“The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop”
“The World Wars”
A fresh, inventive take on the familiar detective story, the new “Sherlock” — starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman — follows the crime-solving pair in 21st-century London.
“Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)
Six-time nominee won in 2012 and the hard-working host is again one of the top contenders given that “Stars,” although down in the ratings, still taps its way to ratings gold.
“Cutthroat Kitchen” (Food Network)
Brown brings devilish glee to his new show, a cooking competition that makes the curves thrown on “Chopped” look like easy pitches down the middle. Emmy would do well to recognize this multitalented foodie.
“Project Runway”/“Under the Gunn” (Lifetime)
Last year's winner (he won with “Project Runway” colleague Heidi Klum) has a very good shot of repeating although his frosh series “Under the Gunn” didn't ignite the fervor that “Runway” did and does.
“The Bachelor” (ABC)
Much online gossip and speculation about Harrison's true feelings about the series' last bachelor pushed the host's profile higher than ever. But will Emmy recognize the harder edge he brought to the last season?
“Project Runway” (Lifetime)
The 2013 winner in this category with “Runway” colleague Tim Gunn, Klum became more assertive leading the judges' panel, introducing spicier deliberations that made better TV.
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
Could the four-time nominee finally be recognized after the “All-Stars” season? He keeps his cool in exotic situations.
“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)
The sunny Brit is a past nominee and the continued popularity of the show could push her to a win although Emmy tends to reward older-skewing show hosts.
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
The series is must-see TV for food lovers and her rapport with the “cheftestants” and her command of the show has been growing in the last couple of seasons. But does Emmy still see her as a lightweight?
Four-time winner will certainly never get voted off the island, but is Emmy tired of celebrating his talent for managing chaos in challenging situations?
“American Idol” (Fox)
The six-time nominee may not see a seventh nom as the series experienced precipitous ratings erosion and is not the pop culture force it once was.
A perennial Emmy nominee and winner, “American Experience” is hard to beat, given the pubcaster's ability to back documakers' visions that commercial webs rarely do or can do.
“American Masters,” like its sister series “Experience,” nabs Emmy noms easily, given its mandate and that of PBS; however, both series are valuable records, and “Masters” is the gold standard of bio-docs.
Back for another season, Science hit with host Morgan Freeman hosting nabbed a nom in 2013, and its family-friendly science may draw Emmy voters again.
Cutting-edge journalism tackles the major issues and this season saw reports on hotspots like Syria and Ukraine but also investigations into Lee Harvey Oswald and social media.
Fox, National Geographic Channel
Science fan Seth MacFarlane's clout allowed the series to get a prime spot on Fox but, as series breakout star, host Neil deGrasse Tyson could draw voters looking for something different.
An Emmy nominee in 2013, “Vice” is like a grenade thrown into the mix of TV news. The show sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea, and explored events that broadcasters won't touch. Voters may give it another seal of approval this year.
VH1 ventures out of its celeb comfort zone with this series based on Steve Stoute's bestseller about the influence of hip-hop on culture. Will Emmy notice?
Cabler has proven itself with scripted drama, and it's taken some of those dramatic lessons into the factual world with this series. It's unknown whether Emmy voters will reward a series with a lot of dramatic re-creations.