MT. EMMY: To scale the heights of the Emmys, wrap yourself in raves and pack lots of buzz. This week's altitude readings are by Greg Braxton, Maria Elena Fernandez, Matea Gold, Elena Howe and Lee Margulies.
WILL THE 'SUNNY' SHINE? After years of being almost totally ignored, FX's quirky "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" hit its stride this season, accompanied by higher ratings, a popular stage show and a coarse Christmas episode. Voters may finally shine some light on "Sunny."
GLEEFUL PAIRING: We love the musical numbers as much as you do, but the heart and soul of "Glee" is the touching father and son team of character actor Mike O'Malley and the ultra-talented newcomer Chris Colfer.
WIRED FOR A WIN? David Simon's last HBO series, "The Wire," never got a statue from the television academy, but he has another shot at Emmy love with his New Orleans-set "Treme," as do "Wire" veterans Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, who both star on the series.
AT BASE CAMP
BY HOOK OR CROOK: How did "Parenthood" creator Jason Katims get such a talented ensemble cast onboard? "I wrote 14 scripts and each actor got one with him as the lead — then you have to make a few adjustments," he joked.
ABOUT DAME TIME: Dame Judi Dench has won an Oscar, a Tony, Golden Globes and more, but never an Emmy. She was nominated two years ago for PBS' "Cranford" but lost. Now she's got another shot for her reprise as a sweet spinster in the sequel, "Return to Cranford."
LOOKING FOR A SHERPA
JERSEY BOYS: If there were an Emmy for reality breakout cast, it would have to go to Snooki, the Situation and the rest of those brawling "Jersey Shore" GTL'ers (gym, tan, laundry). Admit it, you may not have watched their show but you know exactly who they are.
PASS THE TISSUE: In this season of huge goodbyes — we said farewell to "Lost," "24," "Law & Order" and Simon Cowell — TV viewers deserve an Emmy for keeping it together. TV just won't be the same next season.
SORRY, CHARLIE: Charlie Sheen has scored four consecutive nominations for lead actor in a comedy for "Two and a Half Men." But his recent legal problems, including charges of domestic abuse and jail time, will most likely damage his chances this year.