Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Emmy cred: After a freshman campaign that generated six trophies, the Alphabet sudser slumped in its sophomore year, getting shut out on seven noms. Critics have credited creator-exec producer Marc Cherry for getting the writing back on track in the third season.
Emmy cred: Last year, Jeremy Piven took home the comedy supporting actor trophy, while the series garnered noms for writing, direction and casting. Season three — which HBO staggered over a full year, culminating with the June 3 “Adios, Amigos” episode — has revealed no drop-off in terms of ratings or critical juice.
Everybody Hates Chris (CW)
Emmy cred: Low CW profile doesn’t help its Emmy chances, but the skein got tapped for a couple of crafts awards (cinematography and costumes) as a rookie.
Emmy cred: In addition to a writing nod, the Ricky Gervais skein also gained noms for guest spots by Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller and Kate Winslet. This year’s guests included Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen and Daniel Radcliffe.
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Emmy cred: After garnering a couple of crafts trophies in its freshman campaign — art direction and multicam cinematography — the series sparked in season two, with notable perfs by Neil Patrick Harris.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
Emmy cred: Crix didn’t think the pinch of star power added by Danny DeVito this season kicked it up a notch, but the recipe didn’t lose any of its bite either, as episodes like “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” illustrate.
The King of Queens (CBS)
Emmy cred: Save for Kevin James’ thesp nom last year, Emmy has ignored this traditional multicam laffer. However, the TV Academy might take notice that “King” is exiting primetime after a nine-year run as still one of TV’s top-rated comedies.
Emmy cred: Tony Shalhoub remains the heaviest hitter in the lead actor category, taking home three trophies, including the last two.
My Name Is Earl (NBC)
Emmy cred: The single-cam skein had a big freshman season, with Emmys for writing, editing, direction and casting as well as a supporting actress nod for Jaime Pressly. Attracting less buzz in season two, it will be hard for “Earl” to match that effort this time around.
The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Emmy cred: Julia Louis-Dreyfus won the lead actress trophy last year in the show’s first season. The series experienced no creative drop-off in its sophomore campaign.
The Office (NBC)
Emmy cred: Its freshman year produced the comedy series trophy as well as noms for writing, editing and lead actor (Steve Carell). This year, the Academy might also give notice to a strong ensemble cast that features Rainn Wilson, John Krasinksi and Jenna Fischer.
Emmy cred: Its best seasons may be behind it, but the skein has been nominated in the comedy series category the last two years.
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Emmy cred: Despite having the strongest ratings in the laffer biz — and some not-so-subtle digs at the awards voters from creator-exec producer Chuck Lorre — “Men” has only taken home a couple of crafts Emmys so far.
Emmy cred: Elizabeth Perkins garnered a supporting actress nod for season one, with the series also getting noms for direction, editing, casting and main title design.