Doug Ellin Entourage
Episode: “Exodus”
Network: HBO
Kudos pedigree in this category: First Emmy nomination
On the resume: “Life With Bonnie”
Executive producers: Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Ellin
Memorable scene from nominated Episode: Ari’s attempt to salvage his career after being cast aside by his agency, complete with promise to apologize to assistant Lloyd after every insult.
Why he may win: It lived up to and fed the hype that now surrounds the series.
Maybe not: Big scene could strike some as derivative of “Jerry Maguire.”
Quote: “I said, ‘I don’t get it.’ It was about hangers-on. I don’t want to watch a show about people who live off somebody else,” Ellin told the Los Angeles Times about his initial reaction to the show’s premise. “I had to figure out how to make the guys relatable to me.”

Greg Garcia My Name Is Earl
Episode: “Pilot”
Network: NBC
Kudos pedigree in this category: First Emmy nomination
On the resume: “Yes, Dear,” “Family Matters”
Executive producers: Mark Buckland, Garcia
Memorable scene from nominated Episode: Earl getting hit by the car. “That’s a moment that sticks with everyone,” Garcia says. “Him running out all happy, then just, bam. Obviously, it’s a huge plot twist for us, and gets us to where the series was going to be.”
Why he may win: Despite endless promotion before its premiere, the pilot actually surpassed expectations.
Maybe not: The show’s failure to capture a best series nomination could be a negative omen.
Quote: “The script never really changed that much,” Garcia says. “It was a rare experience when I just wrote it on my own without a network attached, so there were no development notes along the way, and then about a year and a half later NBC decided to do it.”

Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant Extras
Episode: “Kate Winslet”
Network: HBO
Kudos pedigree in this category: First Emmy nomination
On the resume: “The Office”
Executive producer: Jon Plowman
Memorable scene from nominated Episode: Winslet’s advice on how to talk dirty on the phone was classic. It turned the uptight Brit persona updside down.
Why they may win: Winslet talking dirty? Come on …
Maybe not: How many people thought this show lived up to “The Office”?
Quote: “I think ‘Extras’ is the best thing I’ve ever done,” Gervais says. “The writing’s sharper, I’m a better director, I’m a better actor.”

Michael Schur The Office
Episode: “Christmas Party”
Network: NBC
Kudos pedigree in this category: Three Emmy nominations, one win for “Saturday Night Live”
On the resume: “SNL,” “The Comeback”
Executive producers: Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Howard Klein, Stephen Merchant, Ben Silverman
Memorable scene from nominated Episode: The characters’ growing frustration as Michael turns a friendly Secret Santa gift exchange into a debacle.
Why he may win: The episode had it all — laughter and pain.
Maybe not: Schur’s name is less renowned than the others nominated in the category.
Quote: “The toughest thing is it’s a huge cast, and they’re all great,” Schur says. “It’s very easy to come up with tons of story for all of them, but when push comes to shove, we have 20 minutes, so from a writing standpoint, it’s very hard to get them all on camera and show off all their talents.”

Chuck Tatham (teleplay), Jim Vallely (teleplay), Richard Day (story), Mitchell Hurwitz (story) Arrested Development
Episode: “Development Arrested”
Network: Fox
Kudos pedigree in this category: First nomination for Tatham; Hurwitz and Vallely won in 2005; Day was nominated in 1998 for “The Larry Sanders Show”
On the resume: “What About Joan,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Full House,” Tatham; “My Wife and Kids,” “The Golden Girls,” Vallely; “Mad About You,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” Day; “Less Than Perfect,” “The Golden Girls,” Hurwitz
Executive producers: Brain Grazer, Ron Howard, Hurwitz, David Nevins
Memorable scene from nominated Episode: Hard to overlook the final moment of this series wrapup, but Lindsay propositioning her brother Michael after finding out she was adopted may have topped it.
Why they may win: The show was clever until the last drop.
Maybe not: Did not go down in history as a classic series finale.
Quote: “Of course, if there was enough money in it, I would have happily abandoned the fans’ need for quality,” Hurwitz said previously about extending the series past this episode. “But as it turns out, there wasn’t.”