TV newcomers "Modern Family" and "Glee" are poised to bring sizzle to the Emmy nominations, while late-night talk shows could add a dash of conflict.
After three years of "30 Rock" domination of the comedy series category, the sitcom may be challenged by the two freshman series that combine humor and sentiment — and nonstop music in the case of "Glee."
Nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards were to be announced early Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, with help from Joel McHale of "Community" and Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family."
The late-night scene, beset by rivalry and personal woes, could yield dueling "Tonight Show" nominations for ex-host Conan O'Brien and the resurrected Jay Leno in the best variety-series category. O'Brien's bid for recognition was boosted by a TBS campaign that also served to highlight his upcoming show for the cable channel.
David Letterman, who turned affairs with female staffers and a blackmail attempt into high broadcast drama, has routinely garnered nominations for his show. Will TV academy voters have a change of heart this year?
Marital discord may affect Charlie Sheen's chances of repeating as a nominee for the sitcom "Two and a Half Men." The actor has a court hearing next week on charges stemming from a domestic-dispute case involving his wife.
Besides a best comedy nod, "Modern Family" could nab nominations for members of the ensemble cast that includes Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, all of whom submitted their names in the supporting actor or actress categories.
"Glee" stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele are in the hunt for lead acting nods, while the show's Chris Colfer has a shot at a best supporting actor nomination.
Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock," Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" and Glenn Close of "Damages," all of whom claimed two best-acting wins in a row, could be nominees again. So could Toni Collette, who won a top comedy acting award last year for "United States of Tara."
Other series that might make the best-comedy series cut include "The Big Bang Theory," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Family Guy."
Two-time drama winner "Mad Men" is likely to get another nod, perhaps to be challenged by a field that includes "Breaking Bad," "Dexter" and the acclaimed new series "The Good Wife" starring Julianna Margulies. The final "Lost" mystery may be whether its last season brings a nomination.
"Saturday Night Live" is within striking distance of a record set by "ER" as all-time leading nominee. The variety show trails the medical drama's total 124 nods by just 10. Last year, "SNL" earned 13 nominations — and this time around, it has Betty White's gig as host in its arsenal.
The Emmy Awards will air Aug. 29 on NBC, with Jimmy Fallon hosting. The ceremony, which usually airs in September, was moved up to avoid a conflict with NBC's Sunday NFL broadcasts.
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