I think this year, though, we'll see the inclusion of some new series in the nominations. Here's my predictions.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
The Good Wife
Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Dexter are all critical darlings and multiple nominees, so they'll return, especially after having great seasons. House will manage to squeeze in because it submitted "Broken" as its FYC episode, which was the best in an uneven and mediocre season. Lost was probably polarizing this season, especially with the finale, but I think enough voters like the show to give it one last nomination (though I doubt a win is in the cards). That leaves The Good Wife getting the sixth spot; the freshman show had excellent reviews and great ratings, making it more likely to return than, say, middling seasons of 24 or Big Love.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
30 Rock is a lock, namely since its the three-time winner of this category. Glee and Modern Family were the big freshman breakouts, and will justly be rewarded with nominations here. Voters like both Curb Your Enthusiasm (which returned this year after a long hiatus) and The Office, so both shows should be nominated again. The Big Bang Theory grew into one of television's biggest hits this year, and though I am by no means a fan of Chuck Lorre's shows, this one will probably earn the sixth spot.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Laurie, House
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
The first five in my list are all virtual locks for this category, as all are returning nominees and all of them turned in strong work this season. The sixth spot is trickier: I'm going with Olyphant's superb performance as Raylan Givens, but Bill Paxton (Big Love), Kiefer Sutherland (24), Peter Krause (Parenthood), and even Ray Romano (Men of a Certain Age) have good shots at that last spot.
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carrell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Baldwin, Carrell and Parsons are pretty much locks to return to this year's race. The other three, however, as less certain. Shalhoub is an Emmy favorite, and since this is his last chance to compete for Monk, I feel comfortable that he'll be nominated. David is also a former nominee in this category, and he's received good notices this year, so he seems like a safe bet. Morrison's the shakiest of them all: despite being the lead, he isn't given much to do in a lot of episodes, but if he submitted one of his standouts, he'll make the cut. Otherwise, the oft-troubled Charlie Sheen could (unlikely) make his way back into the category.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones, Mad Men
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Anna Paquin, True Blood
This is a packed category this year, but four of these are certain to be nominated: Close, Hargitay, Jones, and Margulies. Sedgwick is a multiple nominee, and it would not be surprising to see her here again. The sixth spot has several strong contenders: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Lauren Graham (Parenthood), Holly Hunter (Saving Grace), Regina King (Southland), Melissa Leo (Treme). But Paquin was a Globe nominee, and if the voters choose to honor True Blood in any major category, it'll be this one.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Lea Michele, Glee
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Courteney Cox-Arquette, Cougar Town
Collette, Falco, and Fey are sure to be nominated again. Michele is likely to be nominated off of her momentum from Glee (as well as her excellent performance). Parker, though Weeds has had an uneven season according to most fans and critics, has received mostly good notices, so it's possible that she'll return. And even though Cox-Arquette was never nominated for Friends, expect the buzz and strength of Cougar Town (which, if you haven't heard, is getting a new name soon) to give her the edge.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
John Slattery, Mad Men
Martin Short, Damages
Andre Braughter, Men of a Certain Age
Lost has a huge number of worthy contenders, with O'Quinn and Emerson most likely to be nominated (with Nestor Carbonell as an outside chance). Otherwise, this category should see the return of Paul and Slattery, as well as the inclusion of Emmy favorite Braughter and Short, who takes on a surprisingly dramatic role in Damages and played it to perfection.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Cryer, who won this last year, will probably be back, as will favorites Wilson and Harris. Though Morgan didn't have a standout episode this year, he did have fantastic moments (the post-Garfield-audition scene was ad-libbing brilliance), and that should get him in. The rest of the category should be filled out with Modern Family cast members, particularly Burrell and Stonestreet, though I wouldn't be surprised if Ed O'Neill takes Morgan's spot.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Rose Byrne, Damages
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
Lisa Edelstein, House
Since three of last year's nominees are not returning for various reasons, this category is wide open this year. Baranski is an Emmy favorite, and has gotten rave reviews for her work on The Good Wife, so count her in. The Grey's Anatomy girls (Oh and Wilson) are perennial nominees, and they will return this year. Byrne and Moss are also favorites from favorite shows, so they're nominations are safe bets as well. The last spot will mostly likely go to Edelstein, who got an excellent showcase episode this year and will finally be rewarded for the great work she does on House. But I wouldn't be surprised in Christina Hendricks from Mad Men grabbed that spot either.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Lynch is probably the only definite lock in this category, especially since many consider this to be her win. Since the Modern Family cast submitted themselves completely into supporting, expect multiple nominations for the show here too, particularly in the form of Bowen and Vergara. Otherwise, the rest of the category will be filled out with old favorites Krakowski, Wiig, and Williams.
So what do you think? Look for the nominations and my reactions here starting Thursday.