Some basics before we proceed:
The Emmy voter is a creature of deep and unimpeachable habit. He or she is not prone to reversing themselves, either, which is why you see repeats year after year. Voters are traditionalists. They appreciate excellence but usually certain types of excellence. They don't care for sci-fi or vampires, for instance. On to my hunches for the 62nd annual Emmy nominations, to be announced Thursday morning.
Best actor, comedy
Dances, sings and acts - and very well, too.
Only question may be whether he's "best supporting," or scores full actor nod.
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Maybe same issue. (Why not best actor nods then for Jesse Tyler Ferguson or Eric Stonestreet? Or best supporting.)
Had (arguably) an even better season in '09-'10 than his previous winning ones.
The academy loves him, but not enough to give him this year's win.
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
A deserved repeat.
Best actress, comedy
Inconceivable she won't be on the list, clear front-runner to win.
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
A strong bid to win, too.
Last year's winner.
It's the year of the "Family," and Vergara was terrific.
Courteney Cox, "Cougar Town"
Though Patricia Heaton ("The Middle") could sneak in.
Had a Golden Globe nod. Why not here?
Best actor, drama
Hugh Laurie, "House"
The sun rises, also sets. As long as Laurie is on "House," he will get the nod.
Strongest season so far, and one episode in particular - in which he revealed his past to Betty - could help him win outright.
A great season. A shock if he's not here again.
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Are you seeing a pattern in this category?
Ray Romano, "Men of a Certain Age"
Emmy likes its occasional surprise, and this could be it - particularly if "MOCA" does not get a best drama nod, and doubtful that it will.
Crazy long shot but fun idea, no?
Best actress, drama
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Voters may be getting a little tired of Patty Hewes, but unlikely.
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
An easy call.
Lauren Graham, "Parenthood"
If NBC pushed out the tapes, a real possibility.
Mariska Hargitay, "L&O: SVU"
Emmy loves her.
Katey Sagal, "Sons of Anarchy"
Don't be too shocked.
Incredible first season.
Beloved by viewers and voters.
Because it was here last year.
If not this, then "Weeds."
A solid base of support.
A first-season winner, but a bridesmaid ever since.
Best drama, period.
"The Good Wife"
A newcomer breaks into the top.
A classic leaves, and homage must be paid.
There are exceptions to rules, and this could be one of 'em. "Treme" could sneak in, too.
If not this series, then "House."