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“30 Rock” (NBC)
“Californication” (Showtime)
“Entourage” (HBO)
“Extras” (HBO)
“Pushing Daisies” (ABC)

“30 Rock,” aka the little engine that could, garnered tons of publicity for its recent Emmy win, and it’ll be interesting to see if the NBC show now becomes something of a comedy powerhouse on the awards circuit.

It would be wise not to underestimate the popularity of British comedian Ricky Gervais and “Extras.” HBO recently premiered an 80-minute series-ending edition that has received strong notices. His international appeal is huge, and the HFPA knighted him in 2004 for his role in “The Office.”

In a fall season that delivered few broadcast hits, “Pushing Daisies” is one of the few shows that was able to capitalize on its initial buzz. Credit the fairy-talelike setting and light touch that aroused viewers, and those attributes may spark interest in voters as well.

Popular on Variety

“Californication” pushes the envelope more than any other program in this category, and if risque and unconventional is what the HFPA is looking for, look no further.