This is the only nomination for HBO's vampire bloodbath, which is the hottest thing going on television right now. Plenty of people call "True Blood" their favorite show. But at the end of the day (or night) it's a show about vampires which brings all sorts of connotations that affect this category. Does a blood-filled cover of Rolling Stone and a lot of chatter equal an award win? Not this year. If True Blood goes home with the crown, I'll drink a bottle of true ketchup. Odds of winning: 12 to 1.
However fantastic Michael C. Hall is in this beloved Showtime thriller, the Best Drama Category carries some serious gravitas. And sometimes this show's flimsy production values get in the way of serious consideration (even if they don't turn off the loyal). Odds of winning: 8 to 1.
The Good Wife
I don't understand what the fuss is about this show, which seems like a well-written and well-acted drama that normally wouldn't rise above everyday chatter. But this is one show that seems to be in step with a lot of Academy voters, for whatever reason. So who knows what it can pull off. I just don't think (and hope) it will this year. Odds of winning: 6 to 1.
J.J. Abrams stepped on the pedal this season and never let off the gas. When a television show ending becomes a national event (see The Sopranos), you have to look out for it at the awards show. If "Lost" starts sweeping everything, look out. But there is a school of thought -- a good school of thought -- that the Emmy nomination will be enough of a big wet kiss for the fan favorite. The show was never an Academy pet. Saying goodbye only gets you so far. Odds of winning 4 to 1.
However satisfying this drama series, however passionate the supporters, it just doesn't have the juice to make it to the stop spot. Look out if voters feel like Mad Men has had enough with the metal. It's a great dark horse. Odds of winning: 3 to 1
"Mad Men" is like that stellar student in class who always takes abuse from the teacher because the teacher EXPECTS so much. While the teacher might criticize, deep inside there is enormous affection and hope. In this case the constant "Mad Men" carping is for a show that is so ambitious, so well-written and, well, so good looking that you expect nothing but the best even in the off-episode. And when it doesn't come, we've learned to grumble in season 3. But come award time, you have to give it to the most worthy. Odds of winning 2 to 1.
The 2010 Emmys: Handicapping Best Drama