Best Actress Comedy Series: Please, I won't waste your time with a lot of analysis: It's Fey. She is superb at playing the smartest person in the room except when it comes to herself. And as slapstick and broad as her comedy can be, she has created a razor-sharp satire of network television today. Not surprisingly, her toughest competition comes from cable with Toni Collette of Showtime's "United States of Tara" and Mary-Louise Parker in Showtime's "Weeds." But I think Fey will prevail. She is the salvation of the network sitcom.
Also nominated: Christina Applegate ("Samantha Who?), Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Show") and Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("New Adventures of Old Christine")
Best Reality Host: Like it or not, this has become a major category. This is the group that gave us the five co-hosts at last year's telecast - and what a wretched job they did. This year, I think Ryan Seacrest gets the award. He did stand up to Simon Cowell on some nights and seem to take over the "American Idol" stage like he never had before.
Also nominated: Tom Bergeron ("Dancing With The Stars"), Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi ("Top Chef") , Heidi Klum ("Project Runway"), Phil Keoghan ("The Amazing Race") and Jeff Probst ("Survivor")
Best Reality Show: Don't scoff, reality TV is now the dominant genre on network TV. Nothing compares. I would love to see "Antiques Roadshow" from PBS win in this category. It's engaging, fun and smart TV. The smart part is probably a deal breaker. But let's hope.
Also nominated: "Dirty Jobs," "Dog Whisperer," "Intervention," "Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List" and "MythBusters"
Best Reality Competition: "Amazing Race," from CBS, should be the winner again. For one thing, it is the only such series that deftly captures the global sensibility of younger viewers today. And the producers understood the importance of diversity in casting before almost anyone else in the genre. But it does face stiff competition.
Also nominated: "American Idol," "Project Runway," "Top Chef" and "Dancing with the Stars"
Best Made-For-TV Movie: HBO's "Grey Gardens" should take the Emmy. Note that three of the movies are from HBO and two from Lifetime. One of Lifetime's entries, "Prayers for Bobby," starring Sigourney Weaver, is my sleeper pick. But this is another category where cable excels, and the networks punt. Making movies, something the networks once did almost as well as the old Hollywood studios, is deemed too expensive by the new calculus of prime time.
Also nominated: "Coco Chanel," "Into the Storm," and "Taking Chance"
Best Miniseries: Weak field with only HBO's "Generation Kill" and "Little Dorrit" from PBS. "Generation Kill," written and produced in part by David Simon and Ed Burns, should win if for no other reason than the importance of its subject matter. The film took viewers inside the lives of Marines in Iraq, and it did so without piety or pity. Making it all the more socially significant is the fact that much of the rest of the media paid so little attention to the war and the toll it took on America's warriors.
Best Actor Miniseries or Movie: Now here's a great category, with Kevin Bacon ("Taking Chance"), Kenneth Branagh ("Wallander: One Step Behind"), Ian McKellen ("King Lear"), Keifer Sutherland ("24"), Brendan Gleeson ("Into the Storm") and Kevin Kline ("Cyrano de Bergerac"). I can't decide between Branagh and Bacon. They were both terrific. I'm picking Branagh, but hoping for Bacon. I would love to see the actor and this gem of a film about a Marine, who accompanies the remains of a comrade killed in Iraq to a final resting place, honored in some way.
Best Actress Miniseries or Movie: Another great lineup, but I am dead set on Drew Barrymore for her brilliant performance as the eccentric Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale in "Grey Gardens."
Also nominated: Jessica Lange ("Grey Gardens"), Shirley MacLaine ("Coco Chanel"), Chandra Wilson ("Accidental Friend") and Sigourney Weaver ("Prayers for Bobby")
Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series: I'm picking "The Colbert Report" over "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Night in and night out, Stewart is superior, but Colbert managed to get the media chattering about him this year even more than Stewart. I think he's the one who gets the trophy tonight.
Also nominated: "Late Show with David Letterman," "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "Saturday Night Live"
The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards air at 8 p.m. on WJZ, Channel 13