has the edge.

Drama actress is considered a tough category, with Edie Falco marginally expected to ride a “Sopranos” victory wave. But nobody counts out Sally Field (“Brothers & Sisters”), Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) or last year’s winner Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”).

Outstanding comedy actor is also a difficult choice, with Steve Carell (“The Office”) nominated twice without a win; Alec Baldwin is credited with making “30 Rock” a critical hit; Charlie Sheen (“Two and a Half Men”) has never won for the highest-rated comedy on the air. Critics are split on this one.

Outstanding comedy actress. Again, tricky, with most pundits’ chips going on “Betty” star America Ferrera.

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