With the 2010-11 TV season winding down, speculation is already simmering for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, even though the ceremony is 3 1/2 months from now. Therefore, it must be time for my sixth annual fantasy ballot. Originally conceived in June 2006 as a ripoff of Michael Ausiello's annual feature at tvguide.com, my imaginary Emmy ballot mixes should-be nominees with likely nods and other deserving stars and shows. With "Lost," "24," and "Damages" no longer of the running, it should be a wide-open year for drama nominees; the comedy and variety categories should have fewer surprises.
Writing in a Variety/Comedy/Music Series: (name listed is head writer) Barry Julien, The Colbert Report; Mike Sweeney, Conan; Steve Bodow, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher; and Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live.
Outstanding Variety/Comedy/Music Series: "The Colbert Report," Comedy Central; "Conan," TBS; "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Comedy Central; "Late Show with David Letterman," CBS; and "Saturday Night Live," NBC.
Supporting Actress in a Drama: Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead; Sharon Gless, Burn Notice; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men; Archie Punjabi, The Good Wife; Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy.
Supporting Actor in a Drama: Alan Cumming, The Good Wife; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Jack Huston, Boardwalk Empire; Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad; Michael Shannon, Boardwalk Empire; John Slattery, Mad Men.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Yvette Nicole Brown, Community; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock; Jane Lynch, Glee; Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Chris Coifer, Glee; Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men; Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother; Nick Offerman, Parks & Recreation; Danny Pudi, Community.
Lead Actress in a Drama: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire; Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men; and Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer.
Lead Actor in a Drama: Sean Bean, Game of Thrones; Kyle Chandler, Fright Night Lights; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Jon Hamm, Mad Men; and Hugh Laurie, House.
Lead Actress in a Comedy: Toni Collette, United States of Tara; Courtney Cox, Cougar Town; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Lea Michele, Glee; and Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation.
Lead Actor in a Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Steve Carell, The Office; Joel McHale, Community; Matthew Morrison, Glee; Ed O'Neill, Modern Family; and Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory.
Outstanding Drama Series: "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Dexter," Showtime; "The Good Wife," CBS; "In Treatment," HBO; "Mad Men," AMC; "The Walking Dead," AMC.
Outstanding Comedy Series: "30 Rock," NBC; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Community," NBC; "How I Met Your Mother," CBS; "Modern Family," ABC; "Parks & Recreation," NBC.
Let the debate begin!