Get the critics' picks
(CNN) -- Emmys and excitement? The two "have the letter 'e' in common," says Aaron Barnhart, TV critic for the Kansas City Star, "but that's about it."
If you think that's harsh, consider this assessment, offered by the Los Angeles Times' Howard Rosenberg:
"I think about the Emmys about as often as I think about the mating life of a tsetse fly."
The two hardly speak for just themselves. Critics from around the nation -- as well as the vast majority TV watchers -- offer a collective yawn when it comes time to view the Emmys.
Snooze or not, come September 10, members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will name the best of the 2000 prime-time television season as they see it. And they may see things differently this year, too. It's telling that last year's outstanding comedy series, "Ally McBeal," was nominated for only one Emmy this year (Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series), and that Dennis Franz garnered the only nomination for perennial favorite "NYPD Blue."
This year, early favorites appear to be James Gandolfini, Michael J. Fox, Jane Kaczmarek, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally. The biggest contest, though, will be in the Outstanding Drama Series category, where critics are torn between NBC's "The West Wing" and HBO's "The Sopranos."
The brewing contests could make for some entertaining viewing, says Mark Schwed, a national writer for TV Guide.
"There could be a lot of surprises in every category at the Emmys this year," says Schwed, who doesn't necessarily share Barnhart's view of the Emmys. "This could be the 'funnest' Emmys ever; Vegas would have a nightmare making odds on this."
Here are some critics' picks. Click on each picture to read the predictions: